-Talking to Myself.
The ground beneath my feet passes with a slow pace. Mustn't go too quick, or they'll suspect I know they're there. I have to be cautious. They might attack at any moment. My phone rings. I check who it is. It's Linda. I shouldn't answer. She can't get involved. She's been too kind to me for me to endanger her like this. The contact is just up ahead. I was told by my sources to go into the store, purchase one gallon of milk, and ask for a pack of matches, and then the woman behind the counter would write the combination to the safe on my receipt.
The faint hum of the bright fluorescent lights above me was the soundtrack to my new setting. It was a small store, so it's safer than doing this in a large store. There'd be too many customers, too many witnesses. This has to be discreet. I stood in front of the milk and looked at my watch. I had two minutes before ten. And I have to get out before the store closes. That's when the cameras outside turn on. I grabbed the milk, walked to the cashier and said,
"Chilly night out huh?" She nodded and looked at me, waiting for the signal. I muttered, "Got any matches back there, I'm out."
She nodded and slid the matches to me. Sweet girl. Too bad she's so deep into this. I hope she doesn't get herself killed for helping me out. I put the matches in my pocket. She nods to me slightly and I nodded to her. I paid for the milk and walked out the door. I checked the receipt and pocketed it quickly. It's time to get out of here. I have another contact down the street. I just need to get there and lose these spooks that have been following me. I walk down the main road at first. It's safer that way.
I walked by a man in a coat. He turned and walked beside me. I whispered to him, "It's not safe. There are guys following me."
He looked at me, "I know. But I have to tell you something." I looked at him quickly then back to the sidewalk. He continued, "The safe has much more than money in it. It has the key to the deposit box with your wife's murder weapon in it."
I looked at him and nodded, "Thanks, Joe." He walked off in another direction. Joe never says 'you're welcome'.
The streetlamps flicker down the long dark street. There are few houses here, few possible witnesses. If they're going to strike, it will be here. "Ok Adam. You can do this." I inhaled deeply and turned the corner heading down the long street. And at the end of the street, I ran. I held the bag close to my chest and ran. Bullets came hissing past my head and I could hear the thugs shouting at me as I sprinted. My time was short. My destination was close. My contact will be waiting inside. And there we can stave off these bastards. I muttered unusually quietly, "You'll never get the code!" And I made it to the door. I opened it and shut the door tight behind me.
"Oh, Adam. You're back. You got the milk, right?" She looked at me with a fake smile. She was far too busy watching her show to focus too much.
I rolled my eyes and said, "No, mom. I walked to the store. Took this plastic bag and walked back." She stuck her tongue out at me. I sighed as yet another miniature story died as I shut that door. I pulled the milk jug from the crinkling plastic and put it in the fridge. I crumpled the receipt up and tossed it. I grabbed a piece of cold pizza from the fridge and tossed it in the microwave.
"Don't slam that door." Mom muttered from the other room. I don't know if she didn't want me to wake up my siblings, or if she was just listening to her show. I just rolled my eyes and brought the pizza upstairs into my room. I walked past the boy's room and past Julie's room. I pulled the rope from the ceiling and down came the stairs to the attic, which was converted into a bedroom for me when we moved to this little Podunk town three years ago.
I sat down at my computer and attempted to revive the story of the man out for revenge against his wife's killer. But it just couldn't come to me. I sat and I thought and I focused hard. But the words couldn't come to my hands. The blank white screen in front of me hungers for the adventures my mind creates, but my forgetful mind seems to misplace them. Somewhat like I do when I put down my cell phone and later can't find it.
In my frustration I slap the laptop lid shut. I've broken a computer because of getting so annoyed from writer's block before. This time I went out and got myself another laptop just for writing. It's a Warrior 2000, perfect for my little outbursts. So next time I get too pissed off and slide my computer off the desk, it'll be ok. The shell can take a beating, and has already. I pat my computer's top apologetically and got up. I walked to my bed and fell backwards onto it. "I hate everything…" I groaned to myself. I was being a little overdramatic. But when you think up something you love, and then are unable to recreate it, it calls for some aggravated overdramatizing.
Today's been a long day too. Woke up this morning at six in the morning, and walked halfway across town, heading to work. Only to get a call about at the halfway mark from my supervisor, "Oh Adam, I don't think we'll be needing you this morning. Go home and enjoy the day off." And if that wasn't frustrating enough, when I got home, my two brothers were sick from too much of the cake when they went to their friend's birthday party yesterday. So on top of missing out on some hours at work, I also had to play doctor for them, and walk around town doing errands for my mom while she watched her shows.
