Sunday, May 12, 2013
So I've never shared any fiction here before? Probably because I can hardly write a short story to save my life. But I thought I'd try today.
She was sitting on the opposite end of the couch, two cushions down from me, looking in the direction of the tv. She wasn't watching the movie, though, she was just staring into nothingness. In her hands was a cup of hot chocolate that she'd only accepted because she wouldn't open her mouth to say "No, I don't want any. Leave me alone." She'd been this way since the day of the funeral; the first time I'd ever seen her; the day my mom brought her home. She just sat, stared, and accepted, but never said a word or ate a morsel. Her hair was unbrushed and her face was clean of any make up, which seemed strange, considering all the other girls I'd ever known wouldn't even leave their rooms without their faces painted and their hair pinned perfectly. Maybe that's what happens when you lose both your parents in the same night and the only person left to take care of you is your mom's best friend; a woman you've never met before. Maybe you stop caring after that. Or maybe she was just different from any of the other girls I'd ever known.
When the movie ended, we just sat there with our off tempo breathing as the only noise in the room.
"What does it feel like?" I didn't even realize I was asking it out loud until she snapped out of her daze and looked at me with her icy blue eyes.
She stared for a while before she found the words or decided she trusted me or just felt like talking after being mute for so long. "It feels like trying to read an enthralling book at three in the morning. You want to read, but your body is telling you otherwise. Your eyes keep closing and the words smear together and you can't make sense of anything. You want to know how the story ends, but you don't have the strength to stay awake. You can't stay awake, no matter how hard you try, because drowsiness keeps pulling you back. Eventually you fall asleep. And when you wake up you just regret. You regret not being able to stay awake, you regret not finishing the story, you regret not being able to sleep longer, you regret staying up so late. You crawl out of bed and everything hurts because there's no good position to read for hours on end and you fell asleep with the book still open and your glasses still on the bridge of your nose, so now you have a crick in your neck. And even though you slept instead of reading the book, you're still tired the rest of the day and you can't do anything anybody is expecting you to do. You still can't read the rest of the story, you can't do school, and you can't go out and weed the garden. You can't do anything. But you still don't want to fall asleep again. No matter what you do, you can't have what you want. That's what it feels like, Joe."
"So why not get some caffeine?" It was a stupid thing to say, but it was the only thing I could think of. At least it makes her smile. A microscopic smile, which makes her skin look warmer and not so porcelain and frozen. She shook her head at me with her sad smile, then stood up and placed the mug of hot chocolate (which had long since turned to cold chocolate) on the coffee table, and walked off toward the old office we'd turned into a bedroom for her. But before she reached the door, she turned around. "Thanks," she said.
"For not trying to make me feel better."
She was definitely different from any of the other girls I'd ever known.
kbye. | Megan