Listless Girl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A glimpse of a depressed and nihilistic college student who may or may not be as jaded as she appears to be. She wonders if she's just lazy or devoid of ambition. Her roommate wonders if she's really jaded at all, or if she orchestrates her own self-pity.

Submitted: August 29, 2012

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Submitted: August 29, 2012



Nothing had happened that day.  Not really.  She slept in longer than usual and after much feeble debate, the girl decided to leave the dishes in the sink for one more day.  It wouldn’t hurt them.  After, she stared blankly at her syllabi and pondered over her assigned readings of the great classics.  She knew that it was expected of her to come to class prepared, yet she had no interest in prepping her façade for a day of pretense and invented intellectuality. 

Despite this, at some point while she sat in her empty and silent apartment, the twenty-something year old decided to halfheartedly read over the significant parts because the second week was not yet an appropriate time to give up.  She could not give in to her profound laziness this early, not yet at least.  Though, she was never sure if it was laziness or something much deeper that kept her apart from her classmates.  Once upon a time, she strove to care and to do well, which was realized with glowing success.  She was applauded in a past life for being so brilliant and was seen as a prodigy by her parents; but that life had long since been gone, lost to the ages of growth and waning.  So it was not that she was incapable of doing well, and neither was it that she was incapable of reading.  That would be silly in this day and age.  No, it was just  that she no longer wanted to.  Or, that’s what the girl told herself day in and day out, and she cared very little to dig any deeper for another, more profound reason. 

By the time the sun had finally tired, the girl had dallied with Robinson Crusoe a while, but became agitated with his neurosis and had fled the Island of Despair.  She had then moved on to Thornfield where she tried to play the part of high society with Mr. Rochester and Ms. Eyre, but could not stand either of their insufferable personalities.  As a last hope, she traveled to Winesburg, Ohio, but found the company unsettling because she saw her own face repeated through the town.  It was a terrifying dalliance, so the girl retired to her own room with a grateful sigh.  She knew that literature’s great personages were famous for waiting.  They would still be there in the same spot, frozen in time, until she decided to visit again.  Even if she never called on them again, she knew that they would still wait patiently for her like hopeful and impervious children. That was enough of a reason to walk away with little guilt or remorse for abandonment.

So essentially, nothing had really happened that day.  Not really.  When she ended her literary affair, she wandered aimlessly into her room and turned on the antique lamp that her grandmother had given to her for her seventh birthday.  She opened her laptop that she had bought with borrowed money from the university and pulled up her free and infinite music player.  Content to drift off in the lake of her thoughts, she sat in the floor at the end of her sofa bed and listened quietly to songs of sadness and of listlessness.  Her mind went nowhere in particular, and if it did, the girl was too far removed to recognize any of the scenery in her mind.  She just drifted within herself, existing as a fishing lure trapped between the surface and the dregs of the lake bottom of memories and dreams. 



She was so far gone and deprived of the air of reality that she did not even hear him come home.  Her music carried hauntingly through the bare white walls and he paused to listen.  He knew that she was prone to bouts of depression and recognized her piteous music as a sign of how tortured she believed herself to be.  Gently, he placed his laptop bag on the couch by the door and noticed three books with unbroken spines and glossy covers strewn across the cushions.  Shaking his head, the boy took the same meandering route that she had until he was face to face with her slightly cracked door.  He had only been living with her for two months, but had known her for nearly five years.  He knew that if she was on the edge, the door would be tightly shut and locked, barring even him from entry.  No, instead it was slightly ajar and he could see a meager light spilling out into the hall.  It was from her little lamp, no doubt.  The girl rarely liked to be in light and cheerful spaces when she was in these moods.  As he peeked through the door , he spotted her sitting on the floor, back resting on the hard metal from of the used sofa bed.  Her legs were sprawled out, nearly touching the dresser on the other side of the small room.  She stared straight ahead, her eyes partially drooping as if from fatigue, or perhaps as if she had just lost a very dear pet.  There were dark circles under those drooping eyes because she was too lost in her world to remember to blink every now and then and it put a great strain on them.  He noticed that her hair was wadded up in a loose bun, something she often did when she did not have the drive to dry her hair in the mornings, which he never could understand how much tension it could possibly cause to hold a hair dryer for ten minutes.  She almost looked like a broken rag doll sprawled on the floor, but he suspected that’s how she wanted it.  After all, he knew she left the door ajar for a reason. 

The song on her music player ended and in the silent space before the next tragic melody, he quietly knocked.  When she didn’t move, he nudged the door so that it swung gently open.  The movement broke the stillness and she finally turned her head towards me.  Her movements were slow, groggy, almost as if she was trapped in sludge.  He got the impression that she didn’t mind it either.  She looked at the boy and smiled weakly, both of them knowing that it was a ruse. 

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t hear you come home.”

He nodded, folding his arms against his chest and leaning to rest on the doorframe.  “I figured as much,” he said, looking at the piece of lint on the tan carpet beside her. 

“So, work was okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, it was good.  I had to clean out several shelves at the store, so I’m pretty sore.”

“Oh.”  She bobbed her head awkwardly, and the boy could see her attention fading.  Her eyes, once locked on his, disengaged.  He followed her gaze, noting how her eyes were now looking past him and slowly falling back to their droopy state. 

“What about you,” he said in a weak attempt to bring her back.  “Anything happen today?”

The girl did not look at him, rather at the empty space beside of his knee.  “No, nothing happened today.  Not really.” 

He chewed on the inside of his lip and watched her turn back to the dresser, though not really even looking at it.  She was no longer in this world, he could clearly tell as much.  She had left, once again, to whatever realm she keeps deep inside her head.  Even though the girl spoke with him, she had never really come back to reality.  She was so deep in her daze that he did not expect her to come out of it for several days.  “Well,” he said finally, “I’m going to go watch TV on the couch.  Join me if you want to.”  She didn’t move.  “Um, do you want me to leave the door open or closed.”

“Closed,” she whispered.

He nodded and did as she asked, this time closing it fully.  The boy shook his head as he walked back to the living room.  He thought, Nothing happened? No, I suppose not.  Nothing ever happens.

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