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He left no time to regret

Kept his dick wet

With his same old safe bet

Me and my head high

And my tears dry

Get on without my guy


 Zoro dips back his drink and motions for the bartender to bring him another one. The man hesitates, but a narrow-eyed glare from Zoro has him rushing forward to serve him another glass of whiskey. Zoro tips back that one, too, and fights off the need to gasp at the burn the alcohol leaves in his throat.

If anybody notices the fact that he’s drinking more than usual, they don’t comment on it. They’re all too busy laughing and talking, enjoying each other’s company. Zoro knows Sanji can feel his heavy gaze on him, but the blond man has a poker face gifted by the gods.

The pretty blonde on his right says something and Sanji laughs, tipping his head back. He squeezes her shoulder and brings her a little closer to himself. Zoro feels like he’s going to throw up, but he chases away the feeling with another shot. The bartender is going to cut him off soon. Zoro will probably fight him, then he’ll get thrown out by the bouncer for his trouble. It’s best to just avoid the potentially embarrassing situation and take his leave now. He can always by a couple bottles of Jack Daniels on his way home, or maybe even some sake. He usually doesn’t like corner store sake because it’s dry as fuck, but he could drink fucking moonshine right now and don’t give a fuck.

He mumbles a quick goodbye to Usopp, the one sitting closest to him, but nobody else notices him stand up and leave. Luffy is busy stuffing his mouth while his boyfriend Law watches on with sick amusement. Nami is way too invested in the conversation she started with the pretty dark-skinned girl with the blue-dyed hair that she picked up from the bar half an hour ago, and Robin is smiling in amusement as Chopper and Franky compete to see who can stuff more peanuts into their mouths. Brook is missing, but Sanji’s blonde girl took his spot.

Zoro momentarily entertains the thought of learning her name; she is Sanji’s girlfriend, after all. She’s also his ex-girlfriend, the girl that dumped him three days before his birthday and the reason why Sanji and Zoro got drunk enough on that day to fuck each other. So yeah, she’s a pretty important person in Zoro’s life.

But he only entertains the thought for a moment, because fuck her, that’s why.


 You went back to what you knew

So far removed from all that we went through

And I tread a troubled track

My odds are stacked

I'll go back to black


 Sanji has always been weak against women. Zoro doesn’t really understand it, but he knows it has something to do with the mother who left him and his father when he was eight to pursue her career as a lawyer. Zoro knows Sanji still keeps in contact with her, but the most he’s seen of the woman is the standard greeting cards she sends Sanji every birthday. They’re not always birthday cards—Sanji once got a Get Well Soon card—but Sanji still treasures them.

As his oldest friend, Zoro knows better than anybody just how far that weakness extends. And yet, despite knowing that Sanji has dedicated his life to the fairer sex, he still made the stupid mistake of falling in love. It’s the classic tragic tale almost every gay person encounters: falling for a heterosexual.

But how could he not fall in love with Sanji? They’ve known each other since they were four, they have been each other’s best friends for two decades now, and Sanji is the only constant in Zoro’s life. He was there when Zoro’s mother died. He was there when Kuina died. He was there when his father disowned him for being bisexual. He was there when Zoro broke up with his first—and thus far, only—boyfriend. Of course, Sanji has no idea Zoro broke up with Saga because the latter realized Zoro’s feelings for his best friend. Sanji was still there for him, and that’s all that mattered.

So when Sanji came to his house, almost in tears—but not really because the blond would never cry in front of Zoro—after his girlfriend had broken things off with a text, Zoro did the only thing a friend could do in a situation like that: he called her a bitch and offered him copious amount of alcohol. Sanji kicked him because of that first one, but he accepted the beer gladly.

Four hours and enough beer to risk alcohol poisoning later, Zoro found himself laying on bed with Sanji on top of him, kissing him passionately.

Zoro regrets many things about that day. He regrets not stopping Sanji when he was in the state of mind to do it. He regrets not leaving in the morning when he woke up before Sanji. He regrets letting Sanji top him because the blond was not only drunk, he didn't have a goddamn idea what he was doing and Zoro ended up wincing every time he sat down for the next couple of days. But what he regrets most is saying ‘yes’ when Sanji asked him out.


 We only said goodbye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to...


