Her hand dangled over the balcony, the ring he gave her last Christmas slowly slipping off. She was to meet him at 1024 Riverside, but she was stuck at 99 McGalliard. The balcony she was sprawled across was small, allowing only two chairs and a side table. One of the white plastic chairs cut through the balcony, its back legs poking out, like it was attempting suicide. She was crumpled up on the wood, he breathing slowed.

On the couch, behind her, was the bag she had packed. The bag was unzipped. There was puke on the floor. There was a smell in the air, not from the vomit, but like smoke, acrid and dry.

She had been ready to get out of this place. She was entranced with the idea of starting anew, of being someone else, even if she toyed with his emotions. But someone else found her first.

She felt the ring slide down her finger, which was encased in a thin gloss of sweat. It had been too big, and she had never gotten resized. Down past the knuckle it went and then, glinting in the sunlight, it fell.

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