// abandonment, abuse, implied rape, bad end

Your fingers are going numb. Three hours since your shift ended and another three before the showers in the Y open. After that, maybe you can catch a few hours of sleep in the library. You resist the urge the glance at your phone, the battery is already low. The night is quiet.

You shrink into your coat and take another drag of your cigarette, trying to warm your frozen fingertips with the glowing cherry. It’s snowing again, blowing and drifting, fat wet flakes settling in your matted hair. It’s beautiful, silent, desolate. It’s killing you.

Your skin aches with a painful numbness that makes your movements slow and stiff. Your eyes focus and defocus, the cheerful Christmas decorations locked behind plate glass in the shop across the street blur in and out of focus. Take another drag, tell yourself it’ll be over soon.

You see the car as it turns the corner, the light and motion catching your attention as it slowly rolls down the snowy street. It doesn’t register to your that it’s stopping until someone is climbing out of the driver’s seat. You take another drag, he makes eye contact with you.

He’s older, balding, trying to keep a gut tucked into an ill fitting suit. The silver sports car idling behind him drips with power and status. you know what he is, you’ve seen his type before, his eyes give him away. He’s a predator, and that must make you his prey.

Every warning bell in your head is screaming to run away as he looks at you. Maybe on another night you would have, or maybe you just tell yourself that. Tonight your frost deadened muscles don’t so much as twitch. Take another drag of your smoke.

He’s going to ask you to go home with him, and you’re going to say yes. You don’t want to go with him, you don’t want to let him touch you, you’re going to agree to it anyway. You curdle with self loathing as you realize the idea excites you. What a disgusting thing you are.

He smiles lecherously, leaning casually against his car, “Evening miss, it’s a bit rough out tonight, can I ask what you’re doing out here?” 

Perfectly polite. You almost don’t notice the contempt in his words. Almost. 

“Smoking.” You hold up the nearly depleted filter.

“It’s very cold tonight,” he says, “Do you have somewhere warm to go?” 

Lie and say yes, lie and say yes, lie and say ye–You shake your head defeatedly.

“Why don’t you come stay the night with me?” he proposes, “I’m sure you’d like a warm place to sleep.”

You want to scream, you want to run, you want to burst into flame.

“That sounds nice,” you mumble, trying to hold back a sob. You know you’re going to regret this, you feel sick and disgusted with yourself. So why is it turning you on? Are you really that much of a freak?

He helps you to your feet and brushes you off while you try to ignore the way he’s examining you like a cut of meat. He opens the passenger door, but you make him wait while you finish your smoke. 

The snow swirls around you.

Take another drag, tell yourself it’ll be over soon.

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