“out of paper again?” I stopped writing as Jav walked into the room. “don’t worry, you can use my laptop for now”. Javis was always nice to me, which sometimes made me uncomfortable. He’s my doctor, my brother-in-law, and recently, my roommate. My sister, Rita, thinks I hate him. I always thought that doctors are not to be loved. I’m still confused.
“Unpack! We got stuff to do!” I heard my sister yelling from the living room. She yells a lot. In any occasion. No exceptions. Yelling doesn’t make me hear her better or faster, so I can’t see the point. Thank god Jav got used to it.
When we were kids, we were used to the sound of the radio in the kitchen all day. And we grew up thinking that we’re supposed to talk back to it, thanks to my mother. That’s one reason I hated the radio. The second reason was that Rita was the one who inherited the habit of yelling at the radio. I learned that there’s no point but I can never tell my sister that.
“the answer is Napoleon! You’re not even supposed to be calling them” you can hear her from two apartments away. Sometimes it’s fun but it’s probably just a stress relief.
My sister is the usual blond waitress at the coffee shop. She’s had the job for two years now. Even though she kept moving around the coffee shop, she never earned more for her extra shifts. She met Javis there; He was the usual coffee shop costumer. She once told me that he never tipped her less, always a bit more. It’s the “they danced with the tray in her hands” kind of love story. What makes me laugh every time is remembering that he used to be scared of me when we first met. I guess I just never liked to make face expressions.
to be continued..
Miranda Bret is an author of more than four books. I work as her typist on a daily basis ( or whenever she calls me screaming). She has this mental situation which makes her freak out when she gets a great idea.
Now that I think about it, it’s the perfect job for me; I don’t have to do anything except to just listen to her and type. Sometimes Miranda gets irritated of my expressionless reactions, but she always tells me that I’m her only daughter. And I always feel glad to have her in my life ( and in the apartment next door).
I’ve been living here for about three years on the 4th level next to Miranda. I’ve had a really quiet kind of living until my sister and Jav moved in with me.
I don’t go out much and I don’t like new places much either. Because whenever I go somewhere I’m not known, I have to have a notebook to explain that I can’t speak. It doesn’t bother me as much as used to, but the sympathetic look that appears on people’s faces just makes me uncomfortable.
As my sister was cleaning up under beds, she suggested we go get some groceries from the market down the road. So Jav grabbed his jean jacket and I followed. ”Aren’t you taking a coat?” He asked as I unplugged my phone from the charger aiming to leave. But I just looked at him for a sec and went out. It wasn’t that cold outside, not to me. The whole apartment is cold, considering I don’t use the heat all the time.
We went out the building and Jav got his car keys out. I put on my sunglasses and pointed on the sidewalk. The market is just around the corner, walking is better. (Also because Jav’s car makes a lot of noise) ”Alright, at least we’re saving gas money” he put his keys back in his pocket. As we walked by, a few people I know waved at us, and clueless Jav waved back every time. I’ve known almost everyone on the street, I even bought a phone credit for the homeless man two blocks after my building. (His name is Freddy, and there’s a whole other story behind him, will be mentioned later). I know the staff at the market, and the lady selling ice cream outside as well. Everything is always the same here, nothing changes.
I picked up a basket from the door and walked in the market with Jav, who was calling Rita because he forgot the shopping list she left him on the counter. I looked around and I noticed that there were just a bit too many men in suits today. The usual daytime includes only Robin and Tariq from a company near by but today there were more than two on every corner. Javis didn’t seem to notice so I thought it wasn’t such a big deal.
After the basket got a bit heavy, Jav went to the back of the store to pay for it. And I stood next to Miranda’s sister, Gloria “the ice cream lady”
“How’s my annoying sister doing?” She said. “She called yesterday to talk about the new chapter” I nodded at an empty checkout desk on the left side of the market. ”Oh! Lily? She didn’t come today” she caught my amazement about lily’s absence. “I heard it was something about her son getting into a car accident. Poor guy doesn’t even own a car!”
