A Lonely Way

A hunched figure stood slumped against the alley wall. It was raining, so the figure's collar was straightened, shielding the face, as was the long, dark hair. The street light flickered to life, revealing more about the figure, who had formerly been nothing more than a silhouette. He was a man, about mid-twenties, with long brown hair, which was darker in the rain, nearly black, and slightly curled. His eyes were a misty gray and looked solemnly out at the dirty alley way in an unreadable gaze. He shifted slightly, double breasted trench coat feeling heavier by the minute, the rain soaking through his well worn leather boots. He pulled his hands out of his pockets to check the time on a watch held together by a safety pin. His hands, numb with cold, were clothed in black cutoff gloves, which were little protection in a wet alley.

The light flickered out again, but he was not surprised. Nothing in the world really went his way. The city noises nearly drowned out the sound of the thunderstorm. The man only knew of the storm by the lightning that occasionally flashed high above the skyscrapers. And the rain, of course. But then, it often just rained bucketfuls.

With a sigh, the man checked his watch yet again. His frozen breath floated into the frigid night air. He began trudging down the alley way, stepping over the rotting garbage that littered the ground. He was not startled by a scurrying rat. In fact, he barely acknowledged it. That was just commonplace when you lived on the streets of New York.

The man ducked out of the alley way and into the eternally crowded street. Blending with the crowd, he made his way across town, in a zigzag path through the labyrinth of streets; he knew the way well.

His journey ended in yet another alley, this one next to a condemned building. It had once been a state-of-the-art hotel, but that was many years ago. The neon lights on the roof hadn't been lit in decades. The letters hung crookedly, in a homely sort of way.

The man went straight to the fire escape, which he easily scaled. The door on the seventh floor opened stiffly as always. He knew this place well too. Enough to know that someone else was there.