.

I entered wearing the uniform of followers although I was no longer one; I thought I’d be able to blend in. But, as soon as I filled his empty seat I could feel their whispering judgments crawling on my skin. I kept my head down, trying to avoid eye contact, but I saw their pointing fingers in my periphery. I struggled dodging their maddening looks of pity as the service came to a close. After respect had been paid, the congregants began to migrate to the exit and so I quickly became lost in a sea of black hats. Once outside, I walked the few blocks back home reminding myself that he rather I believe in something than nothing at all…

.

The door opened and the music rushed to my ears in loud pulses. The euphoria I inhaled made its way through my bloodstream, giving me a false sense of relief. I started to forget where I wasn’t as we headed to the bar. He handed me my next drink and I tried to continue our basement conversation, but things were always different upstairs; he was easily distracted. I looked for her to entertain me as he became the center of everyone’s attention, but it seemed she had already left. I wanted to stay, so I looked at the clock on the wall to give myself a reason to leave. I drank the remains of my liquid anesthesia, placed my empty glass down, and wrapped my arms around him. We exchanged counterfeit ‘I love you’s and then I headed for the exit…