I knew he was dead before anyone told me. I could feel him not needing me to pay attention to him. He wasn’t asking me for anything or intruding on my life, so the only possible explanation was his death.

I sat cross legged on my couch and stared at my phone waiting for the text confirming what I already knew.

When I got the message about twenty minutes later, I stood up and went straight to my kitchen and began dumping out all the unfinished Gatorades and sugary crap he had in the refrigerator. I dumped the two day old coffee he had been drinking the morning before he died and put the coffee maker I had bought for him high on a shelf without cleaning it. I threw his new bag of coffee and expensive creamers in the kitchen trash and I dumped all the ashtrays overflowing with cigarettes that he had chain smoked on my patio while he was mindlessly scrolling through social media and arguing with people about things they had posted.

 I took all of it out to the garbage in the middle of the night. When I got back upstairs I took all his clothes and put them in the bag he had left on his side of the bed. I sat there in the middle of the naked mattress that I had stripped of the sheets we had been sleeping in, holding the bag of clothes. I listened to the numerous clocks in my house which seemed really loud without him there.

I could feel my smile coming back and felt guilty.

It’s 12:15 am

Each second that passed was my new life without him.

I took the bag of his clothes and put them way in the back in the closet so I wouldn’t see them in the morning.

I was going to start the next day being all mine for the first time in almost three years.

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