sixteenth: surrender

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This song is hauntingly beautiful.

I shuddered, tears falling down my eyes.

I hid my face in my hands, bowing my head to try and get hold of myself. But somehow, I couldn't stop. My body trembled. I felt powerless. Violated.

I was crushed. Ripped to pieces. And nothing could fix me.

I was humiliated that they had heard everything I had done. That in spite of everything I had done for them, they still couldn't be honest with me. As if I didn't deserve that much either.

There was a knock on the door and Grayson's voice called, muffled. "Xavier, come out."

I didn't answer. How could I look at him? I had never been so utterly humiliated in my entire life. He had heard me. Grayson had heard me with Rosalie. Reznick. My skin crawled at the thought of how I had bent Reznick to my will.

Harold had heard me. He had heard me begging Grayson. He had heard me pleading for his touch. When I was most vulnerable. So far, I had only thought of myself as a mere disposable object. And now, they had actually made me. 

"Xavier," his voice was softer now, "please come out."

I didn't answer. I begged and prayed that he would leave me alone.

"Xavier. Hey. Xavier."

My heart broke at the way he called my name. So soft. So tender. Like he was afraid my very name would shatter. 

He knocked on the door again. I bit my lip to keep from crying out loud. My face turned hot, my ears ringing from the embarrassment and shock. I gazed at my arm, suddenly becoming aware of the throbbing ache. My arm had started bleeding again. The scarlet soaking through my t-shirt. I clutched my chest as if expecting to feel the hot liquid there as well. I staggered to my feet, walking over to the sink. I didn't look at my broken reflection. I turned on the tap as water gushed out.

"Xavier." I heard his voice shift and realized he was crouching on the floor, speaking softly through the door. "I'm sorry. I'm...I've been under a lot of stress. And I took it out on you. I'm so sorry, Xavier."

I didn't care that he had hurt me. What shattered me was how little respect they had for me. How little respect he had for me. Like I was nothing. A mere tool which they could use however they wanted to reach their end goal.

Even for him. I hadn't meant anything even for him.

How had I dared to dream? How had I dared to hope that we were equal? When our worlds couldn't be different. When the stars were closer to my reach than he was? 

I pulled my sleeve above my elbow and washed the injury, watching the colourless water turn to scarlet. I pulled the cloth back down, the dark red now darkening further. I washed my face, rubbing it roughly with a towel. I didn't want him to see me this way. I didn't want anyone to see me this way. He didn't deserve to see me so feeble. 

I gazed at my reflection in the mirror, trying to discern any shards of humanity that I had left. Any pieces of conscience that I had preserved. Any visage of respect that I had for myself. All I was met with was an empty, bottomless void. Witnessing the inky chasm made my heart scream in anguish. Where had I lost myself?

I finally stepped out after a quarter of an hour. Waves of destructive emotions were drowning my heart. Grayson stood near the door, he had risen as I entered the room. 

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