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On the Wings of My Shadow

Short story By: Keith LaFountaine

A man decides to head to New York City in pursuit of truth.

Submitted:Jan 26, 2013    Reads: 36    Comments: 2    Likes: 0   

It's funny, the predicaments we find ourselves in. Whether that is from an errand sentence that launches your world into an array of words not intended to arm but that pierce like arrows. Or a mistake than haunts you longer than the memories of your mistakes. Or a person who you can't quite seem to forget, no matter how hard you try and end relations.

I found myself leaving my own house as though I was an intruder. Packing the things essential for survival, leaving smaller things behind. Perhaps those things I left would give her a false sense of hope, make her think that this will all blow over in a few days. But I wasn't intending on going back. Not then, and not ever again.

I don't deal with stress too well. Something about it just rubs me the wrong way. I mean, stress is something all of us hate and have far too much of, but some people, like me, just flat out can't deal with it. And yet we're the ones with the most stressful lives, the hardest choices, the most improbably situation. I guess that's why I left in the first place. I was trying to escape it all, find somewhere pristine and new, untouched by my own mundane life.

And now I find myself in a coffee shop. It's quiet for the most part; a person here and there, ordering a late or a cappuccino. Something to kick start the day, give them a perceived amount of energy that they can use at their boring nine to five job. I don't drink caffeine anymore, not since I learned it was the cause of my migraines. That and the incessant cold war between my girlfriend and I.

In my hand lies a bus ticket to New York City. For some reason a part of my brain thinks that if I'm truly honest about finding myself, there is the best place to do it. But another part of me thinks if you can't handle a small town, how in the fuck are you going to handle a city? It's that voice that I generally try and push aside. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't, and I'll end up stuck with an annoying companion who contradicts everything I do. Kind of like taking a road trip with your mother.

My mind meanders its way back to last night. She would probably be waking up by now. Realizing I'm not there, trying to justify it in some way within her mind. Maybe he got called into work; or maybe he went to get us breakfast. Maybe this and maybe that. Our life is built upon the chance of maybe; the idea of possibility. And sometimes that's okay. Everyone needs a little chance in their life. But when it becomes a necessity, a way of life, that's where the line should be drawn. But it rarely is.

What will be waiting for me in the city? I don't know. Rarely do we know what our future holds and where our life will take us. I hope it's somewhere peaceful. Somewhere where I can leave a note the next time I have to make an exit into the night. Maybe what's waiting for me is truth. Brutal, honest, unbiased truth. I need some of that now. No more of the stand offs, waiting for the other person to yell first. No more lies that society incessantly shoves down our collective throats. And somehow I think I'll find this truth in the heart of lies, New York City, where people are killed every day. Maybe I'm just crazy.

Maybe not.


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