He walked alone, leather jacket tucked close to him in small attempts to keep warm against the damp Chicago breeze...
He bit his lip as he thought about the awful things he’d said to his family before stepping out for a walk. Groaning, he rubbed his eyes from where they’d glistened from the emotion held behind such bitter words.
“Stop trying to fucking change me! I’m sorry I’m not what you wanted me to be! I shouldn‘t have ever come back!” the words echoed in his head. Bill winced as if his heart literally could break just from the thought. Why did he say such things to the people he loved? They made him so angry but it was as if they were dangling him from a string and he couldn’t get away. He needed to be alone. He needed this space and if this was how he could get away for a while…
‘That’s what I need,’ he thought optimistically, ‘a vacation. A way to step out of myself for a while. To feel like someone else. Someone with a normal life.’
Staring at his feet, he continued to endure the frost nipping at his nose and cheeks until he couldn’t take it anymore.
‘I’ll just stop for a break in this alley,’ he thought as he paced forward, sharply turning into the alley, accidentally knocking over a person in the process.
She crumbled to the ground and appeared to be rather relentless to getting back onto her feet. Quickly extending his hand, William exclaimed, “Oh! I’m real sorry about that! I was just-”
He cut short as the girl looked up at him, revealing two remarkably beautiful crystal blue eyes. She was so stunning that it actually startled him to find such a beauty alone in the streets this late.
Shaking himself out of it, he resumed his last sentence, “trying to get out of the snow,” wearing a dumbfounded expression as he backed up and took a look at the girl he’d just smashed into.
As Bill stared narrowly, his mind cluttered with thoughts of all that’d just happened. As he looked up finally, he saw the girl wore a similar expression as his, only this one had traces of irritation.
“Well, watch where you’re fucking going then. God,” she muttered angrily as she picked up her broken cigarette as if to show him what he’d done, “That was my last one, asshole.”
‘Feisty,’ he thought, giggling softly as he collectively repeated, “I’m really sorry about that,” just as she pressed a new smoke out of his own pocket between her lips, “Here, I’ll light it for you.”
Extending one of his long arms over to her, he blocked the wind his right hand and lit the cig with his left. The girl narrowed her eyes at him before taking a drag and muttering a discrete, “Thanks.”
There was an awkward silence as Bill waited for her to finish her smoke before asking, “What’s a girl like you doing out so late?”
“None of your business,” she added with a quirky grin as she brushed a strand of sandy colored hair out of her eyes. Bill sighed in disbelief, wondering how any girl could resist his charm. Rolling his eyes at the vane comment that popped into his head, he simply said, “My name’s William. My friends call me Bill.”
“Josey,” she slurred as she leaned unbalanced against the wall of the building that overshadowed the alley they stood in. ‘Josey’ Bill repeated, a smile making its way onto his already confident exterior, “That’s a pretty name.”
Josey raised her eyebrows almost as to say indirectly to herself ‘Is this guy for real? That’s the oldest line in the book’. This, to which Bill responded indirectly an expression that read, ‘Yeah, I’m that cliché. Don’t rub it in.’
“So…I really need to get home,” she started to say exhaustedly, before Bill immediately blurted, “Let me walk you home!”
Judging by her wide-eyed reaction, Bill thought grimly, ‘Way smooth, Romeo. Now she thinks you’re a creeper.’
Stumbling for a good cover, he stuttered, “It’s…not safe for a girl in your state to walk home alone this late.”
Josey breathed out a relieved sigh as she said, “Alright then, so what’s your story?”