One Night on the StreetsMature

Just a short story I wrote for my English AS Level coursework.
It's centred on a young man named Thomas, and yeah. This is really short so I'm not going to give away the spoiler, since you find out his predicament straight away anyway. WARNING: dropped the F-bomb once. And angsty story is angsty.

It was snowing.

Thomas felt like he didn’t have anywhere to go; the winds had picked up drastically and anywhere he could find as shelter was currently being invaded relentlessly by the mild blizzard, the snow sweeping across the streets at an almost horizontal angle. Thomas tried to walk away from the wind that was blowing towards him; he couldn’t take much more of the frozen rain slamming into his face, and entering the sleeves of his coat through the cuffs by his bare hands.

Not that it really mattered either way; he still felt like his bones were made of ice and his muscles slowly freezing and hardening in suit, like he was being frozen from the inside-out. Needless to say he was very cold. Thomas could hardly remember what being warm felt like at this point.

He had started to wander onto the outskirts of the city centre, and his general misery was suddenly replaced with fear. Reluctantly, he turned around to walk against the snowstorm. He was not going to go into to “dodgy” part of town in his state. He could barely feel his feet; he kept tripping over himself whenever the wind’s strength changed. He wouldn’t be able to throw a punch in defence either if he could scarcely feel his hands.

But then again, why would anyone want to mug a homeless person?

At that thought, Thomas whimpered sadly, his feeble cry getting lost to the wind so not even he could hear it. If he wasn’t so dehydrated, he could have shed a few tears by this point, he wasn’t sure how much longer he could bear living like this. It was mid-February and only his second week on the streets, maybe things would get easier once the winter finally up and went? He thought to himself, trying to stay hopeful.

But what was there to hope for now?

At that thought, a large snowflake rammed itself into the young man’s eye and he cursed as cold shot towards his brain and stabbed at it maliciously. He stopped in his tracks and turned to the side to avoid it happening again as he lowered his head and blinked furiously, trying to clear his vision. When he looked up and his sight was no-longer blurred, he realised he was stood outside a restaurant. There were no doors or windows open that Thomas could see, but he could still feel the heat from inside radiating out of the building. It wasn’t enough to warm him up in the slightest.

This was frustrating for him. It felt like the entire building was mocking him, flaunting its heat and yet pitilessly not offering him any relief from his predicament. He knew that, in the state he was in, he’d be shoved back out the door as soon as he set foot in a place as nice as that. He noticed someone was staring at him from the other side of the large glass window that made up the face of the restaurant, and realised he’d been facing right in the direction of a little girl, seated at a table with who he presumed was her family. The child smiled at him and waved innocently. Thomas couldn’t help but smile back, at least until her parents saw what she was doing and followed her gaze past the window.

At that, the mother looked frightened and seemed to be telling the girl off, pulling her hand down and setting it on the table. The woman proceeded to deliberately look away from where Thomas stood and continued eating. Thomas just sighed and walked away, not wanting to cause any trouble. He kept looking through the window as he passed the structure. The interior decorating was quite pretty and not too flamboyant; the theme was obviously red, and most of the tables had a single red rose in the centre. There was a giant menu board mounted on the far wall that was lined with hearts. Was it Valentine’s day? Thomas thought. Suddenly he noticed all the couples that were seated inside the restaurant. He could feel his heart stop abruptly and sink as he thought of Julie.

Julie, who had dumped him not even four months ago, if it truly was Valentine’s Day. Had it really been that recent? Had his life really just collapsed so suddenly?

The dark streets around him seemed to dissolve into a lighter, warmer environment. He was in a living room. “I’m leaving.” A woman’s voice said coolly. He spun round to face her, she had a suitcase standing beside her, ready to leave too.

“…What? I thought we’d sorted this out, Julie! For God’s sake, can you never be honest with me?!” Thomas almost shouted, exasperated. He didn’t want to be saying these words; he knew where this scene was going. But it had already happened and he knew he couldn’t help any of it.

“I thought we would sort things too, Tom. And I thought you would keep your promises for once. You’d finally get off your arse and get a fucking job. I thought giving you chance after chance would somehow work out for us, like everything would turn out perfect. I thought I loved you enough to sort this out, but-"

“Don’t do this,” Thomas said involuntarily. He wasn’t in control of his words; he was just reliving the past. He couldn’t change the past. As his ex-girlfriend opened her mouth to retort, the world dissolved into a different scene. Julie was gone. The furniture in their apartment was gone. There were crop circles in the carpet from where table legs and the TV stand had left grooves from their weight. He remembered what had happened to them; this was the day his life would end.

Thomas picked up what was left of his things and trudged out the building, the news of his eviction hanging around his head like a stink.

Suddenly he was brought back to the present, back to reality. There was no escaping this fate, he thought as he finally sank, defeated into the doorway of a closed shop. The porch gave him little protection as snowflakes settled on the tips of his worn-down boots. He didn’t bother shaking them off; the snow must have known he wasn’t going anywhere, too.

The End

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