And it Began with a Dream

I had made my decision early this morning. Yet even still, two hours and three cups of coffee later, I was still wary of following through. But I had to do it. I had to leave.

I walked from my room into the kitchen to find my mother sitting at the kitchen table. She was eating a cinnamon raisin bagel, her favorite, and drinking coffee out of the Tigger mug my aunt Rachel had given her. She looked up at me as I walked in. Her eyes had the puffy, bloodshot look of someone who had stayed up the previous night crying. Instead of looking into her eyes, which would make me lose any ideas I had of leaving, I instead focused my eyes on her bagel.

“Mom,” I began, still keeping my eyes focused on the very tasty looking bagel. “I’ve decided to go. Things are getting too crazy around here and I can’t stay another minute. Your job forces us to move too much and this will make the eighth new high school I’ve had to move to. I haven’t even had time to make any friends. I just can’t take it anymore. I wanna live with Dad,” I said, letting the impact of my speech sink in. I didn’t feel as bad as I had this morning. I technically hadn’t lied to her. I was always tired of moving. I was also tired of the weird things that kept happening, but she would never believe me if I told her. It was best to just keep it simple.

Finally, she spoke. “I was expecting this. I knew eventually you would want to settle down in one place, but I just can’t quit my job. I’ve been talking to Ray and he said he’d be fine to take you. I should be able to get you on a plane by Sunday,” she said. As she said this, she picked up her coffee and quietly walked into her bedroom. She turned on The View and turned up the volume. This was a way for her to cover up her tears.

Today was Friday. I guess I didn’t have to go to school. Mom would have to unenroll me today. Anyway, if I missed a day of school, who would miss me? It was going to be different. Moving from Dallas, Texas to Eau Clare, Michigan was going to be hard to adjust to. I had always lived in huge cities because that’s where my mom’s job took us. She’s a talent scout for a record company. I used to think her job was cool, always going to shows, looking for new talent. I’ve even heard some band she discovered on the radio. But it just wasn’t for me anymore. I wanted a place I could call home for more than a few months. I would miss living downtown of course. Our third story apartment had just started growing on me and I had finally learned the Dart route to school. I would definitely miss Dallas, with its hot and sweaty summers. Eau Clare was going to be the total opposite. It was a small town in Michigan, right on Lake Huron. It had only one high school and a population of nine thousand. The high school had four hundred and seventeen students. At my school in Dallas, that was about the size of half of the senior class. It was also going to be freezing cold in the middle of November. But I would deal, even if I hated the cold.

Since I was going to be moving to Eau Clare, I would need some new clothes. So I went into my room. My room had tried its best to capture my personality. I still couldn’t out if it had or not. I had a small bookcase covered with all sorts of books on it. I had Anne Rice novels, R.L. Stine, Stephen King, Ellen Hopkins, Stephenie Meyer, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling, not to mention countless others. I had a Zac Efron Poster on my wall and a memo board so stuffed full of concert tickets and band autographs, I didn’t have room for anything else except a picture of Mom, Dad, and I when I was five. It was taken two years before the divorce. Only one other thing decorated my room besides my TV, bed, and dresser and that was a muscle car calendar. This month’s car, a 1956 red Mercedes 300si, was my favorite in the calendar. I had a passion for cars, muscle cars in particular. Which is why I took so much pride and care in my baby, a 1957 pink Ford T-bird. It was in mint condition and after taking it with me after every move for three years, it was finally working. I had made sure I would have enough money to take the car, named after my favorite Pink Lady, with me to Eau Clare.

I had taken a shower earlier that morning, so by this time my hair was just a bit damp. I would fix it in a minute, so I grabbed one of the many different colored rubber bands I kept on my wrist and put my hair in a ponytail. I pulled my favorite tee out of the closet and pulled it over my head. It was from Zoolander, one of my favorite movies. I slipped on my favorite pair of jeans and my black hi-top Converse which had been with me since freshman year. I was a junior now, so they were pretty beat up. I walked into the bathroom to fix my hair. I stood in front of the mirror and admired my reflection for a moment. I thought I was pretty in an ordinary, girl-next-door sort of way. I had hazel eyes, which changed between being greener and browner depending on my mood. My long hair, after being released from its ponytail prison, cascaded to a little below my shoulders. I loved to experiment with my hair color, but had finally found a color I seemed to like. It was a red violet color. Since I hadn’t straightened it yet, my hair was still in its natural wave. I had to control the monster so I straightened the long mass of hair. After I was done, I put on some black eyeliner, clear mascara, and purple eyeshadow. The color on my eyes complimented my golden skin quite well. I put some lip gloss on my naturally full, rosy lips. I grabbed my black Roxy purse and headed for my mother’s room.

