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Litter Alley Part 1

by Beth (Halo) Hanson about a year ago in love
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Literally, the worst place to be a hippie


Hugh and Alex walked through the alley adjacent to their apartment. Hugh kicked an empty can along like a soccer ball.

"This is disgusting," Alex said. "When I was a kid, I imagined the end of the world to be a big pile of bones." She picked up a couple of cans from the street. Including the one, Hugh had been kicking and put them in the trash can before entering their building. "Now I know, it is just going to be a big pile of Litter, Literally.

"Pretty much," Hugh said, lighting up his joint and offering it to Alex.

"I had a dream last night that our elevator broke down," Alex said, "the lights went out, and It went all the way...." She pointed to the ground.

"Yikes," Alex replied, she wanted to turn things around, but both of them were feeling low. The city was weighing on them. Hugh brushed his long red hippie hair out of his face. Alex looked at him against the graffitied wall and trash cans he stood beside. She imagined him the day they had met -- a sunny day on the beach in spring. He was living his simple life, smoking weed, making art and hanging out with his friends. He clearly did not belong here with her in the city. Alex wasn't satisfied living the hippie life, she felt she had more to share with the world, which is why she had moved. She had not expected Hugh to come with her, but he said he loved her and wanted to prove it, so he did.

On the elevator ride up. Hugh uncomfortably said,

"You know, I really miss island life" He would not look Alex in the eye.

"So do I," Alex said. They were both silent, the rest of the way into their apartment.

"I don't know how much longer I can be here," he said to her, hugging her closely in his arms once they were seated on the couch.

"I know," Alex said; this did not surprise her at all. She knew all too well that this was not working for either of them. "The city is disgusting, busy with people doing their meaningless business, consuming and shitting everywhere" Alex's curled up into a ball in Hughes's arms.

"You have another audition tomorrow morning; maybe we should continue this conversation after. You have a reason to be here…"

"don't you?"

"Honestly, Alex, I only came here because of you. I may have acted like I wanted the job and apartment too, but if it wasn't for you."

"You're right," Alex sighed. "Let's discuss this later.

The following day, Alex was up early for the audition; she surprised herself that she had actually slept decently well. But she was too exhausted not to.

"Good luck," Hugh told her as she started getting ready.

"I won't be leaving for a while yet," Alex replied, "but thank you, I'm actually pretty nervous for this one. Of all the auditions I've done; I think this could be it."

"You always say that." Hugh sat up in the bed. Alex stayed staring at the closet and rolled her eyes. He was not making this easier for her.

Hugh saw her frustration on her shoulders as she stood there.

"I'm sorry, I just can't keep waiting for the next audition to be over to tell you how I'm feeling."

Alex turned around to look at him. She tried to say softly,

"How do you think I feel? I know. Since my first audition, I have been taking rejection after rejection. "But Hugh, you don't have to be here with me."

"Do you even want me here?" He asked pathetically.

"I have to admit Hugh," Alex said as she came to sit down with him in bed half-dressed. "This is exactly where I want both of us to be." This helped Hugh relax a little.

"But I'm not holding you hostage, and if you can't support me or don't enjoy being here with me, of course, I want both of us to be where we are happiest." She gave him a kiss; she didn't want the conversation to continue any longer. So she left to make herself coffee, grabbing the first t-shirt and pair of black leggings she found. And started to get ready for another day.


About the author

Beth (Halo) Hanson

Visonary painter, Realist writer

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