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The Exit (standard:non fiction, 622 words)
Author: Lady MacKenzieAdded: Jan 27 2001Views/Reads: 2203/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Love: falling into it, losing, and picking yourself back up only to jump into it all over again.

The Exit 


The camera flashed just as the man put up a “wall,” bared his teeth, and
pushed forth a vague smile. He was surrounded by hundreds of people, 
young and old, milling around him like ducks in a pond. He held a tube 
close to his side, seemingly protecting it from any harm. Inside the 
tube was a recently autographed picture of the actor who played Darth 
Maul in the hit movie "Star Wars". 

The air outside the building had a brisk and bitter chill to it. Chicago
almost always had that blustery cold feel about it, even in the 
springtime. There was something eerie about the way the wind hit 
people's faces as they walked the streets on a dark Chicago eve. All it 
took was to be outside for a couple of minutes. Then, after entering a 
heat-infested establishment, everyone's cheeks would bleed wind-chapped 
red blotches. 

"Are you ready to go?" Jared shouted to Dale over the hundreds of
squealing Star Wars addicts. 

Dale, still squinting his eyes to recover from the camera's flash,
quietly said "Sure," and sauntered behind Jared still clutching his 
tube as if he were holding on for dear life. 

As the two plowed their way through groups of teenagers, singles,
couples, and older fans, the doors seemed farther away than ever. In 
Dale's mind, all he could think of was getting home, crawling into a 
warm bed, and falling asleep. He could care less if he woke up the next 
morning. I mean, it was just his life. 

Still, they trudged forth through more crowds...crowds that seemed
never-ending...crowds that seemed as if they were purposely stopping 
them from getting anywhere. Both men seemed almost lost; however, Dale 
seemed to have completely spun off into his own world somewhere in the 
deep, dark void. 

Jared's eyes darted aimlessly about, searching for a closer exit.
Dale’s; however, looked only down, watching Jared's feet plod onward. 
Left, then right. Left again, then right. It seemed a never-ending 
game; something that, to Dale, had nothing to do with getting out of 
Chicago, but had more to do with getting out of that which was his 

So many times in the past, Dale searched to find someone, the other half
of his soul, to complete him. Over and over again, he failed. In his 
heart, this was what he felt, and so on that dark night in Chicago, him 
and his best friend Jared had went to an autograph signing.  Little did 
Jared know that deep within his friend was a longing to get away from 
everything he knew. This was the best friend that Jared had known all 
throughout high school. The friend from band class. The friend to which 
he had confided. The friend that was secretly dying inside. 

No clues on Dale's exterior gave anyone any idea about the feelings he
kept locked up inside. Everyday he would get up, go to school or work, 
and put on a happy face for the world. Never would anyone guess what 
was really going on inside. He was afraid of getting hurt...afraid of 
giving his heart fully to another only to have it ripped out and 
stomped on. 

Still, Jared and Dale kept pushing through the crowds. Dale's mind
further entrenched itself in its loss, trying to push away the hurt, 
but clearly only wallowing in it, unable to break free. 

*Months later* 

Visually imagining being back in the building in Chicago, Dale's eyes
lifted. He was no longer staring at the heels of Jared's shoes, 
seemingly wandering circles looking for an exit. Instead, now he held 
his head high. His eyes seemed brighter. And with a clear path, a few 
feet away, was the exit. 


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