This was Thomas’ favorite part of the day: riding home from work. His friend
Cruise always teased him about it; it being the fact that Thomas loved the
scenery. Cruise said it was ‘unmanly’, and ‘something only chicks would enjoy’.
But Thomas didn’t care at all what Cruise said. Everyone knew the guy was a
stuck-up ass. Thomas was only friends with him because he happened to be friends
with Cruise’s friends.
Thomas wasn’t like regular guys anyway, and he didn’t mind it. He enjoyed being
different from the flock of sex-craving, messy, inconsiderate jerks that roamed
his hometown of Riverside. Cruise was one of these, and look how he turned out;
he hardly had any friends, and the few he had hardly liked him.
That’s not how Thomas wanted to be. Ironically, Thomas had few friends as well;
the difference between him and Cruise was that everyone liked Thomas, he just
happened to have few people he considered to be close friends. He could live
with this. He didn’t want to be a popular guy everyone crowded around, he was
too solitary for that, and it would make him extremely uncomfortable if that were to happen to him.
He was happy right where he was, both in social status and in the world.
The road home was beautiful. It was rural, full of greenery like lush trees and
bushes, but with just enough houses to make him feel not so alone.
While he was a solitary person, he despised being completely alone. It made him
feel as if he had no one to run to, no one to fall back on. But this road was
just a perfect mix between quiet and social, a place that made him feel
The gentle breeze through his hair was a perfect end to a long day at work.
While working at a grocery store was hardly difficult for him, being as likable
as he was, it was still tiring, both physically and mentally. Since Geil’s was
the only grocery store in town, everyone around went there, and it seemed
like they all went every single day. Thomas didn’t understand it. And worst of all,
he was one of those employees that did everything. He restocked, he cleaned, he
checked, he bagged, he organized. The only things he didn’t do were the
specialty jobs, like deli clerk or baker.
Riding his bike home was like an escape from the monotony.
The sun was setting to his left, sinking below the Rocky Mountains and into the
western ocean. The twilight cast shadows many found eerie, but to Thomas they
were like pets he wanted to reach down and touch. Nothing of the darkness of
night concerned him. It was only a phase the world went through. Thomas found it
nothing to be feared, only to be understood.
As he approached home, a strong wind gusted, sending a shower of leaves over him
and nearly causing him to lose control of his bike. He could hear the dry leaves crunching as they passed through the spokes of his wheels, and under them.
Another gust sent him stumbling down off the sidewalk and into the empty street where the leaves swirled like a cyclone. It
mildly concerned him. It was always so pleasant in the fall, but now was like a windstorm. Another gust forced him to put a foot on the ground and stop his bike. Leaves battered him from everywhere, like a swarm of small birds attacking a falcon.
It was such a contradiction to his previous thoughts that it scared him. It was like nature was telling him it wasn’t to be merely loved, it was to be feared as well.