 

Their relationship didn’t change much, surprisingly. They still bickered like children, still broke out in fights at the slightest provocation. Sanji still flirted with every thing with boobs, and Zoro still pretended like he didn’t care. The only thing that changed was the sex.

Late at night, most of the time in Zoro’s apartment because Sanji lives next door to Nami and there was absolutely no way Sanji would let do such a shameful thing so close to his goddess. When Zoro first said yes to Sanji, he expected to be treated like a sex toy. Messed up, he knows, but he didn’t have high expectations from Sanji, friend or not.

The blond surprised him completely by not only treating Zoro like a real person, but by also being completely willing to explore his sexuality. He didn’t back out when Zoro suggested switching, he didn’t leave as soon as they sex was over, and he didn’t shy from talking ‘feelings’ with him. And in their privacy of Zoro’s apartment, Sanji was…sweet.

He was everything Zoro had hoped for, everything he knew the blond was: perfect.

And so, Zoro began to hope. Sanji had made it clear very quickly that he wasn’t ready for the others to know about their relationship, but Zoro didn’t mind. He wasn’t comfortable about telling the others his sexuality when he first realized he was bi, either.

Sanji also never stopped flirting with women. He would still get their numbers, hang with them for the majority of the day, and he even went out with a couple of them, though he always swore to Zoro that he had done it only for show, and that nothing had happened.

And Zoro believed him. Because he loved Sanji. Even now, he’s in love with Sanji.

So yeah, call him stupid, call him a moron, tell him it was his own damn fault for not seeing the signs, but Zoro still nurtured the smallest hope that one day, he and Sanji would be together in front of everyone, happy.

And then, she came back.

And suddenly, Sanji didn’t want anything from him. He didn’t want Zoro as a secret, as a lover, as a friend. He tried braking things off in a text, and now Zoro wishes that he had not pursed the matter. But in that moment, when he read the short and blunt text message, his whole body screamed at him to deny it. So he went to Sanji’s apartment, hell bent on confronting him.

Instead, he had been greeted by the sight of Sanji kissing her, tenderly and softly like he had never kissed Zoro, and all the fight left him.

Zoro had never felt so defeated in his life.


 I go back to us


 Marriage. The word has such a sense of finality, it’s almost intimidating. Marriage. Sanji is getting married to Conis. That’s her name, Zoro’s found out. He didn’t want to, but he’s heard it enough times that it’s stuck in his brain. Even if he wanted to forget it, he can’t.

Sanji stares at her like she has the truth of the universe hidden in her eyes while Zoro tries not to drown in the ocean of Sanji’s.

“A toast to the happy couple!” Nami exclaims, and Zoro only raises his glass because that means he gets to drink. Alcohol isn’t doing much for him anymore, though. He stares at the bottom of his champagne glass and recalls the moment he noticed the diamond ring hidden at the bottom of Conis’. Zoro noticed it even before she did, and he had almost made a comment about the banality of it before he remembered that he’s not supposed to talk to her.

Sanji may no longer consider him a friend, but unfortunately for the both of them, Luffy still expects them to be. It’s hard to deny anything to their bouncy friend, and short of cutting off all ties with all of his friends, Zoro cannot avoid the cook.

There’s almost twenty-minutes worth of congratulations, and Zoro drinks through it all. Zoro doesn’t say anything to the happy couple, but nobody expects him to. He’s the grouchy one, the insensitive one. He’s not supposed to care for Sanji, he’s supposed to hate him. That’s what their friends believe.

That would make everything easier.

“When’s the wedding?” Usopp asks, arm wrapped around Kaya’s shoulders as she praises the beautiful diamond ring in Conis’ thin finger.

“As soon as possible,” Sanji beams. “We don’t want anything fancy, so maybe in three or four months?”

Conis nods. “I’ve always wanted a winter wedding, so maybe November. What do you think?”

“It’s perfect,” Sanji replies, kissing her softly in the forehead.

Zoro taps his beer bottle rhythmically. He distinctly remembers a conversation when Sanji confessed that he always wanted to have a fairy tale wedding. They were around fifteen and Zoro had just revealed the fact he liked guys to his super-straight best friend, so Sanji was forced tor reveal something of similar magnitude. And he chose to tell Zoro about his dream for a family.

