Thoughts After Midnight

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Another starless night fell over the city. A girl, about twenty, sat on the back porch step and watched the suburbs. All those darkened houses, all those silent rooms. All those people inside, sleeping soundly from the activities of that previous day. Grey smoke filtered out from the end of her cigarette as she thought in silence. Images of old friends and family members being missed, she had to wonder if someone was out there, missing her.

She thought back to the last few years of her life and how everything seemed to have changed. A relationship ended; one she had thought, at the time, would last forever. A couple others blossomed and faded out just as quickly and she kept thinking of those days. They were not the cliche "best of times/worst of times" that Dickens so famously wrote about. They were hard times but looking back, they were also sweeter times.

She wondered how life had taken hold so quickly; how only in the last couple years, things seemed to drastically change. Her family had been so close once. And now, almost ten years later, all of that had moved apart. It was sad, yes, but not all for nothing. She knew she would eventually leave home and her siblings would follow. She just never thought the day would come so soon.

She wondered what her friends were doing at that very moment, as she spent the night alone. Were they happy? Were they crying? Were they also reminiscing on the past as they lay, trying to sleep? Were they, as she was, also missing someone?

Thoughts floated through her head aimlessly as the cigarette continued to burn. She thought back on her first serious relationship and wondered if that person ever thought of her. Things between them had ended badly but, for a while, it seemed as if they had moved past it and were becoming friends again.

And then all contact stopped. And every attempt at contact only met with failure until she just stopped trying. But she had to be curious, sitting all alone, whether she was ever thought of at all. Even in a single passing moment.

She also reminisced on her not-too-recent ended relationship and worried where that one was headed. Ups and downs that relationship had, and never to anyone's satisfaction. It was obvious they had been doomed from the start, but they had kept trying. Or, in the very least, she had kept trying. But it was obvious that they would never work in the end, so they had to split up. But he never seemed to truly except that ending and continued to push for more.

Her relationships never went according to plan. One died while she lay in the arms of someone else, while another died before it had even begun to bloom. Still another was tangled in dysfunction and shame.

She knew it sounded cliche, but the only thing she had ever really wanted was someone to love her. Call it daddy issues or even plain parent issues, but she wanted someone to love so deeply that it shook the planet. Was that too naive of her? Perhaps her standards were far too high. She kept in search of finding just the right guy when she knew such a thing didn't exist.

It never helped when she was around people who were in healthy and happy relationships. She didn't hate those people, but she did envy them deep in her heart. She wanted to be one of those people, but it almost seemed like that would never happen.

The night grew longer as she continued to sit. Minutes floated by as she contemplated her past and her unexpected future. Meanwhile, without her noticing, the cigarette was left with nothing but the filter. A soft breeze passing by dislodged a single piece of ash and let it fall onto her finger. Letting the filter go in surprise, she held tight to the spot where she'd gotten burned.

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