The neon sign outside flashed ‘Open’ and he watched the continuous blinking while nagging and disturbing thoughts kept running through his mind. Absently, he picked at the pie he’d ordered, and slowly sipped the strongly brewed coffee. Bone tired, he tried to relax his shoulders and clear his head.
How did I end up here?
He knew instinctively tomorrow was going to be a long day. And then he looked out the grimy window. Gary realized tomorrow was already here. He knew his days were drifting one into the next, and he knew the reason in the darkest recesses of his heart.
He wanted to sleep. Not just any sleep, but the kind where you closed your eyes, and the next thing you knew, it was morning. Like a blip on a screen, the idea faded as fast as it came. Like his appetite, and the desire to do the right thing would flit away.
Motioning to the waitress, “More coffee, please,” Gary asked.
Pinned to the ample breasts was a name tag declaring she was Mary. He was reminded of another woman in another state. His mother, one of his best friends, lived in New Mexico. According to the app on his phone, her current weather was as warm as Minneapolis was cold. Just another reminder they were worlds apart. Though his thoughts often turned towards her, they rarely resulted in him pressing the ‘call button’ on his phone.
The old-fashioned diner was comforting in its simplicity. Smelling the coffee brewing, and hearing the sizzle of the griddle, he closed his eyes and tried so hard to relax. Country music drifted to his ears from the overhead speakers. The song, ‘Momma tried,’ started to play.
Thinking about his Mom wasn’t going to get him anywhere, he banished those thoughts. Immediately, another dark thought came to mind. His need was gnawing at his gut. It was time to get another fix.
The hungry demon was raising its ugly head. In the beginning, he used to help him relax. Then, he used to calm the intense feelings he experienced along with the anxiety. Eventually, he used because it was too easy not to.
He hated himself for getting hooked. He knew his mother was incredibly disappointed. She was more appalled that he supported himself by selling the stuff. Truth was, he grew more disgusted with himself each day. For the past three years, he smoked crack. During that same time, he had lost everything. The drug cost several relationships and even more jobs. He lost his home, countless friends, and his self-respect. He didn’t want to believe it cost him his mother. She wouldn’t give up; she couldn’t give up on him. Mothers are forever. Weren’t they?
It was time. In fact, it was past time. He decided he needed to get clean. The local shelter just put up a sign about a program. He could do it. No doubt, it would be hard. He hated pain and needles. He hated disappointing his mother even more. Going through withdrawal could take days, but he would do it. It was time to change his life. He really could do it. He just needed to believe it could be done.
The other night, on a whim, he wrote the number down. He knew, even then, the time was coming. Grabbing his phone from his pocket, and fumbling for the piece of paper in his jeans, he steadied himself to make the call. He left some money on the counter to pay his bill and made himself stand on shaky legs.
He stepped outside and into the parking lot, ensuring himself some privacy. Thumbing the lock code into his phone, the time popped up on the screen.
For him, it was 6:15 am on a Sunday morning. Since she was one hour ahead, she would more than likely be awake. Saying the first prayer he’d uttered in a long time; he entered the number onto the keypad. After several rings, a friendly voice answered.
© 2020, MustangPatty. All rights reserved.
Hi, I’m an Indie Author. I write Legal and Psychological thrillers, short stories of all kinds, and I love to help other writers.
I’m glad to be here
I currently live in Salem, Oregon. I’ve lived all over the US and in parts of Germany. I’m originally from New Jersey.
Looking forward to being a part of this community,