‘Got to keep running Rabbit,’ he says to himself as the cold sweat of fear falls across his brow like an unwelcome shadow to his heavy laden day, ‘got to keep running.’
Words are all he has left after optimism had left his choice option a seeming millennia ago. Where do you go when the cards you have are as numerous as the one finger you can raise to the sun?
Rabbit, his breathing heavy, stops to rest awhile on a now closed hardware store step, yet another business swallowed up by the development of this so called town. God it was hot today. As he sits with every inch of his body hiding in the shadows, sweat still found rivers to run down his body and drench his clothes.
‘If I can make it till sundown,’ he whispers to himself. He always feels happier when darkness fell and his lost dreams could fade into the depths of a Midwest night.
A car drives by, open top it is with young kids peeping and a hollowing, and there, in the back, a girls long blonde hair is caught by the breeze and thrown into the slipstream of Rabbit’s sodden memory. He knew he would never be free of her, never released from the dream of what might have been had he not fought her so badly that he lost her and any chance of redemption. Rabbit, now in his late 50’s, feels totally ancient, a life washed away and his damn heart keeping him hopelessly alive.
The car of kids sweeps back up Main Street and this time as it passes the girl with the golden hair looks his way and seems, in one fleeting moment, to see right through the hopeless flaw that Rabbit has become. The moment comes and goes causing the older man to age still further and creep back even more into the shadows which now claw at him to possess his very soul.
Minutes pass and hours too before day tires of its menace and gives way to an eve that releases dear Rabbit to walk home at pace and there, in the solace of an empty back yard and a bench that had seen better days, he is able to breathe again.
Nightfall comes and soon enough the sky turns an inky black. It is Rabbit’s favourite time of day, always has been since he had been a kid. Somehow life just makes more sense when there is no bright light to make everything all confused like.
Would there be a way back for brave Rabbit, a man who had fought the fights that life has dealt him and who now just welcomed each day as a sure countdown to him being able to leave the whole charade of this world behind.
Rabbit looks up, his eye initially following the curl of smoke as it had left his mouth and risen elegantly into the greedy sky, and there, as clear as day, he sees a shooting star explode across the night canvas.
He finds his heart lifting before he can even try and control the emotion and suddenly his mind is throwing out optimism like it’s on commission.
A smile flickers across Rabbit’s face as he feels an emotion he has not felt for far too long. Joy.