Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

very good beginning. Captures the readers attention and interest.

Alex Makridakis Alex Makridakis
Recommendations: 6

I think you could even end the story right here. It's almost a poem in its snappy delivery and penchant for brooding thoughts.

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

"tares" should be "tears"

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

Try "reclaim" instead of "reclaim".

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

"...a now empty booth littered with recently..."

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

I might be missing something but as I read it you left your phone behind two paragraphs ago so unless you have another you would not be able to retrieve it from your pocket. Unless by leaving your phone you meant that you abandoned all interest in it. Sorry to sound pedantic but it seemed a slight anomaly. Probably not important.

Jordan Hewitt Jordan Hewitt
Recommendations: 13

In the first paragraph I halted, wheeled around and reclaimed my phone.

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

o after t. "...waiting for my companion to come to me."

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Jordan Hewitt Jordan Hewitt
Recommendations: 13

Routine


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She had a friend.

I sit here and wait. Midnight in a slowly decaying waffle house. A time where the restless convene on one fading beacon in the lonely night. My pen scratches away at a cheap notebook. The first page of many. An empty slate. A new beginning. Everything has a beginning. A movie. A story. A cup of coffee. A dollar bill. A life. But can I tell my story from the beginning? No. I don't know exactly where my existence began. I don't know the exact  moment my molecules aligned and began forming a life.  I may have ideas, but I don't know for sure. I cant. I never will and neither will you. No. You will know this moment. This point in my life. This sad lonely point of my monotonous life. You may catch a glimpse of the past. A brief moment in my history. But never the beginning. Only now. 2 comments



I sip the black instant coffee. A cheap staple of this establishment I call home. I have a book with me. An excuse to be alone. To take up space and refuse to leave. I don't consider myself a reader. I don't have any desire to read. I desire an excuse. Although I may be alone, I truly am not. I'm surrounded by other night owls. The human instinct to group together takes over and we collect. I sit in my booth, face the door. Wait to see who stumbles through it next. I wait for a new friend. Someone to connect with. Someone to remove this loneliness. To fill that void that we all posses. To find a companion to lead me through my brief existence. Someone to lean on when times get tough. Someone to lead when they fall behind. A mutual connection. A mutual understanding.



You see, I’ve created a persona. A lifestyle. The ladies man. The suave heart stopper. The king of one night stands. The soulless gentleman. My boys see me as the fearless leader into the unknown world of women. They see me as someone I’m not. They think I don't fear rejection, but I do. I fear that my outreach of an olive branch and attempt of human connection will be snuffed out and my loneliness brought back to my attention. But don't worry, I’ll always know its there.



So I still wait. An observer of the world around me. Waiting for a companion to approach me. Wait in the same place each lonely night. Letting each passing moment fade away into my past. Waiting for her to approach. Waiting for her to come to me.



Waiting.



=@=


I look up from my notebook and refresh the knowledge of my surroundings. Not much has changed. Except for a church group of approximately thirty-five young women taking up the adjacent side of the diner. Unfortunately all too young for me. A shame. No one to battle my loneliness tonight. At least not yet.



They are together. A pack of wild humans. Tethered together by their instinct. Lead about by a few lone shepherds. The authority figures. The wiser. The adults. Three to four volunteers. They occupy the booth behind me. Still in safe distance of their little lambs. They are trusted. Trusted by the creators of these little sheep. Trusted to keep them together. Trusted to keep them safe from the big bad wolf.



No I am not a wolf. I am not a predator. Simply a black sheep observing the next generation. I spot the future black sheep. Their grey wool turning darker as they age. As they learn who they are. As their peers learn who they are. Lucky for them, they have each other. Four little sheep creating bonds with each other. Forming bonds that will one day be put to the test as the rest of the herd begins to turn against them. Weed out those who are not like the others. Purify the flock and conform to the eyes of their peers.



This progress begins young. Early. The elders understand and attempt to combat this darwinistic process. Group all the sheep together so they can’t reject each other. But natural selection has other plans. Instinct is an unstoppable force. For even before exile begins, the outcasts know their place. Society conditions them subconsciously. Teaches them what an outcast looks like. What one feels like. What one thinks like.



So the unwanted begin to become self aware. They feel alone even with company. They fiddle with their hands. Tug at the ends of their sleeves. Bite their tongues. Nervously look around. See who’s watching. Paranoid someone will notice. Notice which one is not like the others. Find the black sheep and remove them from the herd. Remove their life line. Their link to humanity. They become so paranoid, that no one has to do the dirty work. They remove themselves. All it takes is a little push. A sly comment. An insult. Betrayal. Any little reassurance that they are who they think they are. An outcast. 1 comment



Like me.



