Cigarette smoke drifted out the open window, up into the sky that seemed almost mocking in its brightness and depth. No cloud in sight when it should be pouring endlessly. Such a cliché, yet so true. It had been barely three hours since the funeral, and she was already intoxicated.
It was the only way she knew how to deal with things, alone.
What she remembered, most vividly, were their fights. Oh yes, they always bantered, threw deadly insults at each other that made people around them stare and then do a double-take when they realised - what seemed like a row escalated out of control was really a game, the combatants grinning widely. But when they fought in earnest it was cold, each line calculated, and always, always ended with one or the other suddenly storming out, disappearing for at least a day. Usually, it was her, she realised with a wry smile. Then, when she returned, they made love that was as bittersweet as it was passionate. It was the way they worked, and she didn't really mind losing their game every time, either. She could always come up with another witty retort to use later on, preferably during one of their playful tussles that usually turned into a foreplay of sorts.
Their last words to each other had been ones of scorn, one of their play-matches having turned into a genuine argument after she had said something going just over the border. This time, he had been the one to rush out. Even so, she had a nagging feeling she had still lost - and turned out to be right.
She had never hated getting a phone call as much as she did the moment they told her. It had some sort of poetic justice, perhaps, for him to be the first one to go and leave her hurting. After all, she had caused him pain countless times with her stunts earlier, before they eased into their routine. He'd told her she would be punished one day, and even though it was never said with any seriousness, it was there. Waiting to be made reality.
She picked up the down-turned frame and smiled, fondly, sadly, pressed a light kiss on the glass as her eyes fluttered shut to stop the tears. A broken whisper permeated the still silence of the apartment, sounding wrong and all too loud even in its frailness.
"Why do you always have to win?"