Hours later, I hear a door slam in the distance. Daniel is home.

“Crys, food.”

A fleeting lapse of silence fills the void Crys has left.

“Crys, where the fuck are you? I’m hungry!”

The silence that follows is telling. Gratefully, I am in the dark, hidden from sight and thought.

“Crys! What the fuck Crys, don’t make me do this again!”

A door slams again. Then another. And another. Each slam gets louder as they get nearer. Finally, my world opens and I am switched on explosively. When I see him, his rage is profound. Daniel’s face is thorny, red rose; he is spitting angry. Daniel immediately sees the scattered books spread across the carpet. I anticipate an impassioned outburst of fury but observe only silence instead. A thoughtful contemplation crosses Daniel’s face as he gazes fixedly on the floor. My light illuminates the whiteness of the note on the glass table and reflects a beam into Daniel’s eye. He sees the note.

Daniel walks numbly towards the propped leather chair and takes a seat. My light is abundantly focused on the paper; the black felt letters shine upwards. His colour has paled significantly. He takes in the note and drifts slowly back, sinking into the chair. My light is as inescapable as the truth.

Daniel sits there for a long time. I worry I am going to extinguish myself while he’s still present. This is the longest I’ve ever been kept on. He’s not doing anything. He’s just sitting. What is he doing? Daniel pulls a phone out from his pocket and dials a few numbers before placing it to his ear. He keeps it there for a period of time before embracing the inevitable. He is alone.

. . .