Mom is a great lady. She's got some good morals, but some bad ways of going about them. And she's the type who has a billion "shows". If you come home from a long day at work, and want to watch the Pats game, she says "OH wait! My show is on!" and puts her station on. When I wake up in the morning, and go to check the weather, she comes trudging down the stairs and scoops the remote up, "Almost forgot my show was on!" And she laughs. All I can muster is a forces grin. She's a sensitive woman. The slightest hint of aggravation with her turns into her feeling offended and all down on herself. So my siblings and I learned that it's best to just smile and walk out of the room, then spaz silently behind her back. But she's no different than other parents. She pays the bills, does the grocery shopping, and cooks the meals. It's the other little chores she lays on me. "Go to the store for me Adam." "Can you drop this in the Mailbox for me Adam?" Or my absolute favorite, "I forgot to feed the dog can you do that for me Adam?" She bought the dog to fill in the gap that Dad's leaving and my older brother's death left in our house. But she never does any of the work. I do.
Thinking about all this, I sighed and pulled myself sluggishly out of bed. I had to check on the dog. She probably got too wrapped up in one of her billion-and-one TV shows to remember. I walked down the stairs and down the hall, down the main stairs and out the back door into the porch. I looked at the bowl. What a waste of effort… She was fed. Probably by Julie, my little sister, she wants a cat, so she's been trying to take extra responsibility for the dog.
Billie was sleeping in her little doghouse. I didn't wake her as I walked in. I left a dog treat on the floor and shut the door behind me. Billie is a Siberian Husky-German Sheppard mix. She's my best friend. Out of every friend I've ever had. Billie is the most loyal and loving. I'm sure Julie will get her cat. And it'll be her best friend too. She needs one. Julie isn't exactly one of the popular girls in school. When I was a senior, I tried to give her a good rep, but the kids didn't really take to her brand of peculiar. They loved mine because I was snarky to the administrators; But Julie is more along the lines of one of the kids who people avoid because she's a little weird. But it's ok; she had a decent posse of similarly weird kids that I consider to be good acquaintances.
Reflecting upon Julie and her friends reminded me I was supposed to call her friend Carl and tell him that she wasn't going to make it to the park Sunday because she has to babysit the twins. My two little brothers, Connor and Drew, good little "doobies" or so my Mom calls them. They're nine, play little league baseball, never get in trouble, always get good grades. They're great kids. They're just a little too whiny in my opinion. But I'm told I was the same way at that age. Almost exactly the same way, I complained a lot, I was on the baseball team (And was all the way up through high school), I had good grades (UNTIL I hit high school), and I was very well-behaved (Also UNTIL I hit high school). But they're whiny because they're the youngest and they're spoiled. I was whiny because I had to always compete with Will for the spotlight.
Will was my older brother. He was the star kid. He played baseball, so I did too to be like him. He got into martial arts. I did too so I could be like him. But Will was always better than me. He could do anything I could do, and he could do it twice as fast or twice as well. He always won the trophies. I always got the silver metal. He got the attention from Mom and Dad, and from the kids at school. I was "Will's brother" not Adam. Even to this day, years after he died, I still will run into someone from the South Shore where I lived, and they'll say, "Hey, Aren't you Will Caine's little brother?" And as much as I was jealous of his accomplishments, as much as I hated him for hogging the attention and getting everyone's adoration and leaving me with his hand-me-downs, I still look proudly at the people who ask and say "Yeah. He was my big brother."
Dad ran out on our lives three years ago, so we moved here to escape the sad memories. Not even a year later, Will was hit by a car. The witness statements said that he was walking along, and a black sedan hit him, grabbed his limp body and dumped it in the trunk. We hoped that Will was still alive. But the killer was caught. They never found his body. So we never had that closure we needed. That's when mom bought Billie, named her after Will. To this day, I always wonder where Will is rotting. And I feel bad. Because the moment I was told he was hit by a car. The first thought I had was "Oh great. The great Will has been hurt. I bet everyone will be kissing his ass for the next year." I never had the chance to apologize for that.
Upon the end of my self-reflection, I just felt sad. The day was bad enough without me feeling so much guilt and frustration. I forgot about the pizza I had been eating, and just grabbed myself a piece of toast with some Nutella on it. Chocolate is an amazing remedy to a bad day. After finishing my post-dinner meal, I wandered up to my room again, and laid back down. I nearly sat on the paper plate with my pizza on it. I just tossed it. I just wanted to sleep.
Maybe tomorrow my Writer's block will finally have ended. Or so I tell myself every night, right before I sleep.