Blind Date This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I walked into the room, I felt a iweight ion my shoulders. The room smelled of nicotine as the smoke filled my eyes and nostrils. A door to the right had a small window; looking out of the window was a man with a face full of fear and loneliness. Around the edge of the room were tables with a few men seated at them. Some read newspapers, some smoked cigarettes, and others talked to themselves. In the center of the smoke-filled room was a cluster of vinyl-covered couches. Lounging on these couches were men with their eyes concentrating on the television set which hung from the ceiling. A majestic landscape could be seen through the barred windows which led around the edge of the room, a landscape that most of these men would never have the chance to enjoy.

I was in awe of the view and failed to notice a man yelling at me from across the room. When he finally attracted my attention, he motioned me to come closer. I looked to my right and my left; when I realized that he was motioning to me, I strolled with apprehension toward him. His baggy clothes disguised the emaciated body beneath. The gray hairs in his half-grown beard matched those of his closely cut hair. Missing teeth caused his speech to be slurred; it took a few minutes to comprehend what he was saying.

Our conversation started with introductions. During that brief time, I had to ask him once or twice to repeat what he said. Topics to talk about came easily and in abundance. While he talked about his favorite fruit juices, his height, and what he did in his spare time, his eyes never strayed from mine. His eyes were those of a man who had been through many troubling experiences. The lines around those pools of faded blue and green showed a forced happiness when he smiled, and fear when he did not. They seemed to reach out and beg for my company to last forever. Although my presence gave him the opportunity to feel important, I realized that when I departed, his sense of belonging would depart too. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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