Marks of Failure
Cory watched Daria leave, trying to hide the bitter sting of disappointment. She hadn’t disappointed him, he had disappointed himself through inaction. He’d waited for tonight for nine days, trying to figure out his feelings. It didn’t matter now. She was gone and the night with her. That tiny part of cowardice and eagerness for failure had been bigger than he’d imagined. It had swallowed him his sense of self whole and all he could do was fall back on rote behavior and be the Nice Guy.
The scars he left on himself would be a reminder; another testament to yet another failure. And the price of failure. It was two for one at Fail-Mart. He almost smiled at the thought, but if the smile did come, it was brief; the bright flash of a light bulb before it burned out.
There was an ominous singing noise as Cory moved the honing stone down the length of the knife one last time, sounding like a devil drawing a bow across a fiddle in hell. He had to prove to himself that he wasn’t a coward.