Reaching for You

Reaching for You

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction

Houses:

Share :
Twitter

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter I

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 31, 2017

Reads: 103

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 31, 2017

A A A

A A A

Beeep.

 

I feel my wrist vibrate to the soft hum of my preset alarm. I casually smack it against my headboard and grin as the vibration stops. I rub my face, half trying to shield myself from the morning sun that is slowly creeping its way through my window like a peeping tom. Half trying to find an excuse to keep my eyes closed for extended periods of time as the back of my hands slowly trail over my eyelids.

 

Just another day in Aaroonsville. Population? Nobody of any importance. Really though, Aaroonsville in one of the smallest towns in the country, it’s the sort of place where everyone knows everyone. A town where the sheriff is also the pastor on Sundays, the Baker on Mondays and occasionally on Tuesdays will dress up as Batman and read the kids at the hospital stories. Totally joking, everyone knows the bakery isn’t open on Mondays.

 

There’s one school here, Aaronsville Educators (conveniently named) of which yours truly attends and runs track. Today is a big day, not just for me but for the town. You see today I’m running to compete on a national level. The closest this town has come to competing anywhere nationally is appearing in the Top 10 cities nobody knows about. I kid you not we were featured twice and both times we made Top 3. It brought some tourists for us to oogle at for awhile. I even got to hangout with a boy named Jake a couple of times. And while for the most part I stayed a saint, a few Sundays ago, I may have felt compelled to confess some makeout related sins to Pastor-Sheriff.

 

After a few seconds of deep life pondering,  I finally manage to allow my eyes to crack open and take a look around my room. Tons of movie posters cover my wall, I don’t even remember what color they were painted anymore. Eggshell? White? I shake my head dragging myself till I’m in a seated position. To my right a nightstand that holds a UFO shaped lamp covered in conspiracy stickers and post it notes of ideas I have for my creative writing class. My phone glows blue alerting me of  a text message.

 

Text message received from : Wyatt

 

Today is the day! I hope you got at least 7 hours of sleep, you know Because sleep deprivation can lead to cardiovascular disease, obesi---

 

I stop reading the text as soon as I see the list of reasons why me not sleeping enough can lead to me becoming obese and having multiple heart attacks. Wyatt’s been my best friend since kindergarten. He’s a skinny boy with short brown hair that he can never seem to push down. Even with product, it just pops right back up, sadly for him it’s the only part of his genetic makeup that is rebellious. Not that I don’t love him, Wyatt is great. He’s just...a giant wuss.

 

Don’t get me wrong he has plenty of great qualities too, although I’d never tell him that to his face. He’s smart, well behaved and some girls might even say he isn’t the ugliest guy at school. He has broad shoulders like my dad which I’m not wholly convinced he’ll ever grow into. His eyes are probably his best feature, they are a rare kind of brown that makes you feel like he’s listening to everything your saying just by the way he looks at you. But most of the time they’re being upstaged by the giant lensed glasses that he has to wear on account of his eyesight being so bad.

 

The story itself on why he needed glasses had pretty much become a legend in the town amongst the adults. From what I can tell none of the other kids at school knew but, I had somehow been graced with the information when I’d over heard my father telling my mom one night in the kitchen.

 

“Oh my God that’s awful did he see anything?” I had heard my mother asking my father, he voice cut off by an extreme amount of giggling. She was always so vibrant and full of life. Her smile was infectious to the point where it would drive you crazy that you couldn’t be angry around her. Her pearly whites illuminated against her dark chocolate skin. Her crazy jet black hair cascaded down her shoulders like waves every time she laughed.

 

“That’s the thing! Apparently he stood there and stared right at them for about a minute before asking them if he could sleep with them for the night!” While my mother was a beautiful and independent black woman my father was, well the opposite. Standing at about 5’10” my father was a middle aged white accountant. He had big hands, calloused but I could never figure out from what, all he did was sit at a desk all day. But he always showed signs that he worked harder than his job entailed. He has stress lines on his brow but when he was around me and my mother you’d never think his life had room for it.

 

 My parents busted out laughing, my mother having to hold onto my dad just to stay up straight.

