J Dawson
2 min readMay 25, 2022
Photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash

Giving in is easy.

Staying there is even easier.

Nothing but clouds. The world is too far away to get washed up in its worry. All my emotions are. I like them better when they are far away. It’s been so long since I’ve given in. Too long.

I walk through town. No one knows.

A pocket picked.

I stand in a crowded coffee shop. I’m all alone.

Another wallet stolen.

The problem with being nowhere is that my life continues without me. Others notice that I’m gone. Less than there used to be. Eventually, people get tired of waiting for someone to come back. After a while, they stop waiting — even my kids. Too grown up and busy to care how I’ve screwed up this time.

I can’t tell you how many days have passed. Falling off the wagon doesn’t encourage one to stay in touch with the calendar. Hell, letting go of it is the draw in the first place. I can tell you it’s been a good chunk of days, maybe something north of a few weeks.

Over time the corners of the film blocking me from life start to curl back.

Flashes of strawberry locks.

That sad smile.

Finally, there’s a knock. The fog trickles away enough to see slivers of what I’m leaving behind.

Sunshine’s soft, sad voice reaches me. “I need you to come back,” she whispers. “I’m sorry, but I need you to go through this with me. Don’t make me go back to being alone. You made me count on you.”

I let the words tear down the clouds. I don’t tell Sunshine she’s made me count on her. Again. Something I may never forgive.

“Please,” she says. “Please come back.”

J Dawson

Writes literary fiction with a speculative bent. A parent of teens. Accidental house flipper. Friend of cats and dogs. Kindness matters. ND Bi (she/they)