Shadows watched from the corners of the room… ever present, ever vigilant.
Footsteps in the hallway. Raucous laughter.
The door flung open and he stumbled in, drunk, clinging to the arm of a woman.
Who was it this time?
It was hard to see clearly in the dim light.
Their eyes met for a long moment. Silent words passing between them. Then she turned her attention back to him, allowing him to undress her. He fumbled. The process took much longer than it should have.
She glanced at the mirror again, seeing the other woman once more, the one who looked like her but was more charming, the one whose laughter came more easily. She was the one who was not ashamed of being naked, the one who demanded love and attention from everyone.
The drugs made her beautiful and charismatic. She knew the flame could not burn this high for very long. It would go out soon, extinguishing her in the process.
But it was worth it.
Every day was worth the price to avoid the loneliness again.