Sitting in the shadows of his porch, he took slow drags from his cigarette. As he exhaled, he realized the evening was cool enough he might have been able see his breath if it was not for the smoking. Smoking ruins a lot of things he concluded, but this was not one of them. Clint felt at peace.
In life, peace is hard to come by. Too many things strive steal it away without much of a moments notice. So if smoking helped him feel at peace, then he was determined to smoke. Everyone deserves a little peace in their life. This was his.
On queue, the peace was broken. A quick pace, rustling of leaves at the side of the porch. Clint spots a boy running through is yard.
"Hey kid, what's the hurry?"
The boy stopped, unsure of where the direction of Clint's voice.
Clint slowly stirred, standing up and moving into the little bit of light shining from street light a few homes down the road.
The boy looked back towards his destination questioning if he should run.
"Hey kid. Come here. I gotta ask ya a question." Clint could tell the boy was torn between staying and going. "Look son, I'm not gonna to hurt ya. I just want to know why ya gotta run through my yard."
The boy started to turn back in the direction he was heading.
"Your girlfriend chasin ya?"
The boy chuckled. "No."
The boy looked at his feet. "I don't have a girlfriend."
Clint came down off the porch, remaining on the bottom step. "Well, why are ya runnin through my yard? Don't ya have something better to do?"
"I'm late and my mom will be mad. I didn't mean anything by it. Can I go mister?"
Clint slowly turned towards his porch as if to go back into his dark corner of peace. Having second thoughts, Clint turned towards the boy to notice he was about to run off.
Clint couldn't see the boy rolling his eyes nor know his thoughts.
Clint continued "...ya see them flowers there by the mailbox?"
"Why don't ya grab a couple and take them to your ma. A peace offering. Maybe she won't be so mad."
The boy hesitated. Was he serious?
Stepping forward to take small handful of flowers rather abruptly, the boy looked back at Clint. "Thanks mister."
Clint sat back down. Lit another cigarette. As he drew in that first long breathe, he mused himself with dwindling sight of the boy disappearing into the next yard. He wondered if the flowers would make it. He wondered if the flowers would bring the boy peace.