Dreams of Spain

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 14, 2016

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Submitted: August 14, 2016



He was not sure of why he was even having this argument, but something in him told him he was right. “Why are you drinking anyway,” he asked in his confused way. She could only stare at him. As he looked at her, he could see that no matter what he thought, or how he felt, that he would lose this. She was determined, as any young woman would be, that she was in the right and there was no changing her mind about it.

She continued to sip at her beer, barely enjoying it, but stuck in her own obstinacy to prove to him that it was her choice, and her choice alone that mattered here. “Everyone is doing it. We mind as well start,” she would tell him. That day, the joy ran from his face. The girl he thought was the world and all the stars had told him what he feared most. That when it came down to being popular or being herself, that she would choose popularity and fitting in. For him, it was the end of innocence.

Grudgingly turning into himself, he saw the world in its entirety. He saw the price of admission being his own self-respect, and he saw the girl he loved endorsing the sale of it. He saw what he deemed to be his most admirable qualities being sold at the market, not even to the highest bidder. He could not help but fear what this path would lead to. Whether it would be the beginning of the end as his worst nightmares had played out for him over the years, or whether he would be cast out from the most important of circles of friends that he had come to call home. What was worse, he thought that by staying true to his convictions that he would lose “her” and that was not a pain he could stomach again.

The last few years had taught him the hard lesson of sticking to his convictions would lead him isolation and loneliness, and that was something that he refused to contend with. But what he did not know then, was that “sell out” point would also lead to the same end result. Even conforming to what he deemed was necessary to keep “her” would be the same thing that would lose “her.”

As he looked on, desperate to gain her approval, but terrified of the consequences, he sipped his first beer. The taste was bitter, strong and full. Her eyes flickered with surprise that he would actually do it, while his face flushed with disgust at the lack of his own backbone. He fought to hide his reaction in another gulp of the drink, but he could feel her eyes examining him as a coroner would examine his client; analyzing every minor detail as if it played into the larger story of his life. He had joined the “party” and his dignity had been sold at a discount. For that he would seldom forgive himself. But what was worse, more than he could ever admit, was his enjoyment of it all.

The drink, while bitter, had awakened in him a thirst. A thirst he never thought he had, and could have never imagined in his wildest dreams. Long from this day, and even longer still, that thirst could not be quenched. Not by the strongest of drinks and not by the tastiest. He would find that not only did he enjoy it, but would grow a dependence on it. In that dependence, he would lose more than just his dignity, but also the parts of him he held dear. But regardless of his choice that night, he would invariably lose “her” too.

© Copyright 2018 Gustav S. Kemp. All rights reserved.

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