 

“Oh my God, that poor boy. At least Cristy didn’t have to explain to Wyatt what she and Tom were doing naked on top of each other.” After a certain point in the conversation all I could hear was them dying from fits of laughter in the kitchen. After hearing the word naked I had ran back up to my room threw myself under the covers and tried to force myself to sleep, while the awful image of Mr. and Mrs. Collins naked threatened to keep me awake, forever. I was so terrified of the image I hadn’t been able to tell Wyatt the next day. That fear of telling him continued on til about a year ago when I finally told him the story. I’m not a mean person but when I say the look on his face was worth the wait? No truer words had ever been spoken. Ever since then if he’d ever piss me off, I’d just send him a picture of glasses and he’d know. Oh he’d know.

 

Not feeling like being as mean today, I text Wyatt back a simple ‘k’ and smile when I see him typing a reply back almost instantly, I know he’s going to flip at my one word response. If there’s anything Wyatt hates more than jokes about his glasses? It’s one word replies. Okay so I was still being mean, sue me.

 

 

Text message received from : Wyatt

 

What….I don’t even know what that means! Does that mean you got 7 hours of sleep? Or does that mean you are just feeling okay? Why on god’s green earth would someone just type k? 

 

I send him a smiley face and laugh a little more than I should have, as I shove myself out of bed. Today is the day. On this day I get the honor of competing in the Aaroonsdale’s Track Finals. 5 years of training and Coach Backsden spitting a majority of her omelet in my face every morning, have ultimately led me to be able to run again! On a longer track... in front of more people. Oh yeah my life was going places.

 

“Why am I excited about this again?” I wonder to myself as I hop right into my morning routine of stretching while I brush my teeth. My right leg almost on autopilot shoots up and lands itself firmly on the counter. More post-it notes stare at me from the corner of my mirror. It was a habit I’d picked up from my mother, she always had post-it notes stuck on just about everything in the house. Reminding her what to do, reminding her what she wanted to do, what her dreams still were. At first I’d thought they were ridiculous. It was silly to write things down on paper right? Then I remembered her telling me one day a few years ago why she did it.

 

“I have a hard time believing in things that I can’t see.” She’d said to me when I was on her lap. I think she saw the mean look I was giving a couple of her post it notes that she’d made. “So one day I thought why not write them down? Then I can see my dreams and hopes, and I don’t have an excuse why I can’t turn them into reality.”

 

I’d never understood really what that mean until recently. Until the town had decided that my mom, until she’d….

I stop thinking about the past and try and distract my thoughts by staring  at myself in the mirror it works because instantly I start freaking out when I see a bunch of small dots on my face. They are almost invisible against my mixed skin, but I can definitely tell. I brush my long curly hair out of my face to get a better look at the disfigurement of Talia.

 

“What the hell!? “I think to myself as I examine them closer and realize I must have just slept on the pillow wrong. I pinch and pull them until my face looks almost normal again. The dots still laugh at me from the reflective surface. My watch pings that I’m already running late as it is, so I go back into routine mode.

 

My head leans itself down towards my knee as I start to stretch my tired limbs. Not paying attention to where I’m brushing I hit the outside of my gums and tickle myself too hard causing some drool mixed with toothpaste to slide down my leg. Not knowing why, I look around my room hoping that nobody sees me. When I’ve decided the coast is clear. I rush back into my room, swiftly searching the pile of clothes that is my floor for my track gear. Skirts and shorts are draped in bras and panties, I toss them about trying to dig my way towards the floor.

 

“Where the hell did I put my sneakers?” My head jerks up when I hear a voice call to me from downstairs. “Talia! Breakfast is just about ready, hurry up your mom is... awake.” I hear my dad call out to me from downstairs, his voice urgent and his words carefully chosen. I know why. The time we get to spend with my mother is few and far in between.

 

“I’m------ com----” I manage to gargle out as more toothpaste drips its way out of my mouth.

 

“Oh my God I forgot to spit it out.” My legs carry me back to my bathroom where I finally manage to rinse my mouth out. After saying ‘Ah’ and double checking that I won’t have anything else drooling out of my mouth like the Gerber baby I go back to my clothes hunt. I find my Under Armour shirt stuffed underneath the pink fuzzy cow slippers my mom bought me for Christmas. I cringe as they moo at me while I move them, the animated mouths opening and closing as if trying to take a bite out of me.

 

“Who...who buys their children cow shoes!” I call out to nobody in particular as they find their unrealistically pink fuzzy bodies tossed across the room. My sneakers are a little harder to find, but I manage. One underneath my pillow…

 

“ That explains the dots on my face.” The other planted underneath my school books. After throwing them into my duffel and double checking to make sure I have everything, I hear my watch beep again telling me I should have already eaten breakfast. I’m about to close my door when I run back in and grab the post it note on my night stand. I tear town the hallway and crash down the stairs. Literally...about halfway down I miss a step and actually crash down the stairs.

