Empty Streets

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Thoughts of a man walking alone in the city streets

Submitted: November 09, 2015

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Submitted: November 09, 2015



Early morning. The sun is about to rise and he’s walking alone in the streets of a city that still feels foreign to him even though he’s been living in it for quite some time now. In these moments of silence, thoughts of different kinds invade his head but they all stem from the absence of her.

As he walks alone, he realizes that he is not happy and he hasn’t been so for quite some time now. Yes, he has had a couple of moments during which he has had a couple of laughs but they were not the same as before. Something was lacking. The laughter did not stem from his heart. It had become simply a neurological process, much like the faint laughter after listening to a joke which you have already heard before, and had no feeling attached to it.

He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt genuinely happy. Satisfaction felt like a distant memory to him and the memories of the last time a smile came genuinely to him were lost amidst the thoughts of constant despair. The people surrounding him now, probably thought he was doing fine because they couldn’t see through the façade of alcohol and smoking that he had put up in an attempt to try and erase the past that haunted him. He had wanted to start anew but no matter how much he lied to the world, the truth in his heart could not be changed. He was unhappy. The intoxication and money wasted into buying fancy clothes was just his attempt at reinitiating life but with all the money in the world he could not get the only one thing he truly craved for; the one he loved.

As he walked the streets alone he realized that he was still very much in love with her. He wanted to be together with her once again even if for just a while. He did not miss the relationship itself as much as the connection he had had with her. It had been something unlike anything else before. The mutual understanding, the inexplicable joy in his heart at the sight of her, the hopeful outlook on life they both had given to each other and the way they could talk about anything and everything was like nothing that he had experienced before. With her by his side he felt invincible and understood.  Everything seemed feasible and the world seemed much brighter than ever before. In those times of joy, there were no worries for him for they were drowned by her intoxicating scent and the sense of infinity that dominated the moments that they spent together.

The more he walked alone, the more he realized how much he missed her. He missed seeing her; he missed having her by his side; he missed hugging her; and he missed looking at her eyes; her big blue eyes. But, what he missed the most, was talking to her. He would give the world for just another conversation with her like the ones he had had with her in the past. He missed having someone who would listen to him and understand how he felt. He missed talking to her about every aspect of his life. He missed the old her.

He wasn’t sure as to whether he wanted a new relationship with her for he was insecure about how things would be now. He doubted things could ever be like they had been. The time and setting had been perfect. The universe had been in tune to help cherish and flourish their relationship but now she had changed so much and had almost become a stranger to him. The only things he had left of her were the photographs in his cell phone where they were both smiling and happy. They were the last remaining proof that anything between them had ever happened.

He did not know why he looked at those photographs. Most of the time, it was because he stumbled upon them while looking at the other pictures in his phone gallery but he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t stop staring at the others after seeing the first one. Maybe it was the nostalgia, or maybe the sense of false hope that things could be the same once again. Maybe it was to simply reassure himself that all those memories in his head had actually happened and that in the past she might have loved him. That was the only relieving thought in his head while looking at those photographs that portrayed a time which felt so distant, that it felt like it had never existed. After looking at the photographs he would usually feel sick and not able to do anything, so he would sleep in an attempt to forget her. He never did forget her, but at least he could now sleep, unlike those summer days spent in bed trying for hours to sleep but to no avail, for thoughts of her and death traveled across his head relentlessly.

On that morning, the memories of her had rushed in his head once again because of a picture he saw. She had grown, and was about to graduate, and he felt a sense of relief to see that she was becoming a woman but felt pain at the thought that he could not be there, near her, to congratulate her and witness first-hand her growth. He could imagine himself sitting on a chair, feeling immensely proud while looking at her walking towards the headmaster who would hand her the diploma, but things weren’t meant to be so for him. The only thing he had left was hope.

Amidst all the despair and sadness there was a faint hope much like a flickering light which struggled to stay alive, but still succeeded in doing so. It was that hope that had kept him alive and even though small, it was enough to hold the sadness at bay even if only for a while. In his heart, he always hoped that she would return to him and she would love him once again. He hoped that he would be the man of her dreams and the one who would make her happy and with whom she’d want to spend her life with. He hoped that the promises they had made to each other would one day become true. He truly hoped for those things. He just didn’t know when and if those things would ever come true. All he could do was wait.

Many times he had felt like writing letters to her but he would be stopped by the idea that she would laugh at them and his desperation, and that the letters wouldn’t do much good. Nevertheless, the feeling of writing letters never died and he felt it again in those moments of walking alone through the city streets. The words were rushing through his mind but he could not write them down. Even if he could, they would be useless for like other letters before, they would just get lost in some part of his computer without her ever reading them.

It was painful for him not to be able to express his feelings. For some strange reason it hurt him to not be able to openly express what he felt and that was another thing he missed about her. He had never been afraid of telling her how he felt. He had released every ounce of his love upon her without the slightest amount of fear or doubt for he believed in their love and never thought that it would end.

But, those times were gone and he had now reached his house. As he slid the key and opened the door, he ran into the room, turned on the laptop and wrote whatever he had thought of throughout those 15 minutes of walking early in the morning in the lonely streets of that city that felt foreign to him even though he had been living there for quite some time now.

© Copyright 2019 Jonathan Pilika. All rights reserved.

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