The Long Drive

It was two in the morning and Xen found himself driving home from another late night drinking with his friends. There was no denying the fact that it was the most fun he had in awhile. He remembered his head aching as he and his friends laughed uncontrollably at the jokes he made. He then smiled at the thought of how amazing his friends were and how they’d always be there to support him, but then he suddenly felt his eyes begin to water up. He kept one hand on the wheel while using the other to wipe his eyes. Then his vision began to blur again and more tears slipped out from his eyes.

Please not now… Xen found himself confused. Why was he crying after such a fun night? Then a sharp pain pierced his chest, and he immediately brought his hand to his chest. It felt as if his insides were twisting up and he found himself wishing that he could reach in and fix it all, but it was pointless.

He took deep breaths and began to recall this all too familiar pain. In fact this was something that he only felt last week. He tried drowning it in drunk journaling, but it was no point. The pain was enough to keep him from writing even under the influence of alcohol, so he eventually decided to pick up a temporary job to distract himself from it.

The job distracted him from the pain and he eventually forgot about it, but not now. Not while he was in the middle of the freeway. He gripped the steering wheel and clenched his teeth. Don’t stop now… you’re almost home. Then you can sleep and forget about it all. He attempted to press down on the gas, but he stopped himself from going any faster than 60 mph. Going any faster may attract unwanted attention, because after all it is two in the morning. He scanned the area and a single car zoomed past him in the darkness. The street lights were all but gone in this stretch of the freeway, so he found himself enveloped in the darkness.

It was a strange feeling. The darkness used to bring him comfort, but now it only caused the pain in his chest to increase. No it couldn’t be the darkness. He reasoned to himself and refused to believe that it was the darkness that caused him this immense pain. The darkness did nothing wrong and in reality it was what brought him comfort… most times.  

Then it dawned on him as another car zoomed past him. He was alone. No one in the passenger seat next to him. No one on the freeway driving next to him. No one to go home to. He began to breath faster. He focused on it, so that he could forget this pain and forget the idea that he was alone.

It was no use. He could have turned on the radio, but then he realized that the songs playing would only bring back memories that he tried to forget. Memories of a past long gone. Memories of when he was never alone because he had her. The tears flowed more profusely as if a dam had just broken. There was no point hiding it kept coming no matter how hard he tried to wipe it away.

Then he realized as quickly as the street lights returned to the freeway; he missed her. He missed having someone in the passenger seat, someone to call, and someone to hold when he just wanted to break down.

He turned off the freeway and onto the nearest exit. Xen found himself driving down a familiar path that he tried to forget, but there was no point. He remembered how often he got lost going down this path, but now it was second nature because he drove this path everyday on the way to her house.

What am I doing? This is crazy! The light at the end of the street turned yellow, and Xen gunned it. Zooming by as if the light didn’t exist. Nothing would hold him back. He wanted this pain to go away and he truly believed that it would by seeing her again. The surrounding area blurred around him. He found himself going 60 mph in a 30 mph zone. The pain in his chest tightened even more and the tears continued to roll down his face.

Left. Left. Then the third right.

He was there in an instant. Then he parked across the street from her house. He stared at the empty, but familiar surroundings. It’s only been three weeks, but it felt as if he had just returned home from a long journey. He took a deep breath. You can do this. Just walk to the door and talk to her.

He opened the door to the car, but then he immediately shut it. The garage crept open and light leaked out into the darkness. Xen immediately reclined his seat. As if hiding would stop her from recognizing my car. He raised his head to peek out and then he saw her. She was dressed in her favorite PJs. A wonder woman bombshell t-shirt with red and white stretchy pants. Her hair was in a ponytail and she looked as if she had just woken up.

Xen didn’t bother to question why she was up at this time and so again he opened the door to approach her. Then he stopped once more. A man walked out from the garage and placed his arms around her and kissed her on the forehead. She turned around and kissed him back on the lips, and they both smiled at each other.

This time Xen didn’t hide. He was frozen as he stared at the both of them. I’m an idiot. Xen smirked through the tears rolling down his face. The two said their goodbyes and the man walked to his car while she watched him drive off. Then she returned inside and shut the garage and left Xen in the darkness.

The pain in his chest lingered. Xen missed her dearly, but he realized that even she could not rid this pain inside him. In fact the pain would only worsen because he knew returning to her would only ruin the happiness that she now had. He closed his eyes and remembered all the nights she cried and pleaded for him to stay. By then it was too late and soon he accepted the path laid out in front of him. This time he had no choice but to continue his journey alone.

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