Uncovering the Past
A crisp autumn breeze crept up on a tiny framed, lone figure sitting with her arms behind her, holding the top half of her body up. The woman, dressed in a simple black sweater and jeans, suddenly shivered slightly as she pulled herself forward and sat cross-legged, staring up at the sky, admiring the luminescence of the moon. She had found her favorite spot here quite some years ago, and had been coming here every day since she had moved to her apartment. But oh, how she especially loved coming here at night when the autumn air was just beginning to nip at her skin and everything was silent. It gave her a sense of comfort, she loved to be alone on nights like these, where no one was around to bother her and she could be left to her thoughts.
She slowly began to rise, calling it in for the night. Lifting up her cell-phone she checked the time
“2:30 already?” She whispered to herself and began her fifteen minute commute back to her apartment.
It wasn't an elaborate place to live in, but she had the basic comforts that she needed. Even though she did not have much, she did personalize the interior to her liking, putting Christmas lights on the walls to give the rooms a cozy ambient glow.
Walking down the sidewalk to the exit of the park, she sped up her pace. As much as she loved taking her night walks, she was extra alert and very afraid of someone trying to grab her or go after her. She had had too many encounters like that before she moved. It didn’t help that she was already terrified of men. She trusted her friends, who ironically were mostly men, but anyone new that she met, she feared them and their intentions.
“I should get myself a dog, maybe then I wouldn’t be so lonely and scared walking back home every time.” She once again whispered to herself.
She had a made a habit of talking to herself when she was walking alone, it gave her time to organize her thoughts, which always seemed to be jumbled and raced through her head constantly. The racing thoughts were one of the symptoms of her depression. You see, on the outside she looked perfectly fine, and always faked a smile, but behind it, it was empty, and so were her eyes. Not many would be able to tell, but if you took the time to observe her, you could see how much pain she was in on a daily basis.
That pain, she didn’t know how to stop, only how to numb it briefly. She would usually resort to drinking excessively until she passed out or puked it all up, another one of her poisons was smoking, though, she had picked that up as a young teenager. The next temporary solution to numbness was starving herself. She had always struggled with her weight, but she found that the amount of control she had was the only thing she really could control.
Walking up the steps of her apartment, she stopped momentarily and looked out across the street where a line of shops were still lit, she saw a figure of a man leaning against the wall smoking a cigarette, he was dressed in black and had seemingly rock-star like hair.
“What are you doing out on my street at this time? Hm. Never seen you here before.” She pondered quietly, and quickly made her way into her home.
“Well he did look pretty damn cool. Wonder what’s he’s doing out here at this time of night.” She thought to herself. With a sigh, she reminded herself that men wanted nothing more than to use her for sex, if she wanted it or not. She knew better than to trust a man.
Sighing once again, she stripped off her constricting jeans and top, and found a nice pair of loose sweats, and a thin long sleeve shirt. Creeping under her covers she closed her eyes and prayed for a dreamless sleep, hoping that she would not relive her nightmare over again.
Morning light bled through the windows of the room, making the sleeping girl’s eyes flutter open. With a yawn, she stretched out her arms and legs, getting up slowly to take a shower and get ready for the mundane day ahead. She planned on buying a few box meals, and perhaps finding a new outfit, and she wanted to look at the local animal shelter. She was far too lonely to be left to her thoughts, they crippled her mentally and physically. Maybe a dog could keep her company.
Walking out the door, she decided to stop at the local coffee shop to wake herself up, she was never a morning person. Plus she was such a frequent customer. They knew her name and order as soon as she walked in, which also means that she gets a discount. Smiling to herself she set on her way to the end of her street, and crossed to the other side, walking in the shop ringing the tiny bells on the door.
A happy face behind the counter greeted her with a giant grin.
“Black coffee with double espresso shots, Jess?” The girl behind the counter asked, or rather took a wild guess as that’s what she always ordered.
“You know it! Thank you!” She smiled back warmly and took her coffee to the outside patio, sitting down and letting her legs stretch out in front of her, getting lost in her thoughts as she took a sip, and lit up a cigarette.
“You look like you’re mad at the world.”
Jess suddenly jumped slightly, and was brought out of her thoughts. She looked up and saw a man dressed in black skinny jeans with rips, and a leather jacket. His long, layered, black hair framing his face, with sunglasses covering his eyes.
