The phone in the kitchen rang out of nowhere, disturbing me in my sleep. At first I thought that if I ignored it, the noise would go away but it never did. It stopped four about say five seconds and rang again, startling me again. My eyes shot open and I rolled off the bed. What I hadn’t expected to happen next was to hit my head in the corner of my nightstand. And that’s exactly what I did. The corner hit me square on the forehead, “Ow!” I kicked the stand while I sat there, trying to get my head straight. Little tweeties were flying everywhere; bouncing on and off my window and bed, saying, “I taught I taw and puddycat.”
I stood and even more tweeties entered the annoying plague I have. Walking made it worse. But I knew that if I didn’t answer the godforsaken phone, the ringing would never leave me.
It echoed off the walls as I strolled to the kitchen, leaning on to anything I can hold on to, in this case, little yellow birds. . .or the wall.
I reached the white phone on the wall and answered with obvious fatigue, “Hel-lo.”
On the other line, a very loud voice screamed into my ear. “Yo, Larry! Just to callin’ to wish my man a happy twentieth b-day! Happy Birthday, man!”
I strained my ears to stop the constant ringing in my head and listened to the background of the other line. “Matt,” I answered tiredly, “are you drunk again?” He was playing some kind of video game and chewing loudly at the same time.
He snorted like a pig, “Nah, dude. It’s really your birthday. I can prove it. I even sent some birthday choir to your apartment.”
Stunned and completely wetting my own pants, I ran to the window. And there they were, four people dressed in red and holding on to balloons. I slapped my forehead so hard, I hope it left a handprint on Matt. “Matt, I’m still tired. Why in the world did you send those stupid singers here?”
There was no answer but the sounds of the video game he was playing. “You know what? I don’t really know.” I rolled my eyes. He’s freakin’ twenty-two years old and he still acts like a child.
“Matt, I’m going to kill you. I’m gonna. . . .”The doorbell rang. I heard a high pitched scream go on in my head.
“Uh-oh,” I heard him say and hung up on me. I sighed heavily as I heard the doorbell rang again. Each note seemed to draw me closer to death. Ding! Dong!
A million beads of sweat trickled down my head to. . .you don’t want to know where.
“Special delivery,” a jolly, muffled voice said from behind my apartment door. My heart sank all the way down to Hell as I searched for Matt’s to stab.
I walked to the door, horror music playing loudly in my ears. Four smiling, ugly faces jumped at me before I could be ready to take the terrible surprise. I forced a surprised face and then quickly replaced it with my death glare.
No matter how I look, they kept on to their job. “Happy Birthday!” they screamed. I heard doors creaked. My neighbors were getting curious. And then, the four in front of me began to sing the birthday song. Their singing was good, but I didn’t like it. I nearly exploded of embarrassment. Forcing a smile back at them, I stared with relief as they concluded their song. “Happy Birthday. . . .toooo you. .!” They handed me balloons with birthday greetings on it. If Matt was trying to ruin my life, he’s done it. Way to go Matt! I grabbed the balloons and closed the door with a friendly ‘Thank you’.
Feeling kind of rude myself, I opened the door again to find nothing but peeping neighbors. I forced a reluctant smile and waved my greetings. As fast as I could, I closed the door, completely annoyed by now.
I popped each balloon with a pocket knife I had.
Stretching, I yawned. Facing another day of nothing but work, I got ready. And then after work, I have to meet with Matt and fill in some job applications for him. Clearly he doesn’t even know where his signature goes. It annoys me terribly and makes me laugh until I cry.
I don’t have a car, but my work place is just a few minutes away. I walked to walk. Cars passed by and even stopped to say hello. I feel so loved!
Just a couple of yards away from me, my job never ceased to amaze me.
Santi Clause’s Everyday Toy Shop.
Wow. I sighed and walked inside to do my shift. I saw children inside playing around and parents busy calming them down.
This is going to be a long day, I reminded myself. But some two pm, I’m off on break and one more hour to last.
The hours whizzed by and it was almost two. I was up for break.
I was about to clock out, just after the next person. Only problem, the next person was extremely beautiful. Her eyes were as deep and blue as the ocean and her hair were the color of the sun. Her lips seemed so pure and full of taste.
“Hi,” I said and checked her item.
She smiled and replied, “Hello.”
Her beautiful smile took me in awe and my breath away. I couldn’t stop my stare at her. You know how a guy sees a very beautiful girl and stares at her and she stares back almost saying, “What are you staring at? My chest?” Yeah, that’s how she looks like and turned aside. Trust me, she was thinking of the wrong thing.