I was surprised, confused and scared at the same time. Lily was an old lady who worked here for decades. Her son’s name was Adam. He was the loudest guy who drove through town with a motorcycle. But he never drove on main roads of the city, how come he crashed on one?
I was good. I was an author of three best-sellers and I got a bigger paycheck every now and then. I had everything work out for me. Nothing got in my way when I wanted something. I wondered why I never had enough, I always wanted something next. One day I watched a new type of movie I’m not used to enjoying, but after it I felt extremely lonely. Because I realized how life could be like shared with a person or a family. Damn it, I could’ve just watched another mass murder movie!
For the next few months I passed the highest state of loneliness, in fact I invented a higher level. I started talking to myself in two person dialog. I kept imagining these was someone in the room with me ( which might sound scary now, but it wasn’t then). I didn’t notice how that affected me. Most importantly, it affected my job in a very negative way. I really couldn’t think outside my cage. And so one day after a long talk with my publisher, I decided to do something about it.
First of all, I decided to go out more and talk to people more often. I needed to work on keeping touch with “friends”. I also decided to work harder to get more money. i set up my mind on getting rich, really rich.
But the problem with this decision was that the purpose of it was to get someone in my life. I was ready to let someone use me for the money I had. I was ok with it, because a part of me decided that if I got bored of angry ill just get rid of that person. I can always do that because I owned the money. You see, I planned the storyline of my life, but my life didn’t necessarily go on that straight line. Life does that sometimes.
Six months later I got to the financial level I wanted. I was rich, known and bored. And so I tried things I never thought I’ll have the chance to. I took lessons in everything, like sign language, boxing and computer security (included hacking). I was interested in many unfriendly things I’d never mention to the people I called “friends”. i thought I had my life together because I thought I was being social. But instead of getting used by someone for my money and fame, I got stalked, had my security system tarred apart then got robbed.
When I remember it I feel it happen fast, but I know it was the slowest three hours of my life. I truly thought ill never survive them. At 3 am on a Thursday, I was up late doing nothing. I enjoyed doing nothing. I actually thought I was asleep, but I was wide awake. I heard the security alarm go off and my first thought was ; how come they were so stupid to literally break my door when they obviously want to get away with it.
But they weren’t stupid, they knew what they were doing. They knew the layout of my apartment, they knew where my safe was. But they didn’t know what was in it. I hid under a desk, the one place so far from my gun I was scared. I didn’t think, I just watched. I knew they thought I wasn’t home because I knew they had ears that heard me talking lies on the phone. i lied to a friend about going out of town. I’m not that great at keeping friends.
I saw their faces. I memorized their features. i tried not to let them know I was there but they kept walking closer to me. Although I took classes on everything, I froze when one of them looked right into my eyes. he reacted faster, so I kept throwing things at him to get rid of his gun, which was scaring the life out of me. When he was knocked down I ran. I felt like I was a stranger to my own place.
I don’t know what I expected, what I had thought, but I was prepared. I had an emergency bag full of things I’d need and I just held my cat and put him in the bag. I ran off.
My name is Xavier, and I had nowhere to go.
i knew a lot of things, almost everything really, but I had no clue why what happened next happened. But it happened after I ran away. I didn’t lose any money, because my safe was empty. I hid my money in my emergency bag. I guess that was my smartest move. My dumbest move was not leaving the cat somewhere.
I walked as far as I could, and skipped as many hotels as I could. When I felt like I was going to pass out, I turned left and got myself a room in the first hotel I saw. I walked far enough, the hotel was almost out of the city. I laid on the bed after telling them not to disturb me, and I started studying the situation. Three or four armed men broke into my apartment and tried to kill me. They knew who I was and where I was. I remembered what two of them looked like. One was redheaded and had a long face and nose. The other one was short, black and had a shotgun. I decided I had the upper hand here, because I could easily go to the police. That way it’ll all end faster.
