He stared down at the cracked glass, shattered around a broken honey colored picture frame. The image of a happy couple dancing, caught in a beautiful and skillful turn, stared back up.
It taunted him.
He slowly clenched his fists, summoning all of his will just to prevent himself from damaging the photograph further.
This wasn't how it was supposed to be.
The man was gently smiling, his violent irises sweeping over his partner as he guided the woman along lovingly. His dark brown hair was well kept and a stubborn cowlick curled upwards, defying gravity. Glasses adorned, adding the desired effect of appearing as a rich noble.
The woman was smiling back. Her olive green eyes were adoring and her tawny brown hair caught in the air, the long wavy strands pooling around her. A small pink flower was placed above her right ear and she appeared much more lady like than she truly acted.
The couple looked stunning together – they wore matching outfits, complimenting each other nicely; a handsome Prussian blue suit and a slim dress that seemed to float just above the ground. The clothes had been specifically tailored for the ball where it had all began.
They were mocking him.
He stepped on the shards of glass, wincing as it sunk into the soles of his shoes but needing to feel something. Anything to know he could still feel. Physical pain would satisfy the empty hole in his chest for now.
The door creaked open.
Immediately alert, he fled past the immaculately kept grand piano – the place where the frame originally was – and into the nearby closet. He left the door slightly ajar.
The couple from the picture strolled in. The woman was giggling and the man was smiling the same loving smile from the photo.
He grit his teeth.
Then they saw the token of gratitude he had left them.
The woman, her face morphing into disbelief that her precious memory was shattered on the ground, knelt down and gingerly brushed the glass away to pick up the split frame.
The man helped lift her to her feet, his eyes unreadable. He knew who was responsible. He wouldn't be surprised if the woman did too.
He held his breath.
The man murmured words of comfort and she absorbed them easily, nodding.
She turned away, and the man sent a sideways glance at the closet meaningfully.
"How did you get in here?" the man's eyes questioned testily.
He merely moved backwards into the closet, concealing himself in the dark shadows – a rejection to make his presence known.
The man was taken aback for a moment. The woman turned back around, concerned and realizing her distress, he shook his head. A moment later, they were gone.
Quietly, he crept out of his shelter – he refused to call it a hiding place – and numbly made his way over to the window past the piano, the glass still crunching beneath him. He drew the velvet drapes, opened the window and began to make his escape. It was a tight squeeze, but he could fit through. Barely.
Flowers of all colors surrounded him. They were bright and lively, but dull and monochrome to him as he wallowed in his misery.
He spotted a stray pebble and kicked it angrily, wincing immediately after. It flew into a patch of yellow roses. He glared at them, willing for the plants to disappear. They didn't.
Fate hated him. It had to. Otherwise, the two people he loved most wouldn't be married and he wouldn't be always alone, watching from afar.
He loved the man. He loved the woman. They loved each other.
It wasn't fair.