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This Time

Guest Eli

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Story Title: This Time

Type of story: Oneshot

Main Characters: Robbie

BTTB rating: G/A

Genre: Angst

Spoilers: No

Proof Read: No

Warnings: None

Summary: Robbie must find a way to pull himself out of a mess too complicated to handle.

This Time

She found the letters; the letters I never found the courage to send. Maybe it was for the best that I never did, they were all full of something too big and complicated.

The old bed makes a cracking noise as I sit down on it. Fourth night in this mouldy motel, and I know I can’t take another one. So I’ll check out, decide to make a change, grab my stuff and face Sydney’s sunlight again. Then I’ll realize I’ve already given up on some level, and I’ll find another motel, where I’ll stay until I’m naïve enough to think I’ll be man enough to take charge of my life again, and the story will repeat itself. Just like the last time, and the time before that.

I pull out my wallet and try not to look at the cards. I’ve already depended too much on savings I shouldn’t spend like this, and I know they will come to an end sooner or later. How much longer can I keep on going like this? Two or three months maybe? What happens after that, I don’t know.

Behind my New South Wales driver’s license there’s a picture. There used to be two, but one of them just got too hard to look at; triggering feelings of guilt every time I saw her face. It’s hard enough to look at the one I have left. It’s been almost two years since this picture was taken, and a lot has changed. Even in the four months since I last saw her, I know Ella must have changed. I’m not there to see that, and I wish I could be. But it’s probably for the best, they can manage without me.

I put the picture back, and for a moment I feel the familiar feeling of hopelessness sneak upon me. Pull yourself together, Robbie, I tell myself, sooner or later you’re going to have to pull yourself out of this mess.

Accidentally I drop my wallet, and while reaching for it, I accidentally catch a glance of myself in the mirror I’ve been trying to avoid. I realize I haven’t showered since I got here, nor shaved for that matter. The face I see in the mirror is hardly recognizable. That’s what happens when you’re cut off from the world for too long.

Like the last time, and the time before that, I realize I need to attempt to make a serious change. A wake-up-call that will soon mean nothing; when I crawl back into my deep, dark hole of thoughts, regrets and could-have-beens. But all the same, I take a shower, shave, and pack my bags, looking like a more familiar Robbie Hunter again.

I check out at the front desk, and before I go, I ask if I can use their guest computer to check my e-mail. I always do that too, to feel connected again, just to see if someone misses me. Or just to see what has happened in the world, in case it’s something I care about. But of course neither of those are ever the case.

News and facebook today, no e-mail, I can check that tomorrow, the first day of my new life. Unless I fall back down again, of course.

No news I care about, nothing interests me. And hardly any updates on facebook. Three friends requests, probably random people I went to high school with, but hardly even remember now.

But this time, one of the names requesting to be my friend makes my heart skip a beat. Not forgotten, definitely not forgotten. I confirm the request and go straight to the profile; soaking up every bit of themselves the person who created it has left. Pictures, interests, status updates, everything.

There’s even an address. Not that I don’t already know it by heart and repeat it silently to myself every night before I go to sleep. I should know it, after all I googled it a long time ago. I’ve written it sixteen times, each on a different envelope; each containing a letter I never found the courage to send.

I log out, and like a zombie, I ask the woman at the front desk to call me a cab.

“1864 Birmingham Hill Avenue,” I tell the driver, still not really sure who’s doing this. I can’t be dreaming; even when I’ve had dreams about this and they’ve felt real, I’ve woken up eventually. It has happened time after time, I’ve woken up in the middle of something that felt right, and very, very real.

But not this time; I’m not waking up.

What strange force has made me go through with this, I don’t know. But I’m here, and I know I’m not the only one. If I had sent those letters, they would have ended up in this mail box with one name written on it.

Although the letters are gone, I’m here, and that’s all I can think about as I reach out and touch the letters that spell out the name on the mailbox.

Kim Hyde, the only person I’ve ever really loved and trusted completely.



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