This is another semi song fic. I don't know how I feel about it but here it is anyway. Disclaimer: mild drug use.
it is my birthday
it is a new year
I should be happy that I am still here
light up a new joint
put on an old shirt
try to remember
forget how my brain works
-Say Anything, "Try To Remember, Forget"
He lightly scratched his bare chest as he watched the time change from 11:59 PM to 12:00 AM. He was officially twenty-eight years old. He stretched his long legs across the worn sofa, sinking further into the cushions. There wasn't much for him to do. He had been awake since 3:00 PM lazily strumming his acoustic guitar and nursing a killer hangover. The migraine he had upon waking had finally been reduced to a dull throbbing near his temples. He stretched his arm out and felt around his cluttered coffee table until his calloused fingers curled around a small wooden box. He rested it on his lap and flipped open the latch on the front. There were plenty of rolling papers but only enough weed left in the bottom of the little plastic bag for one joint. He sighed and went to work, making a metal note to call up Max. He placed it between his lips and fished his lighter out of the pocket of his jeans. He lit it, inhaling deeply before letting the smoke out in a thin stream. This was his life.
He wanted to believe it used to be better. Birthday parties with thick slices of chocolate cake and multi-colored streamers. Tearing open presents wrapped in shiny paper adorned with giant ribbons. It was all foreign to him. He'd never had a birthday party in his life. Maybe there were some when he was a child but none that he could recall. The closest he got was Jane presenting him a Hostess cupcake with a single candle stuck in the center. Even that was better than now. At least he wasn't alone then.
He groggily rolled off the couch and trudged into his bedroom, his bare feet dragging across the carpet. He grabbed a gray t-shirt from the foot of his bed and shrugged it on. He let his eyes lazily scan the area for anything useful. The floor was covered in clothes, both clean and dirty. The ancient computer desk pushed against the far right wall was littered with empty beer cans and an overflowing ash tray. The bed was unmade, his black sheets lying halfway on the floor. There was an unfamiliar article of clothing resting near his pillow. He grabbed it and brought it towards his face. The scent of her perfume still lingered. His breath caught in his throat as he unfolded the t-shirt and felt the soft fabric with his fingers. How long had this been there? He was surprised he didn't find it earlier.
"I can't do it anymore, Trent! You don't even care do you?"
He did care. He always cared. He just wasn't the best at showing it. There were things he knew he was supposed to do but he never did. They kept having the same arguments, over and over again. The words were all the same. It was a song and dance they're practiced well. Why didn't he listen? God, he never thought she'd leave for good.
She shoved her clothes into her suitcase at lightning speed despite his protests. He was powerless to stop her. The pain was so intense it almost overwhelmed him. He'd asked where she was going but she refused to answer him. During all the years he'd known her, he'd never seen her so furious. Her dark brown eyes were full of such an intense rage that he feared one look would turn him to stone. He begged her to stay, pleaded. It was useless. Once her mind was made up, there was no changing it. She walked out the front door and she never came back.
He tossed the shirt back onto his bed and turned away. There was no use dwelling on it. He dragged himself back into the hall and made his way into the kitchen. There was a pizza box sitting on the counter with one slice of mushroom pizza left. He felt another twinge of sadness but he swallowed it down. He grabbed it and took a large bite, chewing slowly. He reached into his back pocket and pulled on his small silver flip phone. He couldn't believe he was even bothering but he quickly scrolled through the contacts and hit the call button. He pressed the phone to his ear and listened to it ring. He continued to eat as it kept ringing, convinced that he was wasting his time.
He nearly choked on a piece of crust. He coughed, "Ah...Um..."
He cleared his throat, "Hey, Monique."
"Are you okay? Did something happen?" he could hear the nervousness in her voice.
"I'm fine. I just..."
"I'm not coming back."
He winced, "Kinda harsh...I just wanted to talk to you."
She sighed, "I can't talk to you. We both know what will happen and I'm not putting myself through it again. We have to stop."
"...I love you."
He closed his eyes, "Mon, we've known each other since tenth grade. Why do you think we keep getting back together? After all this time?"
"It never works, Trent! We can't be together. We're like oil and water, it just won't work." Her voice was breaking.
"I know you love me too. Please, I can't stay here without you."
"Don't do this."
He took a deep breath, "Just come back. Things will be better. I'll try. Listen, it's..."
He heard a click and then she was gone again. He kept the phone pressed against his ear as his stomach twisted into knots.
"...It's my birthday."