The Blurry Bright Lights

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Silence. He longed for it. The dilapitated engine of the Dodge pickup rumbled and groaned, almost in protest, as it carried its frame further into dusk. Chris yanked at the gear stick, forcing it with difficulty into 4th. The clouds had an orangey red glow towards the horizon, he noticed, as the tall trees on the side of the road flickered in front of the distant skies, creating a dreamy effect which nearly distracted him. Cursing himself for taking his mind of the road, he blinked furiously and tried to fight the effects of a near 7 hours non stop driving. He may have to admit defeat and take a break. He was becoming increasingly annoyed by the rattling of the old beaten down truck as it roared down the motorway, so he flicked on the radio. Stretching back in the cracked leather of his warm seat, he basked in the soothing sounds of...Pendulum. I hate Pendulum.

He hit the radio in frustration and it whined briefly before fizzling out. A sign came up ahead signalling that a service station was nearby, so he sluggishly moved into the next lane, pushing his hair out of his face. He was getting so irritable, as the tyres crunched over the gravel of the parking area he gritted his teeth and longed for bed. He locked up the truck and plunged his hands deep into his coat pockets, out of the biting cold of the impending night. He walked briskly into the building, greeted with an automatic door that smoothly opened, a warm air filtering towards him.

Chris spent the next 10 minutes stumbling around the complex, taking in all it's chains and functions, trying to convince himself he wasn't tired at all. A glowing Travel Inn sign outside a nearby window seemed to wink at him sleepily. Why do hotel logos have to be so warm and inviting? He eventually found a small cafe area in the corner of the complex, with a high view of the road below. The sky was getting darker now, like an ink stain sinking into fabric slowly. He politely asked for a plate of chips and a chicken sandwhich, an odd choice that reflected his mood, before ordering a large coffee and carrying it over to a table at the far end of the window. He sighed contently as he sat down at a table, warming his hands on the cup gratefully. Blowing gently at the steam he glanced around at the few people inside. A middle aged man in a suit, with salt and pepper hair, tapping into his iPhone so fast that his fingers and eye movements were a blur. A family of four. Average looking mother, bookwormy father and two bratty young kids, fighting over a chocolate milkshake. The father looked uncomfortable and the mother looked unhappy. Chris sighed again and took a big gulp of his coffee.

He pondered himself for a moment. How blissful, yet cursed, are the quiet people. They are conservative by nature, afraid of any judgement, but at the same time free. Free to their own thoughts and more than anything, their own judgement. Yet in being introverted, you see people for who they really are. Beyond the social mask of relatability that most people choose to wear. The frown behind the smile, the bored eyes behind the laugh, the arrogant grin behind the coolness. A blessing, and a curse...But who would want to remain unaware as to how people percieve them? Being a man of few words lets you know who your real friends are, by observing...

Chris' grandmother patted his head with a cold, wet flannel, eyebrows furrowed with concern.

"You silly boy...I told you not to play with.."

Grandad walked in, laughing at him and jokingly jeering, though Chris could not hear what he was saying, the words were muffled. He was in bed..it was warm but something was not quite right about..

"I don't want to see you anymore Chris," Summer said, eyes glistening as they stood outside the church. "It just isn't right, I can't be filled with guilt all the time!" She shouted, her eyes growing larger untill she morphed into Max, uncle's old dog. He barked and called Chris silly...

"UrrrAH!" Chris moaned under his breath, popping his head upright with a jolt in his stomach. He had fallen asleep. Damn. He wiped his chin of coffe and noticed a girl sitting a few booths down, giggling at him silently. He made eye contact and they both looked away, embarassed. He needed to wake up. Getting out of his chair to find a bathroom, Chris felt another red flush of embarassment as the waitress walked down with his tray.

"There you go love, chicken sandwhich and chips."

Did she have to announce it to the whole cafe?

The End

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