The streetlights, lined neatly along the road, stood sentinel against the perils of the night. Their light swept the darkness back as he roared past them. The wind blasted through the open windows, drying his cheeks.
He glared at the streetlight with reddened eyes. God, he hated them. They were structure of perpendicular function and thought. They were created to shine out against the gloom of thought and deed. Designed to force order on a world brimmed in chaos, each streetlight stood confidentially erect, never questioning its rigid place in the world.
He pressed his foot down on the gas pedal, and his engine revved harder. The velocity pressed him against his seat. The wind, tugging harder at his clothes and bare skin, howled its chaotic serenade. The siren’s song felt dangerously familiar as it begged him to join its madness. The thrumming of his heartbeat gave it a tempo.
The streetlights even tried to stem the madness of the wind as they hummed to him as he passed them in succession. Their beat was too slow. He ignored it for the thunder of his heart.
“I can’t do this?”
His words came out in a whisper. The salvo of the night’s elemental forces drowned out his voice. The howling wind cared little for his whimper.
He hated feeling this weak. What kind of man cries like this?
His heart constricted, and tears squeezed from his eyes again. Self-loathing burned within him as the wind blew the saline from his cheeks. A moan escaped his throat. He tried to stuff down, but the voice of his anguish would not be denied. A wail tore from his lips, and he had to clamp his teeth to stop the oncoming scream. His despair fought to be released. It wanted to consume him. He panted for breath. His heart boomed in his temples. It would not stop. He had to cut it at the source. His gaze flicked to the row of streetlights flying past him.
The streetlights seared him with each pass. Their light exposed his weakness.
His gaze fell on the night that lay beyond the borders of their illumination. The darkness understood his desire for peace. It would cover him in its reassuring solitude. Its ebony cloak would shield his inadequacies.
The night beckon him. Turn the wheel, and you won’t hurt anymore. Turn the wheel, and you won’t cry anymore. Turn the wheel and join the darkness. In its depths, we’ll cover you forever and ever and ever.
He nodded. He had to drive the pain away, drown it in the darkness. He would banish his turmoil with one last act of defiance.
He glared at the streetlights humming at him contemptuously. Teeth gritted, he reached down and unclamped his seatbelt. His car, sensing its imminent peril, beeped a warning.
He floored the gas pedal, and his vehicle surged forward. He watched the odometer’s needle circle past 80, 90, 100. The engine shrieked its duet with the wind. The hood bobbed up and down as the rushing air raised its front wheels from the speeding pavement.
One jerk of the wheel was all he needed. Then all his grief would be obliterated. Maybe he would knock one of those damn streetlights down and mar their neat little row. Perhaps then their broken line could not refute that the night was the true victor of their pointless little dispute.
Sweat beaded his palms. He marked his target, an oncoming pole just down a stretch of road. He resigned himself with a steady breath.
A fresh bucket of cold sweat doused his back. He looked down at the forgotten phone glowed to life on the seat beside him. He unconsciously released the gas as he read the one word that shone on the viewing screen.
He picked it up, and it rang again in his hand.
His hand trembled as he pressed the answer button. He raised it his ear. “H-hello?” he hated himself for the quiver in his voice.
He burst into tears.
“I just got your message. I’m worried about you. Are you okay?”
He shook his head, sobbing. “No,” he whimpered. “I don’t know how to go on.”
“It’s okay. Tell me what’s going on, and we’ll get through this together.”
He slowed his car down and pulled to the side of the road. He parked beneath a streetlight away from the darkness.
If you find yourself succumbing to your darkness, please seek help. Your life matters. Your light matters. We need your light. Keep your light shining.
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