Johnny walked out the door and stood under the moonlit sky. Took a swig of Scotch, closed his eyes and thought about all he had been through and all that he had accomplished.
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say he had been through hell, or at least one definition of it. Sure there were people who could say they had been through much worse but that didn’t make it any easier for him. It didn’t take away any of the pain, anger or frustration and that was ok with him.
He wasn’t interested in holding a competition for who had suffered the most and were he entered into one he would gladly lose. There is no point nor benefit to winning such a thing.
Eyes wide open he looked up at the moon and pictured the apartment he had been living in. Mentally walked through the front door, turned to his right and looked at the couch, glanced to his left and stared at the kitchen.
Not long ago he would have sat on the balcony, headphones on his ear, drink in hand looking out at the scene in front of him.
He closed his eyes for a moment and pictured the street his complex was off of. Drove it in his head and took the road right back to one of his favorite restaurants. Thought about a magical night and smiled.
She had worn a black dress that hugged her curves and showed off her legs. Just thinking about it made his body respond in ways that made him remember high school and smile because this particular response wasn’t going to create any issues this time around. There would be no fear of being asked to go solve a problem on the board and no fear of being embarrassed by what had happened.
Music drifted in from across the street and he snorted, Charlie Rich was singing The Most Beautiful Girl. Hard to believe it was just coincidence, but maybe it was. Maybe it made perfect sense that a song that was 40 plus years old happen to be playing when he was thinking about…things.
Johnny leaned his head back and finished what was left of his Scotch and smiled again.
Smiled and thought again about how far he had come and how much he had managed to do. Every time he had gotten knocked down he had gotten back up and started climbing the hill again. It hadn’t been easy but he had found a way to fix most of what had been broken and had gotten answers to most of the questions that kept him awake at night.
But there were still a couple that would rattle around inside his head, a few that made him wonder about life and what direction he should head in.
Looking up at that moon again he thought again about his apartment and decided that he needed to move back. It made him feel sort of funny to admit that the place he had once called him didn’t feel like it anymore.
Something inside had changed and it was time to start over, time to build a future elsewhere. It was something he had known for a long time, long before he had moved in the apartment he had heard a voice inside calling to him, pushing him to move but he had ignored it.
Ignored it because he had believed it was only because she was there but this time around it was different. This time he didn’t just hear the voice, he felt it and this knew it was far more than her.
This time around it wasn’t completely unknown. This time around he knew where he was going and why.
Part of him felt some fear and uncertainty because the voice wasn’t something he could grab and hold onto. It wasn’t tangible, it was just a gut feeling that said “go and you will be rewarded.”
The man he had once been would have ignored the voice and done the opposite because he didn’t want to listen anything he couldn’t touch but the man he was now had seen and experienced things that made him believe there was something else out there in the ether.
Ultimately it didn’t really matter to him whether it was gut or desire because when he put it on paper and looked at the numbers it made perfect sense to move. There was more opportunity and he didn’t see a point to work harder for less when he could get so much more.
So he looked up at the moon, smiled and whispered “I’m coming home” and walked back inside the house. Except this time when he lay his head down upon the pillow he felt a different sort of comfort, the kind of peace of mind you get when you have made a big decision.