Racoose Recluse

Ed Racoose clicked aimlessly on the computer, the glare of the screen making him rub his eyes vigorously. What was he doing? He should probably shut this thing off. It wasn't like he was doing anything useful. He always felt somehow lethargic when he spent whole evenings on the internet, browsing. The chair creaked as he stretched in it, his gangly frame sprawling endlessly. He pushed back the keyboard tray and let out a cry as the shutdown music blared out. Argh! He always forgot to turn it down after playing his loud music. Well, it wasn't that loud. Only his parents thought so. He wished he could get sound proof walls and then he could blast out his eardrums if he so wanted. Forget the walls; more like he wished he could move out of this place. It was suffocating him.

It was odd though. You would think moving out would mean he was up for bigger, better things; change; excitement; a new life. Yet it was pretty much the opposite. Although sometimes he hated his daily routine, still he couldn't bring himself to break the monotony. It was too easy. He'd tried doing other things like going to the gym or getting together with the few mates he had for evenings out but he'd never really stuck at it; never really been that excited about it all. He'd just petered out after a while and slipped back into the old ways. Well, he preferred his own company anyway. At least you could rely on yourself. Mostly. He didn't have to fake smiles or pretend to be energetic. Just the same old thing: get up, go to college, get home, endure his dad's rants, recluse to his room, do a bit of work, spend the rest of the evening on the  computer and then go to bed. And if it wasn't a weekend, he'd just do the same thing without the college part. He wasn't surprised people called him Racoose Recluse.

But he liked how life was predictable: no surprises. He realised the double meaning in that and his light reflecting was overshadowed by those dark moments, hovering like a bird of prey; like an undone task at the back of your mind; that sickening feeling when you remember something impending you've got to tackle; something awful you don't know how to go about solving. The guilt flooded in, percoluting in his mind and paralysing it with fear; all those times he could have stopped things happening. The girl in the lake. That punchup outside the pub. He'd practically been there and yet he let the events float on by because no one would be the wiser. And the worst thing was, there wasn't anyone who would believe him unless he confessed to that.

He closed his eyes; as if that would shut out the shame. He sighed, suddenly not hungry and then slowly changed for bed. He was desperately tired - there was no end of comments about his 'pale face' or the 'bags under his eyes'. Mum nagged at him about booking a doctor's appointment for insomnia. Or perhaps how he was always depressed about real life, she'd added. The irony. Even the thought of sleep disturbed him like it did every night - reality was catching him up again.

The End

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