She went wide eyed a bit. Startled by how close he was standing to her. She quickly folded her arms across her chest and slightly leaned away so he wouldn’t notice. She couldn’t trust men.
“Oh! Sorry! Um, I was just thinking, I tend to look mad when I space out. I swear it’s just my face.” She laughed nervously, still putting on a tiny smile. Looking up at him and then quickly looking down at the table.
She heard him move a chair out from across her and take a seat.
“Is this seat taken? And trust me there’s nothing wrong with your face.” He said winking, with a bit of a smirk on his face.
“Uh, no…you can, uh, sit there if you want to.” She stuttered quietly. Playing with her hands still looking down, ignoring what came after the question. She couldn’t believe something like that.
“Why thank you pretty lady.” He smirked once again and took off his sunglasses and held his hand out introducing himself.
She looked at him, trying to calm her nerves, she’d always have anxiety talking to strangers, let alone a man. She smiled and shook his hand despite her nerves.
“Well it’s nice to meet you Jess. Now may I ask why you were spacing out, you looked lonely and angry?”
She shifted nervously, still keeping to herself and distancing her body from him, even from across the table. He seemed to notice because he had a slightly curious expression on his face.
“Oh, I was just thinking about certain things, that’s all.” She smiled quickly, hoping he wouldn’t question her more of it. She didn’t need people to know what constantly haunted her thoughts when she was alone. He looked at her skeptically, but decided not to press on because of how uncomfortable she looked. He simply tilted his head to the side and sat back in his chair.
“Am I making you uncomfortable?” He questioned simply.
Her eyes widened a bit, taken by surprise. No one she talks to ever calls her out on it.
“Oh um…not really…” She trailed off unconvincingly. Shifting her eyes down to her cup. Trying to shift the subject quickly, she questions him.
“So, where are you from, if you don’t mind me asking that is…I just haven’t seen you around before…”
He looks at her, surprised by her politeness, she seems so apologetic, and he wonders why that is.
“I just moved down here a few days ago actually, I haven’t really gotten the chance to look around much.”
Her head perks up a bit.
“Oh really, no wonder I haven’t seen you before…well aside from yesterday night.”
He looked at her surprised. He didn’t think that she had seen him. Truth was that he saw her in the park that night, and was briefly watching her. He thought that she was gorgeous, but he didn’t want to freak her out, she looked scared enough as it was walking at night. He noted how skittish she seemed talking to her, he couldn’t help but wonder what she was so afraid of. Surely it couldn’t be him, he’d introduced himself to her after all.
“Oh? You saw me? Yeah I went out for a quick smoke last night actually.” He said laughing a bit. Smiling a rather charming smile.
“So, would it be weird if I asked you to show me around town? You’re actually the first person that I’ve really spoken to here. Plus I wouldn’t mind the gorgeous company.”
She raised her eyebrow at that comment, she never believed that she was pretty, not in the slightest. She hated herself too much. Though she smiled a bit, not having heard a complement in a long time. The last thing a man had called her was a whore and disgusting. She thought that she might give this guy a chance to be friends with her. After all, all her friends are states away and she really has no one here.
‘How bad could he be…maybe he won’t hurt you, Jess.’ She thought to herself.
“Sure, I wouldn’t mind it at all, I actually don’t really have anyone that I know here that I talk to much. So some company would be nice.” She replied smiling.
“Wonderful! Say, here’s my number.” He said writing on a napkin and handing it to Jess.
“I could have just handed you my cell, you know.”
He looked a bit embarrassed but laughed anyway.
“Guess you’re just too pretty for me to concentrate on anything properly.”
Jess blushed, and looked down.
“I’m not that pretty, but thanks.” She said with a shy smile, standing up.
He looked at her curiously and wondered how she didn’t think that she wasn’t pretty. She was absolutely beautiful in his eyes. But he stood up as well, following her lead.
“Well, um, I have a few errands to run right now, but I’m going to the animal shelter later, would you like to come with me?” She asked innocently.
“Yeah, I’d love to.”
Both of them smiled.
“Well I’ll give you a call later and meet up with you?” She questioned.
“Sounds like a plan to me.” Ashley smiled and then said his good byes as he walked off, excited to spend time with her later.