Paralysing pain spreads through my body like icy, liquid metal, until my leaden legs barely move. Forcing one foot in front of the other, I fight the impulse to whirl around and sprint back, while a dagger twists deeper into my trembling heart. Leaving is killing me and if there was even an iota of hope that I could stay without bringing you harm, I would. I know that without your love I will cease to live. But it is for your safety that I must go.
My face smirks upward at the banner that mocks me. Laughter rises in my mouth like putrid bile. When that bus pulls away and this passenger goes, the economy may be happy, but my heart and my finances won’t only be broken, but shattered into fragments more numerous than the stars.
I draw my cap down lower and walk as inconspicuously as my unbalanced gait will permit, away from life, towards meaningless existence.
Witness protection might protect this witness’ body, but it cannot protect his soul.
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers with photo prompt by Dawn Miller.