in the city i walk alone
It’s dark. The kind of dark where, if you think too much about it, the imagined crunch of someone stepping on fallen leaves behind you, you can give yourself nightmares.
The kind of dark where street lamps cast filtered cones of light with rainbow halos and bathe the night an eerie orange glow. With impenetrable shadows chasing you, waiting up ahead and around the corner.
Your foot steps come a little faster, a little faster still. One hand tightens around the strap of your purse, holding it closer to your chest, while the other digs around within its depths, nervous fingers searching out keys or wrapping around a plastic pen, anything that might be used to defend yourself. If it comes down to that.
You cast furtive glances over your shoulder. No one there.
Still no one there.
In a city so populated, it’s strange how at this moment you can feel just so alone.
It’s almost as if the darkness has a sound, a quiet rustling when wind blows through trees. A girl’s laugh. A dog barking. Tires squealing somewhere down the street. At night, the city echoes and you fancy you can hear any sound carried across the roof tops.
Those quick foot falls of yours are coming back to you now. And you can’t decide if they belong to you or someone else.
You hurry on, afraid of your own shadow as it follows at your heels.