He wakes with a start, fear sitting heavy on his chest, cold sweat on his brow. He is close to tears but doesn't really know why. Gently he climbs out of bed so he doesn't wake his still sleeping wife, he pads to the bathroom, closes the door, turns the light on and looks at himself in the mirror.
He hardly recognises the person staring back at him anymore, the bags under the eyes, the weeks worth of stubble, the hints of grey coming in at his temples.
He looks pale and weary.
This has been going on for almost a month now, waking up in the middle of the night, panic eating away at his very being.Nothing keeps this unrelenting fear away, its always at the edge of his thoughts, casting doubt over every little decision he makes.
He has tried drinking himself into a stupor, sleeping pills, even masturbation and still he wakes up at 03:00 feeling like his world is about to end.
"Enough is enough" he says to the stranger staring back at himself.
He switches the light off and goes back to the bedroom, as quietly as possible he pulls a pair of tracksuit bottoms and an old t-shirt on.
He looks longingly at his wife, whispers "I love you" more for himself than her and creeps out.
Downstairs in the kitchen he takes off his wedding ring, his watch and the i.d bracelet he had for his birthday last year. He puts them next to his mobile phone, keys and wallet. On top of this little pile he places the note, the note he has agonised over for days now, all it says is "I'm sorry"
Two words that say so much yet so little.
He pulls on a pair of running shoes and an old coat. Gives it all a second thought, then feels the snake of fear writhe in his belly again. He opens the front door, steps out into the night and pulls it gently, quietly behind him.
He takes one last look at the house and the life he is leaving behind, wipes the tears from his eyes and walks away.