A broken man stumbled upon a young woman’s doorstep. He knocked with the very last of his strength and collapsed. The knock was so subtle that the young woman almost did not even hear it. She cautiously walked towards the door and called out from behind it. “Hello? Is anyone there?” She was quite frightened honestly. It was a late night in Essex and, it was storming harshly outside. All of this just made her that much more uncertain of what to expect. She did not want to open the door to just any random stranger so she called out again. “If someone is out there please, say something.” The man outside, drenched, and unconscious obviously could not reply. The woman put her ear up to the door but, all she could hear was the rain. Finally, after a few seconds of gathering up courage she opens the door and nearly jumps at the sight of a man laying helpless on her doorstep. She looks at him and stands there studying him for a moment. He is wearing clothes that look rather nice but, they have not been washed in days. I supposed he does not look like an everyday homeless person but, why is he wandering around like this? How old is he? From the clothes he has on she would assume around twenty years old. How many doors did he exactly knock on just like this? “Well, I cannot just leave him out here.” The young woman grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around the man. She carefully picked him up and as she did, she heard a faint whisper. “Food.” It was the man. “P-Please. I need food.” The young woman nodded. Not knowing what to fully expect she led the man inside and shut the door behind them.
Once the two were inside she led him to the small couch in the living area. The man would have nearly fallen again if not for the woman helping him stay on his feet. It was then that she got a closer look at him. She studied his features and listed them to herself. Facial hair but a little patchy. Probably too young to grow it completely. Light brown eyes almost golden honestly. Dark bags underneath them. Looks like he has not had a good night’s rest in quite a long while. I can feel his ribs. Just how long has it been since he ate an actual meal. The woman pondered her thoughts as she helped him sit down on the couch. As soon as the man got comfortable, he found himself alone since the woman walked to the kitchen. She remembered the man’s request for food. As she was moving things around in the kitchen the man could not stand on his own but, he was able to look around. The woman’s apartment was not noticeably big. Looked like just enough space for a bedroom, bathroom, small living area, and a kitchen tied to it. It looked old but tidy and well kept. She did her best to take care of it the man thought. As the young woman came back to him, she placed some bread in his hands and set a glass of water on the table in front of him. She then took her seat next to him but kept a bit of distance between them. Her uncertainty was still in the air and it made her hands shake a little. She had no idea who he was and that made her nervous. She watched as he ate the bread rather quickly and took the glass of water between his hands. “T-Thank you” He murmured. She tried to think of how to respond to him but instead of the normal reply she decided to ask him a question hoping to somehow ease her worry. “What is your name and, how old are you?” The man heard the hesitance in her voice and softly spoke with a small smile. “Carson, the names Carson ma’am and, I am twenty years old.” Seeing his smile, she gave a small grin back, “Well Carson my name is Estella and its nice to meet you.” Estella’s perception was spot on from when she saw him laying on the doorstep. He was just a little over two years older than her. As she thought to herself, she began to recall her wonders from earlier. “Carson what were you doing out this late?” He was dead silent. She knew she caught a tough topic but, she wanted to know how this strange young man ended up like this. “Do you have no home?” She pushed a little further. “Family?” As she spoke, she saw Carson shed silent tears. “If I asked to much, I’m s-” He finally interrupted her after wiping his tears. “I’ve got nobody and nowhere to go.” They both sat there silently for a moment. Estella eventually broke the silence. “Well, you can stay here for the night and we can talk more about it in the morning if you’d like.” Carson looked up at her and tried to speak but she shook her head. She knew he would try to reject the offer. “Don’t worry, it’s no problem at all.” She spoke in a reassuring tone to ease his panic. Carson just nodded his head and laid down on his side on the couch where he was sitting. Estella grabbed another blanket from the closet since the one he was using was basically soaked at this point. As she spread it out over him, she noticed his eyes again. With a bit of fresh tears in them they were a bright gold. Almost like honey. Carson looked back at her as she was mesmerized with his eyes. “Is everything alright?” He asked. As if she has been released from a trance she quickly backed up. Her face was flushed red. She looked away from him and spoke rather quickly. “I-If you wake up before me just knock on my door. I need to start getting up earlier anyways.” With that she lit the candle that was on the table and retired to her room. As she laid in her bed, she could not help but wonder. What on earth had Carson went through to bring him to this point?
“Carson. Oh, c’mon Carson wake up already. Carson!” I opened my eyes to see a familiar face that I had not expected to see in a long time. A beautiful girl with a soft gentle smile, dark brown eyes, and long silky hair gave me a concerned look as she was shaking my arm to wake up. “You were tossing and turning a lot last night. Is everything alright?” As if time were frozen, I gazed upon the girl in front of me almost wanting to cry. Renisme or Ren for short. The girl I fell in love with ever since I met her back when I was sixteen years old. You did not have to see her to recognize who she was though. All you had to do was hear her voice. I loved when she would sing, and I always encouraged her to push herself when it came down to her getting nervous or discouraged. Her voice had blossomed into something completely unbelievable over the years and I was so proud of her. “Carson? Hello, did you get lost in thought or something?” She laughed and poked my cheek. As if I was dragged back into reality, I just smiled and embraced her. “I love you Ren.” I closed my eyes and just held still in that moment to recapture the emotions and feelings I once knew. “I’m sorry Carson but, I don’t love you anymore.” I opened my eyes in shock and saw where I now was. It was that night, the night that everything came crumbling down. My hands shook and I looked up at Renisme who was no longer in my arms. She was a couple feet away from me looking down at the floor. “You need to leave.” Those words echoed in my head. Hearing them again sent spikes of pain through my heart. “Please Ren, don’t do this. Please don’t go.” I begged again just like I once did with tears flowing down my face and my voice beginning to crack. The memories of pain and hurt flooded my mind and it all came tumbling down on me again so suddenly that it felt like my heart was splitting in two. “You need to leave.” Again, those words were said and, I fell to my knees with my face covered by my hands crying and shaking. My whole world had begun crumbling down and I could not do anything to stop it. Finally, as if God had shown mercy on me, I woke up. It was a dream. No, it was not a dream. That was a nightmare. I am surprised to see another familiar face staring at me with a similar concerned look. “Carson are you alright?” Estella looked at me as if I were a child and I shot up immediately from where I was laying. “I’m fine don’t worry about me.” I was still shaking, and she noticed it but, she was staring at something different. “Carson you’re crying.” I immediately turned away from her shaking my head. “I said I’m fine. Where is the restroom so I can wash up?” Estella just stared at me still as if I was a hurt child. I loathed the feeling of being pitied. “It’s the door right after my bedroom.” It looked like she wanted to question further but, to my relief she decided not to. I nodded to her and hurried to the bathroom. When I returned to the couch I woke up on, Estella was no where to be seen. Instead I found a small note written on some scratch paper and placed on top of some clothes.