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The Drought

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The Drought
The trees sway back and forth, as if to disagree with something. The dew glistens on the field as the sun rises in the distance and a cardinal lands on the big oak in the field, reminding me that I am home. Dust rises in the air as my truck’s tires roll against the cracked dirt. The drought ruins the beauty of the farm I grew up on in the summers of my childhood like an agricultural paradox of my life. Rows of corn that once looked beautiful now appear dull and barren in the heat of July. I relate to the crop as I can only watch my family die little by little as every day passes. Cars roll by, with the sound that used to scare me but now only make me long to be outside. Outside of this damn farm with all its memories and away from all the disappointments that made me who I am today. Its funny how as time passes we grow to accept the person we see in the mirror everyday even when that person would be a disappointment compared to who we always pictured ourselves being. A deer runs the edge of the field for a few hundred yards until he is finally swallowed by the trees. Chalk him up to the list of things gone from my life forever.
Clouds roll in the sky, and as always they assume the shape of the things I want to see the least at the moment. A heart, two people hugging; a gun. I arrive at the house on the back of the farm and go inside. As always it sits empty, like the “I love you” mom told me before I left Richmond. The bedrooms used to buzz with movement and emotion before the divorce, but now they sit dormant waiting for the next family to see the “For Sale” sign near the beginning of the long dirt road, and move in. As I walk towards the old wooden steps, the whiskey weighs heavily in my hand, but it doesn’t touch the weight I feel on my hip. The steps creak with excitement, as I return for the first time in years, but the excitement quickly turns to fear as the house can see right through me and knows exactly what I came here to do. As I walk the hallways that seemed so big when I was younger, memories flood back, haunting me; taunting me. The bitterness of the Jim Beam distracts me and I can focus again. I kick in a door and fall to the ground as the weight of my childhood memories buckle my knees; I am in my room. Surrounded by ghosts, I chug the medicine now, and the room starts to spin.
I sit on my old bed and look around the room, remembering the joy that it once held; my first kiss, phone calls well into the morning hours, and my first beer. But swept underneath the carpet are the darker memories that can be recalled at the drop at the hat. The countless nights questioning life and its direction weigh me down and I pull out the revolver hidden under my shirt and place it on the pillow beside me. The bullets fall flawlessly into the groves that are meant to hold them; childproof my ass. With the gun loaded, the thought of suicide becomes a reality, and the smooth metal feels cold against my skin. I take one more moment to think about my past and where it has brought me and ask “How’d I get here?” The child prodigy who was supposed to see the fast track to success, and now all I can do is stare down the barrel of a .45. “How’d I get here?” Again no audible answer can be heard, but the walls scream reminding me. My hand shakes, and the steel weighs down my arm but the trigger takes only a slight squeeze and it’s over.

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