Literary Fiction strangers travelers Travel lights bar lovers


By Shawn Cropley
Aug 3, 2020 · 275 words · 1 minute

From the author: A lonely travelers night out.

The lights of the city on a clear, warm night. They twinkle and shine, they cause me to wonder what they illuminate. A kitchen light helping someone make a late dinner, the flicker of a television, thousands of street lamps giving refuge from the dark for those who need it. I'm standing against the railing of the rooftop bar of my hotel. It's busy, packed. You can tell none of them are locals, they don't look like the waitstaff. We're all travelers, halfway around the world from home, strangers in an air of excitement, gaiety, and loneliness. Touching gently, laughing, purposely growing close to someone as the night draws to a close. Worlds apart. Pairs of lovers who may never know each other's true names or self. I lean out over the city and take a deep breath. The patio empties out and the staff begins cleaning. I catch the eyes of a woman sitting alone at a table. We stare for a moment, a reflection of spirit, of a taciturn energy we both recognize. She pushes out the chair across from her with her foot. I barely nod and walk over. I give a name and so does she. We sit across from each other and don't speak, watching the closing ritual around us, exchanging smiles whenever our eyes meet. We get up at the same time.

"It was nice to meet you."

"You too."

We trade faint smiles and part ways. 

I sit by the window in my room and look out at the lights of the city, more now than before. I turn on every light in my room and join them.

Shawn Cropley

Shawn Cropley writes stories.