Eliza rolled onto her side, her eyes still fixed on the screen. Marcus said Sandrine had been vague, but he needed to go home. She watched him put himself together again, while she stayed as she was. Ready to be devoured.
She closed her eyes when she heard her phone, figured it was Marcus calling to give her some more sweet nothings…
The sound of Rafe’s voice had startled her at first, but she ended up giving him the address of the hotel and her room number. Unlike Marcus, she had to get up to answer the door for him. She would have given him her card, it was so easy to fall into their usual pattern.
The Rafe she let into her room, was not the man she had been engaged to. He was gaunt, dark, and looked broken. Before she could say a word to him, he knelt at her feet. He caressed and kissed her calves and bare feet.
The moisture she felt was first her own tears as she watched him darkened by his demons, and what he thought she had done to him. And then she felt his tears on her feet. He whimpered, and sunk more to the carpet.
Eliza pressed her head to the wall, and let him hover. Her eyes closed, and her mouth trembled.
“Please get up,” she choked, sounding harsher than she wanted to.
He hugged her calves and kissed her feet once more, before he stood up. She had never seen him like this before. They had had fights, and had made up in dramatic ways…but this…
Looking up at him, was like looking up at an eclipsed sun. The love that she felt for him was eclipsed by everything that always happened with him.
“Eliza,” he croaked, his body sagging.
She was silent, but tightened his tie and his belt.
“You look like shit…” she said looking down, not wanting to look in his eyes. You never looked at an eclipse with your bare eyes.
“I feel like shit.” He put his hands over hers, adjusting his accessories.
Eliza dropped her hands, from touching any part of him.
She turned back to the bed to sit down, Rafe sat beside her. She knew he would, it was almost an invitation to him.
They sat beside each other, the familiarity of being with him was so easy to settle into again.
“I came over to bring you this.” He placed her engagement ring in her hand.
Eliza looked at her ring, it was like a magical amulet almost sticking to her palm.
Like it belonged there.
A Streetcar Named Desire was coming to an end on the television.
“I left the house this morning, and the only thing on my mind was to get this ring back to you and on your finger. I…I went to see Sandrine, because I have been such a fucking piece of shit since you left. It got too intense, I left her. I am always going to be friends with her, I am always going to love her…But I cannot live without you…”
“Did you fuck her?” she asked, as her fingers clawed at the bedspread.
It was then that she realized she could see how broken Rafe was, because she was saw her own reflection through him. She always saw herself through him. Her entire adult life, she saw herself through him.
He slipped his hand up her thigh, close to where she was broken the most…Eliza knew only he could make her whole right now, and collect the shards of her.
“I’m never going back…never…” Stella said at the end of A Streetcar Named Desire, while Eliza was going back to her familiar…
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