10 March 2009

green means go. | pt. 4

I'm laying flat on my back. The red digits on my alarm clock say 10:18. I can hardly believe I'm still awake. My eyes have adjusted to the fog of light that reaches through the curtains. My room emerges gray from a deep black. My hands are clammy and I press one gently against the wall, tracing the rough textured wallpaper, letting it absorb my heat. The lump on my floor rolls on her side. My second-best friend is sleeping over. My mom thought it would make things easier. She hasn't talked much. Neither have I. I suppose now she's my first-best friend.

"Lucie?" I whisper; my breath is still sleeping in my lungs and I can barely hear this word myself. I swallow and at the slightest movement, I exhale, "Are you awake?' I hear her breathing heavily and I sigh. My mind feels as though it is going to explode. Maybe I'm going crazy. I'm too young to go crazy.
The clock advances to 10:29 when I finally push my blanket off of me. I can't think. I just need to get out of here. My closet door groans when I pull it open to retrieve my tennis shoes and a jacket. I leave it open, nervous closing it will wake Lucie. I tiptoe around her to pull a small wooden church from my desk. There's five dollars of offering in it. The steeple slides off and I work out the bill with my fingers. It crinkles like a brown leaf when I push it into my pocket. I turn to leave. Lucie doesn't move on the floor.

In the hallway, I can hear my parents' TV exploding with late-night comedy and canned laughter. Their bedroom door is shut and I shuffle past. In the kitchen, the light is on above the sink. I feel like it's watching me open the back door and slide out, holding the knob to the left as I press the door closed behind me. Without a sound. Back into darkness. My eyes struggle to adjust until I round the corner of the house where the streetlight exposes a vacant street.

Suddenly I'm standing frozen at the end of the driveway. My heart is pounding and I close my eyes. The night is spinning and I'm on my knees. I have to stand myself up and keep going. It's been a week, and everyone else has returned to default, as though nothing has changed. But things have changed. And I can't be here anymore. Not now. So I walk. I don't know where I"m going, and my throat gets a lump and I begin to feel the hot tears roll down my cheeks. The streetlight splits into a rainbow of colors, and I walk away.


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