Love By Dawn
By far and away, my nights were the worst. Each one a torturous, step by step, sleepless marathon of pain and ruthless darkness. In the light of day, I was able to somewhat distract myself and find some semblance of solace. But at night, an endless loop of Lori’s cheating replayed savagely in my mind. And to make matters worse, Lori’s duplicity was often accompanied by my own voice.
You’ll never find true love and devotion…It just isn’t in the cards…
After Lori and I parted ways, I spent my first few sleepless nights aimlessly roaming the darkened, empty streets near my home. On the third night, I wandered around for hours and eventually found myself on the beach. And within a few minutes of my arrival, I discovered that the sound of the breaking waves had a very soothing effect. It didn’t turn off the mental imagery or erase my own self-abuse, but it made them tolerable.
After that night, I made it a point to head straight to the beach. In short order, I found myself walking on the sand and listening to the waves until the sun came up. And once it did, the light of a new day somehow made it bearable enough to return home.
Although my pain was a constant companion, I realized it was lessening with each passing day. Somehow, each step and each wave slowly altered my perception and forced me to accept an unpalatable reality: Lori—and all the others— were damaged goods, but so was I.
Somewhere around the six month mark, I made a vow to myself:
Never again…It isn’t worth the pain…
But then, I met Dawn.
When I first saw her, I was shocked by her appearance. Her chocolate brown hair was filthy and matted and her eyes were listless. It was obvious that she’d been through as much turmoil as I had—or even worse.
In silence, we appraised one another. I didn’t want any company so I turned and headed in the other direction. However, I quickly realized, she was trailing a short distance behind me.
Completely frustrated by her actions, I decided to skip seeing the sunrise. I quickened my pace and headed straight for home. I was walking up my driveway when I heard a noise behind me. In an instant—and without looking—I knew it was Dawn.
I spun around to yell at her but I found that I couldn’t. One more look into her eyes made it impossible. For the next few moments, we silently stood and stared at one another. I then sighed deeply and invited her inside.
Three Years Later
Our meeting turned out to be serendipitous. With Dawn, I’ve found the very things I never thought I would ever have in my life. I’ve found true love and acceptance. For me, there’s nothing better—at the end of a long day—than to have Dawn happily greet me at the door with her leash.
Mark Kuglin is an American expat currently living and working near Ensenada, Mexico. He writes fiction, poetry, and the occasional essay. Samples of his work can be found on his website markkuglin.com or by following him on Twitter @cr8fiction. Additionally, he has a profile and a page @markkuglincreativewriting on Facebook.