She looks at the ring upon her finger as the daylight dwindles and casts slanted strips of light on her hand from behind the blinds. She looks over at him and watches as he sleeps. She smiles gently at the look of serenity plastered on his face, his eyes still and his breathing steady, and she can imagine his heartbeat steady as a drum, easy to imagine as she has laid her head against his heartbeat so many times these last few months.

She looks back at her hand and can't quell the feeling that this is all wrong and that she doesn't love him, not as she should; there's no love behind this gesture, its just that they should because everyone says so and its been so long they've been together.

Across the room she carries herself, her bags packed, her life in 3 bags…just three bags. It seems so sad that that is all she has, that everything of theirs was really his, this house not a home, the kitchen like a hospital sterile and cold, the rooms like museums, never lived in.

Warm lips against smooth skin as she kisses his cheek, a slight start as he readjusts on the couch at her slight disruption, In his life that's all she was; always. A soft clink against glass as she sets the ring down, her apology, and her goodbye to him, the first time she'd been honest with herself and with him. A gentle thud as the door gets pulled shut, a gentle click as she locks away her past behind her in his rooms, in these halls of a place she'd never wanted to become part of; his existence a repressed memory.

He awoke to the sounds of the city below, the darkness of the room and the feeling of relief. He knew she had gone, heard it all, watched it through veiled eyes. The fluidity of her movements, amazed at the silence of her steps and the seriousness in her face. At the determination in only taking what was hers and the reluctance in her step in leaving the comforts behind. All of her steps leading to the joy in her escape and finally peace.

He fingered the ring laying it out in his palm, the metal grown cold from no longer drawing from her warmth. That he would miss, not the love for it had died long ago. He held onto her, like the ring, for tradition…she never did like tradition. He opened all windows in the house, letting the air clean her scent, just one more thing left to clear.

He sat at the piano, his gift to her and laid fingers on keys unyielding, only she would play. He would never miss the notes, the tempo, and the passion. They were free and he would be forevermore, happily. No more pretending that it brought joy. Silence was always golden here.

He let warm water run against skin, washing away the few last years of pretense. A loud thud and a few creaks as the piano was removed and all traces of her existence cleared and he could finally reclaim his place in this home, clear and clean, of clutter, of her.