Seattle Nights PART 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Universe doesn't reward you for trying. The Universe doesn't reward you for being morally good. The Universe doesn't care about you. The Universe doesn't care how hard you run up the stairs. The Universe doesn't care what your intentions were, or that it was an accident. My cousin was 23 when she ran up the stairs. The fire in her apartment building did too.

Submitted: July 11, 2014

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Submitted: July 11, 2014





My cousin, Amy, was 23 when she died. There was a fire in her apartment building, so she couldn't take the elevator. The fire caught up with her before she could make it down.

She lived on 4th street, in downtown Seattle, in a little apartment on the 29th floor--had a spa, a gym, and a nice young man who lived on the 15th floor. They're gone with her. Went up in flames.

She was a smart girl, to be sure. She studied microbiology at University of Washington, and she worked at Beecher's Cheese on the corner of Pine St. in Pikes Place. Her boss was an asshole, but she didn't mind.
Her father, my uncle, was fairly well-off, and had an estate on Bainbridge Island-- only a ferry ride away from Seattle. My cousin had spent her childhood there, and she'd started spending her summers there a few years back. She couldn't tell me enough about her 5am walks in the forest, or the chilly evenings, or the canoe rides in the Sound, or the joyous island celebrations she said made her happier than any of her own birthdays.
Last year, she befriended a young woman whom she ended up spending the whole summer with. She eventually decided to go to school with her and apply to UDub.
The friend, Lucy, had had a troubled life before she had met my cousin: her parents had been neglectful at best, abusive at worst. Amy was good for her. However, Lucy wasn't always good for Amy.

She was a woman of dangerous pursuits, and had a particularly developed drug habit. She introduced Amy to a lot of things that were not in her best interest.

I had heard about one instance where the pair went to ChinaTown and vandalized a bookstore. In the first version I heard, they'd done speed within the hour beforehand. In the second, the speed was substituted for vodka. In the third and final, nothing at all. 

Amy was fully aware her life was taking a dangerous turn, directed by Lucy's guiding hands. In them, she told me, she felt like a different person, and with this alter-ego she felt free to explore the taboo subjects of life. 


One day, in the fall, Lucy and Amy were at The Chocolate Market in Pikes Place after work. They were discussing things over coffee.
Amy sighed. "Long day?" Lucy asked.
"What's amatter?"
"I'm bored. To tell you the truth, I feel useless. "
Lucy didn't know how to respond; Amy seemed more serious than usual.
There was a long pause.

"It's like, I'm going to school, I've got a paying job, and I've got a good apartment, and I should be greatful for all of that, but to be honest, I just feel very dissapointed in myself. I was supposed to be this great artist. I had so much to give, and technically I could still make art, but it's becoming clear to me that my talent doesn't measure up to my ambition, and I don't think it ever did." 

A pause. "Oh, Jesus, Amy, I can't help you with your young-adult crisis right now. I have a headache...I don't know about what you can and can't do."

"Sorry." Then, pleadingly, "But do you understand what I'm saying?"

Lucy didn't know. Lucy had already proven her self-worth, and achieved the admiration all young artists crave. 
"Yeah I know"

"Lucy, have you ever read Macbeth?"

"Um yeah, we've all gone through tenth grade English."

"There's a great soliloquy in here that talks about life. I can relate to it. They call it the Tomorrow Soliloquy.

"Would you like me to recite it?"

"Not really, actually I would like to go home."

The girls walked home. They were both quiet apart from their heavier breathing, which was a result from the hilly terrain of the Seattle Concrete Jungle. Once they made it to the apartments, Lucy threw her keys on the coffee table, and sprawled out on her bed. She was exhausted. Amy, however, was still wide awake several hours later. She had put on some Pink floyd pajamas and a Pismo Beach hoodie and went out to the patio to have a smoke. The cold air felt good. She lit a cigarette and thought to herself: 

What's wrong with me? Why do I feel like this? 

She stared at the ground 29 floors below, and just looked at the cars and people on the ground. They looked busy. They reminded her of her Mother, never had time to stop and talk. She then looked up at the skies. "The Big Dipper." she said allowed. She always thought it was beautiful. She then thought about the boy in 15b: his dark skin, his hazel eyes, and his curly hair. She had always fantasized about him. Amy had always been pretty: auburn hair, green eyes, nice curvy thighs. Although she never believed that the boy would like her. These thoughts led to actions. She looked at the clock


He goes to the gym ever morning at 6:45, he's probably awake...

With a gulp of Smirnoff she had left on the kitchen counter, she began to text him.

Hey Jared, it's Amy :)

She waited for a few minutes, anxious for  reply.

Oh from 29d?! yeah what's up?

Oh haha nothing much, i was just getting up

She knew that was a lie

Oh cool, i'm about to go

to the gym real soon, u

wanna come?

lol no i have work in a couple hours. haha

The lying became easier.

oh haha... well you 

u wanna come over for a bit?

Yeah sure! lol let me get ready a little haha

She was so excited. Either that, or a little drunk. 


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