08 – Broken Hands

PRESENT DAY

Fortenra was at the sink, staring at his hands. There were blisters all over the both of them. He couldn’t let Tali see how much pain he was in after she’d come back to life.
Now that she was sleeping in their room, it was all coming out.
He sucked in air in painful bursts, trying to hold the pain in. He wanted to scream, or hit something. But even moving his fingers the slightest bit to form a fist was excruciating.
He tried to expel one wire from his hand– they came from inside his wrist. It only just peaked out before Fortenra cried a muffled shriek of pain.
There were tears in his eyes now.
He was ruined. He needed his hands to work.
He didn’t know anyone who could heal him and he didn’t have enough money to go see a real healer himself. He choked back a sob.

Tali wouldn’t get a job, and as long as she was living with him, her family wouldn’t support her. Tali’s parents hated him. They only gave him a job at their restaurant out of pity at their daughter’s request. They’d been looking for a reason to fire him for ages, and here was the perfect one.
He was done.

The eighteen year old leaned over the sink and began to finally cry. He didn’t want to be on the streets again. He hated his life now but it was infinitely better than being homeless and alone.

That was when Tali came out, still looking vulnerable; not quite recovered from being dead. But she at least was clothed, now.
“Are you okay?” She asked.

The boyfriend shook his head, trying to wipe the tears away with his sleeve. “I’m fine,” he choked.
Tali walked over, “You’re such a liar,” she whispered. Then she saw his hands.
“Oh my god, what happened?!”

Fortenra stayed quiet, looking away.
“Are these burns? What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything,” he said, turning away from her.
“You did it.”

Tali grabbed Fortenra’s arm, but the man pulled away from her, walking out the busted, open door.
“I can’t take this anymore,” he muttered.

He knew he should’ve stayed strong, should be there for Tali when she needed him. But she had made one too many mistakes. She used her family to rescue him and claimed him her boyfriend. When they lived in her parents’ house it was nothing but love and affection.

As soon as they moved out, though, the game changed and suddenly he owed her everything and got no thanks for what he provided. Tali had ruined herself this time.
Her quirky fiery youthful charm was not going to work on him again.

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