This was it. The return journey. His prescription painkillers were at this point we're in full effect and for the first time of the day, Aaron felt a soft spring in his step. It wouldn't last long. After an hour the effects of the tablets would wear off and he would be due his next dose. Still the weather was alright and it was rare that he was so pain free while outside. He might as well attempt to try and enjoy himself. The sun was shining and the clouds seemed to be staying away, at least from the sun.
The bonus effect to having the painkillers finally take hold was the fact that he could walk somewhat faster now, and not rely on his cane to take as much of the weight as it normally did. While he wouldn’t be able to make it home before they weared off, it would at least give him a head start. He knew of a small park close to his house. He used to go there regularly with Amanda…
Amanda. That was a word that Aaron didn’t want to hear in his head. He regularly used his painkiller fueled high to ignore those kinds of thoughts and suppress them. Aaron had managed to keep his entire sanity together using this most certainly not healthy coping mechanism. Aaron had been using it to run away from having to unpack and deal with the emotional damage of everything that had happened to him that fateful night. His heart still ached for the woman. Her locks of hair, that smell she had that Aaron could never quite figure out what it actually was. Everytime he guessed she simply laughed and said that he was way off. But for every single happy memory lodged in his brain, there was another more sinister or more harmful thought there too. For each point of love, there was one of hate. It was a confusing thought process to follow, swinging between the duality of these conflicting emotions. It was why Aaron tried not to think about them. While everyone was pining around Amanda to see if she was okay, and how she was doing, no one stopped to ask if Aaron was okay. The answer was no. Thanks for not asking.
His thoughts had successfully managed to eat away at his enthusiasm to go to the park. Now he just wanted to go home. Climb back into bed and stay there. Perhaps stare at the glow in the dark stars that were stuck to his ceiling above his bed. Edenridge was not a place for Aaron to be in. The community had decided that long ago.
Aaron began to make the trip back towards home, this time his pace slowed. Despite not being in pain, his mood only exaggerated his bad walk. It was almost as if his body was trying to deliberately shut his legs down. It didn’t help that the prescription bag was in his only other free hand. He had managed to make it down half the main street when he was abruptly and rudely stopped by a male. The male looked in his young 20’s, maybe a few years older than Aaron. He wore a black leather jacket, blue jeans, big boots. He was trying to look all care-free and intimidating. Aaron would be lying if he said he noticed the male, or even remembered him in some way. Living a good portion of the last year under a pseudo house arrest was a great way to forget what anyone looked like. Besides, he didn’t have to wait long for the male to make himself known.
”Oh look, someone let the firestarter out of his house.” It was such a cheesy line. It made the corners of Aaron's face grimace. If someone was going to try and make Aaron’s life hell, then at least be original or at the very least, experimental with it. Either way the male had successfully blocked his path. Aaron attempted to walk around, only for the male to simply adjust his body and block him, At this point they were practically chest to chest. The male had noticed the prescription bag as well and went in for his next jive.
”You set fire to the pharmacy on the way out huh?” Again. Subpar insult. Aaron’s facial expressions began to express more and more anger. Before Aaron could react the male had lifted his arms and shoved Aaron from the shoulders, causing Aaron to stagger backwards. His balance was gone and the only reason he managed to stay standing was the fact that Aaron was able to use his cane as a backstop to keep him upright.
”Someone should have set fire to you. Put a miserable little runt like you out of your misery.” That was it. Aaron wanted to say something. Words formulating in his brain:
”The 50’s called and want their Danny Zuko impression back”
See that was an insult. Sharp, witty. Aaron went to go speak. The words began to form in his mind, firing off towards his tongue. Nothing. No matter how hard he tried, the words wouldn’t come out of his mouth. Visible frustration plastered over Aarons face as he stood upright. He tried once more to speak, to get that tongue to move and produce sounds. But no. Nothing came. Aaron simply charged forward, using his shoulder to bash the male out of the way, who proceeded to yell cuss words at him and warned him to watch his back. Aaron couldn’t give a shit now what the guy was saying. Aaron was angry at himself. Once again he attempted and failed to conjugate.
Aaron needed to get inside and away from the world right now. He was only a minute walk from the family diner, which had become his new destination. Entering the classic diner, He was greeted by his mother standing behind the counter, looking tired and haggard. Her expression dropped when she saw Aaron infront of her. Both worry and tiredness. She went to speak but Aaron simply lifted his pinky finger and rubbed it down his nose in a single streak. That was all she needed to know. This message had been conveyed many times before. She gave a small smile as she let Aaron sit down at a booth and stare out of the window and wallow for a moment.