Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.


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            “Mom, is Katie here yet?” I yelled down the stairs as I threw on a pair of faded blue jean shorts. I looked at myself in the mirror one last time and straightened my sandy blonde hair as best I could as I threw my book bag across my shoulder.     

        I ran quickly down the stairs to the kitchen where I saw my mom sitting with her morning coffee in front of her. Katie, my best friend, sat across from her. Katie smiled warmly at me as I entered the door, but my mom failed to acknowledge her existence. She must be still mad at Katie about the wreck I thought because it almost killed me.

        “I’m going to go ahead and wait for you in the car,” Katie said as she got up from the table and walked toward the living room.

        “Baby, I need to tell you something about, Katie,” she said as I grabbed a glass of orange juice and gulped it down greedily.

        “Not now mom, I have to go, or I’ll be late,” I replied as I rushed for the door. I let it slam behind me as a sign to her that I did not care what she thought about Katie. She never had liked Katie because Katie was a “Goth,” and she did not want her daughter to be associated with someone who was not normal. The wreck Katie and I had been in earlier in the summer was just one more excuse for her not to like her.

        However, our friendship had outlasted even the wreck that had put me in a coma for several weeks because when I awoke Katie was the first one I had seen and I knew she was truly sorry. Nothing had to be said to convey this thought.

        “I am so glad I got out of there,” I said to her as I climbed into my car.

        “Thanks for the ride,” she whispered like an autumn breeze rustling the fallen leaves.

        “Don’t worry about it,” I replied. “I know your mom hasn’t gotten you a car since you wrecked yours, and besides, we’re best buds forever.”       

        “No really, I think it would be social suicide to ride the cheese wagon to school our senior year.”

        “Really,” I answered as we neared Riverside High which was only a few blocks from my house. “I wouldn’t be caught dead doing it, and I wouldn’t let a friend in need suffer that fate either.”

        “I wonder what everyone has done this summer?” she questioned as she looked sadly out the window of my white Ford Taurus. “I wonder if everyone will label me as a spaz because I wrecked my new car.”

        “Don’t worry what people think,” I replied quickly as I pulled into a parking place that was close to the building.

        I checked my hair in the mirror quickly. My green eyes peered back at me. I stared at my plain face for a second. I look very homely, I thought, nothing at all like Katie with her slender figure, high cheek bones, beautiful brown eyes, and naturally, sleek black hair.

        “Just be yourself,” I said regaining my composure once again as I turned to face her once again. However, she was gone. She must have left when I was lost in my thoughts because I saw her through the windshield rushing for the door of the school. We were almost late after all.

        As I ran after her, I got many mixed looks from the people around me. Some had frowns upon their faces and with mournful looks in their eyes. Others were wide-eyed and whispered as I passed. But I did not care because Katie and I had made a pact to make this the best year ever.

        By the time I opened the door, I heard the do-do-do-do sound of the bell, how they ever selected such a stupid sound, I’ll never know. But, before I knew it, Katie vanished into the hoard of people who were rushing toward their classes like lemmings to their impeding doom.

        It does not matter I thought. I’ll see Katie at lunch, and, then, I’ll ask her what my mom said to her to make her so standoffish this morning. Why, she has not been this removed since after the accident, I thought. When, I woke up to find her peeping through the window of my ICU room. She had stared through the window with a somber look on her face. I guess she wondered why she had walked away unhurt after being thrown from the flipping car when I had been knocked unconscious for three weeks from hitting the dash hard. The doctor said that my brain had swelled but, then, stopped and began to recede before surgery could be done.

        With these thoughts floating through my head, I sat down softly next to Ryan Bricks, Katie’s boyfriend. He sat in all his punk glory. His long platinum blonde hair was contrasted sharply by the black clothes he wore. Metallica was scrolled across the chest of his faded t-shirt. Wait, the shirt he was wearing was Katie’s favorite shirt. How he had ever gotten her to let him wear it I’ll never know because barring the end of the world, nothing would separate her from that shirt.

