Midnight Meeting


In the not-so-dark corner sat the crumpled youth. Frogs croaked loudly from where they'd never be found, post-rain. The streetlights looked on, completely unaffected by the bass notes fracturing wafts of smoke escaping youthful lungs in the nearby house. A blue sedan pulled up and the driver, a second youth, stepped out to inquire after the crumpled one. Standing hastily, the youth tested his thigh muscles, wondering how fast he could run in his present state. Adrenaline, he said to himself. If I need it, it's there.

Shouts of ‘four-twenty!’ could be heard through drunk, other-than-English accents. The two youths smiled to confirm distance and connection – their lives were incredibly similar but this could not be confirmed without the outside reference. When the first assured the second of his competent state the second tried to explain his own situation. He lifted his forearm where a deep gash traced wrist to elbow. Oddly the fresh-looking wound wasn't bleeding, as if he were made of Play-dough. The second youth explained some kind of falling incident. 'Jesus,’ thought the first, to whom a pusher’s involvement remained mysterious. He told the second youth that he couldn't speak so well, that he was still learning, but he hadn't seen any tall, dark-hair-in-a-knot, skinny guys inside the party, though he hadn't seen everyone and it would be perfectly reasonable to check. The second youth said not to worry and was gone.

The first wondered if he'd understood the story at all, then he imagined what could have been his accidental involvement in diverting a violent scene, in the sense that his casual denial of this tall, third guy had carried the stamp of uninterested authenticity. If this was so, he knew he would never be congratulated: and why should he be? It had all been a mistake.

Energised by the strange encounter, our first youth made for the house and the music, but heard the shouts and laughter from the garage and continued walking beside the army of Range-Rovers gleaming atop glistening tar.