I woke to a distant pounding that hammered a false tempo in my veins, throbbing painfully. I grabbed my head and groaned deep in my chest. Brian was there, smoothing my hair and cooing softly that it would be alright. I lashed out, landing an open hand across his pale cheek. He pulled back and cradled the red swatch growing across his face. I glanced from the corner of my eye and felt nothing. Even if I wanted to feel something, I couldn't.
I stood, taking no notice of my nudity, nor taking any steps to remedy that state. I strode with surety of step across the expanse of our room to the bathroom. Brian stirred, finally, from our bed and pulled on a pair of worn out blue jeans followed by a thin red tee shirt. In the mirror, I noticed the singular beauty of his body as he moved with thoughtless grace around the bed to join me in the bathroom. He blotted at the blood that dribbled from his nose; attempting to make himself as presentable as possible to my critical eyes.
I admired his sheer force of will to endure what hardships I burdened him. Of anything that could draw my admiration, that was one. Strength. Mental strength. Physical strength. The display of such things, even in supplication. Strength to endure.
I dressed. I ate. I glared at Brian and left. Left him to rot in our home, to do whatever he pleased while I was gone. Idly, I would plot what things I would do to him if work didn't slake my thirst for the brutal. Good for Brian that it often did.
I courted the men that called to my office, luring them with my soulless smile, drawing them near with the subtle hint at power and then tore them, chewed them up and spit out the fatty remains. The corpses that stumbled back out my door were dread to behold. The pleasure of watching them filled me such that I could near burst with it. The joy of destruction made my heart soft enough to beat restlessly in my chest.
Gorged on the gore of ambitious men, I would saunter back home and wish for those things that shifted and flowed in my memories, those things I could never have. Never own. Those fleeting lost emotions that flitted just out of my reach. All that I had lost represented by that lingering ghost called Brian, who clung in spite of everything.
I smashed through the front door of my straightened home, Brian's handiwork, to find all laid before me. Anything that might appeal to me. Calm me after the fullness of the day had drained away and left me pulsing for more to fill the emptiness.
I ate. I worked on what stuff that I brought home from the office, filling my eyes and head with numbers and words harsh on the too bright screen. The work that I detested, yet needed doing. The work that needed doing and filled me with rage upon completion. I drank; filling my belly with the burn of alcohol until I felt stronger than Atlas.
Brian, like an apparition, constant in the back ground. Not hovering, but always there. If I turned my head just so, his shadow would stretch across the floor and flicker away before I could completed the turn. He hid until I called for him. And he would come. Submissive. Passive with those pitying eyes and hopeful gaze that would eat away at my flesh. Not speaking with words. A look. A gesture. A simple turning of his body, he spoke loudly to my soul. Beckoning me to come and sleep next to him. His warmth was my warmth. I hated him if I could hate. I loved him if I could love. I savaged him brutally at any opportunity and he offered himself up to my appetites most taboo.
I, deaf to his pleading. Was he crying out to me or because of me? Could I rouse myself to care about either one? I had lost myself many years ago. And there Brian remained to remind me constantly. Steadfast by my side, tethered there by some sort of guilt at my corruption. Vain of him to think he was the cause of it and not some coincidental and innocent bystander in whatever course had placed us upon our path. In the circle of never ending loathing and self-loathing and addiction to each other.
His need of punishment for self-imposed guilt. My need to inflict punishment to ease my desire for what had become forever unattainable; my inability to understand what exactly it was I had lost. The monster I had become, the empty skin of a man; dead and rotten on the inside.
Brian, once beloved. Cherished beyond anything, dwindled to the shadow of a man. Still beautiful; ethereal. Like a horrible angel set to watch and note my further descent into hell. The fall that had beckoned me, seducing me with the soft glow of a warm fire. Willingly I had went. Against Brian's sorrowful protestations. He followed me. And I gleefully damned us both.