CW: Strong language
“So, should I end this relationship on the phone or in person? Dylan said. I saw him Jess. I saw a beard before those tinted windows rolled up and don’t give me the oh that was my dealer bullshit…you fucking kissed him.”
Little ticking sounds seized the 99’ Ford Mustang. Rain. It started off subtle and slowly gained traction; the midnight skies hiding each droplet, while the streetlights pointed them out like suspects. Dylan admired the rain, each drop surrounded him and created closure; however, he hated the circumstances that came with the innocent raindrops. This was going to be another night of sobbing inside the car- watching his mother’s bedroom window light up, as she called his phone repeatedly, only for him to text the typical words a distressed teenager used to conceal their agony from the world. I’M FINE.
“Bye Jess”, he muttered.
This had to be the longest red light. God had plans of letting him seethe in his sorrows. Each droplet overwhelmed the purring V6 engine. The night felt different for some reason. The feelings of teenage heartbreak were typical, but Dylan felt something else creeping up on his psyche. GREEN.
Dylan checked his surroundings and cautiously floored it, his steel toe boots aiding his reckless judgment. The mustang screamed through the once serene night. He truly wanted to raise hell tonight, if it already wasn’t present these days. Thoughts of his single mother calling his phone expecting a “I’m fine” text, but instead getting a call from the hospital five miles out littered his mind. If he ever perished in a senseless car accident the thin string of poise she had left would snap with ease; She would deteriorate in some mental hospital, where no one would visit her, why? - Cause the only child that didn’t bail on her during her treatment years would be six feet under. Both souls lost… Lonely.
Dylan released his foot off the gas pedal and pulled into a convenience store lot. “Remember, deep breathes,” he told himself. He shut his car off and just sat. Mind blanketed by the sound of rain fall, but eyes still alert. He monitored the occasional people opening the storefront door, letting the fluorescent vivid light play peek a boo with the darkness that lurk outside. Dylan noticed a homeless man plead near the door, the glowing light peered through the store front window and showcased his paint-stained jacket, scruffy grey beard, and soaked cardboard sign. People just kept walking by; Ignoring his pleads, some even cursing him out. How can human beings be so ruthless? Tranquility and humanity are kicked to the side, while evil gets to play on the playground. These were the morbid thoughts that fought Dylan on sour nights like this. Dylan opened his car door and was hit by a crisp air, followed by small pellets of water tapping his pale face. The homeless man looked in his direction. He saw Dylan shuffling in his pockets and felt a blessing was coming his way. Dylan not prepared for the sudden rain, placed a shirt from his backseat on his head. He jogged towards the elderly man. To add to his already shitty night, he stepped in a pothole that almost shattered his ankle. The man looked down as Dylan was in a few
“Hey man I see all these people…you know walking by you and shit, I think they could have at least acknowledged your presence. I have this 20-dollar bill for you…hopefully you can get a meal and a drink from it”
“Thank you so much…you…you are truly god’s gift,” the man replied.
Dylan entered the store, and his eyes were immediately struck by the lights along the ceiling; its’ as if someone let off a flashbang. This night was a perfect thriving environment for his demons. The addiction he’s been working so hard to kick was finally creeping up on him He sweet talked an older lady into buying him cigs. She was reluctant at first, because she could sense innocence behind that broken soul.
“Here’s the cash for it,” Dylan says.
This wasn’t his first rodeo with deceiving others, if he wasn’t a decent human being he would be a con man for the rest of his life. Dylan exited the store content, but lost. Lost in a terrible nightmare, that tugged at his psyche. This was indeed his Hollywood moment. Fresh air and a pack of cigs on a frigid raining midnight.
Dylan stood where the homeless man was once standing. There was a liquor store across the street; He assumed the worse, but still felt satisfied for his good deed. The familiar sweet tobacco smoke whiffing back and forth in the rain calmed Dylan. He watched different cars pull in and out of the lot, but he focused on one vehicle.
It was the same tinted window car…
At that moment Dylan went through every emotion. He threw his cig into a puddle and rushed back to his car. He watched the car make a right out of the lot as he fumbled with his keys. The mustang awoke from its slumber and was put into drive. Let the cat and mouse games begin. Dylan was two car lengths behind, while stopping at a red light and letting it go through he could make out a silhouette in the passenger seat.
“Really Jess, I’m going to fucking catch you this time,” he said.
At this point Dylan put the law in his back-pocket. The streetlight was too long to wait for, he needed to catch her or this “what if” moment would eat him alive. He sped through the red light, the itching feeling of catching her made him crazed. Dylan was again within two car lengths; he kept that distance so it wouldn’t be obvious he was stalking the tinted car.
The drive was drawn out and mentally draining, where were they going, he wondered? The rain grew desperate, and the showers were now accompanied by thunder.
It pulled over…
Four car lengths behind, Dylan pulled over onto the side of the road. How could they have possibly noticed me, heavy showers like this would distort any car in the rearview mirror he thought. Dylan took a second to admire the greenery and beautiful infrastructure that surrounded the street. This was something his welding job couldn’t afford. Each lawn was clean cut, and raindrops decorated each green strand. It was a beautiful sight.
Two bodies exited the car and one of them walked towards the driver side. Dylan watched as the two bodies conversed near the middle of the street. He flicked on his headlights and put the car in drive…
Slowly he rolled down the street like a cheetah stalking a helpless antelope. The two people didn’t know notice him. Dylan sped up a little more to give the impression he was either a delivery driver or someone who was lost. He was now close enough that he could identify the two individuals. He nearly y pressed on the brakes when he noticed the homeless man from the store laughing with the man that he believes has been seeing his girlfriend. The homeless man suddenly ripped off his beard and took off the stained jacket. Dylan heard one of them yell “yeah, he gave me twenty” as he rolled on by. He kept the same speed until he got to the end of the street, and he made a left.
He understood what he just witnessed. He got duped for his money. He gave the world a chance and it defecated on his humanitarian efforts once again. He just became numb while driving down a lonely street. The rain subsided and he was now getting phone calls from his mother.
Dylan made a U-turn in the middle of the street. His mind wandered into a very dark place. This place was unknown to him, but he could only identify with hatred at that moment. He made a right onto the street with the two individuals. They were both still near the middle of the street. Laughing, prancing; all while this young man in a mustang was feeling the burdens of the world on his shoulders. Dylan approached slowly…
He slammed the gas pedal and jolted in his seat. The car outroared the thunder. He closed his eyes and felt his car shudder. He reopened his eyes to see his windshield had shattered in various places. A red drop trickled down the cracks of the glass. Dylan looked in his rearview to see two bodies lay lifeless in the middle of the street. His phone lit up the interior of his car. It was a message from his mother.
“ON MY WAY”