Allen Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story I wrote for a class project where we wrote an original story then we pretty much took it and beat it with a stick. We took our original stories and had to cut them in half, write them in a different genre, switch characters around, and pretty much every other thing imaginable that would drive someone almost to insanity. My story was my baby and to chop it up like that I felt like I was cutting off my own limbs, but I got through it. Anyway, this is my original before the torture process began. It is about a man who lives alone but has imaginary friends who come to him in certain situations in his life when he needs them the most. Eventually he meets a girl and falls in love and she fulfills the needs he has that the imaginary friends were taking care of before, so they say goodbye to him one by one, and he is devastated, but then realizes he does have someone now and doesn't need them. Pretty much the gist.

Submitted: May 13, 2014

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Submitted: May 13, 2014

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Allen was a small man, in his stature, in his amount of speech, and in his demeanor. He had no friends and few acquaintances and seldom left his small apartment except to go to work at his job as a bookkeeper at the local bank. When seeking for entertainment he would turn on his television and watch the history channel, and he was content. His life was plain and many would judge his life as boring, but Allen felt satisfied with what he had and never felt the need to change anything. And besides, Allen was never truly alone.

As a child Allen was lonely. His parents were both extremely absent in his life due to their occupations, and he had no siblings. Since he was so hesitant to speak he had a hard time making friends in grade school and would often walk home alone hanging his head and wishing for someone who cared. It was on one of these lonely walks home that Claudia appeared. One second Allen was counting the cracks in the sidewalk, and the next he was noticing a pair of pink sneakers with stars hand drawn on with a black marker. It startled Allen so much that he stopped in his tracks and turned to face the owner of the unique shoes. It was a girl, a girl around Allen’s age, with yellow curls whirling around her head as if there was a strong gust of wind constantly blowing around her head even though it was a windless August day. A giant smile with missing teeth, bright green eyes and a freckled nose also met Allen’s gaze. Not knowing what to stay to this sudden stranger Allen said nothing, as was usual for him, and just continued to stare opened mouth. The girl stared back for a time then let out a clear laugh, introduced herself as Claudia, and started to talk. She talked about everything from the weather to her shoe size. All the way to Allen’s house she talked, she never asked questions about Allen but seemed to never run out of things to say. When they reached his doorstep she waved goodbye and disappeared. Allen did not know what to think, he was grateful not to be alone and grateful that he had not had to say anything back to her. It felt comfortable and familiar while also feeling spontaneous and exciting. The next morning Allen left his house as usual to walk to school, to his surprise Claudia was back, she was still wearing her pink shoes and looked ready to talk again. And talk she did. All the way to school she told Allen about her cat with two different colored eyes and how much she loved to eat her pancakes with chocolate syrup instead of maple. As soon as the two reached the school building she disappeared again. After that, whenever Allen had to walk somewhere alone Claudia would appear by him ready to talk about anything. As Allen began to realize Claudia would dependably appear every time he walked alone, he began to gain the courage to talk back to her. He asked her questions, which she answered happily and in detail, and she began to ask him questions about his life too, but only on the days Allen felt like talking. If Allen wasn’t in the mood to speak, Claudia seemed to know even without Allen mentioning it and she would take control of the conversation. And Allen was happy. Even if it was only for when he was walking alone, he had someone to walk with him, and he didn’t feel quite as alone.

Claudia continued to appear to him when he walked alone and it was always his favorite part of his day. A few years after his first encounter with Claudia, Allen’s father caught pneumonia and died. Although Allen wasn’t close to his father, he felt sad and scared and more alone than he ever felt. Because there was so much to take care of concerning his father’s death, Allen didn’t have time to take a walk so he could be with Claudia. When Allen was feeling particularly sad one day he was sitting on his bed and crying. He longed for someone to comfort him. As soon as the thought left his head, he felt a weight on the bed next to him. He glanced up and through his tears he saw the most beautiful women he had ever seen. She had dark hair that fell perfectly to her shoulders and deep brown sad eyes that looked at him as if she could feel the exact pain he was facing at that moment. She didn’t say a single word, but instead gently took Allen’s hand in her porcelain delicate ones and just sat with him. She listened to him cry and held his hand until his mother called him down for dinner. She appeared to him a few more times following his father’s death, but eventually Allen didn’t need someone to cry with and she didn’t come as often. But every time that Allen felt so much despair that he went up to his room to be alone and cry, she would come and hold his hand in hers, silently comforting him.