By now she had stopped crying, though her eyes were still red and puffy. “Mom, I’m going shopping for some clothes. It’ll be much colder there than it is here. Do you want anything while I’m out?” I asked.

“No, I’ll be fine. I have to run up to your school to unenroll you and then I have to head to work. I might be home late. You know how Friday nights are for me. Don’t expect me for dinner. You can order out if you like. I’ll leave a twenty on the table. Love you sweetie,” she said.

“Okay. See you in the morning then I guess,” I said as I closed the door behind me.

I left the small apartment opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator. I could use the exercise. It would calm me down. I chose to walk instead of taking my car out of the underground garage. I love walking downtown. Besides, there was no way I would find a parking space downtown on a weekday. I decided to search through some of the thrift stores before I had to resort to really making a dent in my wallet. I went into one I had frequented often, it beings only a few blocks from our apartment. It was a small store called Jake’s. It had everything. I looked through the racks of jeans. I tended to fluctuate between a three and a five. I grabbed three pairs that looked like they fit at a good deal. I got myself a few cute long sleeved shirts because I had very few. We usually lived where it was warm. I got a big winter coat and a rain coat as the weather was not supposed to be the best this time of year. I bought a pair of the warm, furry boots it seemed everyone had because I was sure my thin Converse, no matter how trusty they were, wouldn’t be able to keep my feet warm.

By this time I was a little bit hungry for some breakfast. It was about ten in the morning. I walked bags in hand, to the nearest donut shop, bought two koloches and a vanilla frappachino and headed for the door. I walked the three blocks back to the apartment building. Hands full, I decided my best option was to take the elevator. Clumsy as I was, with my hands full I was likely to fall backwards down the stairs and end up with a broken neck.

I got inside the apartment at ten thirty. Mom was already gone, so I ate and drank in front of the TV. I then proceeded to fall asleep, getting the sleep that had evaded me the previous night.

For the first time in a long time, my sleep was uninterrupted. No dreams, no anything. I was at peace. I slept for about nine hours. When I woke up, it was seven forty-five. I figured I should probably eat so, still in the clothes I had worn earlier in the day, I called Shin Hoo’s Chinese Garden and ordered orange chicken, two vegetable egg rolls, and half a dozen fortune cookies. Fifteen minutes later, the delivery guy showed up. Being in a charitable mood, I told him to keep the six dollar tip. He smiled, thanked me, and took off, as if sure I had made a mistake and would at any moment tell him there was no tip.

I ate with only Fuse on as my company. One of their funniest shows, The Whitest Kids You Know, was on. Though it was a repeat I had already seen, it still made me laugh out loud. I finished my food and then decided to call my dad. It had been some time since I had seen him, having only visited for a week or two during the summer.

I picked up the phone and had to pause for a moment to think of the once so familiar number. He still lived in the same house. Mom and I had lived with him too until I was five. Then they separated and Dad got the house. Mom got me. Two years later, Dad got the divorce papers.

So I called and on the third ring, he picked up. His voice was a lot different than it had been this summer, his cheery, energetic voice seemed flat and tired. I guess this is what he sounded like when he wasn’t putting on an act for me. He must really be miserable without Mom.

“Hello?” He answered, his voice groggy.

“Hey Dad, it’s me,” I said, acting cheery. I don’t know why I felt the need to act with him. I guess it was a kind of silent contract between us. I sound happy and excited and don’t talk about Mom. He sounds happy and energetic and doesn’t ask about the move, because there is always a move, or friends, because they never exist. It always works out good because then we don’t have to worry about awkward silences.

“Chris sweetie. How are you?” He asked, quickly changing into his usual cheery self.

“Fine,” I replied. Another part of our silent contract is never revealing our true feelings. It was practically taboo.

“So, I see you’re coming to live with me. Your mother told me you’d be arriving on Saturday. She managed to get an earlier flight than expected. You should arrive here by four o’clock. I’ll be so glad to see you again. I’ve missed you,” he said, and I could tell he really meant it.