A wife. At least six children. A beautiful home. And a beautiful wedding.

It seems like he’s getting what he’s always wanted.


 

I love you much

It's not enough

You love blow and I love puff

And life is like a pipe

And I'm a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside


 It’s been almost three weeks since Zoro has spoken with any of his friends. He looks at his phone every day, but the only messages he’s ever received are group messages. Everybody is too busy helping Sanji plan his wedding to pay attention to the loner in the group.

Now that he thinks about it, Sanji was always the one who included him. Sanji is the friendly one, the charismatic, the one who makes friends and then introduces them to Zoro. Luffy is the only friend Zoro has made on his own, but he can’t really count him because Luffy was the one who extended the hand of friendship first.

Nami, Usopp, Chopper, Robin….he met them all through Sanji.

“Rough night?”

Zoro looks away from his phone and locks gazes with the bald-headed man next to him. The man is taller than Zoro and bigger, too, and that’s a feat since Zoro is a pretty huge man himself. Sanji always complained about Zoro’s muscle definition, because even though they were both equal in strength, Zoro was the only one who looked it. Sanji has inherited his mother’s slim figure, and Zoro tries not to think too much about how well his hands fit around that small waist or how he could hug Sanji and envelope the other man completely.

“Let me guess…love problems?”

Zoro blinks and focuses on the man again. He’s not drunk, he doubts he can get drunk anymore, but he’s mastered the art of keeping his mind carefully blank. Not that it works; his every other thought is about Sanji, and he hates how much it hurts to think the name, but he hates even more how his heart speeds up at the bare mention of it.

“Let me buy you a drink,” the man says, nodding to the bartender.

“I have a drink,” Zoro growls, taking a sip of said drink.

“You need another one,” the man says easily and places the stout glass next to him. “Name’s Daz.”

“Zoro,” he grunts, nodding appreciatively at the man. He’s not planning on fucking anyone tonight, but he won’t say no to a free drink.

“So, what’s her name?” Daz grins when Zoro shoots him a look. “His name?”

“None of your fucking business.”

“Hey, man, just trying to make conversation,” Daz says. “I just broke up with my girl, too. She was talking shit about me not having a real job and not being there for her or whatever shit women bitch about. Dropped her ass right then and there.”

“Wow, cool story, bro,” Zoro says sarcastically, distracted by another incoming message. He looks down and opens the group thread, reading Nami’s reply to Usopp’s question about what to wear.

Luffy is the Best Man, but you and Brook are Groomsmen. So don’t worry about that, Sanji and I already picked out the suits.

Zoro grimaces and brings the glass to his lip, but there’s no more whiskey to drink.

“Hey! Hit me,” Zoro calls towards the bartender, raising his glass.

The man shakes his head. “I’m cutting you off.”

“What?” Zoro growls. “Fuck off.”

“Nah, man. This is the twelfth glass. I’ll call you a cab,” the man says, but Zoro is already off his seat. He doesn’t need to deal with this. There’s another bar down the street.

“Whoah, there! Hey, you might want to listen to the guy.”

Zoro stares at Daz, wondering why the fuck the man thought it was a good idea to follow him out. “Dude, fuck off.”

“Shit, you really are fucked up. Hey, listen. We both know more alcohol isn’t going to cut it. Why don’t you let me help you out?”

Zoro looks at the little baggy in the man’s hand, and then back up at Daz. “What is that?” he growls.

“My friend Molly,” Daz grins. “She’s the best lover you’ll ever have.”

“I don’t do that shit.” He already has his back to Daz and is ready to walk away, but the man grabs his shoulder and holds him back.

“Here, my treat,” Daz says, slipping the bag in Zoro’s pocket. “If you change your mind, you know where to find me.”

Zoro snorts, but Daz only grins and walks away, whistling. Zoro takes out the small bag, staring at the small, white pills. He looks for the nearest trash can, but before he can throw it away, his phone dings again.

He doesn’t look at his phone anymore, but he pockets the little bag again.

Just in case.


 We only said goodbye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to...


 The rush. It makes his heart race and his blood speed up. It makes him feel like he’s ready to face the world, like he’s ready to step into the mat and fight any opponent. It’s the same rush he gets when he faces someone strong or when Sanji smiles at him. But this is so much better, because it doesn’t go away.