Now Allen had two people in his life he could count on and he was happy for a while. But eventually Allen moved out of his mom’s house in order to attend college. On a night that was filled with a particularly large amount of homework Allen longed for someone to come and lighten his mood of feeling stressed. Suddenly Allen heard a loud crash coming from his kitchen. He quickly went to inspect what could’ve caused the noise and was surprised to see, laughing on the floor a man covered in what looked like broken cookies and shards of Allen’s cookie jar that Allen usually kept on the top of the cupboard. The man quickly stood up and shook himself free of cookie crumbs and the crumbled cookie jar. This man was as wide as a refrigerator and his head almost reached to the ceiling in Allen’s small apartment. He reached out a huge hand with sausage like fingers for Allen to shake. He introduced himself as Bruce and then, to Allen’s astonishment, managed again to slip on a stray piece of cookie and come crashing to the kitchen floor once again. Allen was suddenly struck by the ridiculousness of the situation and started to laugh. He laughed and laughed until he was unable to stand anymore, fell to the floor, and laughed some more. Bruce gave Allen a sheepish grin from the floor and began to laugh along side him. Eventually Allen went back to the English paper he was writing and Bruce disappeared, but Bruce showed up frequently and never failed in making Allen laugh when he was feeling the most like giving up.

With the combination of Claudia, the beautiful woman, and Bruce, Allen was hardly ever alone. With the beautiful woman showing up beside him whenever he felt complete despair, Claudia keeping him company when he walked anywhere, and Bruce always there whenever Allen needed a good laugh, Allen didn’t think he would ever need anyone else in his life. Until he met Amanda. Amanda worked at the same community bank as Allen did; she had light brown hair that she always wore tied up in the back with a blue ribbon with small white daisies painted on it. Her eyes were blue, but not an electric or deep ocean blue, just a regular shade of human eye color blue. Her style of clothing was reserved with no flamboyant colors or conspicuous patterns, just normal grays, browns, whites and blacks with the occasional pink or light blue. When she wasn’t required to help a customer she kept her head down and on her break would sit in the back of the room reading a book and eating a peanut butter sandwich and a small apple. She wasn’t one to be in the spotlight, and that is why it took a long time for Allen to notice her, but eventually he did.  

The first time Allen noticed her was when he was about to start walking home and he noticed her starting to also walk in the same direction he was headed. Because he didn’t feel he could stay walking behind her the whole time and he didn’t want her feel bad if he noticeably passed her without saying anything, he knew the only way was to walk beside her. He caught up with her and tried to say a simple hello, but it came out gruffer than he intended and he startled her so much with that she dropped her purse and all the many papers she was carrying onto the sidewalk. He immediately bent to help her pick them up, apologizing profusely and all the while trying inconspicuously to clear his throat so another embarrassing bark couldn’t escape it. She looked up from picking up papers and gave him the sweetest smile he had ever seen and introduced herself as Amanda. He offered to help her carry her papers home because he was heading in the same direction and she graciously accepted. As they walked they began to talk about work, which lead to talking about hobbies, which then lead to talking about hopes and dreams and many other things Allen never thought he could possibly share with another human being. Too soon, Allen felt, they arrived at her apartment. He said goodbye and walked home smiling, never realizing that Claudia never showed up to walk with him. The next day he invited Amanda to coffee, and the next week he took her out to dinner. Eventually Allen was spending all of his time with her and he felt happier than he could ever remember feeling. Since he was spending more and more time with Amanda he began to see less and less of Claudia and Bruce and hardly ever saw the beautiful woman.

