I smile at him, as he glances over. The Sun reflecting off the lake, it’s low angle lighting up his face with a soft orange tone. I rub the pencil across the paper shading the shadows of his face, along his jaw, his eyes, and the gaps in between his teeth; they were ever so minute, yet still present to give him that warm presence about him…
He catches my gaze, smiling awkwardly he looks down, pretending to text on his phone.
I chuckle slightly under my breath, enjoying the breeze rushing through my hair, it whistles as it blows through the pines also bringing their fresh scent combined with the fresh parkland air.
This was my sanctuary, hardly anyone visited here any more; since the war this area was rarely travelled, but this suited me, in several years I had not seen anyone visit this particular spot but him, he was my company so to speak. Although we had never spoken his awkward smile always assisted the lapping of the water against the pebble beach combined with the rustling of leaves and birdsong amongst them that nature serenaded me with.
Today was an escape, I needed to breathe, to fade away from the harsh city life where everything was lived at a abnormal speed. I suppose you could say I never really understood people, gallivanting about for no absolutes.
I look up to notice that the sound of his scraping had stopped; generally he would do nothing but carve shapes and figures from the branches that had dropped from the trees above, good ones too. On the odd occasion he had left one or two for me, perched on the log behind me, awaiting me as I got up to go.
But today, there was nothing. Not even any evidence of him being there, his usual shavings that generally circled his curled up figure had disappeared.
As I got up to look further, I gasped as I noticed something that stopped my heart.
As I gathered my thoughts and fought the urge to gag. It wasn’t noticeable unless the light hit it at the right angle, the auburn leaves camouflaging with it.
Blood, a lot of it…
I struggle to see as i walk slowly through the empty streets of a dimly lit town, this is where my thoughts are collected. This is my place, i glance around, all is quiet on this wet winters night, it’s raining, i struggle to see far in front of me, i have one destination.
The lights of the houses across the road lighting a path, pointing to the distance. I love the smell of the rain, as it patters against the cold, hard concrete, an unusual smell. Bringing up many emotions, memories, happiness.
I love this weather. this is my favourite time of year, whilst it still remains cold, the warmth of my breath moving against my face whilst moving forward, keeps my spirit strong.
It rains harder, the drops getting heavier, a flash of an oncoming car’s headlights. A face in the passenger seat.
I steady myself, this hadn’t happened for a while, these hallucinations, these broken memories, flashes of the past, the future. This is what i feared most, everything was drowning out.
Running now, past lamp posts numerous amounts of lampposts, a flash of light from a broken lamp, now running through a forest, a young boy, scared for his life. Running from home, running to wherever he felt safe.
Stop! I thought to myself, CONTROL YOURSELF!
I needed peace, i needed control, i continued walking, slower in pace as to avoid any further flashes. They triggered these memories, these dreams.
Sometimes i hated this road, its quiet, cold, dark, and hard to see,
the smell of the rain on the concrete, god i loved that smell.
A sudden gasp of confusion and realisation as I realised where i was;
The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.