These Walls #5

"Are you okay," she asked cautiously.

Her boyfriend didn't respond. They had been together for almost three years. They took the quarantine as an opportunity to try living together. Everything was perfect between them. He treated her with respect nobody had ever treated her with before. He didn't try to show how much he loved her insecurities, but he promised her he didn't care. He never rushed her into anything she didn't want to to do.

Slowly over the last sixty days it seemed that he was coming unhinged, and she didn't know why. It started small. He would get jumpy as if he was hearing things. Every now and then, she caught him taking a pill. She was unsure of what it was and he always denied taking anything. But she knew he was. Was he going through withdrawals? Had he been an addict the entire time? He was sitting in the corner, hugging his knees and staring at the wall at 4am. She had no idea how long he had been there.

He was afraid. The nightmares had come back. At first it was just at night, then he would catch glimpses of the monsters during the day. From the corner of his eyes. His medication had been working for a while, then it wasn't. Something about being trapped inside all day, every day, week after week, month after month. It was driving him insane, giving him too much time to think. With no work available at the moment his mind could only find a way to the dark places.

He knew he had problems. He knew it wasn't his fault, still he knew it was his responsibility to deal with them, and he did. For the first time in six years he was feeling some control over his life. He was happy, in love and making the best out of life. Now, everything rushed back to him all at once.

"I have to go," he said standing up and grabbing his things.

He didn't explain to her. He was afraid of the dark. Not because of what was hiding in the dark. But, because of what his mind told him was there. Every night his own mind sought to devour every part of his personality. Tonight, it devoured his love, he needed to leave to get right. If he couldn't he didn't deserve love. That's how he felt, it's how he had always felt.

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