"No, I don't fancy a girl at all. But there is a boy. One who wears his heart on his sleeve." Teenage Rydon.
But there's still beauty in the death of the small animal. The slight twitching of it's feet, the shining in it's big black terrified eyes, the way it'll bite at the snake, fighting desperately for the last moments of its life; kicking as its small nose twitches it's whiskers. The snake never gets to see the mouse's eyes go flat and lifeless, they don't see it's last moments of struggling. It feels the last heart beat, the smallest amount of kicking, the way its strength fades out.
Sometimes I find myself wondering what it would be like to be the mouse. To never really know or understand anything; the only sense you have as you fight a fight you know you'll lose is to keep moving, no matter what. To keep struggling even if it's completely futile. What would be the mouses last thoughts? Would it miss its mum? It's father? Perhaps it had a love, and it want's nothing more than to see it again. Or does the mouse simply fight because struggling is what it's supposed to do? Does it think about having a last meal? Perhaps it wonders why it was trapped with the snake. Maybe it wants to send a message to the people who killed it.
Or maybe, it's just a mouse.
"Ryan, what are you thinking?" I tear my eyes away from the small tank that holds Spencer's pet ball python Anthrax, to look over at its owner.
Spencer has always been an odd child. He has this odd fascination with horror movies, something that doesn't at all seem like something he would like. There isn't a single pencil or pen in his room; he refuses to write with anything other than a type writer when he's at home. His bookshelves are filled with new age books and romance novels, making him seem more feminine than any girl I have ever met.
He has an odd collection of gun shells, all of them put in a box hidden under his wooden framed bed; a small twin-sized thing that always has an orange duvet over it. My mother used to tell me that he wasn't a good child, I think it was because he was prone to lighting things on fire. There was always a small stack of boxes filled with matches next to his typewriter, broken keys scattered on top of them. It was a small detail; I made myself memorize the formation of the boxes, the number of matches, and the letters of the broken keys every time I was in his room. I was known for always taking the 'O' keys that were left out in the open.
"How long do you think it would take to make it to the bottom of the ocean?" He raised a dark brown brow, his eyes giving me a questioning look.
"You're thinking about her again, aren't you?"
I'm guessing that since you hardly know me, I should explain what is going on here: Spencer has never completely understood my mind, but he always knows when I'm lying about little things. And at this particular moment, he thinks I fancy a girl. Which, I guess isn't that far from the truth. I'm sure he hasn't figured it out yet, but he has his own things to worry about, so I can't honestly be upset that my only friend hasn't found out. Sure I give little hints to it, from wearing makeup to always trying to fix my hair; but he could vary well be in denial just the same as my mum.
No, I don't fancy a girl at all. But there is a boy. One who wears his heart on his sleeve. I've watched him from afar in the three classes we have together. I've seen his big brown eyes scan the back of the heads in front of him, wandering off into his own thoughts. I often wonder what it is he's thinking about, and I wish I could decipher peoples words as quickly as a superhero who can read thoughts. I've noticed the way he pushes up his thick black rimmed glasses, and the way his lips sometimes pull slightly into a smile when he's thinking. From what I've noticed; he has no friends, he enjoys spending time alone so he can read, he's a deep thinker, and he likes rainy days more than sunny ones. Perhaps, I've watched him too closely. Or maybe I just read people too well.
I choose to lie to Spencer, "No."
He sees right through me.
"Okay. Do you wanna go to the old industrial plant and shoot off fireworks?" There's one quality in Spencer that I never get tired of: He's always willing to do things that most people find repulsive. It's something that, for a long time as a child, I thought only I would be willing to do, and like. I was known to go to places that are the opposite of settling. Maybe that's why I found a book about teenage mental illnesses in my mothers room two years back.
I spin slightly in the chair I'm in and think back to the mouse and python. "No, I have to be getting home." He nods, and I stand.
There are times that I strongly fear for my sanity. Rainy days are always at the top of my list for when I feel as if I'm going to crash. I sometimes think that I might have Seasonal Depression. I'm sure the reduced amount of sunlight is something that makes it harder for me to smile. Or I could just like sunny days more than rainy ones.