Euphoria. It comes right after the rush, and it lasts almost a whole day. An almost orgasmic feeling of defeating a great enemy, the sense of accomplishment and pride he gets after a fight. Such utter bliss that mutes every other feeling, leaving him numb to anything that isn’t pure happiness. Not even Sanji made him feel this way. Nothing has ever made him feel this way.

Nothing hurts, nothing matters. He doesn’t need to eat, he doesn’t need to drink, he doesn't get the urge to look at his phone every time a new message arrives. He can lay on his bed and ignore the scent of Sanji in the bed sheets. He doesn’t care if he misses a workout, because why the fuck should he care?

The drop. The downside. Once the light leaves, everything goes back to black. He feels cold, then hot, then nauseous, then sweaty. It’s unpleasant and annoying, and he just wants it to be over. But for some reason, it also leaves him horny as all hell and he ends up forgetting everything as he fucks into his hand.

He doesn’t think of Sanji at all while doing that, which is a plus. At least he has that.

In the end, the pros outweigh the cons, so he returns to the same bar. He doesn't see Daz on the first day, nor the second, but on the third, he’s there. Zoro knows better than to expect another freebie, but luckily, he has more than enough money in his back account to spare.

$140.00 doesn’t seem like a lot to spend, and the goodies last him a full week. Who knew happiness was so cheap? For $140 he can go back to normal. He doesn’t feel suffocated anymore, doesn’t feel like the walls are closing in.

He feels more energetic, and even though he doesn’t have the need to become the very best anymore, he knows he can. He’s stronger, too. He’s faster. He’s so much better than he used to be, so much better than anyone else.

These people that go around never feeling like he does; people who aren’t aware of the blackness that surrounds their picture-perfect lives. They’re so fucking oblivious, Zoro almost wants to laugh.

Why did he ever think he needed Sanji? Why did he ever think the other man made him happy? Why did he ever feel he loved him?

Zoro doesn’t feel anything.


 We only said goodbye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to...


 Soon, it’s not enough. Zoro isn’t addicted, he can stop whenever he wants, but he wants it. It’s the only way he can go through the day hearing the others gush over Sanji’s wedding. When he’s not high, everything comes back a thousand times darker. It surrounds him and drowns him; it’s all consuming and oh so fucking painful that it almost feel like he’s already dead.

He’s hollowed out. In his few moments of clarity, he knows that what he’s doing is wrong. He knows everything he feels is fake, meaningless. He knows it doesn’t compare to the real thing, but he can’t have the real thing because Sanji doesn’t fucking love him.

He can’t have real happiness and he can’t have real warmth and comfort because he isn’t fucking good enough. Because he wasn’t born a woman and because Sanji wasn’t born gay. Because Conis is so much fucking better than him, because she’s good and nice and friendly and even though she’s the reason why Zoro’s life has gone to shit, he can’t bring himself to hate her because she’s good and Sanji deserves someone like her  and not someone like Zoro, who breaks and gets himself high on ecstasy at the first sign of pain.

So he goes back to Daz, and he keeps buying happiness from a little pill, and when he runs out of money, he gets on his knees and sucks the other man off for just a gram.

Why the fuck does it matter?

He no longer has a job because he’s missed too many days. He no longer has friends because he’s grown oblivious to the sound of his phone ringing. He hears knocking on his door sometimes, but he’s so fucking out of it every day, he never really answers the door. And those are on the days he is home, because most of the time, he’s with Daz.

Or with Crocodile, Daz’s boss. Because while Zoro doesn’t mind sucking off the other man for a little pill, he much prefers doing odd jobs for the drug lord in exchange for a little bit of happiness. And besides, Crocodile pays with the good shit, not the tainted crap Daz sells to unsuspecting bastards like Zoro.

He learns the tricks of the trade, like how to give new customers the good shit to get them hooked. The little pill Zoro first took was the real thing, pure MDMA. But that is expensive as all hell, and drug dealers aren’t in the habit of losing money. Zoro doesn’t give a fuck: Ecstasy, MDMA, meth…it’s all the same to him.

All he has to do is beat the living shit out of a couple of people, intimidate a couple of teenagers, collect some money, and he’s good. He doesn’t pretend things are better anymore, he knows he’s tainted shades of black, but it’s okay because at least he doesn’t feel anymore.

