Ariel Kay has a hard enough time understanding his own thoughts, so what is he supposed to do when he meets someone whose, well, whose thoughts he can hear? Not to mention the memories and the drea...
blah means a shared thought
blah means a shared memories, dream, or flashback
When I sit on the edge of my bed and think of nothing, that is when I am at peace.
In the darkness I am aware of nothing but my own breathing, and even then it seems to belong to someone else.
I stare at the shadows on the wall until they become real, until they breathe and speak, and...
become my friends.
This is how I live my days, nothing is more important than those shadows, my friends, and when it becomes dark and my friends bid farewell,
I lay and think of the adventures we will have tomorrow, and hope it comes quickly.
I don't sleep much during the night, I... think and wonder and dream, but I do not sleep.
This is how I live my life.
My friends don't have names, but as we don't speak, names are not necessary, I enjoy their company a lot, they make me laugh and smile, cry and frown. Some days when we are not getting along, when they tire of my company, and leave me alone with my blank thoughts, I stare at the door of my room, I think of the people outside it, watching their shadows disrupt the ever shining light that glares stubbornly under the door.
I wonder if I will ever meet them.
I stare at Ali with what I guessed to be a puzzled expression on my face, what was she on about?
Trigonometry is not my strong suit, in fact, Math, full stop, is not my strong suit. Oh well, at least we're not doing equations of a line anymore. Now that was painful, math induced agony.
I get distracted too easily to be good at Math.
Ali sighs, exasperatedly, "I said, when it is the adjacent side over the Hypotenuse it is-," at this point I kind of blocked her out. Again. I stare at my math textbook until the letters, numbers and symbols blur into obscurity.
Ali sounds annoyed; she tends to get exceptionally frustrated when I don't pay attention, which is a lot of the time.
"Yes, Ali." I say this meekly, an angry Ali, is an Ali capable of delivering great pain. Ali sighs and looks over at me with an odd expression. There is a short silence, then she raises an eyebrow.
"Why don't we take a break," she suggests. I nod frantically.
Her gaze softens, "Don't worry, Ari, you'll get it eventually, just hold on." With that she got off the couch and walked out of her lounge room and into the kitchen.
"Hold onto what?" I ask.
There is no reply, except for a soft laugh from the next room.
I stare at the door, a frown on my face. I hate hospitals, the clean, sterile environment the hospital provides seems somehow fake, a transparent veil trying vainly to cover the obvious stench the place provides.
It is everywhere; it suffocates me, making it hard to breathe, to concentrate. It makes me look around rapidly and scratch frantically at my neck in panic, as if the Grim Reaper himself is stalking me.
But that's stupid, death isn't contagious.
I continue to look at the door, somewhat halfheartedly now. What am I doing here? I have been ill at ease of late, and- well, drawn to the hospital and this door in particular. 'God, Ali was right, I really am mental', I think to myself, 'no self-respecting sane person would hang out at a hospital, staring at a door, which is probably just a storage closet anyway!' I scoff, 'though, speaking, or rather, thinking of Ali, where is she?'
School was finally finished for the year, and Ali had decided that she wasn't going to let me "sit in my room and sulk" for the entire summer holidays. I tried to explain that I happened to enjoy sitting in my room,
In the dark,
Listening to music.
Sometimes I think the best way to describe Ali is to compare her to a mother hen: she clucks and fusses over me, as if I were five or something. I yawn loudly, than look around somewhat guiltily, I haven't been getting much sleep lately, to tell the truth I spend most my nights walking around the streets.
Just walking and thinking.
Sleep has become an elusive thing towards me lately, sometimes, late at night when I lie in my bed, counting theoretical sheep, I feel like a hunter chasing a rabbit. Sleep is my rabbit, an agile, twisting blur of an enigma, always just out of my grasp.
I looked around impatiently for Ali, I really wish she would hurry up, the bright lights are hurting my eyes, and I want to leave. I scratch at my neck harder, my breath coming in short gasps. I try desperately to calm down, "one mississippi, two mississippi, three mississippi..."
Thank god! I turn and look at Ali with relief, only Ali can bring me back when I get like this. My hand drops from my neck, and my breathing returns to normal. It is moments like these that I am grateful for having Ali as a friend. Alexis Mayer + Ariel Kay = inseparable. Now there's an equation I can deal with.
