Precious

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Nevil has been sensing that something is just not right. The days seem emptier, almost insubstantial. His existence feels lighter? Almost as if he is becoming ethereal.

He will go through the motions of the morning, only to find little clues that someone has already done them: opening the door to pick the milk bottles from outside, but the milk is already in the fridge. Who has been in his house? Putting food out for the cat, but the cat isn’t hungry, just lazily soaking up the sun. Actually, isn’t it getting bigger? Is it putting on weight?

Nevil seats down for a cuppa whilst reading the day’s newspaper, but the news are all old. He is sure he has read them before.

He’s been sensing that something isn’t quite right. He goes to the kitchen only to find that dinner has already been made and eaten, the dishes drying out in the stand. He starts feeling as if he is in a twilight-zone episode, one where the character is somehow living with another self from a parallel universe, only this other self is much quicker and beats him at all his daily routines.

The sun is going down and dusk bathes the front room with a light that makes things sharper, more real. Nevil raises from his chair, walks over the newspaper forgotten on the floor, and looks at his reflexion on the mirror. He hoped the quality of the light would bring him back into focus, bind him together with that twilight-zone self, made him whole again. But the reflection in the mirror just looks back, an old man with sad eyes, almost translucent.

He can sense himself disappearing, a little bit at a time, until there will be nothing left.

He seats down surrounded by photos of all those years where he had been very real, when every time she smiled at him had made him more substantial, every time they touched, every time he had played with their child. Nevil seats down with all those photos and he writes until there is nothing else to write about, until all that was him is laid down in those pieces of paper. He hides them inside a thick Dictionary in a shelf filled with books bursting with hand-written pages that hold all that he had been.

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