Numbers (Dyslexia)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Dyslexia turned illusion
(read it a few times, if you want to really understand it)

Submitted: February 17, 2009

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Submitted: February 17, 2009

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Numbers

I don’t know how much longer I will be able to survive here. It’s been so long since I have seen a real human’s face. Every once in a while he comes here, into my cave to try and talk with me. It’s far too unpleasant in here for me to forgive him enough to have a conversation. This room is so cold, and damp. My clothes are always wet, so no warmth is provided. And yet, all I have for warmth is a tattered shred of a once beautiful duvet. I am wet and tired and lonely here. I long to see my family again or even a familiar face.

I don’t remember how I got here, if I did, I might have a chance at escape. But I don’t remember. My memory is tainted, I can’t remember much other than this room. I long to see trees blossom in the newly spring air, and see the wind blowing through their leaves. I have been here so long, even the simple things in life are fading away. I want to feel the new summer sun on my pale face again, soaking in all its heat. The real world fades from my memory with each passing moment. I try not to think on it too much, it just makes being in this terrible place more difficult.

But even with all the things I am forgetting, things that are slowly fading away; I remember quite clearly when it all began. This is surprising because he is good at molding thoughts to what he wants you to see, and not what actually happened. He took everything from me, every memory, and every moment. I have fought hard to be able to remember this story, my one story.

It starts with work. I worked at a small CO-OP gas station in my small rural town. I had been working there for ten months and I was in a really good position. I was moving up in seniority and was recently promoted to being a supervisor. Times were hard for my boss, so I was almost always working, just to keep the place running. Work mixed with school took up most of my time. Now that I think about it, I wish I would have spent more time with my family when I have the chance. At the time I was 17, though I don’t know the date, I could be 18 already. A normal 17 year old life is based on their social life, I didn’t have time for one. But somehow he was able to squeeze into my busy life, in a way no one else could. It’s hard to describe how he first introduced himself, without you thinking I am crazy. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and think insanity has taken over me, as I sit here alone day after day. But it all started with numbers.At CO-OP everything revolves around numbers. CO-OP numbers, plu’s, phone numbers and movie numbers. He started it small, changing prices from $7.75 to $7.57. I was confused at first. How did I manage to read it right the first time and yet say it wrong? He slowly progressed to bigger numbers like changing $10.92 to $29.01. It wasn’t much of a concern, but I was getting annoyed with my somewhat sudden inability to read and say numbers the same. My co-workers didn’t really mind that I read the numbers wrong, though I was the butt of every joke that had anything to do with a number. It disappointed me; I mean I am a sensitive person. Their reinforcement of my little problem almost seemed to encourage and excite him. He next took on words. A customer asked me what kind of coffee I liked best, which of course was Vanilla Hazelnut Cream but I told him Cream Hazelnut Vanilla. He looked at me funny and I could tell that I had said it wrong, great!

“Vanilla Hazelnut Cream, you mean” he said looking at me quizzically.

“Ya, sorry.” I replied, Turing a shade of light pick.

Yes, that was what I had meant to say, but the look on the man’s face made me feel even dumber that if I had read it wrong and we would have laughed it off.

He continued to play around with me at work. One time he even made me hit the wrong numbers on the gas pump. I smoothed it over with the customer, but with gas prices these days at 126.4 an extra $30 is a lot of money.

If you haven’t guessed already, he is an illusionist. An illusionist you say? I didn’t think there was such a person out there either, if you could even call him a person. He lets my mind read it right the first time, and then he switches at my second glance, so I say it wrong. He was clever like that making me read it right and then, making me say it wrong. But there he was, and he only made my situation worse.

After some time I think he got bored of simple at work trickery. I started reading the numbers and words right again, which sadly enough was a big change. I had been incorrectly reading them for some time and I was getting accustomed to it, and to making up excuses. I started to live my life again, I had been so busy and consumed with trying to figure out what was going on, I was missing out on what little free time I had left. I regret that. I wish I had spent more time out with friends and just living life. I finally had the chance to do that again. I wasn’t embarrassed about being in public and being seen as not knowing how to count when really I was just seeing it backwards.

