IV:

It is their last day in the house. The emptiness surrounds her, swallows her whole. If walls could talk, she knows they'd keep her secrets. But, the hardwood floors, warped and sad, would betray the nights she spent on her knees. They would tell of devolution.

Love gave way to recompense gave way to prayer gave way to sorrow gave way to anger gave way to goodbye. Love and hate, and even absolution all echo the same way. And, really, that's all there is to it.

The floor creaks under the weight of his step as he walks to her, his hair falling over his eye. She resists the urge to push it out of his face—it's not her job, anymore.

He looks around, the white walls screaming at them—the windows cry that they didn't try hard enough. She did, he didn't, and that's the truth of it; only the doors know what a miracle it is that she didn't walk out the front one sooner.

"I'm sorry," He says, shrugging his shoulders., because it's simple, and it's true. His voice is quiet, but it bounces off the walls and lands in her heart—nesting in the tiny space she will always have reserved for him. She knows he is, she nods. "I'm so sorry." He says, and he brings his hand to her face—his hand is unsteady, weighed down by the gravity of it all, the weight of his choices, her decision—so is she.

The pad of his thumb brushes over her cheek, and she turns her head to the side—her lips barely touch the inside of his wrist before she pulls away. He stares at her for a moment as she nestles into his palm, only for a second before she walks away.

And then he is crying, she can feel it, though she can't see it or hear it—she's known him for so long in so many ways she can sense it, but she can't turn around and go to him. Her feet carry her to the door, and she slips out of it-out of a house and a life and a husband she once loved-the concrete is a refuge from the bitter hardwood echo.

There is silence, and she revels in it. Goodbye happened a long time ago.