It hits him the first time he wakes up in a hospital bed with no worried face hanging over him. No oversized figure curled in a chair nearby.
It’s the first time he checks himself out AMA and crawls into the car, waiting till the world stops spinning and the lights behind his eyes settle so he can drive himself back to an empty motel room.
It’s the first time he pushes himself to exhaustion, trying to get back, get ready, without someone nagging or chiding or snapping at him to rest.
It’s when he finds himself on the floor, gasping through a pain so intense that he thinks he’s gonna die right there, and remembers that the room is paid for a whole week so no one will find him until the smell of decay starts to seep through the walls.
He really is alone.
It’s the long nights of anonymous bars and anonymous women, trying to break the silence in his head. The car radio on full blast so he can’t feel the emptiness in the seat beside him.
It’s the first time his phone rings in weeks and he nearly drives off the road because he hasn’t been expecting it, has forgotten the sound of another human voice.
It’s the first time he opens hung-over eyes on a world that’s too dark, too quiet, too empty. The first time he goes into a haunted house with no one covering his back. The first time he realizes he doesn’t care if he comes out alive.
It’s the first time he understands how massively fucked up he is. How empty. How alone. How…unimportant he is to the ones he’s spent his whole life protecting.
It’s the first time he starts to hate his fucked-up, screwed-up life.
Beware of bad language.
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