One day, when Allen was carrying a bouquet of flowers over to Amanda’s apartment, Claudia showed up beside him. Instead of beginning to talk she stayed quiet next to him as he walked. So quiet that it took a minute for Allen to even notice that she had joined him in his excursion. When Allen did notice her, he was surprised because he hadn’t seen her in such a long time that he stopped walking and turned towards her. She still had the same crazy hair and freckled nose, but her eyes seemed different, they seemed sadder than he had ever seen them before. Stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, she finally began to talk, “Allen, I’ve missed you,” she started, “I miss walking to and from work with you. I miss walking with you to get milk and to check your mail at the post office. I miss hearing about your life and I miss telling you about mine.” She stopped for a bit while Allen processed what she was saying and how instead of her usual jubilant tone, she sounded distant and thoughtful. When she continued she looked him right in the eye with her bright green eyes and said, “But I love you Allen, and that is why I’m leaving you now. You do not need me anymore because you have Amanda, and that is the way it is supposed to be. Now, even if you are walking alone, she will be with you in your thoughts and she will help you to be happy. I will always be here for you.” And with her last words, she disappeared, leaving Allen standing alone.

The next day Allen was getting ready in his apartment when he heard a familiar crash in the kitchen. He ran to the kitchen eager to see Bruce and realizing he couldn’t remember the last time he had seen and laughed with him. When he reached the kitchen he was surprised to see Bruce casually standing by the table looking more serious than Allen had ever seen him. Allen realized that Bruce was probably here to tell Allen a similar thing to what Claudia had told him the day before and Allen tried to speak before Bruce could say anything, but he was too slow. Bruce began to speak, “Al, we’ve been friends for a long time and I’ve always been grateful that you laugh at all my jokes and that we always have the funniest times, but I have to go now. Amanda makes you smile like you’ve never smiled before, and even if she’s not telling you jokes you are happier and more full of joy than you’ve ever been.” Allen could feel tears pricking his eyes and he tried again to tell Bruce things didn’t have to be this way and that they could still be friends, but Bruce wouldn’t hear it. “You don’t need me anymore to come and calm your nerves or bring you out of a foul mood, you have Amanda and you love her.” Bruce finished with, “I’ll always be here for you,” and disappeared the same way Claudia had.

Allen couldn’t take it; he fell to the floor and started to cry. Two of the only people he had always known he could count on the cheer him up, were gone.  He set his head in his hands and could feel the tears slowly rolling down his cheeks. Next to him he suddenly felt a presence. He looked up to see the beautiful woman with the dark hair and sad eyes. He waited for her to take his hand and hold it until he felt better, but she didn’t. She just sat there staring at Allen. Finally Allen couldn’t take it anymore and he started to speak, but before he could begin, the beautiful woman spoke first. He had never heard her speak before and was astonished when she said, “Allen, I’ve known you since your first real experience with loss, I’ve seen you at your worst times and I’ve known all your sorrows. I’ve helped you overcome some of your darkest moments and I’ve loved being with you through every minute of it. But now I have to go. Amanda is now the one who will be comforting you and holding your hand through the coming trials in your life. You do not need me anymore, and as much as I love you, I have to let you go, I will always be here for you.” She leaned in and kissed him on the forehead, and with one more sad smile, she too disappeared.

Allen was still a small man, he still was on the shorter side, he still would rather be quiet and listen than to speak, and he was never loud or showy. But now Allen wasn’t alone. Allen had Amanda. Amanda was always there to walk beside him, she always knew exactly when he was feeling his lowest and had just the right thing to make him laugh and help him feel better. And Amanda was always right by his side to hold his hand when he cried. Amanda loved Allen more than Allen could ever remember being loved.

At Allen and Amanda’s wedding, just before the couple exchanged vows Allen glanced into the audience and swore he saw a head full of wild yellow curls smiling from ear to ear, a man whose head reached far above everyone else’s and with shoulders as wide as refrigerator, and long flowing dark hair with sad eyes that were glowing with evidence of tears but with a beautiful smile on her face. And Allen knew he would never truly be alone. 


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