And however painful it is to stare himself in the mirror during his few moments of clarity, it’s much more painful to think of the days that were.


 Black, black, black, black, black, black, black,

I go back to...

I go back to...


 The wedding is beautiful, of course. Sanji practically planned the whole thing by himself, even though Nami helped a lot. It’s a simple wedding, nothing like what Sanji imagined when he was younger.

But at least, there’s a woman standing next to him at the altar and she’s wearing a gorgeous dress of white and pearl. Sanji looks so fucking amazing in his tailored suit, the clothes made to fit only him, following every sinful curve and edge of that amazing body.

Zoro sits at the very front, between Usopp and Chopper, and even though he tries to zone out, the words I do still resonate deep within himself.

And then he realizes that he does. He does promises to love Sanji for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. He will love and cherish him, till he dies, according to the God Zoro has never believed in, and he pledges himself to him with what little honor he has left.

Of course, those words will never be uttered at loud by him. He feels guilty even thinking about those words.

The reception is just as beautiful as the ceremony. Luffy gives a wonderful speech that has the girls in tears, and Sanji looks like a golden god as he glides across the dance floor with his wife. Zoro has to look away from him a couple of times, almost blinded by the radiance of his smile.

“Zoro, are you okay?”

He blinks and looks down at Chopper. The young doctor-to-be is staring at him with a deep frown, forkful of cake suspended in midair.

He tries to smile, but he’s forgotten how to. “I’m fine, Chopper.” Oh wow, when was the last time he spoke? He remembers threatening a kid a couple of days ago over some money he owes Crocodile, but he hasn’t had to speak since then. He beat up someone yesterday, but didn’t utter a single word.

He looks down at his hands and scowls when he notices the dry blood underneath his fingernails.

“Have you been sleeping well?”

Zoro startles, having already forgotten Chopper was there. “Um…ah, not really,” he answers honestly. “Just…tough day at work. I should really fix my sleeping schedule.”

“You should,” Chopper says seriously. “And maybe eat a little more. Why don’t you grab a slice of cake? It’s not too sweet, you know.”

“Thanks Chopper. I will.”

Of course he won’t. The cake display is right next to the couple’s table, and he rather die than have to go near them. But he is hungry, so he decides to sneak into the bathroom for a quick smoke break. Cigarettes don’t really do much for him except take away his hunger, but he’s a fucking lost cause already, so why not risk lung cancer for a chance to smell like Sanji one more time?

Wow, he’s so pathetic.

“I didn’t know you smoked.”


 We only said goodbye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to...


 Zoro doesn’t startle. He doesn’t even blink, because quite frankly, he’s forgotten what Sanji’s voice sounds like. But he hasn’t forgotten how it gets harder to breathe with Sanji in the room, or how everything looks suddenly so much smaller compared to the other man.

There’s no one else in the bathroom, but Sanji can’t possibly be talking to him, so Zoro doesn’t reply.

He doesn’t expect for Sanji to snatch the cigarette out of his fingers and throw it at the ground, nor does he expect the push that sends him crashing on the floor.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Sanji yells, suddenly pissed. “Why the fuck are you here?”

Why is he here? He never received an invitation in the mail, but it was just assumed that he was going to come. Nami called him to remind him to pick up his suit and Robin stopped by his house to pick him up. No one questioned his presence, but not in the way that matters. it’s like he’s at the back of everyone’s mind, like he’s become the habit of his friends.

“Hey, are you listening to me?”

Zoro looks at Sanji and frowns as he gets up slowly. “Sorry,” he mutters, wincing at the sound of his voice. Gritty, rough, and dead. Fuck, he sounds so stupid. He drops his gaze and makes to move past Sanji, careful not to touch the other man.

But his efforts are clearly not appreciated, because Sanji grabs him by the arm and twists him around to slam his back against the wall.

And before can do or say anything, Sanji kisses him.

It’s hard and passioned, deep and hungry, and so much like the very first kiss they shared that Zoro almost wants to cry because it feels like he’s back at his apartment on that day.

But he’s not. He’s in a public bathroom, with blood in his hands, poison in his blood, and the stink of nicotine in his breath kissing a married man.

