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Shatter

The walls inside of the mirror were painted a rich lavender color and decorated with impressionistic art and ancient religious relics. Jules always commented on the odor of vision, the way a beautiful painting freshens a room like flowers work to scent nature. So it is not surprising that he adhered to the Eastern principles of fung shui, arranging his 19th century renaissance furniture to align ascetically with his positive spiritual resolve. There was a nook that resided in the corner that Jules was never certain what to do with, but it wasn’t hurting anything. He positioned the furniture so that it all seemed to navigate towards the nook, floating naturally at an angle and giving the room the shape of a heart. The windows were draped with white curtains that allowed enough sunlight through to enhance the wooden oak of the center coffee table and made the floor lamps positioned on either side obsolete beyond the want for decoration. The table was never used for anything more than to handle books that Jules spent hours at a time reading leisurely, plopped comfortably atop a lightly-colored loveseat that he allowed his entire body to sink into. The only thing curiously positioned in the entire room was the mirror, which hung on the side, away from everything. Jules spent so much time on the inside that he typically forgot that it was there.

            There wasn’t much beyond the purplish walls of the room, but there was always Camille. She lived in the center, lying in her green dress, drinking martinis and looking lovely. Beyond lovers, Jules and Camille harbored the scent of love, kept it enclosed and well-maintained. They understood the pleasant view of true love, when people become romantically-inclined to pacify one another, when happiness is produced far beyond the intensity of a lavishly decorated room or a glimpse of sunlight in absolute darkness. There are few rarer things to be on about, spot on, like coming across an original work, a magnum opus of some universally impressive, obscure painter. But even rarer than that is the discovery of absolute beauty, to unearth a soul so intertwined with respect to your own that there is no doubt as to whether or not the next drink you take will be the most satisfying you have ever tasted knowing that she is there and she is in love with you. This is what Jules understood, and he needn’t know much else. The world of love was inside of that room only, and he saw very little reason to leave it, until the day that everything was ruined.

            He woke up in his love seat, as usual, next to Camille, who was breathing in the fumes of sunrise. He had left a book open on his chest; he must have read himself to sleep again. Without surmising, he set the book down on the center coffee table and moved over by the nook. Drawing the curtains, he gazed outside as the sun peeked over the horizon and shown a refulgent light through the glass windows. The light touched the love struck eyes of Camille, and she opened them slowly, peering at Jules as he colorized the morning. After a few moments, Jules turned around and admired his love in her green dress, and she smiled lovingly at the way his eyes squinted deep into his cheeks, the way he could make his love so present without having to say a word.

            In the next instant, a loud thud was produced in the room adjoined perpendicularly to the main room. Jules flinched, and Camille found her eyes traveling towards the wooden door at the far end of the room that had been collecting dust for what had seemed like years. Jules nodded to Camille, agreeing that the disturbance was caused beyond the walls of their room, and all curiosity that wanted satisfaction could only be fulfilled by exiting the room just briefly. Jules headed towards the door slowly as Camille lay back again at the tip of the heart. Jules slowly opened the door, and there was nothing. He looked forward and all he could see was empty—a tunnel of complete darkness spreading to all sides and never-ending. In a short moment, he recollected all nightmares he had once had of the outside world—the hatred, the hopelessness, the pain, the dissatisfaction, the heartache, the irresolution, the faulty mechanics, the propensity for error, the want for happiness and the impossibility to obtain it—it all came back to him in a rush, and he quickly and without hesitation retreated back to his room.

            He slammed the door shut with so much force that the entire room shook. Camille was startled only for a second, when suddenly a resounding crash transformed the room, a sound of shattering glass. The lone mirror, framed to side of the room, away from everything, fell in tandem with the closing door, shattering the vision. Jules eyes opened up to a dream or a nightmare in a room of nothing. The lavender painted walls were now disguised in shades of gray and no furniture remained aside from a worn loveseat that lacked cushioning. The floor was littered with books that had been torn at the spine, read and re-read permanently, all carelessly expelled to the ground once terminated. The nook remained solidly in the corner, where the sunlight that once seemed like forever was replaced by the vision of another vacant room, gray and empty and surrounding nothing. Jules turned around once more to the loveseat where he left Camille, mourning the loss of happiness, retreating to the one thing he knew mattered most to him, only to find lying upon the sofa a portrait of a woman in a green dress.

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