Those Smoky Eyes

Her eyes were dark and smoky. His eyes were dazed and glazed. His senses dulled.
He couldn’t remember the last time he felt something real, not fabricated within the illusion
reflected by the clouds of drug induced haze. He knew he had to get out. Get out of this rut
he called “living”, drenched in booze and drugs, oozing in and out of his system. There was no peace, no serenity to hold him there. All there was for him was chaos, unhappiness—addiction.
That one word.
That one word he had heard so much about. He was warned again, and again, but he didn’t listen. He was hooked. It wasn’t even just the drugs; it was everything about the life. He had made some permanent rose coloured glasses with his deep-fried brain. He slept on an old futon mattress on the floor in sheets soaked in sweat, booze, and sex. He lived the life of the delinquent, but felt like a king.
He needed to get out, but there she was in all her glory. Her skin aglow with the dim lighting from the street light coming through the window. She was truly beautiful. As sailors fell for the sirens and crashed upon the deadly rocks, he fell for her. Her leading him deeper and deeper into her brown eyes, deeper and deeper in to his pit of despair.
He sat up on the edge of the mattress on the floor. He held his head in his hands. He knew what he had to do. But he didn’t want to go, he knew it was right. It is going hurt. The rustling of the sheets behind him began to move—the girl who he had thought he could love forever. Why did he have to do this again?
More moving brought him from his thoughts and spurred him into action. He stood up and put on his clothes. He had everything on when she asked him where he was going. “It has been good, but we can’t do this anymore.”
He couldn’t see her face but he knew what it looked like. The streams of tears caught the only light in the room, fragile crystals that weren’t supposed to be seen. He wished he hadn’t looked.
“I’m sorry… Peace.”
It felt like ripping off a huge piece of duct tape stuck on leg hair, but now it was okay. There was a weight that was lifted. His heart was broken and shattered, but it has released his soul to roam free. He left the apartment, into a building of many years of memories. He turned and went down the steps that always smelt a bit off and through the doors onto the stoop.
He shoved his hands into his pockets to protect them from the crisp morning air. He searched through his pockets: wallet, lighter, phone, joint, earbuds. He took out his earbuds and plugged himself in. It was almost time for the sun to rise. He hit play. As the guitars and drums began to blare into his ear, he began to walk. Leaving the memories behind him. It was cold. He should have worn more the night before. He wasn’t headed home quite yet either. He needed to see the sun rise and he knew exactly where.
He walked down to the mudflats and walked along a dyke. Farther and farther away from the town in the light darkness of early dawn. He didn’t reach his destination until the sky began to warm up with the beginning rays of sun. It was a rock he had walked out to his first year there. That version of him would have so many questions, he would not be able to answer any of them. He knew he really wouldn’t change anything. You can’t deny who you are, you just have to change it. At least, he knew that now. He was so different, but nothing really had changed. It was funny like that.
The sun rose slowly above the dark earth illuminating the farm fields with soft pink light. A new dawn, the same old, same old, so he took out the stale joint he had in his pocket, and he lit it.

Chris McEwen

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