I saw a changing.
I suppose it wasn’t anything that should have come as a surprise. After all, she had been changing, growing more and more distant from me and less and less like herself, all throughout the past year. I did not know why. Then again, I did not bother to find out why. I knew all this time that she would show the results of such change; I guess I didn’t expect it to happen this soon. There were so many signs pointing to this, most of which I picked up on. Every time I noticed, however, I passed it off as an insignificant event, merely as an inconvenience that I kept at the back of my head. This was what I did when I first saw her give him that smile; it was one of those special smiles that she used to give me– those smiles where she would look into my eyes as if we were sharing a secret that no one else knew of. I did the same even when I found the red handkerchief in my drawer. You would think there isn’t anything peculiar with this, but I did not own the handkerchief. It belonged to another man, and I was supposed to be the only one in the house. Though its glaring red presence bothered me, I kept silent. I never thought to do anything about any of this. I did not think to ask her either. It was never because I didn’t know how to, though. I guess I just never cared enough.
With this thought in mind, I merely stared at her when she finally came to me today and said the first words she has spoken in months. As I saw her final changing, I tried to conjure up a reaction or at least feel the slightest emotion to reaffirm the expected humanity that should be within me. When she brandished the divorce papers at me, however, I felt nothing. No regret, no sadness, no relief- nothing. All I could think of was the stack of paper in front of me and how much a gold ring from four years ago would sell on the market today. Her expression reflected the same detachment.
When I looked up at her again, the faint red of the world emerged and I was once again flooded by the conventional color of love. She was transforming too fast, too much, all at once. I saw her flesh melting off, exposing the gleaming white of her bones, leaving behind only a fraction of the woman I once knew. I stepped forward, attempting to save what’s left of her, but I knew it was too late. The bones surrendered to the laws of gravity and dropped in clusters as they spread out, untouched and raw, across the stained floors. After a few moments, the bones came together again and reformed to show her body and her face; I saw this process repeat before me, with the flashing red shining consistently in the background. This was the first time I studied her appearance so closely in the past year; I realized, as I stared, that I had forgotten how she looks. Only now were things coming back to me, the bits and pieces of what I once had.
I didn’t want it to stop. I wanted this red. No, I needed it. The only thing that was keeping me sane and alive was slowly killing me, and I was consciously letting it.
“He was not the man I once knew. The pills, the bright red plastic pills, had changed him. “