Warning: It's dark
It was the little things that hurt the most, the old note on the cupboard, the shut bedroom door, the lack of any clutter in the loft. Jim should have been happy, his home was clean, gleaming, not a thing out of place – he hated it.
Night after night Jim sat on the sofa, watching what he wanted to see on TV, cold beer at his side, stomach full from his favourite meal. He should have been comfortable, instead he itched, an itch that wouldn’t end. He could have coped if it was external, but it was deep inside, in a place only one person could reach. Jim wanted to gouge at his skin, digging fingernails deep into muscle and bone, finding the maddening itch that tormented him day and night. He’d tried once, when he sat alone once more, the only sound the drone of a TV downstairs. Had sat on the pristine couch and dug sharp fingernails into tender skin, scratching and digging until blood streamed from deep cuts. He only stopped when he got scared. Scared that if he went too deep all he’d find was empty space and an itch that was only in his head.
The emptiness terrified Jim, he tried to fill the space with dates and friends, but nothing helped. He could ignore the itch for a while, masking it with emotions pulled from others. But it was a temporary fix and as he walked back to the loft the emotions would bleed away, the hollow growing in size with each step.
Each day it seemed to get bigger, overpowering him. He was empty inside except for that itch. He couldn’t feel but felt too much, couldn’t see but saw too much, couldn’t hear but heard too much. It was driving him crazy, and Jim didn’t know how long he could hold on. How long he could go on existing when all he wanted to do was sit and suffocate, feeling the despair claw at his throat while he clawed at his own skin.
He needed Blair to scratch that itch, but Blair wouldn’t. Blair couldn’t and the itch went on.
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