I continued going to work five days a week over top of going to school, slowly getting back into my working groove. Though it being winter made work slower, no one wants to go outside when it’s freezing out. We were now just past the peak of winter, and Valentines Day was just around the corner. Before you think this story has even a chance at a happy ending, let me reference to whom, or better yet what we are dealing with. Whenever things get good, he plays with the situation. Anyways, normally I wouldn’t have much to do with this holiday, except more things to plan for school. There were always a bunch of new couples just in time for the holiday, grouped up in the school. But work was defiantly my favorite at this time of year. The rush of the Valentines Day sale was my high. I loved it, the pressure of performing a task quickly and being on my game. I liked watching the couples come in and out of the store. I loved watching the men open the doors, or even not open them if they weren’t a gentleman. I loved seeing the woman’s eyes light up when she looked at him as he spoke to her. I loved watching them because one day I thought it could possibly be me. Yes, Valentines Day was just around the corner, and this is where he comes back to me for the second time.

He did come back conveniently on Valentines Day, just like I thought. When I got to school on the 14Th I opened up my locker, to be surprised with its contents. Inside there was a small bouquet of red roses in a tall and slender vase. The roses were just starting to open up, petals deep red, a deep blood red. The vase had a small white ribbon around its centre, unprofessionally tied, but still seemingly tied to perfection. At the time I would have hoped it was from a particular guy at school. I had had a crush on him for as long as I could remember, but I never had the time to talk to him, and he never tried either. I was filled with new excitement, like as if the opening of my locker was like a new chapter in my life. Someone cared for me. For the next few days when I passed him in the hallways I tried to make eye contact to show him that I was interested. But he never took any notice. I was slightly disappointed. But I know better now, than to think that they were from a crush of mine.

Work was busy as I had though, the usual Valentines Day rush. I was jealous more than anything. Thinking, why had this guy not taken me out today? I mean of all days. We were able to close quickly that night, so I got home earlier than normal. When I got down to my room, I found a note on my bed that read:

“I hope you liked the flowers,

They reminded me of you,

Beautiful in your solitude

I think of you often”

I was scared now, I read over the note again to see if I had read it right, flipping it over again and again to see if there was a name. Now justifiable scared, I ran upstairs and found my mom.

“Mom, did anyone stop by tonight while I was at work?”

“No, I have been home all night and I saw no one. Were you expecting someone?” she asked

“No, no I wasn’t. Night” I said hastily. I didn’t want to talk about it with her. It was too weird. I hadn’t directly told anyone about my problem. The people at work just thought it was some sort of disease that came with being blonde.

I became weary from my curiosity. Time passed and it was now the beginning of May. The terrible cold had past and the cold winds were now conforming to spring. When I wasn’t at work or school I spent my time outside. I went on lots of walks, and just observed people, watching closely to see if someone was paying really close attention to me. I was cautious though, the note had kind of creped me out. I was careful, whenever someone past me or looked at me for longer than usual. I wondered if it was them that sent me the flowers and the note. Then he came to me. It wasn’t a very special day; I had about 3 hours left to kill before going to work. If only I had taken an afternoon shift rather than my regular night shift. He was on the other side of the street and for some reason I stopped to look at him. Even from a distance he was beautiful. He was tall with a simple build. His attire was plain; a button up shirt with jeans, but it looked very good on him. He looked up at me noticing my interested gaze, and started crossing the street over to me. Was this him, did he send me the note? As he came closer I saw more of his distinguishing features. I noticed the way his hair glinted and how the wind caressed through hit. His walk was graceful and his skin was just starting to tan from the spring sun. His beauty was abrupt, and as he stopped in front of me and looked down at me, his blue green eyes smiled at me.

“Hi there” he said

“Hi” I said awkwardly.

“May I join you?” he inquired back to me.

“Umm, ya.” I stammered.

I was taken aback. Me, the one with no life, hardly any friends and only a really good resume to show for my efforts, was walking with the most beautiful and handsome man I had ever laid eyes on. He was quick to get over the small talk, but his words were smooth. We walked for about an hour and a half before we had circled the town twice and I needed to get ready for work. This is where my problem truly worsened. I had had such a good time; I was less than productive at work. I didn’t see him again that night, but from that day on, we talked almost everyday. I dove right into our relationship, telling him about myself and about my family and few friends. I talked to him so much I was a wreck if I didn’t. My mother became irritated with my single subject of discussion. But despite her feelings we became the best of friends. I wish I had seen it coming. I poured out my life to him, telling him everything, and anything.He was such a good listener and he gave the best advice.