“Oh, um, sorry,” I stammered. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Say something, anything. “It’s not what you think.” Idiot!
She smirked at me like I was a freak. “Really? Can I pay for my item now?”
Unwilling to let her go, I pulled her bagged item back. “Let me make it up for it.”
Well, she looked dumbstruck, “Wha—“
And I cut her off, “Come to lunch with me.” I wanted to so desperately know her more. I wanted to be with her just a while to know her favorite color.
She smiled and pulled her cheeks to her ears. “My name’s Lucinda. You can call me Cindy.”
“Alright,” I answered, proud of myself. “I get off in five. . .four. . .three. . .Okay, I’m off. Let’s go.”
I carried her bag around the desk and clocked for break. She smiled at me like an angel as I led the way out. I couldn’t help but keep on looking back at her. “What would you like?” I asked, “money’s on me.”
She grinned at me with pleasure. “Italian. Olive Garden.”
I knew the place was expensive but I knew that she liked Italian food. I was so proud of myself. I knew one thing about her in less than ten minutes when I met her. At least I broke Matt’s record. After a month of meeting his girl, he doesn’t even know her name.
I smiled humbly at myself and walked to Olive Garden.
She stopped suddenly. “Wait, you don’t have a car?”
Staring at her like she just asked me if I know elmo—which I do—I answered, “No, I usually walk. Why?”
Cindy glared down like she was nervous, “I don’t like to walk. I drive.”
Right then, I felt like a total dumbass. She has a car and I don’t. Now I won’t get to know her favorite color. Note to self: Buy a car.
“I’m sorry, but I gotta gat home,” she said and broke my heart. I handed her the toy she bought. “Tomorrow, at three thirty,” she added, “meet me at the park,” and then she finally turned around, giving me a new hope.
“Wait,” I stopped her before she got too far. “What’s your favorite color?”
Cindy’s hair ruffled as she turned half way and replied, “Lime green,” smiled, turned and walked away. I watched as she faded into te rush of the crowds on the sidewalk.
Well, I filled in nine applications for Matt last night and my hands are extremely sore. He’s gonna need to start school all over again.
As usual, I got ready to work with a million tweeties flying again.
Work went on as slow as ever; like a cloud with no wind, just sitting there in the sky. I didn’t eat lunch, in hopes that I could have it with Cindy. Three o’clock took an entire lifetime to get to.
When I got to the park, she was there. I walked to her and she smiled again. It seemed like we were standing there all day.
We went into the park, swinging and talking to each other. I knew things about her, but she never asked anything about me. I was hoping that she didn’t care where I lived or who I was, just who I am.
It was getting dark. I walked her to her car and we bid good-bye. I was going to give her a kiss good-night, but she rolled up her window. I felt embarrassed.
The next morning, I woke up with my heart flying into the clouds and I felt light as a feather. It was like I was walking on the moon.
I went on to work as usual; only I was singing love tunes.
I didn’t even get to the doors and I saw Lucinda there, waiting for me. My heart flew higher.
Walking up to her, I smiled and hoped that we were going somewhere together. “Good morning,” I said. It was a good thing I came early.
She looked grim and tired. It seemed like she was crying.
Cutting to the chase, I questioned, “Cindy, what’s wrong?” I looked up to her worriedly.
She sniffed once and answered, “Come see me at the park after work.” That was all she said and Cindy turned around.
A sickening feeling entered my core and my flying heart dropped heavily to the sewers.
Work dragged on like a thousand years. I was so worried; I didn’t even take my break. I scanned and checked, scanned and checked. It was like every person who came and bought an item was taking away one piece of me; and trust me, there was a lot of people.
Close to the ending of my shift, I thought of an excellent excuse for Lucinda’s character today. Maybe she was kicked out of her house and she’s coming to live with me. It’s not the brightest thought, but better than drowning me in an ocean of tears.
Finally, my alarm went off and someone arrived to take my place. I grabbed my belongings and bolted out the door to the park.
Cindy was there, where I met her yesterday. I walked up to her half heartedly.
She stood and requested that we take a walk. I reluctantly agreed.
We walked for a few minutes and then she asked me, “Do you have any parents?”
My muscles froze for an instant and I answered, “I live on my own. No parents, no relatives, just me.” Her next questions seemed related.
“Do you live in an apartment? How many rooms? Do you have any pets? Are you always by yourself?”
I answered each question. Her curiosity about how I was living seemed to confirm the fact that she was moving in with me.
We carried on our talk, each of us exchanging questions and answers.
Soon enough, though, it was getting late for her. I walked her to her car again.
Just a few paces from her vehicle, she told me devastating news.