"Come on, Ari, we're going to be late!" She pulls at my arm impatiently, pulling me down the hall.
"Late for what?" I ask. What was she talking about? She had told me to meet her at the hospital, but that was it.
Ali stops and looks at me with an expression that screams Duh! "We're volunteering at the hospital, of course!" she says this as if she were stating that the sky was blue, the trees green, and that Alex Landin was stupid jock.
Trust Ali to get me doing volunteer work for the holidays, especially when she knows how much I hate hospitals.
The shadows and I are having an off day; they have retreated to the far reaches of the room and blended in to the depths of the corner. I miss them and wish that they would come back; the company would be appreciated at the very least.
To distract myself from their presence, or lack there of, I watch the door.
I found a book in this room once, I couldn't believe my luck. Back home a book is a precious thing, something to be treasured and showed off to your friends. In that place I once called home, by law the destruction of any type of text was punishable by death, knowledge is the greatest thing a man, or woman can have. Without it we are vulnerable.
And yet, this book, this treasured object, was sitting in the dark, covered with dust, the pages water logged and ripped. It was disgusting. It was a small thing really, and thick, with thin pages. The language it was written in was not the one of my birth, but one I had been tutored in as a child.
I think it was called English. The cover said clearly, in bold letters: 'Dictionary'.
For a long time after that I spent my days reading, the shadows felt neglected and were always trying to distract me, but I was already lost.
Lost in a world of words.
door n. hinged, sliding, or revolving barrier closing or opening; door way.
That's what the Dictionary said. The definition was so technical, is that all a door can be described as? The statement had one point I couldn't question; a door was a barrier. The perfect way to put it, this door was. a. barrier. Its purpose? To stop me leaving.
My breath hitches as a shadow blocks the inconstant light that seeps under the door, my barrier.
Suddenly my mind is overwhelmed by emotion, and feeling; worry, confusion and sadness seep across me like water when slipping into a hot bath, then, like lightning, panic, flashes and electrocutes my being.
Moments of agony, nails clawing at my neck, my lungs feeling as if they are being squeezed- squeezed until the breath is gone from my body. Then...
it stops, as quickly as it came over me, it vanishes, gone in an overwhelming blow of relief and love, I ride out the waves of emotion until all there is left is the low, but dominant ebb of exhaustion. Whether it is mine or the source I got the rest of the feeling from, I can't tell.
I breathe slowly and carefully, my chest aching like that time when I was seven and almost drowned in the river near our estate. As I think of home, my chest tightens for an entirely different reason.
I missed my family.
When my hearing is no longer limited by the sound of my own haggard breathing, I become aware of voices outside my door. Voices are not uncommon, many people stand outside my prison and talk, but this was different, usually it was just a distortion of voices, all blended and meshed, so individual words are impossible to distinguish, this time I could make out the words. I listened intently.
Masculine, but not fully developed, a boy.
"We're volunteering for the hospital, of course!"
Higher, a girl.
I hear the owners of the voices start to walk away, but not before I catch the voice of the boy once more:
Trust Ali to get me volunteer work for the holidays, especially when she knows how much I hate hospitals.
I could swear that that was a...
I lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling. My room could be described as simple at best, I have my bed (a double), a dresser with drawers and a mirror and a cupboard. I have pitch carpet and walls and ceiling a deep red, like died blood. My matching sheets, doona cover, and pillow case set is a dark blue, and looks like what I would expect the bottom of the ocean to look like.
As I stare at the dry blood ceiling I think about my day at the hospital. It hadn't been particularly bad, all we had to do was clean things and fluff pillows and the sort. The doctors and nurses we had met were friendly, even Dr. Mclean, who grinned and bared it while Ali did all but jump his bones.
Jump his bones? What an odd expression.
After, we had cleaned up Ali's pool of drool, and left the hospital, we had spent the afternoon just walking around town, talking. And eating after we had picked up something to eat. Around 4 we had decided to go home, so we said goodnight and did just that.
It had been a good and exhausting day, maybe I would get some sleep tonight.
Or maybe not.