Chapter 8

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He offered me a beer, but I refused it. Knowing that I was in the city, I decided it would be smart on my part to stay completely sober. Then he insisted I take a cigarette. I slipped the thin cylinder between my index and middle finger and held it up to my mouth. The man lit his lighter and held it under the cigarette for me to lean down and light myself.

Slowly, I inhaled. Calmly, I exhaled. Each puff of smoke that my mouth released was each sense of care from my mind. They disintegrated into the air. I don’t know why, but smoking made me feel ten times better. Not only that though, it became addicting. I left the man who gave me my first cigarette and continued walking down the streets. My routine consisted of throwing out one and receiving another from someone else. I went through six cigarettes that day.

Night fell over the sky and I retreated to the bay that sat next to the city. The stones were flat and smooth but still incredibly uncomfortable. Still, I lay across them and crossed my arms behind my head to stare up at the stars. The sky was clear and I could see everything. My eyes roamed around until they met with a very bright, twinkling star. It was so peaceful, staring at the sky. Finally, nothing was telling me to do something else. I had control over myself.

“You like the stars, kid?” A girl with thick, curly brown hair came up to me, holding hands with another boy. Behind her were a few other people who carried baskets and blankets. The question sounded familiar to me, but nothing could appear as an image in my head. I stayed staring at the sky as I answered her.

“They’re nice,” I shyly said, glancing at her taking a seat next to me. Her boyfriend went to the group of people who carried party favors. She looked at me very kindly with a look of sympathy.

“You’re not here to see the meteor shower, are you?” She asked her first opinion. I shook my head to apply an answer saying no and looked down at her hand to see a tattoo. It was a beautiful red rose that covered the entire back of her hand, with the initials I.L.Y. on one side and M.V.Y. on the other.

“It’s a beautiful tattoo,” I said accidently, not trying to sound stupid. “Does that stand for I love you?”

“Haha,” She laughed casually and shook her head no. “A lot of people ask that, but it’s actually the initials of my sister, Isabella Lauren Yost. My initials are on the other side, Meghan Veronika Yost.” She explained, rubbing the initials of Isabella’s softly.

“Does she have the same tattoo?” I looked at her curiously as she smiled widely.

“I wish she did,” Meghan said staring at the sky. “I lost her a few years ago, to the pressures of society.” My heart dropped. The girl who sat next to me had a sister who killed herself. I couldn’t even think of words to say, I lost every sense of conversation. She saw my blank expression and patted my knee to show that it was okay. My anxiety levels decreased, so I took a big breath to help stay mentally secure.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered sadly, filling up with the emotion of depression. She inhaled quickly and looked over to her boyfriend who noticed her and smiled. She waved at him before she turned back to the stars in front of us.

“She was only fourteen, and I was eighteen. I’m twenty one now, but it still seems like yesterday.” She stated. “She looked at life as if it were just a game. And she got tired of losing. I guess that’s why I’m here. She loved the stars, and I know she’s out there somewhere in those brilliant scattered lights.” She breathed lightly and turned to me to see if I was listening.

“So why are you here?” She asked quietly, poking me with her elbow. I thought it over for a minute and came up with a conclusion.

“I’m running away from something,” I specified, gazing back up at the sky. “But now that I think about it, I have no idea what I’m running from.” She nodded her head understandingly and pointed to her boyfriend.

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