He closed the door of the flat behind him, pulling it gently to for the last time until he felt the lock click. He sighed, as he closed the door on years of memories too. The love and the pleasure, the happiness of learning one another, the likes and dislikes, the simple joy of finding that other person that made his half whole.
He took a step away from the door, and looked up into the sky, dark and lowering with the threat of rain and the colour of an old bruise. He shifted his backpack so it sat more comfortably on his aching shoulders and hefted his case down the steps, stopping one last time to look up at the window, the window into his past, his happy memories of love and closeness and belonging.
The grey, faded curtains remained resolutely closed, closed like an unreasoning mind, shut to explanation, not at home to trust.
He started to walk away, and, as he did, a light rain began to fall, bringing with it echoes of accusations and questions, the tears, the tantrums. His heart pained and his soul weighed him down, failed expectations biting at his heels like the mad dog of despair.
Ahead, a solitary ray of sunshine made a gleaming appearance through the clouds, coyly peeping at his destination. The theatre.
With every step, the sky brightened and the clouds receded. His heart lifted, as did his step. By the time he reached the stage door, the early evening had warmed and dried.
The backstage scents of body, costumes, old makeup welcomed him. He opened his dressing room door, the door to his future and switched on the light.
Sitting at his mirror, he carefully applied meticulous layer after layer of foundation, blusher, contour, eyeshadow, then outlining a pair of lusciously generous lips, filled in with rich opulent purple. He glued outrageously false eyelashes and with every layer, every sparkle, every glittering false nail his heart healed.
Finally, he stepped into the crimson crushed velvet gown and checked its fall around his hips and stockinged legs, leaning towards the mirror to fluff creamy blonde curls around his sculpted cheekbones.
Drawing one last sigh, casting aside his cares with a flick of his gown, he stepped out. Out onto the stage and struck a pose.
House lights down – stage lights up and –