Comfort from a Broken Clock

The clock's broken.
I know that I should probably buy a new one, someday, but...I can't. I never can bring myself to, because the day he broke up with me, that clock stopped. And every day, I look at it and see him, and all the good times we had together.

"Here, Lee."

I blinked when my boyfriend of four years handed me one of those old fashioned analog clocks, a cute one with a silver frame and two cute hands: they looked like little interlocking hearts. I smiled and took it, looking up at him from behind my hair, "What's this for, honey?"

"It's our moving in present." He said with his charismatic grin, one that always melted my heart. "I thought it was...well, kind of needed. Your old clock broke, remember?"

He flushed as he said this - it'd been he who had dropped the clock and broken it - but I didn't mind. I liked this clock, and I smiled, stroking my fingers over the surface. It wasn't the most conventional moving-in gift anyone could've given, but I liked it, and that was what mattered.

The sound of thunder brought me out of my memory and I looked up, the ice cubes in my tumbler clinking against the glass. I normally wasn't very much of a drinker, but ever since the break up, I'd been drinking more and more. At first, it'd just been light things: wine and champagne. Then I'd moved onto Jack Daniels and Cokes. Now I just drank straight JD, nothing to dilute it with. It didn't help heal me, not in the least...but it kept some of the memories at bay.

Not tonight, apparently.

"I can't deal with this anymore!"

The shouting, I hated it when he shouted. His voice always got really angry and deep and I didn't like it. He was usually so sweet and gentle. I raced over to him, trying to touch his arm, but he slapped me away, his eyes narrowed. "Don't touch me, you fucking slut!"

"What did I do!" I cried, shocked that he would call me a slut. Then again, it wasn't so abnormal anymore: lately, he'd been accusing me of cheating, and that I was a street-walker. Those words hurt me, because I would never do anything like that. But it didn't stop him from going on, "You know what you did! You were fucking my best friend!"

This wasn't a lie, at least, not a techincial one: I had slept with his best friend, Blake, once. Before the two of us even got together. Before we had even known each other! But, now that I thought about it, I could imagine Blake with his tanned muscles, his sexy blue eyes, his dark curly hair...

My expression must've changed, because he just stared at me. "So it's true," he whispered, his eyes narrowing. "You slept with him. You fucking slut! How could you do this to me! I thought you loved me!"

I drew myself out of my reverie, trying to say something to him, to defend myself at least, but he didn't give me the chance. Before a single word could come out of my lips, he was at the door, forcing it open. It'd been storming that night, too, with thunder and lightning. I'd always hated thunder, lightning, too, and usually cuddled against him when storms got so bad. "I'll send for my things."

"Wait! Let me explain!" I begged. "Please, I promise, it's not as bad as you think!"
He didn't give me any chance, though. He shook his head and walked out into the pouring rain, the door slamming shut behind him. The clock, the one he'd given me about six months before this, fell off the wall then, and I rushed over to it, lifting it up to see that the face was broken, the hands immobile. It was my heart.
"Come back..."

Another clap of thunder and I downed my fourth JD, listening to the cubes clinking against the empty glass and each other. I'd been drinking more than usual lately. I know that I shouldn't have been, but I couldn't care...If it killed me, it killed me. After all, it wouldn't bring him back. He'd made that very clear when he'd come back and gotten all of his shit. Every single thing he'd ever owned that he wanted went with him. The only thing I had of his was an over-sized button-up shirt, the one i was now wearing over my boxers, and an empty bottle of his favorite cologne. I should probably throw that away one day, too, but I know I won't: It's just another thing I want to keep, like the clock. It's a broken clock, like I said before, but it reminds me of one thing: when he'd said he would come back. He'd said he would come back for his things, and ever since the first time we'd made love, he had said I was his. He would come back for me, right?

"Nngh..." I groaned, pushing the empty glass away from me. My head was starting to swim now and I stood up, heading toward my bathroom. I needed asprin. It was stupid to take asprin with as much booze as I'd drunk tonight, but how the fuck could I care? It wasn't like I had anything to live for anymore, right? My boyfriend was gone, all because of something that'd happened so very long ago, and my parents had kicked me out because I was gay. I had to work two jobs just to keep myself in my fucking house every month, and my house was now too big because there was no one to share it with. Yes, I'd had a few more lovers after he had left, but...none of them touched my heart. They were all just sex, nothing more and nothing less, so I sent them off a few weeks after we got together. I wasn't one to let someone lounge around in my home unless it was someone I really cared for. I wanted someoen to love me...I wanted him back...

Tears poured from my eyes like the rain that was pounding outside and I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror: there were dark circles under my now-dull gray eyes and my hair, which was usually a lustrous black, seemed bedraggled and lifeless. My skin was sallow, too colourless, and...I was so thin. I haven't been eating very well, not since he left me. I just went from home to work and back again, like an endless cycle. I used to have friends I would go out with, but since the break-up, things...had gone south there, too. I was all alone in this world...completely alone...

I don't want to be alone.

But there was nothing I could do about it. I only had a few things in the world that mattered to me, and they were a broken clock, a button-up shirt and an empty cologne bottle. I was pathetic and stupid, lost and alone, and there was no one to care about it. No one would worry about me one cared about me.

As I thought these things, my eyes lit on my razor blade. Lately, I'd been eyeing it with an intent different han it's usual purpose: instead of cutting off hair, I wanted to cut through my skin. But I couldn't do that; the sight of blood made me sick. So I just grabbed the bottle of asprin and walked back to the kitchen, fixing another tumbler. In fact, I fixed four and downed them all, as well as the pills that I wanted. I was only supposed to take two...I don't think I took that many...maybe four...or nine...or half the bottle...and things were spinning now, the clock was spinning and it was moving again, but that couldn't be! He had promised that he would come back at the exact time the clock had stopped on!

"Stop!" I stumbled away from the table to the wall, reaching up for it. "Stop spinning! Stop working! STOP!"

But it wouldn't stop. It kept going and going and I was tumbling into it, falling forward into the clock. My stomach lurched, like it did when I took rollercoaster rides and everything went black.

Obituary for Lee Jenson, aged 24, found dead in his home from overdose of asprin. He was clutching a broken clock, a gift from an ex-boyfriend, to his chest when his next-door neighbors found him after hearing the boy screaming "Stop," late at night.

A pair of dark eyes scoured over these words, tears filling them. The boy who stood there, staring at that newspaper with those words written in it, words that documented how his ex-boyfriend had died, couldn't believe it. He remembered when he'd given that clock over...when he had said that it was their moving in present...that they would always have it...

He cried, and this time there was nothing to comfort him: No boyfriend, no friends...and no broken clock.