Steve Griffin looked at the crumpled note in his hands and felt a moment of uncertainty.
He walked over to the window and reflected on his grey surroundings. He had always hated dank Grent with its dirty, crowded slums. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel unstable.
Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Dan Watson. Dan was an incredible failure with worry lines and greying hair.
Steve gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. His face was etched the same way, more so. And the greys were only held back by a greater disposable income than the man in the street. They’d been friends once, with incomes identical due to the shared responsibilities they’d held.
The storm teased at the window frame, desperate to enter, filling Steve with an unexplained nervous sense of premonition.
As Steve stepped outside and Dan came closer, he could see the grim, narrow smile on his face- clearly this had taken courage, and likely a more than healthy dose of whatever shine the slums had served up this week.
“I am here because I want forgiveness,” Dan declared in a brave tone, the emotion behind it not affected by the storm. His hands clenched and unclenched, knuckles turning white and back again
Steve looked back, still fingering the crumpled note, “Dan, I couldn’t stop you,” he replied, “not then, maybe now…” He trailed off, unsure what to say next
They looked at each other with eyes full of memory, of shared experiences, bad some, but mostly good. At least until more recent times.
Steve studied Dan’s worn clothes and fixed face. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, but I can’t give you forgiveness,” he explained, in pitying tones.
Dan’s face relaxed a moment before a hardness set in, his body tensing with the disappointment.
Steve turned at the sound of gunfire in the distance, the locals were out late tonight. Turning back he caught a glimpse of Dan’s long coat as he disappeared into the storm. His head dropped, mind filled with what-ifs and regrets,
Turning back to his home he knew things weren’t going to improve anytime soon, he’d need something stronger than tea to calm himself tonight.