Excerpt: As the West Wind Rages

            The way I see it, love is a cruel promise. A carrot dangled over the likes of men by the gods for their own amusement. When we find it, it is swiftly taken away as it was for Hyacinthus in the jealous rage of Zephyrus. When it’s lost, there is no more we can do to reclaim it than could Orpheus in pursuit of his dear Eurydice. What’s the point of loving someone if they are too far out of reach?


            I sat cross-legged on an iron table underneath a canopy outside a closed café while rain poured down on the city. There wouldn’t be a bus until early morning and though I hated the idea of waiting out in the cold that long, I didn’t like my other option any better. I pulled my thin jacket tightly around me. I felt stupid. How did I let myself get here? Where would I even go when the bus arrived? If I called him, where would I have him take me? And at what cost to my dignity? Dignity. I almost laughed at myself, more than aware of my present condition.

            My phone sat heavy in my back pocket. I knew the number by heart, no matter how many times I deleted the contact. No matter how hard I tried to forget it. What would I tell him? ‘Hey, I just ran out on the latest asshole I’ve been dating, mind getting me a hotel?’ Like hell he would do anything like that for me. No, he wouldn’t do that for me. He’d do so much more. He’d give me his jacket for the ride. He’d tuck me into his bed and sleep on the floor. He’d listen to me cry while I ate the ice cream in his freezer and—and he wouldn’t judge a single of the ridiculous things I did. He’d hold me until I stopped crying about it.

            I could feel the tears coming back into my eyes. No, I promised myself I wouldn’t call him. I could just go back to the apartment. Ian wouldn’t have the right to ask me to leave, and if he tried to apologize, I could just ignore him. The thought brought the tears back, I didn’t want to see him. Not right now, not after what I saw. I’d curse him for it later when I had my strength back. I pulled out my phone. My fingers knew the numbers.

            “Hey, could you pick me up?”