Cigarettes and Lyrics

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


I wrote this little story as an assignment in grade 12 and for some reason it has stuck with me. I've tweaked it a little over the years but it's pretty much still the original. It was inspired by
a few lines of song lyrics, which are included in the story.

Submitted: September 10, 2018

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Submitted: September 10, 2018

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_These words are burning inside of me, spent years in liquid harmony_

I haven't spoken to anyone in years. Not because I can't, not because I'm shy or scared, but because I have absolutely nothing to say to anyone around here. It started with them having nothing to say to me. All throughout elementary school I was blown off and ignored. By the time I got to high school, I was done trying to play the social hierarchy game, so I quit. I gave them what they wanted. They don't speak to me, I don't speak to them. Music is my only communication now. The lyrics understand what no one else does. They speak for me. It’s all I have left at this point.

It was late, and the city was tired. Everyone had their lights off, save for the odd night owl consumed by insomnia. The street lights were mostly in disrepair, casting the streets into near darkness. The motionless fog was sitting just above the ground as if it were a child seated on a chair, their growing legs not quite long enough to reach the floor. I breathed in the cold night air and took a slow look around. I had a sudden eerie feeling that I was standing in a ghost town. That the houses were not only dark but empty. The image of Freddy Krueger flashed through my mind, running through the fictitious streets of his victims’ dreams, in pursuit of their life; wanting them dead. I couldn’t stand there any longer. I sighed and put out my cigarette before hastily making my way home.

I lay in bed that night unable to sleep, the haunting image of Freddy Krueger still sitting behind my eyes. I couldn't help but think that this town was kind of like good old Freddy. It was tearing us all apart from the inside out. The difference between me and everyone else? I actually cared. Everyone else just walked around like zombies, mindless and not caring, unaware of everything.

 

_And when your self is all you have left, with what will you fill your emptiness? _

 

The next morning I found myself standing outside again, this time across the street from the one and only medium of escape from this hell that they call a city: the bus stop. I'd contemplated getting on the bus before, but I'd never had the guts. Whether it was by fate or coincidence I'll never know, but it was at the very moment I was thinking about this that I felt a sudden shove from behind.

"Hey, look, Brad, it's the silent loser!" Was what I heard as I turned around, only to be greeted with the jeering face of the one person I detested the most. I forcefully undid the zipper on my pocket, taking out my iPod and sticking my headphones in my ears as my response.

"Yeah, not that it's a surprise right Pete? No one wants to talk to someone who only talks to himself. You know they say that's the first sign of insanity?" He didn't even wait for a response before he burst out laughing, both of them taking off down the street, staggering into each other and mumbling incoherently.

Already drunk before noon, I pitied them. I really did. It's funny because both of their fathers are veterans. Pete is tending bars right out of high school and Brad is his most frequent customer. A sign of a deteriorating generation if you ask me. If I really was going insane, then I'd welcome the insanity with open arms. If this town's residents are the sane ones, then I want no part of it.

The short, simple, drunken exchange with Brad and Pete would have been nothing on any other day, yesterday even, but suddenly it felt like so much more. It would never change. This is how it was going to be. This was life here, and I could take it or leave it. I looked down at my cigarette, realizing that I didn't even want to be smoking it. I did it because that was the norm around here. This town was getting to me, slowly killing me. I looked from the cigarette to the bus stop, and back again.

Before I could stop myself, I threw the stupid cigarette on the ground, dramatically stomped it out, and marched across the street and into the station. I walked up to the counter and didn’t even wait for the lady working the counter to say anything.

“I’ll take a one-way ticket please,” I said, almost jumping at the sound of my own voice.

"Where to sir?" She asked, in a bored monotone.

"Doesn't matter," I said with finality.

 

_I grew from those who hate me, Cigarettes and Lyrics made me_

 

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