by C.C. Russell

The thing is, I saw you that night. These simple things that change us. I saw you.

After we talked, after you watched her dance. After we had too many drinks to think straight, after we catalogued all of the different varieties of pain. After we relived those early days, laughing. After we had tried to forget the later times. After all of the conversational detours. After you offered to pay which carried all kinds of meaning –yes, I picked up on that. After I got a little more defensive than I meant to. After we both admitted to being confused more than anything.

You left, maybe to pass out on her floor. You left first –a first for you, I thought.

You swore to me that it had been months now. No Hydro-codone, no Oxy, no Dilaudid.

But when you left, I followed you.

In truth, I walked out to have a cigarette (some habits die harder than others), assuming you would be at least a block away. But you were still there in the mouth of the alley, the bottle of pills in your hand.

I watched you. I watched as you threw them down, stomped them out and recoiled in pain. I watched you make that decision. I shrunk back into the doorway of the bar so that you wouldn’t see me there. I was a sad sort of proud. I wasn’t angry that you had lied. I wasn’t angry at all. Not anymore.

C.C. Russell enjoys putting words together in different ways. From time to time, others enjoy how he has arranged them and they publish them in various places online and in print. He can be found on Twitter @C_C_Russell where he constantly struggles with its enforced brevity. He lives in Wyoming with his wife and a particularly amazing five-year-old daughter.