The night she leaves him is cold and quiet. As her Jetta pulls away, he realizes he should be thinking of his life without her. He decides to wait.
He’s afraid of the dark. The moment he clicks off the light, he feels something watching him, and his heart starts to beat rapidly. He turns the light back on and gets maybe three hours of real sleep.
He would have believed “It’s not you, it’s me” if he didn’t know himself so well. So, drunk and crying, he asks the night its opinion, but gets only a thoughtful pause in response.
He tries to forget her at work and school and, as though in defiance, his mind only (re)plays thoughts of her in these places.
He thinks of shooting himself in the head but pretends to decide against it because it would give her too much satisfaction when the real reason is that he’s too afraid--or, “doesn’t have the balls” (sic).
Meanwhile, he thinks, the night is still laughing.
Once, he was very drunk and tried sleeping with the lights off and, even though he did it, he still only got about three hours of real sleep.
He thinks of his life without her: all his friends, her friends, fading into quiet obscurity, as the leaves are blown away by a nightly gust.
So he sits alone and sleeps with the lights on.
He paces himself as he writes this—don’t get to the point too quickly. Relax. It’s important to get this out in exactly the right way.
He draws the drapes across the window but he can’t keep the night from obscuring his message.
Why did she leave?
“It’s not you. It’s”—but he can’t help but think: well, no, it was really me the whole time.
Didn’t it take less than a minute and a half for him to come?
--but everything else seems to pale in comparison, anyway.
The monster from under the bed he’d spent his childhood living in fear of revealed itself one cold, quiet night and actually promised him it wouldn’t do anything to him if he were to sleep with the lights off.
He doesn’t know whether to feel glad that he’s safe or disgusted that a product of unspeakable evil feels too sorry for him to cause him any torment.
He wins the lotto. He gets a butler named Jiles and is driven around in a limo and tells his boss to fuck off and quits.
Or, his mother, who, it turns out, was actually worth a fortune (but kept it hidden from her pencil-pusher husband for twenty three years so as not to emasculate him) dies suddenly and leaves him millions.
No matter what ending he writes for himself, he can’t change the fact that she’s gone, and he doesn’t. The night stays cold and quiet.
He takes it one day at a time.