Melancholy Morning

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an event that happened in my life when I was (I believe) 9 years old. It's been a while since I wrote it, so sometimes I wonder if I made some parts up, but I highly doubt it.

*Note: In Tibet, kids call guys who are older than them "cho" as an honorific. But this is only a term used for guys who are not yet adults/men. There are other titles you use depending on how old you and the other person are, as well as the gender.

Submitted: July 18, 2013

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Submitted: July 18, 2013

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"Hey Namzey, go wake Tentop up," My cousin, cho Sonam, said to me as he flipped through the channels on TV. He was slumped on his seat, a can of coke in one hand, the remote in the other. It was Saturday morning, and it was a gorgeous day outside. I was bored sitting on the couch doing nothing, so I was more than eager to do something.

"Okay!" I exclaimed as I jumped off the leather couch and walked out of the living room and toward the stair case. Humming a random tune, I started to walk up the stairs, using the rail on the side for guidance. When I reached the top I made a sharp right and faced cho Tentop's room, his door shut. Without knocking, I grabbed the bronze door knob and turned it to the side. I felt a draft tickle my ankles as I slowly opened the door. Inside, the room was bright. The room was glowing with a lime green hue as the sun rays shone through cho Tentop's silky green curtains. His room was simple but messy nonetheless. 

I stepped daintily around his scattered shoes and clothes as I reached his bed. All I saw was a big red and white lump and tufts of cho Tentop's hair sticking from underneath. As I stood next to his body, I placed two hands on what seemed to be his shoulders and shook him. 

"Cho Tentop?" I called. "Cho Tentop, wake up!" He didn't react at all, and I started to soon feel a sense of entertainment from my duty of waking him up. I continued to shake him harder and started to say random things. "Cho Tentop! Cho Sonam says to get up now. It's getting late!" I giggled as cho Tentop groaned a bit. 

"Namzey, stop," I heard cho Tentop mutter through the blanket. I didn't listen to him. A few minutes of attempt to wake cho Tentop up and him telling me to stop, I finally froze when he yelled at me. "Namzey! Go away!" My hands retreated as I stared at cho Tentop, though all I could see was the back of his head. 

"But cho Sonam says that we're late to the fair." I let out disappointedly.

"I don't care!" Cho Tentop yelled again, his voice muffled. I glanced at cho Tentop one last time before I left, closing the door behind me. I plopped back down on the cool couch when cho Sonam asked me if cho Tentop got up. 

"No," I shook my head, looking at the TV. 

"Go back and make sure he gets up." I protested as I crossed my arms and slid further down in my seat. 

"Namzey," cho Sonam gave me a stern look. "Go wake him up." I shook my head one last time before Sonam let out an exasperated sigh as he forced himself to get up. He stormed across the floor and up the stairs. "Tentop! Get the fuck up, we're going to be late and mom's going to blame me for it!" I heard cho Sonam shout from downstairs. "I know! But today is the opening day for the fair and if we're not there on time to help mom set up er station, then you have some explaining to do for her. So get your ass out of bed!" I heard the slamming of the door and cho Sonam came down the stairs quickly and I watched as he swiftly walked past and toward the kitchen.

I looked at the clock, it was 10:52. The fair should be starting at 11:30. I pursed my lips as I contemplated the idea of going back upstairs to cho Tentop's room. I wanted to, but I honestly felt a bit frightened by the thought of him yelling at me again. 

After a minute, I found myself standing in front of cho Tentop's door again. Swallowing with nervousness, I grasped the knob for the second time and turned it to the right, feeling the click of the opening door. I peered inside and saw cho Tentop's blanket strewn to the side in a crumpled mess and cho Tentop himself sitting on the edge of his bed, rubbing an eye vigorously with a knuckle. I opened the door wider and stepped inside. Cho Tentop didn't look up. Walking toward him, I felt as though I had to be quiet or something somewhere would explode.

I sat myself right beside him boldly and looked around, not sure what to say or do. Looking at his desk, I noticed a picture of a young man in a military uniform with a signature on the bottom right corner. The man didn't look familiar, but I remember the devastating news my mom had told me a few days ago. I tilted my head to the right and looked up at cho Tentop's face. He seemed worn out and weary, his eyes bloodshot. 

"I'm sorry about your friend," I said, folding my hands on my lap earnestly. Cho Tentop didn't say anything as he stared at the floor in front of him. After a few moments, cho Tentop gave me a solemn look. I flinched a bit, scared of what could happen next. Cho Tentop's face was expressionless as he looked into my eyes with his red ones before he gave a soft smile and extended an arm, sweeping me into a side hug. I squirmed my arms free from his hug as I tried to reach around him, giving him a big hug. Smiling big, I was glad to see he wasn't mad at me anymore. I squeezed my eyes shut and heaved a sigh of relief, my nostrils filling up with the scent of melancholy.

 

****

 

I opened my eyes and stared out the same window, seeing a gray sky in front of me. Here, I'm sitting in cho Tentop's room, seven years later. With the whole family bustling around downstairs, I ended up doing my homework up here. I checked my facebook to see a new message from cho Tentop. 

 

 

"Hey Namzey, It's nice to hear from you again. The university down here in Milan is nice, but tough too. And yes, I'll be coming home for vacation pretty soon, I think in two weeks. I can't wait to see all of you again, and I heard you got a puppy? That's awesome, maybe he and Pachen can get along so he won't be so lonely, haha. I haven't eaten much of the school food because since I left home, I've been surviving with the five tons of food amala sent me with. Ok, take care now. See you,

 

-Tentop" 

 

 

I leaned back in my chair as I thought about what to write back. Looking around, the room seemed barren compared to what I remember from long ago. It was more serene and organized. Other than the emptiness in the room, there was still the photograph of the same military man, who turned out to be cho Tentop's best friend since childhood. The photo was now encased in a fancy black frame with sharp edges. Polished and clean, the glass seemed to sparkle on its own.

 

 

The air in the room still smelled like melancholy, but the sense of it was peaceful, as though someone was heaving a sigh of satisfaction. That memory was so long ago, but I still remember that day vividly, though I'm not sure why.

 

 

I sometimes come back to his room to study whenever I visit his house since he's overseas. Although cho Tentop was never the studious and responsible kind of person, he was still a person of respect and my favorite cousin. The serenity of his empty room was not only quiet and relaxing, it reminded me of the morning years ago when I witnessed my cousin's vulnerability. I didn't think of anything then, but looking back it made me realize the reality of life and the things it can do to even the most cheerful, fun person.


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