This thought was presented in my head as a solution for only a few minutes. I forgot it when the hotel room turned to a warzone. There was a knock on the door after I asked not to be disturbed. “room service!” I didn’t know who that was but I was certain they weren’t room service. As I tried to walk slowly and make no noise the bastard threw his body on the door and it busted open. He was the redhead from before. And he wasn’t happy.
I didn’t get time to make myself at home and spread my things around, so I simply grabbed the bag and jumped out the window. I know that last one seemed too easily done, but it wasn’t. I felts my breath get dragged out of my lungs as I accepted the thought of death, but thank god for trash bins.
The landing bruised me but I didn’t feel the pain until the thrill of the chase was gone. But my cat jumped out of the bag in terror. I hesitated, but there was no time for that. I left my only supporter in a dumpster. I amaze myself.
I ended up sitting next to a homeless man on the side of the street. He didn’t ask much about my injured face but he talked to me. I was afraid he’d want to kill me. It was simply a pointless fear I had. I guess that’s the result of the things I’ve seen and done. His name was Joe. That made me suggest that everybody on the street looks like a Joe. He was a vet, but he lost his job and his home. Joe had a son named Frank. Frank didn’t know he had a dad. Joe was nice to me. He looked like he can see my thoughts. Joe had nothing more than the clothes on his back. I had money but was homeless. After a long talk on the cold streets, he got up to look for a place to spend the night. I followed.
The reason Joe lost his job is because he lost his mind. I became his friend. I felt bad for him because he was as lonely as I was. He never asked for much, though he liked to talk. We went through the next few months moving from one motel to another. Until one night, Joe called me Frank.
I figured if I had company, Family maybe. It’d be a bit harder to find me. I was right. Joe and I took an old apartment. It was the size of one room. We had nothing. The place was dirty and deserted. Nobody looked through the door for years. Joe didn’t complain. He never asks for help. As for me, I kept the money safe and barely used it, somehow I knew I’d need it more ,now that I have Joe to take care of too.
It only took a few days for the apartment to start feeling like home. I started getting shorter breaths whenever I go out. I stopped talking to people on my way. And I only went out when I really needed to. The neighborhood was dark, dirty, and scary. There were lot of stray dogs and cats around. Two weeks here and we already got ourselves two dogs and a kitten. Joe kept changing his mind whenever he tried to name them. I didn’t pay much attention to pets unless they needed something.
Our situation got calmer. And our attention relaxed. Nothing happened for months, and we got used to the lives we made. Joe enjoyed cooking. It didn’t always taste as good but I’d eat it anyway. We didn’t have much but we had enough, and that made me feel happy. I never thought I’d feel happy in the state that I was in, it was even more shocking that, apparently, I wasn’t happy before the robbery.
“I’ll have that pie in the poster, please!” pointed Joe ordering breakfast at a café one morning. Did I mention how nice this old man is? I should’ve. You’d imagine the man walking on rainbows and I wouldn’t disagree. Nothing bothers him or gets on his nerves. His pure kindness makes me look mean even before I start talking. We sat down on the corner table.
“so I tried to find a job near by but they keep asking for personal information and I can’t seem to want to give it to them” I started off the conversation after Joe’s pie arrived.
“well, son! That’s how jobs work! They won’t hire a .. what are you again?” Joe mostly focused on the pie, not lifting his eyes from it. I don’t always need him to respond or listen, I simply don’t want to attract attention if I talk to myself.
The empty squeaky noise the floorboards make when he wakes up is hardly detectable, unless she was waiting to hear it.
“you taste so awake” he kissed her and laughed.
He doesn’t consider himself the kind of man that loves the quiet and the calm, but he knows he loves her kind of quiet and calm.
she picked up a cup of coffee for him off the kitchen counter she was sitting on. He stood in front of her and smiled.
the steam from the coffee covered his already blurry glasses. He put his big hands on her face as he can’t see where she is. He felt her eyelashes on his fingers.
the white clouds cleared from his glasses second later.
He knows she loves him, he knows she’ll stay. Perhaps he just can’t help but wish the blindness was temporary. He wished he could see her face.
“are you mine?”