Zoro pushes Sanji away and it feels like pushing a mountain, because not only is Sanji stronger than him now, he also apparently doesn’t want to move away from him. But he has to.

“Sanji…why…?” Shit, he’s breathless. His mind is scrambled and his heart is racing, and he almost feels like he just took another hit, but that’s impossible because he decided against attending Sanji’s wedding while high.

“I’m sorry,” Sanji says quickly, hand covering his mouth. “I’m sorry. I—shit! Zoro, I’m sorry.”

“N-no, it’s fine,” Zoro says quickly, waving away the apologies.

“No, it isn’t,” Sanji retorts. “I…shit, why the fuck didn’t you go away?” Sanji groans and Zoro’s heart drops.

That’s right. Sanji told him he didn’t want to see him again. When they broke up, after Zoro was finished yelling at the other man, after his temper tantrum had calmed down.

“You know how fucking hard it is to do this?” Sanji whispers and Zoro feels another dagger of pain. “To have you fucking near and not be able to…fuck, Zoro. Did you really not care?”

Care? About what? Zoro cares for very little now, but that’s just better for everyone.

“How can you stand here, cool as all can be? How could you…attend my wedding?” Sanji whispers, his gaze on the floor. “Watch me marry…say yes…did it not bother you?”

Bother him? It’s killing him. He’s an open wound right now, his heart and soul are bleeding black, and it’s so fucking painful that it hurts just to exist.

“Do you want it to hurt me?” he asks, because that’s what it sounds like, and even though he feels like he could do anything for Sanji, he doesn’t want to introduce Sanji to the freak show that is his life now.

“No,” Sanji murmurs. “I don’t. I’m sorry. I’m…really fucked up.”

“You’re not,” Zoro says honestly, because Sanji is the least fucked up person in the world. Zoro holds the title in that category, and he doubts that’s changing any time soon.

“I am,” Sanji denies. “I…don’t want to see you anymore.”

“Okay.” He can do that. He can stay away. It’ll probably be healthier for both of them.

“It’s hard, you know,” Sanji continues, and he still hasn’t looked at Zoro. “She’s…she’s pregnant. And I…have to do it.”

Zoro stares at Sanji, mouth open and eyes wide. Pregnant? “She’s…h-how far along?”

“Four months,” Sanji answers. “That’s why the wedding had to be quick. I just want you to know…I know you can understand, Zoro. This is my kid, I can’t…I can’t leave them alone. But if I have to see you every day, I don’t know how long I can hold on.”

Of course. This is all Sanji ever wanted: a beautiful wife and children. And he finally has his dream, he’s finally getting what he deserves. Zoro is the only thing in the way. He’s the thorn on Sanji’s side, his shameful past.

Sanji raises a hand hesitantly, almost as if judging Zoro's reaction, but he doesn’t move a muscle as Sanji places his hand on his heart. “I’m sorry, Zoro,”  he whispers, voice raspy.

“No, I get it.”

And he does. Because Sanji is his best friend and Zoro knows Sanji better than anybody else. Because if Conis weren’t pregnant, she wouldn’t have come back for Sanji, and Sanji would have settled for Zoro.

But Sanji got his lucky break and he’s finally getting the happily ever after that he’s always dreamed of, and that doesn’t include Zoro. And Sanji is a good guy, so he probably feels bad about what happened. Zoro pretty much bared his soul and confessed his love to the man when they broke up, so Sanji is very  much aware of how much Zoro loves him.

So yeah, it’s a lot better for everyone if Zoro stays away. He needs to stay away from Sanji and his wife and his baby, because Zoro doesn’t fit in that equation, and if he keeps trying to shove his way in, he’s only going to end up hurting someone.

He already proved how weak he is, what’s to say Zoro won’t do something to Conis or the baby out of spite? What if he gets drunk and kisses Sanji? What if he ends up bearing his soul again?

It’ll only make Sanji uncomfortable.

Sanji’s hand moves from Zoro’s chest to his jaw. Sanji smiles softly at him and leans in close to place a soft kiss on his lips.

“Goodbye, Zoro,” Sanji whispers before he leaves.

The silence that follows is perhaps the loudest thing Zoro has ever heard.


 We only said goodbye with words

I died a hundred times

You go back to her

And I go back to black