 

“Honey are you alright?” I hear my mother ask quietly, I can barely hear her voice once she’s been medicated but I’ve picked up enough practice. My arm grabs the outside of the kitchen door and I swing my way in, almost missing the stool as I plant my butt down for breakfast. She looks good today, her face is a little more lit up than usual. That’s a good sign.

 

“Psh what do you mean?” I ask her trying to ignore the pain in my ass as I scarf down my breakfast. Slowly so that they don’t notice I start to rub my butt across the stool hoping that the constant movement will keep the pain at bay. It doesn’t work and I end up wincing. My father chuckles as he stares at me from over his shoulder at the stove and gives me a wink.

 

“You fell again didn’t you?” My fork freezes in mid air and I can feel the blood rushing to my cheeks. Sadly me biting it on the stairs is a pretty common occurrence in this household. There’s an awkward silences as glances are exchanged between my parents. My mother gives me a knowing stare and for a second I see a flash of the woman she was, before the doctor started prescribing her all those pills.

 

“Uh, no actually I did not fall Mom. I just happen to have very large feet and when I jumped they made a very loud noise, like I was falling. But I did not.” My mother tilts her head as if trying to make sense of my nonsense but ends up just smiling it off in her new emotionless way. It’s bothered me for awhile that her smile never reaches her eyes anymore. She had such a beautiful smile.

 

“Watch out. Too many lies and people might start thinking you’re crazy.” My mother says, quietly that you can’t even hear her, but I know my father does from the look in his eyes. His dark brown eyes flicker behind his glasses, there’s so much sadness in his eyes. I watch as his broad shoulders tense up, he’s probably trying to decide whether he should hug her or pick me up and throw me out of the kitchen before I pick up on the clues.  They try to hide it from me but I’m a grown girl. I’ve seen enough movies to know a problem in a family when I see it.

 

“And boy does this family have some doozies. “There’s a long moment of silence until my father breaks it by clearing his throat.

 

“Oh thank God for that awkward throat clear Dad. I was almost worried you both might have been having a  stroke at the same time.” I know my mother meant it as a joke, and in part I’m glad she can find times where she makes light of the situation but...for Dad I think the wound is too fresh. He walks over and kisses her on the forehead before fixing his plate and sitting down with us. The even more awkward moment is ruined by a buzzing in my pocket.

 

Text message Received from: Wyatt

 

I hope you’re eating your breakfast! You’re gonna need all the strength you can get for the big race today!

 

I roll my eyes, I swear that boy worries about absolutely everything. A shoot another ‘K’ message back his

 

“Is that Wyatt?” My father asks me, I give him the look like ‘Do you even have to ask?’. He chuckles again as he plays with the scrambled eggs on his fork.

 

“That boy worries about you more than anyone I’ve ever seen. I think he might have a crush on you.” My mouth opens to object but I’m cut off by my mother.

 

“I second that notion.” My mother chimes in quietly. I stared at them both flabbergasted ( a word taught to me by Wyatt.) My father bangs his fork on the table, “ The court has ruled.” They both laugh at each other and go back to eating their breakfast. I open my mouth to say something yet again, but there are no words.

 

“I’m sorry did you guys just honestly pretend this dinner table was a court system?” I shift my gaze to my father and then my mother who is know making some kind of design with her bacon. Her medicine must be kicking in about now...pretty soon she’ll be. I shake my head and focus my gaze back to my father.

 

“Of course it’s not a court system honey! You have no say in this house.” My father says in a very serious tone, he sends me another wink and I unknowingly jut my head to the side as if it’s attacking me. He laughs and grabs my mother's plate from her, knowing that she won’t be taking anymore bites for a couple of hours and washes them.

 

With my father leaving the table only my mother remains. I look over to her, her green eyes, beautiful but vacant staring off into the distance. Her brown hair still wild from sleeping, her body thin, a lot thinner than I remembered. I open my mouth to ask my father if she’s been eating enough but stop, I know he’s doing everything he can for her.

 

“Today the big day Mom! I get to run for a spot to compete in Nationals. I wish you could come.” The doctors told us that it would be unwise for her to leave the house while she was in this state. She could be a danger to herself...and others. It was a lot of bullcrap, my mother would never try to hurt me I knew that. But she’d developed a reputation around the town. One that would make it hard for anyone else to believe that besides those who actually knew her.

