In college, I went on a date with the son of my mother’s coworker. I couldn’t remember if his name was Jason or Justin, so I spent the entire night maneuvering my way out of saying his name. He... [+]
“Buckle up folks, this storm is going to be a little stronger than we thought.” He chuckled, jovially. His voice was energetic and annoying, so I tuned in to another channel, I didn’t see which, but I hardly cared as long as it provided some background noise. I drew the palm tree on an island. A small one, just large enough for one tree, and a family of three crabs. They would be friends, I imagined. The crabs and the tree. It was starting to get late. I got up from my desk, and went downstairs to grab a snack. It was to be another long night for Mom and Dad. Their work at the hospital has been ramping up as the years progress. Their paychecks have gotten quite fat, on the bright side. I can thank them for this mansion I call home. It's a bit sterile here though. Like some sort of office, or something. I had always loved our old house. It held my most cherished memories. From the time I caught a thousand fireflies in one go, to the moment I broke my leg trying to get a Frisbee from the old oak out back. I remember the way the fireflies tried to escape the jar I confined them in. The way they climbed to the top only to fall back down to Earth. I could almost hear their whispers.
The Oak was one of the many trees that made up the solitude behind my house. The forest there was where I would go. When my faith in the world began to stutter. As I had gotten older my dependence on the forest grew. I was afraid one day I might never come out. But we soon had to leave. Why was that? When did we depart? Disturbed, I hiked back up the stairs to my room. A radio show was playing. A woman's voice emanated from the itty bitty speaker on my desk. Itg was a soothing voice, like if you could hear syrup, spread, slowly, over pancakes, and pool on your plate. It was a soothing like that. I turned up the volume, and I began to hear what she was saying.
“So, what can we take from this? It's simple. Everything we see. Everything we touch and feel. It's all a simulation. An assessment of what the world around us might look like. The story of Charlotte, and her daughter, is a common one. A mother, grief stricken, failed to recognize that her baby had been dead for days. The brain is more powerful than we know. Be sure to keep it in check....”
Her voice fell away as I sunk into myself. The world, nothing but a trick of light. My brain was foggy. Pieces of the last few days strung themselves together into a sloppy timeline. There was me, sitting at home, another night alone. There was the world outside. There was a crash, and there was a bang, and then something disappeared from my life. Something I needed to survive. Now I was starting to get angry. What couldn’t I remember? Why? Where were my parents? I need them. Where are they? The rain collided with my window. Until my room began to overflow. The world began to sink. I’m drowning. The speaker sputtered out a few last words. Separated by static.
“Goodbye...Kit..your..mother loves...you.” The voice of my Mom. Eyes wide, lungs pumping, I tried to scream. But the water filled my throat. There was no room left for air. No fuel for my scream. What had I lost? Where were my parents? There was a bang, and there was a crash. And I lost something. I floated in the water, the life had long left my eyes. I’m dead. This isn’t my house. I might as well be dead. What have I lost?
A couple days ago, a boy, only fifteen years old, lost his parents to the night. The road was wet, and the wall of water was thick. Much like tonight. My parents had died in a car crash, on their way home from work. The water began to drain from my room. Out of my window, and back into the sky. I lay there. Dry as a bone, gasping for air. I remembered what my father used to say, whenever something didn’t go as planned. There’s always next time. But no, he’s gone, and so is she. I’m on, what, the third floor? The third floor of where? Child services probably. That would explain the odd atmosphere. I’ve got no one. At least, no one who wants me. Third floor, was it? I don’t suppose anyone would survive a fall like this one. No, I don’t think so. My body moved. Up off the floor, away from the tear stained rug. Towards the window. The rain is calling to me. I pulled open the frame. The air is warm, and the water refreshing on my skin. My parents often fought. No family is perfect, I guess. But there was one, very important thing, that brought them together. Their hope. For a better world. There were times, I remember, when they slowed down, and tore at each other senselessly. But never did they give up their hope. On some of the earlier days, that was all they had. I closed the window. The rain would have to wait. I sat down at my desk, and saw what I had drawn. The three crabs, and their tiny island in the middle of the sea. I grabbed my pencil and scribbled underneath the drawing. Hope. The crabs definitely had some hard times, but by god they would survive. Even when the storm and the sea pulled them apart, eroded away the base of their world.They remained together.I get up and go to the door. The floorboards creak and whine under my feet. I know that this world tried its damnedest to make me alone, and afraid. But for as long as I walk on this earth. I walk together. I walk with truth.