A Knock On The Door

It consisted of a living room, a small kitchen, two bedrooms and one bathroom. The unopened boxes lined up against the wall. Labels written in black marker read 'Tupperware and Cutlery' or 'Photos and Posters' and the like. It had been the third day of Chinese take-out and piled up laundry; my mother was still asleep at the hour of eleven. She warned me not to leave the house without permission, so I had been sitting here for the past three hours since I woke up. 

There was no cable for the TV, and the computer made only temporary company for me. I would have indulged myself into the words of a book by Salman Rushdie or verses in my collection of Robert Frost poems. Unfortunately though, the boxes of books were under those of glassware, which my mother had specifically told me not to move. 

I passed some time by examining the apartment flat, which had a heating furnace, a fan instead of an air-conditioner, and paint eroding off the corners and edges. It was quite obviously tattered and worn out, but my mother denied its somewhat derelict state and preferred to label the place as 'antique'. I reminded her that antiques were things of age that were maintained. 

It did not surprise me that the water flow of the shower was weak. I had a proclivity for the droplets of water to hit at my scalp with some force, resembling that of a head massage. For an odd and unknown reason, I always felt cleaner that way.

Neither did the stubbornness of the window come to me unexpectedly. The struggle to open it, as well as the white paint that chipped as I did so, indicated that no one had opened it in a long time. It was neglected, as was the rest of the flat - the whole building even. 

I walked towards the window, which, surprisingly we had gotten around to putting curtains on. They were a burgundy red, and were made out of the material that was always used by BritishIndia, the clothing brand. It permitted just enough sunlight, the red always looking brighter during the day. 

The apartment was located just at the end of a suburban road, lined up with white and green houses with a picket fence. The building looked quite out of place; a sudden growth in the blocks of residence. Random. 

I noticed the Aberdeen boy walking up the street, holding a Giant Slurpee in his hands, just as he had when his family and him greeted us on the Thursday we arrived. He was fourteen, two years younger than I was, yet he had the atmosphere of someone much older. The slurpees and short height did nothing to dilute the mature quality of his. 

Amidst all the observations and thoughts, I did not know of my own staring at him. His eyes were visibly locked onto mine, easier so due to the fact that I was only on the second floor. He looked at me without judgement, and we stared at each other for a while. He waved without a smile, and I did the same. 

We weren't friends; I wasn't even sure of his name, although I believed it started with a 'C' if I remembered correctly. Calvin, Callum, or was it Caleb? I thought about his name for a moment, even after he was no longer in sight, and could not even recall him telling me his name. 

There was a couple kissing by the lamppost on the other side of the road, and three kids on scooters whizzing past, laughing. I never let myself get attached to the little daily things anymore, for if I did, every night I would sleep with fear that my mother would spontaneously decide to move again.

My mother was never superstitious, at least not until my sister got hit by a car at the highway exit while jaywalking. Now she used the "Gigi" as an excuse to relocate. Not that Gigi was her name - no, that would be the name of Eileen's ghost. I believe in ghosts as I do amongst other spiritual things, however I do not believe that "Gigi" follows us. Heaven for my sister would not be around my mother, and my mother avidly prays that she is in heaven. Irony between two people can exist, even when one is dead. That's one thing I learned from my sister's death. 

I cannot say I pray really, for my sister. I instead assume she is in her happy place wherever that may be. At a guess, she is, in my mind, on a sail boat in a clearwater sea. And I talk to her as though she were there. Sometimes, I swear she sends the sea breeze to me, because I can feel something tickling my cheek and a cool air cascade through the strands of my hair. 

Since I moved here, I haven't been able to hear a whisper from her at all. Maybe the suburbs is too far from the sea. Maybe that means we will stay. 

The End

3 comments about this story Feed