        He peered sullenly over the square frames of his small glasses at me. His dark eyes stared at me softly as a tear slid slowly down his cheek. Wow, I thought, he has really changed from his dark, broody self from junior year. Then, he turned slowly back toward the droning algebra teacher at the front of the room as he talked about his grading policies and what he expected of us. He stared off toward the blackboard but seemed to be looking at nothing at all.

        The rest of math class and the day until lunch passed in true beginning of the year fashion. However, I could not help but notice the odd looks people gave me as if they were sympathizing with some unknown hurt they seem to have thought I was feeling. Why were they looking at me like I was some alien? Was it because they thought I was crazy for still being friends with the person who almost killed me? Well, I never went with what the crowd thought so why should I start now. But, the lunch bell rang, and I followed the mass of people toward the banter of the cafeteria.

        I grabbed my normal slice of burnt pizza; then, I paid for it quickly and stepped out in the dining area. I saw Ryan and a few more of his friends sitting at a table across the way and started toward them knowing that Katie would eventually join us.

        “How are you doing, Liz?” Ryan asked with a sad smile crossing his face. “I know it’s been a really hard summer for you, for us all with the accident.”

        “Well, I’m doing okay now but…” my voice trailed off because I saw Katie motioning for me to come to her from across the room.

        “Excuse me,” I said as I got up from the table and moved toward the door where she leaned waiting on me.

        “I haven’t seen you all day,” she said. “Is that Ryan you were talking to? It seems like he’s been avoiding me all day. Maybe he heard about that fling I had with that guy from Desden.”

        “I don’t really know, but he’s acting more depressed than usual,” I replied as we began to walk down the hall. Everyone we passed looked at me strangely as if there was something wrong with what I was doing. I’m just walking with a friend I wanted to say, but I did not.

        “Well, I’ll see you later,” she said to me quickly as the third period bell began to ring. With this, she turned and started down the hall the opposite direction from which we were going.

        “But…” I began to say; however, she left just as quickly as she came, leaving me with only a few words passed between us.

        The rest of the day remained uneventful. I received more awkward stares from classmates. I even heard one whisper “She’s back really fast for someone who’s been through what she has.” If only they knew, I thought. It really was not as bad as everyone was making it out to be, and I am sure that all these whispers were reopening wounds for Katie making her relive the accident.

        When the final bell rang to signify the end of the day, I walked to my car relieved that I had survived the first day. As I neared my car, I saw that Katie already sat in the passenger side seat waiting for me to arrive. She smiled when she saw me coming.

        “Hi,” she said as I climbed in and started the car.

        “Where to?” I asked as I pulled out of the school parking lot.

        “Ummm, I need to go to Café Lafrea,” she said. “I’m supposed to meet Ryan there.”

        “Okay, but I thought Ryan was mad at you,” I answered.

        She shrugged in response.

        “By the way, what did my mom say to you this morning? There seemed to be a lot of tension between the two of you. And I was just wondering.”

        “Oh, she really didn’t say anything.”

        “Come on, what did she say?”

        “Oh, wait, this is where I need to get out,” she replied hurriedly as I stopped at the four way stop. She jumped out of my car quickly and began to jog toward Rodham Memorial Gardens, one of the biggest graveyards in the city.

        I thought about parking and running after her, but then, I realized that if she wanted to be alone with her thoughts I should let her. So, I turned my car toward home down Rose Briar Avenue, one of the prettiest roads in the city. Last year, last spring even, I would not have noticed its beauty because generally Katie and I would take the quickest way home so we could get on the telephone and talk the night away.

        Brilliant reds, fluorescent oranges, and other varying hues hung like condemned men from their trees. I drove slowly so that I could take in the beauty of it all. It’s funny how a near death experience can make one stop to think on life, to ponder the beauty in nature.

         Suddenly, I stopped as something caught my eye. In the yard, beside my car, stood a leaf pile just ready for being jumped into, I could not resist the allure of it. I quickly put my car into park and got out of my car. I ran toward the pile, jumped into it, and began to swim and play in leaves. They felt so rough against the smoothness of my skin and crunched loudly as I swam in their midst. Katie would have loved to play in these leaves with me. Why had she just run off like that?

