Left Behind

The scent of spice hung on the air. He stepped inside, closed the door. Called her name.

Silence, and a faint bitter scent beneath the spice.

A cup of chai forming rings on the edge of the desk. Her iPod headphones, disconnected and half-fallen, one slender cord stretched across the floor as though in flight. A single earbud shattered in the carpet, bits of plastic and broken electronics.

The unpleasant scent was stronger now, filling his lungs, cloying and thick.

In the center of the desk, an uncapped pen, a yellow notepad, half a message scrawled in her hand.

Leave, please. It cannot find You must go. For the love of God, GO!

You must remem

The bitterness so thick he could taste it, coating his tongue. Salt and copper, the scent of blood. A dark pool in the shadows beneath the desk. Susan’s words, hurried, unfinished, and her absence resonating around him like a disharmonic chord.

Gone. It was a distant thought, a meaningless one.

Susie, where have you gone?

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