Rearview Mirror

Submitted into Contest #112 in response to: Write about a character driving in the rain.... view prompt


Drama Fiction LGBTQ+

I’ve been going about 150 for a while now, and the storm hasn't let up. This particular typhoon seems to have a different bite than usual, but no prose I could come up with could light a match to it. Instead, each water droplet continues pounding against my windshield, as I speed up to chase it. Faster, faster, faster. 

At this point I would imagine turbulence, gliding, shards of asphalt clacking against my mud flaps... but nothing. Only the ringing in my ears, and the unrelenting bombardment from the clouds assault my senses. However, the clouds themselves seem to have escaped my sight for what, hours? Hell, I haven’t even met another car yet. 

Surely it’s been 300 miles.


Five. Eight. Seven. Six. One. Two. Three. Four.

Novels. Stories. Films. Scripts. Wife. Children. Tragedies. Goddamn footprints. 

I’m grasping at straws here, what am I supposed to do? Just write? Yeah, like I’ve never done that before. Like I’ve never succeeded, or even failed for that matter, but what does it matter to you? Nobody cares what I think. I cannot turn your canvas into gold, let alone the gold mine you expect from me. Do you have any idea how long I’ve turned these pages? Any idea what sort of psychological, emotional, torrential bullshit I’ve put myself through to get you these numbers? Do you even read what I set in front of you or do you just assume by the look on my face that I am no more the genius you mistook me for? 

And no sir, your “secret to success” did not help me. I must give you this though, it didn’t give me success, but it gave me a damn good secret. 

You like that, don’t you?


I did everything I was asked to do. Everything I was told. If you said to change it, I changed it. If you asked me to rewrite, I rewrote. If you asked me to think harder, go deeper, be the man I never thought to be or wanted to be or had to be to make this bastard come to life, I did it. No matter where it took me or how it took me. You showed me everything, pretending to be by my side, why were you by my side? Did you want this? Is this the story you were looking for? Did you care? Were you there to coddle me or torture me? Maybe you were there to do both, but for you...I was there. 

For you, I became the grave robber of my own sins. In my regrets and anxieties, I searched for you. I found you. Yet you only see me, when I thought you could see through me. The way you spoke to me made me tremble. Mostly out of fear, and my own recklessness, I fell to my knees for you. I begged you for a chance, and you took me in, and in that moment, my trembling and fragility became a resonance. 

Yet now, a cacophony echoes abrim. 


I knew my value. I knew my worth. I was young, full of life, full of promise. My mind followed what my heart was leading, and I knew I would be one of the greats. I knew I could be great, John. You saw me, you could see it too. Our industry was a bunch of betting games and billiards, and I was the shot worth taking. 

We blossomed together. Few could replicate the quality of our work, and even less so could fulfill such passion and artistry through it. I just can’t stop thinking about the deals we signed, the parties we threw, the nights we spent living life knowing it could be no better and relishing the sweet scent of it. If you asked me, I couldn’t name a better man to have spent that time with. 

Until you weren’t the man I thought you were. My foolish, youthful pride took a taste of me for years just to spit me out when it wavered, and yet...

I’ve romanticized it, haven’t I?


I know. I know I found the heart to forgive you, but how could you not understand that it’s not the same as moving on? Why would you hold that against me, like it was my fault? Was it guilt, frustration? Was it me? Was my desperation too grotesque? I guess I can understand that, but you could’ve told me. You knew my work well, so you knew me. Given that, why didn’t you talk to me? I was in pain. I confided in you because of your speech, your manner, your softness. How mistaken was I? Was there something I could’ve done? Something I missed?

I wish you would’ve told me. 


They can still hear me, can’t they? How ashamed they must be. I can’t imagine their agony in seeing me like this. I’ve gone too far to have not disgraced every fading memory I have of them, yet I grasp at them. Not too long ago did they feel like yesterday. Only a small time ago could I close my eyes, and see their faces. I guess I couldn’t bear it any longer, so I drowned my sorrows in a man. The only one who could take me to a place where no ashes would choke me, and no embers would singe my skin. 

I should have searched those ashes. Maybe I would’ve found an answer. Maybe I would’ve found hope. Maybe I would’ve found the courage to mend all which had shattered to the extent of my ability. However, my actions have not reflected what should’ve been, and the man who was has now disappeared from my life without warning.

So what do I have left?


300 and counting. Going on 160. The world is rushing past me so quickly that if anyone told me I was soaring through the air, I would believe them. I was hoping to be exhilarated by this sensation, but no matter how long I’ve been at this, the only sensations I feel are the incessant beating of my heart, the pounding of the rain, and the lingering fear of what’s to come. I thought maybe this would clear my mind one way or another, but I just feel worse. Even some kind of consequence may put me at ease, or take my mind off of all else. I don’t understand how this could go on for so-

Oh. I’m here. 

I’m Home. 

I wasn’t expecting to be here. I’m really not sure where to go from here. I think I’ll just...sit here for a while. 

The rain is almost soothing. It provides me with an air of isolation, and a little pocket where I can think. I understand that time hasn’t stopped and will not stop for me, but like this, at least I can’t see that.

As the rain lightens up a small bit, I’m able to get a better look at my house. It seems more solemn than usual, somewhat like it’s been given its own pocket in space. It’s definitely the house I’ve known through all of my tribulations and held dear through all my triumphs, but somehow it looks different. Somehow, this house...

It looks like me.

September 20, 2021 00:10

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