"Of course, there was emptiness at her departure. It was as if a ghostly wind had swept through the Win Tiki restaurant where I worked and left me without a vodka collins... only a glass with three ice cubes and a sky blue stir stick."

They had known each other for the better and worse parts of six years. Their lives became so intertwined that when she left, her possessions seemed to resemble his own when they landed in the back of her brother's pick-up truck. He watched from an upstairs window with just a purple jumper and socks on. He swirled the non-existent ice cubes in his rocks glass and stared while they loaded the truck. He wondered why she would choose this moment to leave.

The lights in the room cast funny shadows. He noticed, but he had noticed before. After all, he had locked himself into the upstairs apartment three months earlier and refused to come down. There was enough beef jerky and five gallon jugs of very warm spring water to keep him alive for some time while he wrote his memoirs.

Time would pass, and he had plenty of it. Six months later he completed his memoirs and descended from his lofty perch. With a claw hammer, he extracted the fifteen nails he originally used to seal the door between the staircase and the upstairs apartment. The nails had served him well in his efforts to keep Elaina away from his secret work. She would never understand. She was too interested in love, relationships, walks in the park, having lobster dinners down at the beach and watching Friends. Now, he was alone.

The house was empty. Even the furniture was gone.

He expected something to this effect, but never the absence of all things. The downstairs rooms were a terrible mess, a blight of unattended and unfulfilled promises. The knee deep shag carpet in the living room was being explored by sentient dust bunnies. The kitchen was not much better, and yet the sight of spilled spaghetti sauce and broken glass in the center of the room reminded him that Elaina had never possessed the dexterity to cook Italian food. It was the way of things.

It was time to pick up and begin a new life. A life about more than love and happiness. A life about deeper things. He gazed upon his surroundings and wondered how he would pull it all together. He wandered into the dining room and found his answers. Below the deteriorating chandelier that hung precariously from the ceiling was just the contraption he needed to return to the downstairs rooms and live. Really live.

He took four steps towards it and verified his original summary of what he had discovered. The almighty Hoover was fully functional and ready to get to work. Morning had spoken. Like a neon light on the new day.

Nothing she ever did moved him as much as the vacuum she left.