Chapter 1 : Jagged Glass
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I thought I had seen an angel.
When I met her, she had seemed to float above the ground as she walked, smile so bright it could practically light up a room. Her eyes were as blue as her mother's, her laugh like tiny melodic bells chiming together like there was no tomorrow. She was perfect, so elegant and beautiful I thought she must have been sent from Heaven above.
Suddenly, I wasn't so sure.
She was now visibly shuddering as she clutched at the chair behind her, gazing at me with eyes of an enraged soul, something I had been seeing too much of as of late. "You are blinded! Blinded with lust and jealousy!" Her scream, saturated with the hate I knew was consuming her, echoed around the walls and hung in the stale air. It was loud, so obnoxiously high in volume that it stung your ears.
"Victoire," I started, but she held up a shaking hand to stop me.
"Don't even try to defend yourself, you... you..." She struggled for a word, her mouth contorting itself into a thin, twisted line.
She shouted an insult, but I didn't hear it. I was too busy concentrating on her face, her beautiful features obscured by thin strands of her blond hair. Tears graced her cheeks and rolled elegantly down her face, leaving pink ribbons of color in their wake. I'd seen her like this before: chest heaving with effort as sobs coursed through her body, water dripping gracefully off her face and leaving spots of darkness on the carpet below, cheeks twitching in anticipation and anger she had built up inside for Merlin knows how long. Her words never phased me, the profanities she screamed were of no importance. What bothered me, really, was the way her face and soul contorted every time she got into a state like this, how her form would crumple in frustration and hatred.
"Aren't you going to say something?" she whispered, tears rolling faster and faster down her reddening cheeks. "Don't you even care?"
I opened my mouth, prepared with the speech I used every time she asked me this question. Instead of saying with I meant to, though, I simply stood there, engulfed in a silence I knew not how to handle.
Enraged, she threw her hands up in the air. "It doesn't even matter to you, does it? Nothing matters to you any more!"
Her fingers uncurled, relinquishing her hold on the chair she was gripping violently. Her steps were loud and echoing as she stormed to the kitchen. "Victoire!" There was nothing I could do but follow her, though I knew there was also nothing I could say to her once there that would calm her frenzied mind.
She whipped around suddenly, stopping me in my tracks. "And you know what, Ted?" she said through clenched teeth. "I don't bloody care much either." I didn't know what to expect as she turned towards the counter and swiped at one of the glasses sitting innocently there. She was angry all the time, lately, but I had never seen her so strangled by this hatred before. It was frightening, almost, as I watched her turn around slowly with a gleam in her eye. I could see her mind calculating, though I knew those calculations couldn't have been at all reasonable as I saw her raise her hand above her head.
The glass fell instantly, shattering with a crash and sending shards of sharp, jagged pieces of it across the kitchen floor. "I..." she started, reaching for another glass. SMASH! "Don't..." SMASH! "Bloody..." SMASH! "Care..." SMASH! "Either!"
Glass now littered the floor, fragments scattered this way and that in wake of Victoire's recent outburst. I suddenly noticed that tiny, red dots of color had erupted all over her feet, blood creeping slowly out of the small cuts that the scraps of glass had created. Victoire didn't seem to notice, but continued to stand there crying, her face melting from anger and hatred to sorrow.
"Victoire..." This time she made no move to silence me, but stood there without moving as sobs wracked her body. Slowly, her knees crumpled from below her, and she sank down to the floor of shattered glass. I bent down with her, raising a hand to brush the hair out of her eyes.
"I'm sorry," she breathed, capturing my hand with her own. "I'm so sorry."
I said nothing, but let whistles of air escape my lips to comfort her. "Shhhh..."
We sat there for what seemed like an eternity, water falling from her eyes and into my open palm as I tried to wipe them away. She wouldn't stop muttering, blubbering incoherent words through her tears as I tried to quiet her.
"I'm so, so sorry."
"Shhhh... Victoire. Shhhh..."
Finally, her shoulders ceased their shaking, and she began to quiet her incessant mumbling. For the first time that night, she looked into my eyes, warm and welcoming, and smiled. It was a weak one, but it was still a smile, and I couldn't help but smile back. "Thank you, Ted."
We had seemingly repeated a familiar cycle, one that each had become much too familiar with. She would work herself up, demanding, accusing, and crying all the while. I would wait for her to stop, wait for her mind to slowly readjust itself into a normal rhythm, wait for her heart to slow. I would come beside her and wrap her into a hug, trying to comfort her and further persuade her mind to come toward light and reason.
We knelt there, together, sitting among the shards of jagged glass, melting into the other's affection. It wasn't hard to disappear into her warmth, to want to stay there forever and not think about what had happened just moments ago or about the fragments scattered all around us. Victoire, however, had more on her mind than sitting together in our cold kitchen.
Slowly, she rose, dusting various pieces of glass off her skirt. "Ted," she said quietly, looking down at my form on the floor.
I looked up at her. "Hmm?"
"We've got to clean up this mess."