Walking alone in the dark. Heart pounding, tempo high. Footsteps echo through the night. I push my hands deep into my pockets, fists curled tight. Shouldn’t have come this way, shouldn’t have walked away.

The steps quicken. I hold my breath. Push on hard. Then exhale. Just another girl on her way home. Another girl like me. I breathe.

The air doesn’t escape, it traps in my throat. Hands around my arm, squeezing tight. I shouldn’t have come this way.

Turn to the darkness, my sleeve is caught on a branch. I release it and run on through the park. Run into the embrace of the waiting street lights.

Back to the city, back to the noise. I bathe in the glow, inhale the street. No more diversions. No more tonight.


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