Three times a transient moment

Thin and pale and undersized. Big cheekbones and dark eyes. Dark hair and a light loose t-shirt. When he was young he had been bullied and jeered at; gay, queer, effeminate, the flaws of others visited upon him, or when he was young he had not been picked on, had not been bullied; quiet, shy, harmless, close friends. I saw him outside a bar in December, smoking a cigarette. As he smoked he looked straight ahead at nothing, his eyes invisibly narrow against the cold. I saw him another time in Soho, and another time somewhere else. He wound a scarf around his neck through the autumn and the winter, and in the winter his skin looked translucent; a matt epidermal varnish on sub stratum layers of alabaster. In December I was at another bar, across the street from him,waiting for friends to arrive. I looked down to check my phone, looked left, down the road, to where my friends should appear, soon. I saw the boy at the edge of my sight, saw him flick the cigarette away and turn inside. His jacket billowed slightly as he spun, the bouncer held the door for him, the door closed, the bouncer turned back to the street. My friends should have arrived then but they didn’t and I waited another twenty minutes before I sent a fucked off text and went home. A soft thread of smoke rose from the discarded cigarette. I think it was him.

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Filed under 5 Minute Sketches, Creative writing, People

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