Matches and friction. Flint and steel. Soulmates meeting for the first time. A flame, a fire, a spark. Sparks fly in the air, into souls, driving a passion into our hearts. With these sparks and passions we can find happiness, success, love, and prosperity. We find who we are supposed to be in this life, and what we are supposed to do.
For me, it's different. I don't have that spark, or a passion. I am lost in my own confusion, walking down a dark path of pointless thoughts and ideas. An alley with sharp abrupt turns and forks, leading me more and more astray in my own mind. I ask myself, do I really want to find that heat? Or can I suffice with my world of ice and hate? No, I can not. That is why I am here.
Hours away from my home, I find myself in the middle of New York City. I walk down the busy street, avoiding the eyes of bored looking pedestrians. Not knowing where I am, or what time it is, I simply walk. I walk straight forward, not daring to turn into any of those cursed alleys, not knowing what kind of chilling terrors might be hiding in there. I notice the sun start to fade, more of the famous city lights being flickered on. More sparks...there's a coffee shop. Warmth in hot java, fresh baked pastries. I walk in without a second thought, and place in an order for a large coffee and a buttery looking scone.
The young man working the counter gazed at me with soft eyes, "Your name, miss?" he asked.
"Uhm, my name? W-why do you need my name?" I stuttered, taken by surprise. I hadn't thought about how I would address myself here. Being a runaway meant I couldn't use my real name. It didn't matter I guess, I hated being known as another plain old Mary Jane. Taking a breath to regain my composure, I looked up and replied to the nice looking teenager behind the divider. "My name is Blaze", I said. Nodding in approval, I hoped, he scribbled my name on a coffee cup and pushed it to the side to fill. Ringing me up, I paid him with the little money I was able to scrape together, and left. The coffee was hot, and rich, instantly filling me with liquid heat.
After downing the rest of my drink, and nibbling off the rest of my scone, I was stopped by a large threatening figure. An N.Y.P.D officer stood in front of me, eyeing me suspiciously. Reacting without thinking, I ran away quickly. Ducking through alleyways and towering skyscrapers, I constantly looked behind my back, only to see that the officer was not far behind. For a man of his late thirties, he seemed to be in pretty good shape. If I continued to run, I knew my situation would only worsen. There was a road closure about twenty yards away, and no more shadows to hide in. I stop my battle, and turn to face my punishment. Holding my hands out in front of me, I wait for the officer to catch up. I can hear the steady huff of his breath, and see it making white puff clouds in the cold winter air. He stands in front of me now, eyeing me with gaze that seemed to reach all the way down into my soul. I have never felt more exposed. "Yes, um, Officer? I'm really sorry", I lie easily, avoiding his gaze. Adrenaline is still pulsing through my blue-black veins, flooding me with false warmth.
"You forgot your wallet, back at the coffee shop, Miss Jones. Tell me, why did you run without even speaking to me first? I have a suspicious feeling you have a good reason to be running."
"No, officer, I guess I have no reason to be running." I looked up into his dark hazel eyes, knowing that trouble was bound to be ahead. "As I assumed, Miss Jones. Here," he said while pulling my wallet out of his pocket and returning it to my hand. With a simple tip of the hat, and a look that read "keep out of trouble", he left. Why? Why go through all the trouble of chasing me for blocks, only to return a wallet with no more than five dollars to its name? Confusion slid through my brain, while a foreign new warmth filled my chilling figure.
The warmth was addictive. My own personal brand of heroin. I yearned for it in the night, and fled toward it in my conscious state. I knew that if I found that inner heat and desire, then I would find that fire. The passion I've dreamed about. The one that would make my life worth living.
Looking around, wondering where I had ended up, I saw that I was in a old run down street, filled with abandoned warehouses and dirty shipping docks. In the distance I could hear the sloshing of water in the East River. It was darker here, compared to the busy streets of time square.
Taking cover under the roof of a warehouse, I curiously examined the various graffiti and street art etched into its walls. A few gang signs, profanity streaked sentences, and beautiful and artistic graphics. One of the spray painted masterpieces, that I was instantly drawn to by some invisible force, was a flame. A bright red and orange mess of heat and smoke. It was so full of life and color that I felt as if I could step into its flames and feel myself burn deliciously.
It was then when I felt my life begin to change. Reality, for the first time in my entire life, began to sink in. This wasn't about me being different, or wanting to find some kind of half-formed reason to live, this was always about the fire. The passion and desire that has always been somehow absent in my life. I needed that heat and purpose to keep me going. It wasn't the cold emptiness that i was running away from, it was the idea that my life would end up as nothing that scared me away. Now here, lost in New York City, with half used spray paint can and a blank canvas of wall in front of me, I found that purpose.
Lifting my right hand in front of the wall, my finger pressed down on the nozzle, like the trigger of a desert eagle pistol. Ready to fire, I shot, spraying the wall in front of me with a red letter B. As the minutes passed, I found the letters flying from the can, spelling out a single word; Blaze. It wasn't the prettiest work of vandalism, but it said what it needed to. The words in front of me dripped down the wall, like drops of blood racing to reach the ground. It dried, in a matter of minutes, a permanent reminder of myself.
I was about to walk away and find somewhere to sleep for the night, when a sudden tap on my shoulder stopped me. Turning around, nervous that I had been caught again, I was surprised to see a familiar set of eyes connect with my own. The guy from the coffee shop. He laughed at my surprise, and took the can of paint out of my hand. "I see you've found my little secret." He said and gestured over to the wall. "You..you did that? The fire, i mean?" I asked, sounding way more shocked than I should have been. "It's a hobby of mine, you know, besides serving coffee all day", he shrugged in a way that made my heart hurt. "...You look kind of lost around here, like you don't really belong in a big city like this one, maybe I could help you, show you around? I'm just guessing you don't have a place to stay, I could get you set up in this little motel a friend of mine works at.." He just kept going, rambling, for who knows how long. It didn't matter, I got lost in his voice, and I couldn't stop thinking about the feeling I got when he touched my hand. I didn't care that this guy was a complete stranger, I didn't care that he could be a criminal for all I know. All I could think about was the spark I felt when our hands made contact. While it was just a small, spark of warmth, it filled me with that heat I craved. This heat was different, it lasted longer and made my heart race with foreign new feelings.
As the night went on, as the days past, and the months flew by, that warmth never left me. I had someone to live for now, a purpose of blank walls to fill with art. The best part of it all though, was I knew for a fact that at that very first moment when our hands first met, he felt that spark too. A spark, a flame, and now a forever burning fire.