 

I blink hard trying to keep my tears at bay as she starts to whisper to herself about how cold she is. My father takes notice immediately and slides her chair back. The scraping of wood on wood is a welcome escape from the silence that was taking over my mind. I blink and look back at my mother.

 

“I’ll see you when we get home! And best believe I’m coming back with a trophy!” I say grabbing her hand, opening it I place the post it note I grabbed from my nightstand.

 

Make it to National Track Tryouts.

 

Her hand almost feels like it could break off in mine, like a dry leaf in the fall. I flinch back, my subconscious scared that something like that could actually happen and I see the sadness again flicker in my father’s eyes as he carries her off upstairs. I finish the rest of my plate and do the dishes, by the time I’m drying them off my father is walking his way down the stairs.

 

“See is it really that hard to walk down the stairs without falling?” I smile a little and start pushing him out the door, my watch starts to beep uncontrollably and I don’t have to check it to know that we’re running late. My father circles around the car and opens the door, I stand on the passenger side waiting for him to manually unlock it. My eyes take one look back at the house, quickly trying to find the window to my parents room, in some way hoping that my mom will awesomely be standing there. Un-medicated and full of energy, screaming at us to wait on her but as I gaze up there’s nothing. Just an open, empty window.

 

Beeeeeeeeeeeep.

 

My watch rings out into my ears and I slide myself into the car.

 

“Jesus how many alarms did you set on that thing Tali?” My father asks as he turns the key in the ignition. After a couple of tries the car finally turns over and we’re on our way out of the lot. As the wheels turn, I fall into the familiar feeling of leaning to one side. My father hasn’t taken the time to get the tires rotated and after hours of endless driving to and from school the whole right side of the car’s tires are worn out. As you can see we ride in style.

 

“You don’t even wanna know.” I tell him honestly, as I fumble with the alarm app turning off the remaining 12 I have set just in case. Most of the drive continues in silence, as I assume many car rides with parents go. My father asking the occasional, “So any boys in your life?” or “Are you passing all your classes?”. The honest answer to both is know but I choose to go the, no to the first one , yes to the second one route. My answers seem to satisfy him greatly and I thank God he doesn’t press about the boyfriend one.

 

About halfway through the ride I feel something. Like a pinch on my leg, it feels as if something is biting me. I brush my hand against the spot hoping that’ll take care of it, but then I feel it all over. My shoulders, my back, my neck. No….it doesn’t feel like bites, more like prickling? A second later a sudden chill washes over me. I can see the goosebumps forming on my arms. Looking down I notice something else is forming underneath my shirt.

 

“Wait am I nipping?” I don’t realize I’ve said it out loud until it’s too late, and I can practically feel my father almost slam on the brakes.

 

“I’m sorry what did you say?” He says to me after regaining his composure and focusing his eyes back on the road.

 

“I said it’s nippy in here….like cold….Brrrrr, nippy. I definitely didn’t say anything about my nipples.” Oh God I didn’t know when to shut up.

 

“I…..uh…..well that’s um, strange because the heat is like blasting right now.” He’s says quietly, I’m sure wishing that he hadn’t even made the conversation continue any further than it already had.

 

 

Looking down at my arms I can still see and feel the goosebumps forming, but sure enough I look at the heat and it was blasting straight into my face.

 

Weird I hadn’t felt it a second ago….

 

I start to feel warmer, but something in my stomach doesn’t feel right. Like that feeling when you remember something that makes you feel really nervous but forget what it was a few seconds later? That gut wrenching feeling you have between wanting to remember what it was but not wanting to know because how it was going to make you feel when you did? Yeah that’s how I feel.

 

Something flashes in the corner of my eye and I turned to see something fleeting. Large, and dark slides its way out of the corner of my vision.

 

I jump back and knock into my father's arm on the stick shift.

 

“Whoa are you okay?” he asks me suddenly, I turn and see the look of confusion in his eyes. I can tell by the way he’s looking at me that this isn’t good. It’s not confusion, his big brown eyes are looking down at me...I know that look. It’s the look he gives my mother after she takes her medication. It’s fear.

 

I feel so cold.

 

My mother's voice pushes its way to the front of my thoughts and I shake it off like a Taylor Swift music video.

 

No I won’t end up like my mom. I can’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Shak Kanish. All rights reserved.

Chapters