“I’m leaving tomorrow?” Was the only response I could come up with.

“Didn’t your mother tell you? Is it too soon? I’m sure we could get you a ticket for another day if it is.”

I quickly composed myself. “She must’ve told me. I probably just forgot. Hope you got me enrolled into good old Eau Clare High,” I lied.

“Yea. You’ll be so happy here Chris. All the guys at the shop will be so happy to see you. They didn’t see you when you came this summer, so they’re eager to see how you’ve grown.”

Dad owns his own garage and the guys, Pap, an old grandfatherly type mechanic who gave me step by step e-mail instructions to fix Frenchy, Joe, who’s practically my older brother, Mark, who’s super reliable and always there to lend some friendly advice, and Sam, my sister in automotive knowledge, the only girl I know who understands my love for my car.

“Well tell the guys I said hi. I’ll see all of you soon. Love you Dad. Bye,” I said.

“Love you too baby. See you soon,” he said. He hung up the phone, but for some reason, I always wait to hear the click before I put up the phone. It’s like a silly superstition I have, if I hang up the phone before the click, they’ll leave me forever.

By the time I looked at the clock again, it was eight forty-five. I was tired and knew I would have to wake up and pack, so I slept.

As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was asleep. But tonight was different. The dreams had reappeared. The faces were less blurry, their speech more clear. The boy with the glowing eyes was there again. His eyes were the clearest thing about him. They glowed with a golden light, as though they were hungering for something. “Almost,” the boy said. “Almost.”

There was another boy, one less clear than the boy with the glowing eyes. All I could see was a pulsing blue light, an orb I guess you could call it. I knew it was a boy because the voice was so clear and comforting. It was even clearer tonight. “Go back. He’s waiting,” it warned. The golden boy’s eyes flashed crimson at the words of the pulsing light.

He laughed. “So close. Soon, soon,” he said, as if making a promise.

I wanted so much to do whatever the boy with the golden eyes wanted. If only just to keep staring into that beautiful, hypnotizing gaze.
“Leave!” the pulsing blue light cried.

Suddenly I was jolted awake. Mom was sitting beside me, gently shaking me, trying to wake me up.

I guess she had been at it awhile, because when I woke up, she sighed. “Finally. Come on sleepyhead or you’ll miss your flight. I’ve already packed the new stuff you just bought, but didn’t know what else you’d have liked to pack. Hurry up, get dressed, and pack.”

I quickly jumped out of bed, almost hitting my head in the process. Still in my black tank and Carebear pajama pants, I went into my closet and found the other two pieces of my Sam Moon luggage. I ransacked my dresser drawers getting pajamas and undergarments. I then rushed back to my closet, throwing all of my favorite jeans, shirts, and shoes onto my bed and then into my suitcases. Flying through the apartment into my bathroom with my smaller bag in hand, I threw in my make-up and hair products.

It was at that point that I looked into the mirror. I was a total mess. My hair was everywhere and I was still in my pajamas. I ran my fingers through the tangled beast and shoved it into a messy ponytail. I brushed my teeth and packed my toothbrush. I changed out of my pajamas and into some Levi’s and a Minority t-shirt. They were one of the bands I had seen in my years on the road. I slipped on my trusty Converse, grabbed my “I love nerds” hoodie and closed my bags. I was ready to go. As soon as I got my morning coffee of course.

Remembering my carry-on, I grabbed my poetry notebook, some Stephen King and Anne Rice novels, as well as some of my other favorite books, my entire CD collection, my CD player, because I still thought old school was cool, and extra pack of batteries, and three packs of Juicyfruit. Finally, I was ready. My cell phone, keys, and wallet were in my purse. I was carrying my carry-on and dragging my largest bag behind me.

Mom was coming right behind me with my other bag. She stuffed my school papers, so I would be able to enroll, inside it and locked the door behind us. We opted to take the elevator for obvious reasons. We rode it all the way down to the underground garage. Right where I left her was my baby, Frenchy. I picked up my bags and threw them inside her. Mom picked up the bag she had and put it into her 2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse. She would have to drive her car to get her home if I was taking Frenchy with me. We started our engines and started on our way to D/FW airport. My plane took off at noon. It was ten. We got to D/FW at ten forty-five, after stopping for breakfast. I took care of Frenchy; she would land ten minutes before me. I went through picking up my tickets and checking my bags and spent half an hour going through security. I was almost gone.

The End

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