Three months, and Carlos’ absence still clings to the building like a ghost. Rory feels it most in their flat, of course – the cold of an empty bed, the sink less stained by toothpaste – but even the hallway holds its memories of Carlos fumbling for his keys; even the lift still feels like Carlos leaning back against burnished steel, hands in his pockets, lips turned up in the playful half-smile that Rory so loved. He can’t take the lift anymore without remembering.
He doesn’t want to forget.
Three months, and sometimes it still hits Rory like a storm. He finds himself crying in the lift, stabbing blindly at buttons made blurry by tears; his mind is full of Carlos’ eyes, his smell, his hands. He thanks all that he holds holy that there is no one to see him crumple into a corner and weep, as the lift surges downwards and his heart climbs his throat.
The lift spits him out into the subcellar, which is not where he meant to go – his finger must ha