“You won’t be seeing me for a while. I have to leave and go out of town for a job interview. I’ll be back in a few days,” she said and made an assuring smile.
I slowed in disappointment. After a few moments, I answered softly, “Promise that you’ll come back to me.”
We walked closer to her car as she nodded and said, “I will.” Cindy stepped in and added, “Good-night, Larry.”
“Dream sweet dreams, Cindy,” I replied and she drove off for a few days.
A heavy cloud of rain floated over my head. Thunder rolled and lightning struck every tear of my heart.
I decided to go see Matt. Perhaps his video games could comfort me for a while.
The walk to his home was a long way; not to mention very dangerous too.
I’ve always brought a gun with me, but I let Matt borrow it for the past week. I’m very easy prey: broken hearted, defenseless, and oh so vulnerable.
Nonetheless, I reached his Matt’s home quickly and knocked on his door. There was no need to knock, his door was always unlocked. “Open!” he yelled, probably from the living room.
I opened and peered inside. “Matt? It’s me, Larry, from the toy store!” Again there was no point in calling anyway. He wasn’t going to answer until you’re right in front of him. I strolled to the living room and saw him playing video games.
“Larry!” he paused his game, “came back for your gun? I was gonna give it to you yesterday, but somehow, I forgot.”
“Yeah, I came for my gun and to play.” Matt looked about confused and I told him everything; from start to the point when Cindy went out of town.
Although, he sounded like he didn’t get the picture, he let me stay anyway and we played his games. I lost every round, battle, and race. It still didn’t take my mind off of Cindy.
Around twelve maybe, I decided to leave for home. We stopped out game and I reminded Matt about my gun. He gave it to me and stuffed something into my shirt pocket. “A pocket knife, dude,” he said. “You’re gonna need it when you kill yourself later.” I looked at him in pretend horror. “Just kiddin’. Gotcha there. Nah, I just want you to take it and have it. . . .for later.”
And with that, I left for home. I walked looking down, depressed as I was. But when I looked up, I saw a bar with a sign that says, ‘Newly Opened.’ Somehow the sign got my attention. Unknowingly, I walked inside and took a look around. I sat in an empty bar stool and ordered some beer. I drank it, and ordered another one. On my fifth beer—I wasn’t drunk though—I was deciding whether I should leave or not.
But the next moment changed my mind and the entire world. A couple walked in, laughing and drawing attention to them. Of course that’s not important, but what I realized was that Lucinda was with another guy.
They walked to the very back and took a table. As soon as the guy sat down, she made an excuse to go to the restroom. Now it was my turn. Usually bars would have a hallway before the restroom doors. If I was quick enough, I could stop her and question her nasty mind there. I followed behind her.
She didn’t know she was being followed. I grabbed her shoulder before she could get inside. Cindy turned around and boy should you see the look on her face. It was like she saw a ghost.
“Larry, what are you doing---Mark!” She screamed and her new boyfriend came in and shoved me into the wall.
“What the hell do you want?” The dude Mark asked me.
I looked at Cindy, giving him the cue that I came to deal with her.
“Alright then,” Mark said, “you want her don’t you? Then let’s fight for her in a duel.”
I stood up, “What are you, Yu-Gi-Oh?”
He took out a gun and said, “An old fashion one on one duel. Guns.”
I felt my gun in my belt and was glad that I reminded Matt about it. “Challenge accepted.”
“Alright, back of the bar, now,” and he led us to the back where the dumpster was. What was dirty place to have a duel.
We faced each and went ten steps. I knew how the old fashion duel went like. You take ten steps and each person gets a shot at each other.
We then turned and faced each other again. In less than a second, Mark shot me right in the heart. I felt nothing, only and sharp metal object against my flesh. I fell backwards and on the ground. Pain rushed to me.
Well, l Mark thought I was dead, so he laughed, “So much!”
I stood up and said, “My turn.” I pointed my gun at him and like a little chicken, he screamed.
“Please, don’t kill me, you can have her. Just spare my life,” and he ran away from the bar.
Cindy ran to me and hugged me.
I pushed her away and stepped away from her. “Don’t come near me.”
“But you risked your life to have me and now you do. What more do you want?” She questioned me.
I stared at her angrily. “I risked my life to show you that you’ve betrayed the wrong person. Who you were missing, what you were missing. I don’t want you anymore, go do whatever you want and stay away from me.”
I actually felt good about that and went home smiling, leaving her behind in a distant memory.
I reached into my shirt pocket and saw that the pocket knife had prevented the bullet from hitting my heart. How did Matt know?
The phone rang right then and Matt said tiredly, “Did I mention that your gun was out of bullets?”
That was a big help!