City of Glass continued
The maintenance man was called. He took away the two pairs of dull daggers in silence, staring at me in a way that I could not quite recognise. Did I see fear in his eyes, or merely mistrust?
Everyone at work knows that my wife has left me, but no one is indiscreet enough to mention it. They'd also politely ignored the stubble growth on my face, the way that my suit grew shabbier and dirtier over the proceeding weeks after she walked out the door. And now that I was feeling better, almost the man that I had been before, my colleagues had even begun to smile at me again. Some of them even spoke.
The relationship cancer had gone into remission: my quarantine now was to end. Enough time had passed that my desolation and abandonment were no longer considered communicable.
Later that same day, during my lonely lunch hour, store windows broke behind me in a long jagged line of sparkling supernovas as I passed along the busy Hight Street.
I am not stupid. By now I had realised that something was wrong, or at least not quite right. I had somehow acquired the ability to break glass without even touching it; perhaps it was some odd manifestation of my inner turmoil, or maybe God was playing one of his or her cruel and esoteric jokes.
I returned home after that, preferring to ring in sick rather than risk going back to work - they didn't really want me there anyway. I was a reminder of how things can be broken, relationships can be torn apart without much pressure at all. And by this point any glass in my immediate vicinity would simply vaporise, in much the same way as the windows, sunroof and rear-view mirror in my car had done on the fraught drive home.
In my wake there lies a trail of reflective destruction, a pathway of glittering chaos. A shining blanket of breakage.
But that all happened four days ago. I haven't moved from my armchair since, and doubt that I ever will. I've changed a lot.
I glance down at my cool, brittle hands as they lie motionless upon the wide armrests of the chair. They are transparent. Empty. No blood, no muscle, no bone. Just filled with stale air. My gaze travels up my rigid arms, and comes to rest upon my hard, sculpted chest. A heart beats in there, suspended in all that dead space, but it is not mine. I do not know whose it is, but it resides inside me all the same.
I am a man made of glass, but for some reason that eludes me I am unable to shatter myself. As I sit here, incapable of any movement at all, I realise that I am unbreakable. Bulletproof.
The wind howls like a banshee around me, invading the skull of my home through the empty sockets of window frames. And as whatever strange power now inhabits me tests its limits, pushes its boundaries, I hear the repetitive breaking of glass along the street outside. running from house to house like a series of warning shots from an eager gunman.
My mind has crumbled to a fine diamond dust, but my body does not break. I am glass; I am immutable. I am entirely empty and I cannot feel. Which is, of course, why she left me in the first place.