Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Part One - VII : "And Life Goes On"

Part One

Chapter VII

And Life Goes On

"Hey Kevin, are you coming to... wait... are you still sleeping?"

Questions kill hopes of going back to sleep. Anytime anyone asks you a question, you are forced to think, thinking uses the brain, and when the brain is in use it is harder to fall back asleep.

"Well, I was. Why, what's up?

At this point I just gave up on the idea of sleep anyway. It was probably deep in the afternoon, and I should probably be up anyways. So I tried sitting up and opening my eyes.

"Dude, it's quarter of five, and you are still sleeping?"

"Again, I was, now what's up?"

I could hear him chuckling in disbelief on the other line. Doesn't bother me at all, I enjoy my sleep, nothing wrong with that, I mean what else do I have to wake up for?

"Anyways, are you coming to the party tonight? I can give you a ride if you need one."

Party, oh yeah, totally forgot about that. Um, do I want to go?


What else am I going to do? There is no way I am getting back to sleep, and everyone else I hang out with will be there, so there really isn't much of a choice.

"Yeah, what time you headed over?"

"In about two hours, think you'll be awake?"

He just woke me up from a thirteen hour nap, what was I going to do? Fall back asleep? Maybe.

"Yeah, I'm getting up now, eating, showering, stuff like that. I'll be read, just call me before you get here."

"K. Later man."


Now that I actually sit up I can hear everyone else in the house doing their daily activities. I can smell supper being cooked, smells like steak. I can also hear what seems to be my little bother playing video games in the next room. I look around at what has become a pigsty of my room, throw on the cleanest and closest pair of jeans, then put on deodorant before I leave my room.

I went straight for the bathroom. I looked in the mirror, saw the same face I have seen for the last twenty years day in and day out. My tan is starting to fade from my beach days this past summer, but tan or white, it didn't matter, it was still my face. Still the same look. Still the same questions seeking the same answers going on behind it.

Leaving the bathroom I went back to my room and started to clean it, or at the very least, organize it. I changed into my favorite t-shirt and threw the rest of my clothes in the hamper. By the time everything seemed in order it was almost five thirty. I grabbed the few dirty glasses I had left on previous nights in my room, and brought them into the kitchen. I was right, steak. I also had perfect timing.

"Dinner almost ready mom?"

"Yes, go get your brother, and wash your hands."

My mother always seemed to say things like that; "Wash your hands" or "Don't forget your jacket," yet never seemed to care if you followed through or not. I think it was just engraved into her from her own mother when she was growing up, and still feels the need to say it.

"Steven! Get your ass down here, dinner's done!"

"Don't talk that way to your little brother, and if I wanted to hear yelling I could have done it myself."

"He's eighteen, that's not that little anymore."

We could be in our thirties, but to her he would still be my little brother, the baby. I shoveled my food into my mouth as soon as I sat down at the table, and was finished in under five minutes. I ignored the "don't eat so fast"'s my mother instinctively spit out, and ran back to my room. I picked up the phone and called Chris back to see if he wanted to come any earlier.

"Hey Chris, I'm bored, let's do something before."

"Uh, okay. Just let me get ready, I'll be over in about fifteen minutes."

"Deal, see you soon."

As I was putting the phone down on my end table, the picture I had just put back up there when I cleaned up my room not even an hour prior, caught my eye. It was a picture of me and my best friend from high school. We were both making these funny faces and he was on my back. It was taken at a friends barbecue a few days before school ended. For the next year after that photo was taken we drifted farther and farther, and then he finally moved. It made me kind of wish that was our last memory together, just together with our friends enjoying an early summer day. I took it out of it's frame and put it in my wallet, then put my wallet in my pocket. I also grabbed my keys and my I-pod, fully stocked with music. My track jacket was on the back of my computer chair, I threw it on and went back to the bathroom. Chris pulled up outside and laid on the horn. I smiled at myself in the mirror and ran downstairs to my mom.

"Mom, I love you. "

I gave her a big hug and kiss, then ran out the front door. She barely had time to yell she loved me back before I was in the car.

"Hey man, what's up?"

