…and then there was him.

I’m sitting outside, on the wooden bench out front. I’m alone, smoking a king size du maurier. My elbows leaning on my knees, head down, private, so I don’t meet the eyes of the people coming in and out. I have no business looking at anyone around here,and they have no business looking at me either. I’m a jaded, lonely, drowning kid.

I didn’t notice him at first, when he busts through the front door. Standing alone, looking around for a familiar face. He walks up to me slowly, asks if he can bum a smoke. I say yes, hardly looking up to see him. He sits down next to me on the bench as I hand him my lighter. I’ve seen him around here before, but we’ve never met until now. To this day, I wish it never happened.

He tells me his name, and I get caught in his eyes, as ours meet. It’s not that I think he’s hot, it’s just those eyes. Something different. Hard. Dark. Addictive.

He has this air about him, like his surroundings don’t affect him. Like he knows better. Like he’s carrying a secret. A secret I want, and I immediately feel safer. We’re sitting there, quietly smoking our cigarettes and I begin to breathe again. I feel lighter. His affect me on me is heavy, and I’m a little ashamed of it. I already don’t want him to leave, and we’ve only just met not even ten minutes ago. Has that ever happened to you? like you’ve been missing a limb, and this person enters your bubble, reattaches your leg and tells you to walk? and you stand up, and start walking. That’s how I felt next to Tyler. Just one look from him, with those dark, authoritative eyes, and I’d move. Something about him, gave me the courage to get the fuck up and keep fighting. He must have gotten the vibe too, because from that cigarette onward, we we’re always together. He put his arm around me, picked me up off the cold, rough ground, and set me upright. We didn’t even talk about it, not even a whisper. We never had to, it was an internal dialogue, played out by the both of us. He spoke with a kind of guiding supremacy, that plugged into me, a confidence and will I would not have found without him. Like I said earlier, this wasn’t a love thing, neither of us were down for that. It just wasn’t there, but was there, was this heat. This pulsing, live thing, born, and materialized, by our abrupt connection. He created for me, a place to hide away, a warm cocooned nest of denial and fantasy. The truth of my reality, becoming all the more easy to deny, when standing next to him. Tyler made everything feel sugar-coated. Even the most bad of things, becoming more livable through his eyes. Farther away. The cutting pain of my no so far way past, getting lost in the haze of my present place. Holding on to him, like a junkies last, and only fix. Black tar running through the veins. I was hooked. He knew it, I knew it. He did nothing to stop my fall in the end, except keep his mouth shut and go on with his life. He’ll leave me in the dust, when it counts, showing me again, how truly alone I really am. I’ll have a scar in my heart, belonging just to him. He won’t even know it, and we’ll never smile again with each other. I’ll wonder, even now, if he ever actually cared about me. If he was looking too. For that one person. The one person who’ll accept his hook, and willingly, hang from it in ignorance and weakness. Like I was. In my gut I’ll know the truth, and remember her face.

The girl hanging from my hook, while I’m hanging off of Tyler’s.

I’m not innocent.

I’m a puppeteer.

Just as much as he is.

Pulling her strings, will fully ignorant to the damage.

The three of us, tied together by hot, cutting barb wire.

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