Clouds move across the sky with the wind like a late traveler rushing to catch the last midnight train to nowhere. I sat beneath the bending tree branches watching them like a homeless vagabond at the station, quiet as the still seas. They move past the stagnant half-moon changing shapes and constantly evolving. Like the smoke they are. Soon enough, I was looking at an empty sky with the exception of a few lonely stars. I guess the moon had grown tired of being stagnant. Being predictable. Following a laid out steady pattern, so it had packed up and left. I could not blame her however. How could I.
Contrary to shaped opinion and stereotypes, I was not meditating about my life. A lone figure under the trees, burning his lungs a stick at a time. I was not thinking about the future and neither was I reminiscing about a distant past. As a matter of fact, I was almost insanely blank. I lit a second cigarette and try to occupy my mind with some thought. Anything at all. Because history has proven that I may not be safest with an empty mind. It is a futile task to say the least. Regardless of countless flying sparks of formless thought in my head, I am frustratingly starved of permanence. There is too much and there is nothing at all, all at the same time. I almost think that slowly by slowly, I am ceasing to exist. Strangely (or not) I don’t seem to mind.
Halfway through that Dunhill stick, I devise a plan. I try to focus on why I left my room. Why am I out here in middle of the night in fierce combat with the relentless cold? It lights up the front of my mind even before I finish thinking up another metaphor to describe the cold. I hoped I’d run into her. However, if anyone stopped to ask, I’d say that my roommate is not comfortable with my chimney like habits. Or that I wasn’t feeling up to the fictional party tearing up my room on this Friday night. However, it is her I was hoping to see in this cold. Why the ungodly hour? Well, I know she likes to take long midnight walks around the school alone. With her earphones plugged in and a grey beanie that may or may not be mine covering her neat bundle of hair. I know she gazes upon the moon at lonely spots such as this one on her free nights. I know it would probably be Ed Sheeran playing in those earphones, nursing the brokenness she hides inside so well. How do I know this last part? For one, it is the only explainable reason why I am so damn attracted to her.
See, like fire has got unparalleled affinity to oxygen, I have got some magnet in me that drags me towards sadness. Something that senses the deepest scars in people and bends over backwards to follow in their path. And it’s not the nurse kind of instinct that wants to help the infected or the injured. No. It’s like the flea kind of infatuation with open wounds. I just want to bury myself in their pain and find out if it will destroy me over and over again. I do not want to mend her torn heart or her bruised bones. I do not want to nurse her back health. I want to sit on a hard park bench with her in winter and pick apart the stitches to expose the still fresh pains underneath. I want to listen to her talk about how he left, she left, and they left. How she cried and drowned in her tears and how she vowed to never let anyone in again. I want to watch as she breaks to pieces in front of my eyes and feel that crippling agony with her, as if it were my own. And I will scoop her in my arms and promise that it would all be okay. That her scars were beautiful to me, her burnt soul glorious in my dark night. It is a sickness, I know. A dangerous addiction. But it is a sickness that keeps me alive. As the twist of fate would have it however, I know that it is what will be the death of me, eventually.
So I sit still with only stares and glances shifting between the thin fog and the phone by my side. Then, for the thousandth time that night I look at her picture and read her status, if it might give me a clue of where to find her. Where between the realms of inappropriate humour and dark Gothic culture she could be hiding. I detect nothing, instead, just a tiny little hint that maybe she wishes that out here somewhere, there is someone looking for her. A short wave of warmth washes over me for a second.
Ready your scars and tear down your walls baby, I’m coming.