He reeks of tobacco, leather, and industrial smoke, the kind that always billows in dingy factories. A smokey black haze that lingers in coughing fits around him, putrid but somehow comforting once you grow accustomed to it. Old chewed tobacco always clinging to his mouth and the lingering scent of his overused cologne is ever present. You never catch him without a cigarette dangling from his lips, and still you wonder how he has such a pretty smile after all these years. You watch him thinking... he came back sad. Not a normal rainy day sad. But a bone chilling, skin deep hurt that pierced his soul.
You stare into his eyes, seeing that raw determination that should intimidate any man. That side of him that is completely unhinged after war and no longer bound by the rules of man. A man living beyond the boundaries of mortality, unafraid of death because he had already faced it and was now living on borrowed time.
Infinitely numb, he's docile in a way. But you know what he is, a beast.
Ferocious, he snarls and bares his teeth. Hunger looms within his eyes, and a glossy look of cruelty swims within the pools of his pupils. The stone wall he clamored to shield himself with was what inevitably made him crumble. His vulnerability seeped so far within him he was consumed in his insecurities. That deadly fear was a constant reminder of his thwarted efforts.
He growls and clamps his incisors so far in your neck you'd think he'd have snapped your throat. He rips apart your attempts at affection because all he's ever known is that harsh back hand of his own family. Those double edged comments he dares never to comment on, that secretly score his heart and beat his humility into dust. After so long he decides these emotions are the cause of this pain. This silly humiliation that blossomed over years of self destruction.
There was a biting chill about him. This shell of a human. No longer feeling life. He pushed you away. Throwing you to the cold floor, slamming your head against the harsh reality that he was not the same man he used to be. Splitting that love for him and stomping on it with his black work boots.
It's not until your bruised and half dead, blurred between heaven and hell, bleeding out and sobbing on the tile of the kitchen floor that you realize. It's not self pity, it's the self realization that nothing ever gets better. People like him don't get happy endings. There is no "fixing him", he's content in his design. He craves this foul attention, the burning hatred fuels him and makes him jittery with delight. It's unsettling and disturbing, it makes you sick to your stomach to think of how cruel he can be. How merciless and vicious he truly is. But you settle into yourself.
Accepting that a wild animal was always a wild animal, no matter how much it trusted you.
- deep down you know he's a coward