Saturday, May 28, 2011

Untitled & Work In Progress #1

        This is something I wrote way back in early March while on vacation from school and home alone and reading short stories online. I read this really good one I liked about a girl who just wakes up and narrates her morning on the day of her father's birthday and I guess it struck a note with me and I started writing this shortly after. 
        This still doesn't have a title after two months of sitting in a file on the computer and it's still a work in progress but I figured it's close enough to being done that I would put it up on here for people to comment on. 

         It's usually the bright glare of the sun bouncing off the snow into his room that wakes him up on his birthday, or the excitement. He remembers when his mom would come into his room on the morning of his birthdays; he could feel her presence above him, looking down on him. He wouldn't expect her to jump on his bed to wake him up, maybe just a soft voice saying "happy birthday". He wouldn't enjoy it either, as she was telling him to wake up in a playful way, he'd think to himself "why was she doing this?" She'd tell him to sleep a little more; she just wanted to say 'Hi' before going to work. And before he could hear her walk down the stairs, he'd roll over, pulling the blanket over him a little more, and go back to sleep.
        Today it was the bright glare from the sitting snow outside that got him to sit up in his bed. His clock said it was 9:17am and he didn't have to worry about the time or starting a fire to keep him warm. He didn't have to feed any birds or walk any dogs, plenty of time to get a little more sleep. He ignored his body telling him to lie back down. He gets up to pull his legs into a pair of jeans, push his arms through a t-shirt and a sweatshirt before leaving his bedroom for the bathroom. He crashes around in there for a few minutes, putting on his contacts and brushing his teeth before leaving to go downstairs.
        The hallway downstairs before the kitchen and living room is chilly; he zips up his sweatshirt before going into the kitchen. The kitchen is small with only a fridge, a sink, and a stove, plenty of counter-space between everything. The living room is next to the kitchen, separated by more counter space and cupboards filled with pots and pans spilling over onto the floor every time someone opens a cupboard door. He looks out the window over the sink, at cars covered in melting snow and lifeless trees; he couldn’t see anyone outside on the sidewalks. He catches himself being blinded by the sun again and has to look away before going blind. Breakfast this morning would be a cheap bowl of cereal he got at a department store he likes that is over fifteen miles away from here. He takes his bowl of cereal into the living room and sits down on the couch, while leaning back to turn on the television. The news is only reports of recent protests and riots in the Middle East that he’s already heard a million times before, he switches the channel to some infomercial advertising to him that he needs to buy his mom another useless cooking appliance. Sitting there eating each spoonful of knockoff cereal with the TV playing in the background. This is what he’s done the last three days of his life, just staying inside all day at home by himself. He knew he’d half to go out sooner or later to get some more food, or at least for some fresh air. What he didn’t want to deal with though was bumping into any of his parent’s friends, so he could hear how sorry they are and ask him some rhetorical questions.
        He remembers his previous birthdays, once spent with mom, dad, his brother and sister, and his grandparents. From the minute he woke up to the moment he went to sleep it was his day, all the attention was focused solely on him. He remembers his fourth birthday spent in Florida where he got his first bicycle, his twelfth birthday he got a stereo and a new Weezer CD, and today he gets this day to himself. At first he misses all the attention, but after a minute it passes and he gets used to the new found silence that fills the house, except for the occasional hum that comes from the furnace firing on.
        While he gets up to put his empty bowl into the sink, he hears someone walk up the porch steps and knock on the screen door, he doesn't look to see who it is, or run to get the door. He stands still in front of the sink filled with dirty dishes from last night’s dinner. He thinks, who could be at the door, but no one specific would come to mind. The sound presents itself again, this time it's louder and the knocks are longer. After a minute whoever was at the door gives up and leaves the porch, they disappear altogether. He didn't know who it was, even though he was a little curious to what they might of wanted, he wasn't in the mood to talk to many people today. Putting his bowl into the sink consciously making sure not to make any sound, he walks out of the kitchen, into the hallway slowly, and up the stairs into his bedroom. The sun was producing enough light to highlight everything wrong in his bedroom; the dirty pile of clothes in the corner, the unorganized desk, and the bed a mess of blankets and sheets. He goes to his desk and opens the first drawer and gets his wallet, checking the inside he finds he only has twelve dollars and a learner’s permit that expires today. He folds up the wallet and slips it into his back pocket and continues to look in the drawer for his house keys, which he finds a few seconds later. Closing the desk drawer he leaves his room and goes into the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror. He wanted to make sure he looked good enough to go out into public; he didn't want his hair to look unkempt or his clothes to look dirty, even though they were. He splashed some warm water into his face and combed his hair to the right and parted it, but not too much. Turning off the bathroom light he went back downstairs to the hallway to put his jacket on.
        Outside it wasn't much warmer then inside, the snow was still blinding and it took his eyes a couple minutes to adjust to the sudden change. The sidewalks were full of slush and puddles to step in and the road didn't look much better.
        Walking felt like a task, he looked down to make sure he wasn't going to step into any deep puddles, the city should do a better job cleaning the sidewalks he thought. He kept walking and soon his house was out of sight around a corner, cold and undesirable. Coming to a stop at a crosswalk with lots of cars stopped at an intersection an older lady came up from behind him and waited next to him. She was dressed like someone had dipped her in purple; purple hat, purple jacket, and purple shoes.
"Shouldn't you be in school today?" She asked him.
"Uh, not today" He said looking in the opposite direction, hoping she'd leave it at that.
"Why not dear?" She persisted.
"Just because I don't have to."
"Nonsense, you need to be in school young man, it's important."
"I know it's important, I'm just not in school for today."
"I think you need to go home and ask your mother or father to drive you to school today."
"Right, okay I will." He said hoping she wouldn't persist any longer. The light turned and the older lady walked across the street, but he only stood there for a second before turning around and walking back home forgetting why he even bothered going outside today.

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