His friends welcomed him with open arms and a bottle of beer when he joined them in their favourite pub, the evening he discovered his wife and his son had left him. He slept well that night, deep and dreamless and alone, and next morning, the sharp sting in his chest when he became aware of the emptiness beside him hurt only a little worse than the hangover pain in his head.
He didn’t want to think, to remember, to hope, and only the bottled promise of emptiness and the haze of forgetting made him work, sleep and function.
His boss looked concerned at first, then talked to him, stern, understanding and unrelenting, then fired him.
He didn’t care, and he didn’t care either when his friends started to ignore him, his neighbours complained and finally his landlord gave him an ultimatum: one more night in these rooms that had once been their shelter and their sanctuary, and now were only a prison full of memories.
When he slipped that night on the greasy tiles in front of the toilet, when he couldn’t get up because everything was blurry and dazed, when the coil of vomit didn’t make it past his throat and blood dripped from the cuts the broken mirror had left, he still didn’t care; for what, if nothing was left?
Written for Six-Sentence-Stories, cue “Slip”