The Outsider


  She lit up, cupping the flame to her mouth and the cigarette that hung limply out of it. Her concentration wasn’t on the act of ignition, replayed such as it was that it lost the requirement of conviction, no, instead her eyes were on her friends and behind them, him. She enjoyed her illumination one extra second after she took her first long drag, her eyes locked on his, before closing the zippo and pocketing it once again. It isn’t often we get to shine, she thought.

  The streets were futile in their chill. Everyone was wrapped up against it, laughing with each other, laughing at each other, laughing as if to spite it all. She weaved through the periphery players and stood in front of him, demanded his attention.

  “Hullo” he said, smiling.
  “Hey,” she replied, shuffling to his side now that he’d engaged, instantly distancing them from the group and casting them as nothing but surveyors of the scene, innocent, voyeuristic bystanders.
  “Everyone’s having fun,” he said, solidifying this new role.
  “Everyone except you,” she said, a question mark lilting the end of her statement.
  “I qualify as everyone,” he insisted.
  “So you’re having fun?”
  “buckets of.”
  “Good,” she said, taking his hand and leading him back into the throng, where he belonged. He smiled again and followed, was welcomed back into the fold like an old friend, was everyone again.


~ by Joseph Blame on April 20, 2011.

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