=@=



My bladder screams at me. The coffee flavored water tares through my system. Only an hour before each consumed ounce demands to be released. I stand up and leave my notebook. My novel. My empty cup. My phone. I begin my short journey to the restroom before I halt, wheel around, and re claim my phone. My electronic lifeline to the world beyond my immediate vicinity. The only reassurance of a world beyond what I can see. 2 comments



I return to my simple goal of reaching the bathroom. Each step takes me past a now empty booth. Littered with recently used plates. Scraps of food and half consumed beverages join the chaos. The only remaining evidence of the recently departed flock. I reach the final booth then hang a left. I enter a small corridor and pass through the door labeled “MEN”. I close the abused metal barrier and lock it into place. I relieve myself into a porcelain dish and flush my strangely clear urine into an uncharted abyss. I walk to the chipped mirror and observe myself. An observer observing an observer. Strange. I re adjust a few loose strands of dirty blonde hair. Tuck them back in line with their brothers to form a hairstyle similar to that of a politicians. Proper. Formal. Attractive. 1 comment



My skin is pale. Littered with the occasional blemish. The curse of oily pores. My lips are cracked. Absent of the sweet accompaniment of a woman's kiss for quite some time now. my eyes scan my body, fairly muscular but losing its definition. My lack of motivation to physically exert myself is beginning to take its toll. Then I lock eyes with myself. Dark blue circles fix on themselves. Yellowish orbs with red veins hold these blue oasis’ in a suspended state. They say the eyes are the gateway to the soul. But what if I see nothing? Are the gates closed? Or do I lack a soul? I must have a soul. Everyone does right? Otherwise I wouldn't exist. Right? Right? I grasp my lifeline and yank it from my pocket. I activate the screen and unlock my source of information. 1-9-9-6. The year I was born. I tap the image of an open envelope. I scroll to the name ‘Jessica Benton’. The closest person to a companion I have. I tap her name. I use the image of a keyboard to toss out a sentence. 2 comments



“Are you awake?” I ask. I send my electronic mail.



Maybe she will read this. Read this tonight and reply to me. Re-assure that a world exists out there and I’m not alone. I’m reaching out to my fellow black sheep.



I wait.



No reply.



She’s asleep. Safe from the darkness of the night and a wandering mind. But I’m not. I return to my booth. Everything as I left it. A safety zone. The waitress re-fills my empty cup. I return to the warm soothing liquid. Calming my racing mind just enough to begin my writing once again.



My brain begins a war with itself. Adjacent to me one of the booths are occupied once again. A lone man sits. Facing the door. He sits. Shaved head. White tank top. Motionless. Emotionless. He sits, waiting for food. His food. As he sits he observes. His wheels turn inside his head and he processes thoughts.



I watch him. When he turns to watch me, a simple shift  of his eyes, I return to my notebook. My conscience tells me to join him. Find friendship. Learn what he’s thinking. But I don't. Instead I watch him eat. Watch him leave. An observer.



My war ends as the opportunity ends. I remain alone waiting for my companion to come t me. Waiting for that soft voice to ask me what I’m writing. To take interest in me and make me feel whole. To interrupt my racing mind and tether me back to reality. But still, she doesn't come to me. So I read once again. I find my reality doesn't satisfy me, so I return to one that does. 1 comment



A reality created by another author. Created by a brilliant mind, a different soul. Another independent thinker. A source of proof that a world exists beyond what I see.



=@=


Its three A.M. and the house is empty. Or at least empty of consumers. Empty except for myself and a lone waitress. The late night crowd has come and gone. My hopes of finding my companion gone as well. All that remains is gentle hum of the freezer and the soft scratching of my pen.



The novel I’m reading has reached a stopping point. Eighty pages later and my urge to write returns. My mind secured in a sane state once again by the text of another’s imagination. Another world created by the simple combinations of letters and symbols. Another world I wouldn't mind visiting. Character’s shoes I wouldn't mind filling. Lives I wouldn't mind living. Why? Because I would have a script to follow. Guidelines on who I would be. An explanation on how to live. A life without the restrictions of my own, but restrictions foreign to me. A different way to live. A way to break free from my shell and try something new. Live life a different way. Live life to fulfill a purpose. To complete a goal. Complete a story before I return back to normal. Return to routine.


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Next: Avery King Chapter Two