When I get home and my parents have yet to show up form wherever they were going, I visit my next door neighbor. She's an old women who has an odd fascination with cats. Not that I should be judging; I've always wanted a dog. She's the type of women who lost the boy she loved and because of it is always happy to help struggling young lovers. I spend more time alone in her garden out back than I do in my own house. I tend to it, helping the roses grow, making sure the chrysanthemums are still growing before checking the saplings she sells. I can never honestly say why I do it; I don't like the lady and her insane ideas, nor do I get paid for taking care of her plants. Maybe I just do it because I simply can. Ever once in a while she'll give me some tea, maybe a sweet of some kind or some incense. But it's never a daily thing.
If on the off chance my parents are home, I swallow down my fear and hatred of being around them, and force myself to go inside our old house. There's something curiously wrong with my family. From the way my dad glares at my mother, to how dull the rare conversation is. There are a few things about our family that I'm sure aren't normal. I've written a list in one of my notebooks, and the top three things are as followed:
1.) My mother seems to think that everything on the outside world is bad and wants nothing more than to kill me. Including things like doctors and teachers.
2.) Dinners are always eaten in separate rooms in the house at different times on weekdays.
3.) My father drinks until he's too numb to think of anything other than the soap opera that's on TV.
I can't be completely sure that these reasons are valid, for I've never been with another family. But based on the things I've read from other people and have watched on TV, they are, in fact, peculiar.
My family is in the lower middle class range. Not rich enough to buy everything we would like to have, but also not poor enough to not be able to buy things every now and again when we want something new. It's this reason that I don't get any money from my parents and have to work on the weekends in order to keep my book collection growing. Not that I'm really complaining. They say that menial labor can help a mind in developing and working through things.
Lately my mother seems to be more distant than when I was a child. Her eyes always have a sense of longing in their depths, and I can't help but wish once more that I could decipher peoples words more clearly. I think she's getting tired of my father and I, but then again, she could just be bored with her job. I never really was close with my mom; I would walk home from school an hour after I was supposed to leave and she would question my whereabouts before making tea for herself, and that would be that. There were no lullabies, at least, not since I was a very young child. But I knew that somewhere deep down she loved me as unconditionally as any mother would. Then again, that could always be wishful thinking.
My room is a somewhat boring thing; little clippings from newspapers and magazines covering the light blue walls. Letters and Polaroid photographs from Spencer covering a large amount of space next to a small art collection I have by my closet. It's a hobby of mine, or maybe a habit much like Spencer's typewriting, to take photos whenever I see fit. Which as of late, hasn't been as often as it was in the past. I have a jar filled with broken keys that I've taken from Spencer's room, and every one of them is an 'O'; a while ago when Spencer caught me picking one up from his box of matches he asked me why I only take the letter 'O', and never any other. It took a long gaze into his baby blues for me to realize that it was a serious question he had for me, and while I did have an answer, I thought it wasn't time for me to tell him. So I took the letter 'V' as well.
I have a single bookcase against the wall next to my smaller-than-Spencer's-bed bed, the shelves lined with dictionaries in different languages and what the librarian at my school calls 'Deep literature.' I'm not sure some of it can be called that, but said librarian wasn't the smartest or well educated I had met over the years. He was a scrawny old man who wore thin glasses that made his beady eyes look smaller, and he always smelled of cabbage. Regardless, next to the books on my shelves are different cameras and lenses that my grandma left me. The source of my habit to take pictures of odd things.
My bed is a shabby little thing, one thick black blanket over deep blue sheets. It has a single feathered pillow against the headboard at the top of it. The mattress is so old the springs are starting to tear through the top of it, and the metal frame always seems to be extraordinarily sharp. And I still find myself perfectly willing to spend hours upon hours upon hours in it.
There are three dreams that I have almost every night. I'm only going to say one of them, seeing as the other two are somewhat...disturbing. There's this dream that I'm in the bathtub in the washroom right next to my room. The light is off and the small window is open, allowing the sound of rain to come into the small room. I'm dressed in full suit and tie, holding myself underwater before coming up to breath. And as I start to move up, another me holds me under, giving me a disapproving frown. I'm sure there's some kind of meaning behind it. Maybe how I don't let all of my true self come through? It's hard to say. I always just think of it as another odd dream.
Either way, all of my dreaming starts with a pair of big brown eyes framed in thick rimmed glasses before going off in other directions.
And with that said, I know for a fact that my mother is right; there is something wrong with me.
Yeah. Okay. Whatever. I get it.