While we were walking one night he stopped me and looked me in the eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I asked causally.

He continued to look at me. Shocking me with his next move, he pulled me close and kissed me

“I love you” He said to me, his gaze piercing mine.

“I love you; I have loved you for a long time.” he said again, his deep blue green eyes staring intensity into mine, as if daring me to deny his love.

What do you say to something like that, something as abrupt as that? We had never touched before, not even a hug so his kiss had taken me off guard. But I didn’t know what to say to him. I liked him; I loved spending time with him. We had the most amazing times together, with such a great connection. Was I ready to move to a more physical relationship? Was I ready for a relationship? Well I guess I thought I was, because I went for it. I didn’t care. He was right, I did love him. I had never met anyone with whom I had more fun with, who understood me like he did or who I understood like I did.

I leaned in and kissed him again. I felt his warmth; I felt his importance in my life through his kiss. He had me; I was in love with him. I had just committed myself to him.

And that was that. I ran away that night. If only I knew, if only there was a sign, that my foolish escape would lead me here. But I didn’t know, so I ran to him.I ran into him warm embrace; tears streaming down my face, my words lost in sobs and gasps for air. He held me right there in he street until I was calm. I pulled away from his comfort to dry my eyes and look up at him.

“I love you”

“I love you too,” he replied” come, let’s go home.”

I didn’t pay attention to where I was going. I felt safe in his arms and I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I remember being so tired, and almost sleeping on him as I walked with my head on his chest.

“Are we nearly there?” I murmured, not opening my tired eyes “I’m so tired.”

“We’ll be there soon, here I’ll carry you” he replied.

He picked me up and I fell asleep in his arms.

“Good night baby, I love you.” He whispered softly as I fell asleep.

I woke up here. It was a little bit different when he brought me here. I was sleeping and then I woke up here. At first it was a comfortable room. I woke in a queen size bed with the most comfortable duvet I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping on. The room was of medium size, with a small desk, quaint lamp, and a bookshelf with the strangest collection of books. I lazed around in bed, browsing through his books till he came into the room.

“How’d you sleep?” he asked me kissing my pale cheeks.

“Very well, it’s quite a comfortable room.”

“Excellent, I’ll be back in a bit with breakfast, okay?”

“Sure, I’m just going to sit back and read.”

He came back in about half an hour with a small stack of waffles and sauce. They were so good. He just sat there and watched me eat in silence.

“What?” I asked him

“You’re beautiful” he said seriously

“Thank you baby.” I replied with a shy smile.

My first sign at who he really was would be the next morning. I woke in the comfortable bed the same, but the room seemed smaller. The desk was gone and so were his books, in fact the room seemed only big enough to fit the bed. When he came in, he looked very distressed. He was sweating and was very short and rude with his answers and never returned his love when I gave mine.The room shrank; the bed seemed to be a double bed, slowly the room degraded, to a point where all that was left was the duvet. He came back in the room and then the strangest thing happened. He flickered. Like as if he was a TV that malfunctioned for a second before returning to its original screen. I was so terrified, he looked angry. I covered myself in the duvet and slowly felt it fade away.

He was gone. I haven’t seen him since. But I understand him now. The only things I have to remember him by, to remember our times together, were this small shred of duvet and this story from when I was free. But I see now who he was. He captured me, lured me, when I was helpless he tempted me. I was foolish. I see him for what he is. For the Illusionist genius that he is. He played with my mind letting me read it right and then changing it. I can imagine his joy at my frustration. All the trouble he put me through those long months and then making me fall in love with him. Mother, she knew, she knew he wasn’t real. Why was I so stubborn? But all these questions just lead me to nothing. I didn’t recognize him for who, no what he was; till now when it’s too late. So I am telling you now, don’t let someone capture you with their charm. Live your life but remember what is truly important. Tell them you love them. You never know what moment is your last. Learn from my mistake. I am going to die here. You still have a chance. But really, you’re not real, your just his last illusion.


© Copyright 2020 Tanis Joy. All rights reserved.

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