He was on the phone with someone but I pretended like I didn't notice or care. As soon as I sat down I just stared at my house, and for the first time, I noticed that there was a bird's next on top of the gutter. It was huge too, must have been there for awhile. I guess I never really took the time to look at it before. Chris was talking with annoyance to whoever was on the phone.

"Okay, fine, bye."

I think it was his brother.

"Sorry, Chad's trying to see who is coming tonight. I need to get some gas."

Whatever man, you're driving."

I put my headphones on and blared my music from my I-pod. He never really liked putting in cd's, and never listened to anything loud, I need loud, I need deafening loud. I just put the seat all the way back and rested until the car came to a stop about ten minutes later.

"Are you going to get anything?"

"Huh?" taking off the headphones. "What?"

"I said are you going to get anything?"

"I don't know if I want anything."

"Well here, go pay and look around."

Lazy bastard. Oh well I mine as well go in and see if I want anything in there. As soon as I walked in though, I saw exactly what I wanted. A disposable camera. I grabbed it and put it on the counter, gave the cashier the money, and put the camera in my pocket, then ran back to the car.

"All set?"

"Yeah go ahead and pump."

I fell back into my comfy seat all the way leaned back, and turned the volume all the way back up.

The party was at Chris and Chad's place, and was supposed to start around eight, but there was already half a dozen people there when we arrived at six thirty. The eight of us continued on with what has become our weekly routine. Beirut and kings were being played, and a mix cd of songs of every genre, enough variety to keep everyone happy, rang in the background. In what passed like minutes, the rest of the crowd showed up.

One of the last to show up was Sarah and her friends. I was surprised she came, last I heard she was still up at the cabin for the week. After an awkwardly brief hello and a hug, she b-lined it for the fridge. I tried not to spend much time near her out of fear of changing my mind. Instead I spent the majority of the evening reminiscing with the guys.

"Remember how water rolls off of cinnamon?"

We laughed.

"Or when Bryan almost killed me with his sai?"

We laughed more.

Only a few people there knew what we were talking about; but it was this string of inside jokes and memories that would forever remind us of each other. Some of the nearby 'outsiders' have heard the stories behind the jokes and laughed along. One girl however was hearing it all for the first time, I had never seen her before.

The stranger had entered with Sarah. She was the only one who had never been to one of these parties before. They were fun, but always the same. As the song I had been waiting for all night came on, I made my move.

She was beautiful, the kind of beautiful that leaves your tongue grasping at words to even begin to describe her.

"Are you having fun?"


She didn't seem sure about that answer. It came off more friendly than sincere.

"Well I have two favors to ask of you."


She smiled. If never again in our lives, for that one second there was some connection.

"Well you see, I have this camera, and I want you to take a picture of me, but not just of me."


"Just trust me, here, I'll tell you when."

I adjusted where I was standing so in the background there was everyone. All playing games and talking, yelling, flirting. Everyone was having a good time, and no one saw her holding the camera. Everyone was too busy getting ready for the upcoming part in the song that I was waiting for.

"When you see everyone high five, take it."

At the exact moment I was waiting all night for, the flash went off. It blinded me, but even through the white spot, I could see her smiling in front of me handing me back the camera. That smile was almost enough to change my mind, but I had already made up my mind, there was no going back now.

"Thank you. Don't take this as anything more than a friendly compliment, but I have fallen in love with your smile."

That made her smile even more.

"Okay, one favor down, what is the second?"

Oh yeah. I can almost forgot what all this was really about.

"I need you to deliver a message for me."

"A message?"

"Come here."

She came in close, and I leaned in and whispered the second favor in her ear. I saw her smile fade as I pulled away, but the gleam in her eyes held strong. I all of a sudden felt an urge to kiss her, and I gave in. It was nothing more than a quick peck, I think she may have pulled away if it was anything more. She seemed tensed, perhaps she was already with someone. He is a lucky guy if so. I was oddly jealous of the idea.

"Thank you, it really means a lot to me."

She smiled again, she seemed to understand everything, and in a way it almost made it harder to leave. She knew there was nothing else to say, so she just kept smiling.

"It's no problem. Goodbye."


I walked out the door.

No comments:

Post a Comment