        “What are you doing, kid!? Why are you throwing those leaves back all over my yard!?” the man shouted from the screen door of the light blue house, breaking my train of thought.

        I got up from the leaves quickly, apologized, climbed into my car, and started down the road again. After a few minutes, I arrived at home and, to my amazement, found a Lexus in the driveway parked next to the minivan. Who would be driving that, I wondered as I climbed from my car and started inside. I opened the door slowly so I could sneak away to my bedroom without disturbing anyone. However, my mom met me at the door with a worried look in her eyes.

        “Where have you been?” she questioned.

        “I dropped Katie off somewhere and then stopped to play in some leaves,” I replied as if the second was a common occurrence. At mentioning Katie’s name, a pained expression crossed her face.

        “I was so worried,” she answered as tears began to run down her face. “Do you even know what time it is?”

        I looked into her face. The lines there seemed deeper than they were last year. She had been through a lot since the beginning of last summer, and it wore heavily on her features. She had begun to sag like old women on T.V. or movies so often did. Her once lustrous brown hair had turned a flat gray. Her dull blue eyes looked so full of concern as more tears pooled in their corners. I had to look away and see what time it was. The clock read that it was nearly five o’clock; I was nearly two and a half hours late.

        “I’m sorry, mom. I didn’t mean to worry you,” I answered as I gave her a big hug. Her arms wrapped tightly around me, and I realized fully how much she loved me.

        After a few seconds of this embrace, I noticed a new figure in the room watching us from the brown armchair in the corner. He watched us over the tops of his half moon glasses and scratched his bald head in response.

        “Who’s he?” I questioned as I pointed toward the balding stranger.

        “This is Dr. Robert Heckly, honey; he’s here to help you.”

        “With what?” I asked suspiciously.

        “I’m here to help,” he said with a kind smile.

            “What do I need help with?”

            “We’re here to talk about Katie,” he replied.

        “There’s nothing to talk about. My mom has never liked her. That’s about it.”

        “No, it’s about your relationship with her since the accident. Your mother feels that it has become unhealthy.”

        “How could my relationship with my best friend be unhealthy!!? I’m going for a drive!” I yelled as I went out the front door.

        “But Katie is de…” my mom called after me.

        I jumped into my car and sped away just as the doctor and my mom came running out onto the lawn. I blinked away tears of anger as continued down the highway. I cranked up the radio and let it blare out a Nirvana song. . .oh, Katie. . .

        The rain started as I got outside city limits. I had to turn my windshield wipers on high to battle it and pulled my shirt up to wipe my eyes.

The next thing I remember, I woke to a warm stickiness on my head and my eyes could not focus. My hand was covered in red, and a deflated marshmallow sat where my stirring wheel had been. Someone was knocking on my window.

        “Katie, is that you?” I murmured to the shadow at the window.

        I woke in stagnant white. My eyes refused to focus, but I could hear weeping somewhere near me. I moved to look around but found myself hurting with every movement.

        “Mom?” I whimpered through my parched lips

        “I’m here baby; I’m here,” she said with pain and sorrow in her voice.

        A hand squeezed mine, and I could finally see her. Her eyelids were swollen with all the tears she must have cried. However, her eyes sparkled with love

        “Mom, where are we?”

        “We’re in the hospital, honey. You had a wreck. They say you must have hydroplaned into the field beside Highway 153. You weren’t hurt that badly, but,” she stopped, “you’ve been in a coma for a couple of days now. We didn’t know if…”

        “Well, I’m awake now,” I said with a pained smile.

        “Yes, and you’re going to be fine. The doctors said that if…when you woke up. You would be out of the water.”

        “I guess that’s good news,” I chuckled.

        “Shhh…you need to rest now.”

        “Okay, Mom, but one more question, who is that standing at the window?”

        “No one honey. Maybe you saw a doctor or nurse or someone pass by,” she replied as she gave me a gentle kiss on the forehead.

        “I love you, Mom,” I whispered.

        “I love you, too, baby,” she said.

        With my mom beside me, my eyelids slowly began to close, but before I went to sleep, I waved to Katie whose had been watching and smiling at me the whole time.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 17, 2010 at 12:25 am

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