The air hung heavy and still. Matheus leaned back to rest his head against the wall, the soft thud swallowed by the thick silence. His hands lay forgotten in his lap. An hour ago, he’d been lying on the floor, exhaustion pooling in his joints, Quin draped around him, both of them lingering in the moment. If Matheus closed his eyes, he tasted the mingled traces of their time together. The memory seemed out of place in a room like this one. How many years had the dust sat undisturbed? Spider webs built on the wispy remains of their predecessors, spiraling designs intact with no breeze to set them swaying free. A room going quietly to ruin.
Matheus wondered when he’d become accustomed to such rooms. Months spent hiding the forgotten places of the city, worried every minute of who might find him―when had the adjustment happened? He exhaled, letting his shoulders slump. Bit by bit, the gray rooms ate into his nerves, wearing them down, until he became just as vacant, just as lifeless. The lethargy worked into him, non-thinking, non-feeling, empty of all. Out the room, things needed to be done, plans had to be made. Inside, nothing.