Keith struggles with the trials of life.
|Keith pulled the yellow eviction notice off his front door before walking into his apartment, the door creaked as it closed and Keith flipped the light switch next to the door. The dingy apartment was now lit up so he could see just how dirty it was. Food packages formed a mountain of cardboard and paper on the coffee table and the couch had empty beer cans crushed and shoved between the cushions.
He walked straight towards the bathroom without even glancing at the garbage he walked over on his way down the hallway. The sound of his feet kicking and stepping on garbage taunted him on his towards the bathroom. At no point in his previous life did he ever imagine it possible he could live like this...but things change. A minute later he fell onto the stained couch and reached for the remote. As the TV came to life the rain started to pelt the window, it grew louder as the rain fell harder with each passing second. The sound seems amplified thanks to he pounding headache he was fighting.
Keith found the channel he was searching for just as the thunder clashed with authority and the lightning flashed like flares. The noise startling him so bad he jumped up off the couch and headed towards the windows. Nay the time he reached the pane of glass the power went out. He could feel his heart pounding as he realized without the television there was noting to distract him from his own thoughts. He looked out the windows to see parts of the city go black as well. It looked like every disaster movie out there. A rolling blackout spread for blocks out from his apartment building. Now he was stranded in his dirty, soon to be somebody else apartment with nothing but his own thoughts.
He stared blankly into the blackness that surrounded him for a few minutes before waling int the kitchen for another beer. The storm was intensifying, and every minute or so the bleak apartment was lit up by the bright bolts that electrocuted the sky outside. The rain hit the windows with the power of a pressure washer and Keith’s head continued to pound relentlessly. He down the beer in one gulp and wondered when his life turned upside down.
It was not too long ago that he shared his apartment with...her, his life was good, and his job mattered. He still couldn't say her name though. In the last three months things had fallen apart. She was gone and the money was spent on booze, drugs, and barley enough food to survive on. Life had taken a turn for the worst and Keith could do nothing but ride the spiral roller coaster into the ground. He rubbed his temples as another clap of thunder rattled the windows and pierced his thoughts. Things were getting bad at this point. He could hear his heartbeat in his head, temples throbbed and the level of anxiety he had was immeasurable.
He stood up and walked over to the windows. There was a stool he kept there and it had become his favorite spot to sit and think. Think as best as he could anyway. Keith sat down and rested his head against the cold pane of glass, letting the raindrops crash against the window and his forehead. His headache was practically unbearable now, but he didn’t care much. At least he was feeling something, even if it was pain. It was something that could fill the empty space where his feelings used to live.
The lightning flashed again and lit up the cityscape in front of him. Most of the city was dark now, but the lightning seemed to give the city a look that matched Keith’s demeanor. Dark, empty, hidden, and cold. The darkness seemed to engulf the normally lively city and suffocate everyone living there. Keith walked back to the couch and lifted the bottle of bourbon that rested on the end table. One gulp, two, three. He followed the drink with a half dozen pain killers and took three more pulls on the bourbon. He couldn't stay here any longer.
Keith looked at the eviction notice that greeted him at the door and saw he had a week left in his apartment, more than long enough. This has happened because of her, she was gone and his life fell apart. Nothing mattered and the only sober thoughts he ever had were of her. He had to see her, no matter the time, the weather, the danger. He pulled his coat over his shoulders, filled up his flask, and walked out the door.
He walked out into the street and was greeted by a downpour. Within a few seconds he was soaked to the skin, but he barely noticed. He took another drink and walked with his head down. The darkness hugged him from the second he walked outside, and it followed him as he walked, never letting go. Good thing was he didn’t need to look where he was going; he memorized the way so he could concentrate on not letting this feeling defeat him. Three months has passed since they last saw each other and to Keith it felt like three years. He stopped for a few minutes to take a drink and glance up into the sky, knowing he wouldn't be upset if he was immediatley struck dead by lightning. The rain fell into his eyes and mouth, stinging his wet face as they drove into his skin.
The empty streets didn’t offer any relief from Keith’s wondering mind. Everywhere he looked was blackness and silhouettes. Shapes and faces that where either there or in his mind. Images moved through his thoughts and he saw them wandering the streets as he walked. Another flash lit up the sky and the thunder clap shook his soul. That feeling had worked its way into Keith’s mind and once there it didn’t leave. He was hoping to keep it out, but it never worked. He felt his shoulders sink under the weight of his thoughts and the heavy rain that just would not let up. The downpour seemed to follow Keith wherever he went, he couldn’t get away from it. Thunder, lightning then more thunder. With every clap and flash his head hung lower and his shoulders fell.
He was almost there now, only another block of black city to trek through. Maybe this time he would actually go in and see her. Keith crossed the flooded street and walked towards the walkway that would take him to her place. The only light that was on in the whole city happened to be the street lamp on the corner near the entrance. Keith again looked skyward to take in the rain and clear his head. Seemed like the world was trying to tell him something, a beacon for him to follow, a chance at redemption, forgiveness, self realization.
The depression that had haunted Keith for the last three months seemed to leave for a second, only to be replaced with anxiety. Bile started to creep up his throat and he quickly squelched it with a few gulps of bourbon. It was now or never, he had to go in. Maybe this would wake him up from the trance that had lasted three months. Maybe the drugs and drinking would stop. Maybe the bills would get paid, he had to find out. One more sip from the flask and he started towards the gate. Locked. He looked at his watch and saw it was after two in the morning. He made up his mind, he had to get in. Flask went in his pocket and his heart raced as he climbed the fence. A minute later he dropped to the ground on the other side, slipping into the mud as he fell to the ground.
He wiped his face as best he could and walked towards the cement path that would bring him on the most important journey of his life. She was gone and there was nothing he could do, but he had to finish it. He had to say the goodbye that she did not allow him to say three months before. The twisting path seemed to never end, at each corner Keith half expected...hoped to see her, but nothing. The path just went on. He thought he was dreaming now, reliving the uncertainty that had haunted him since she left him.
He saw her place, his heart raced and tears fell. He cried as hard as the rain was falling. He knew no one was anywhere near him, but he looked around anyway. A few more steps and he would be able to talk to her; he just hoped she would listen. Another step, a drink. It was now or never, he had to do what he set out to do over an hour ago. Blackness surrounded him, his heart felt as though it would burst. He dropped to his knees and then fell over on his face. With the last bit of strength he had, Keith placed his hand on the cold stone tombstone. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and emptied his flask onto the soaked grass that covered her body.