Breakups are so much easier to write about

From awhiiiiiiiile back, but I wanted to share.

Midnight Drive - Still Corners

“I think we’re breaking up,” Medrina says, seemingly out of nowhere. She’d been quiet most of the trip, Benja trying to find a balance between filling the silence and allowing her the space she seemed to need. These five words come after another period of heavy silence as the two of them sit on a hotel rooftop in Mumbai. It’s early January. They’re there on a peacekeeping mission of sorts, though achieving peace isn’t always as simple as extending an olive branch, and their heavy armor and weaponry is a clear indicator of just what sort of peace mission this will likely become. In this moment, though, above the noise and chaos of the city, that’s forgotten as Benja studies the somber expression drawing Medrina’s features down, noting the look of defeat that seems to radiate from her eyes. He doesn’t speak right away, lips pursing as he lets the heaviness in the air settle around them, giving her space to talk. She does.

“Every time I’m back home and he’s there it’s just… different. Strange.” Her expression shifts to something of a practiced neutral, though he’s known her long enough to know it’s just a facade. “We barely talk, and when we do, we don’t connect like we used to. We talk around each other, we talk at each other. We used to talk so much. Together.”

She sighs, her gaze lifting skyward.

“We used to have these amazing conversations about life and death and everything in between, all the weird, messed up shit we’d experienced. Hopes, dreams, fears. Just all of it. That’s…” she pauses as she tries to find the words. “That’s how we fell in love. These two very different people from very different worlds with very different plans for life. Just… talking.”

He can see it in her eyes, see the calm starting to waver, the edges starting to crumble. Benja sets his piece aside, already starting to shift.

“What the hell happened?” she asks, golden eyes welled with tears threatening to spill. Benja’s there in an instant, arms around his friend as her shoulders start to slump. He feels her shake immediately, even with the armor, feels the shudders run through her as she fights the onset of emotion.

“It’s alright,” he murmurs quietly against her head, holding her close. The words are repeated more quietly. The floodgates open and he can hear and feel her sobs, Benja keeping Medrina against him as she cries. “I’m sorry, kid.”

He opens his mouth to speak again and suddenly a loud boom can be heard in the near distance. Medrina practically jerks away from his hold, furiously wiping at her face.

“Fxcking shit timing, guys,” he mumbles, glancing over at her to make sure she’s OK. “You, uh… You need a minute? I can get down there first and handle things…”

She shakes her head, swiping at her eyes with her sleeve as she adjusts the gloves on her hands. “No. No. It’s OK. I’m OK. It’ll be OK.”

He can only nod, echoing that single word. “OK.”

“I could use the distraction,” she offers.

Benja’s lips press together again. “I’m, uh, I’m sure these dudes will die a little easier knowing that their deaths are gonna help you forget for a bit…”

Of course Medrina cracks a smile. “Fxck you.” She starts for the stair well they’d come up, calling over her shoulder but not looking at him in that moment. “And thank you!”