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He walked through the old alleyway.
Crushed needles and broken bottles scatted in bulk along the cobbles.
Cigarette buts sat in the concrete cracks alongside positive pregnancy tests.
Snapped pocket knives and bloodstains, with some old police tape blowing in the wind.
The grey and graffitied walls of the public secondary school lay just around the corner.
He crushed glass from a variety of origins with almost every step.
He looked out of place.
His shining shoes and jacket that smelt of something other than stolen cologne and or drugs.
He looked like he was lost.
But he was at home.
This was his home.
Or the government’s excuse for one.
He walked with confidence and a closed fist.
His iPhone hidden and ears peeled.
He knew how the lads around here worked.
He knew every trick in the book.
Takes one to know one.
He got to the end of the alleyway,
Without any trouble.
He smiled as he looked at the damp housing in front of him.
He could smell the mould, just by looking at it.
No.6, there’s where he was going.
The star of the town,
A success story.
Looking back at with he had left behind.
He didn’t walk over to the rusted old gate.
He had a detour to make first.
He kept walking.
The corner shop was still there and by the looks of things,
So was the late-night business that had always sat above.
Even before the products were old enough to be severed.
He picked up a bunch of silently wilted white roses,
Producing a fiver from his pocket.
He didn’t think he had ever bought anything here with a note before,
Always loose change.
He left and continued walking,
He was almost on the nice side of town now.
There was still broken bottles and cigarette buts but the police tape was new.
Like they still cared.
His mind was reminiscing.
Thinking about everything that had gone on here,
Leaving each day as if it was his last cos it could have well been.
The kids around here,
They have always fought fire with fire.
Maybe fire around here is easier to get,
More readily available than water.
He thought about his friends, his real ones.
What had become of them?
Is heaven real?
And if so has he given her a break?
He walked to the graveyard.
He pushed against the gate,
It opened with ease.
At least the dead were being taken care of.
Gravel lay below his feet.
Every single pebble had been covered in a tear,
Too many tears.
He knew where to go.
The second row to the church, five down, two across.
There he was.
A cheap gravestone, half the estate had chipped in to get it.
The beauty of a community all brought together by poverty.
Someone else was standing there.
Someone came often, there was fresh flowers on it and the weeds were pulled.
There were cigarette buts and security tags in their place.
He got closer, standing there was a woman.
She had pale skin and a leopard print coat hung from her shoulders.
Her hair a bleached blonde and her delicate hands were shaking.
Her coat hung low revealing her left shoulder, a small infinity symbol stick and poke sat there.
He remembered the day she got it,
It was him who gave it to her.
He remembered how her bright blue eyes filled with life, light once she saw it.
He remembered the mischievous smile that lit up her cheeks.
He remembered her.
It had been a long time.
He took a deep breath and in a loud and steady voice,
he spoke her name.
The women turned.
When she saw who was standing there she smiled.
She recognised him.
She always would, regardless of her state of mind.
He recognised her,
What was left of her,
Only by the tattoo.
There was white powder on her skin-tight body con dress.
Her hair was a mess, it was the morning after.
The flowers she had bought with her tip.
He smiled back at the empty women that stood in front.
Her cheeks had caved in, her lipstick was smudged.
His eyes met hers.
They were still a beautiful ocean blue.
But her eyes that had once taken on life,
Her eyes were empty.
No one was home.