Friday Night, 9:13

Friday Night, 9:13

A Story by karmapoilce
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A girl living in an abandoned school meets a peculiar man wearing goggles.

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            It’s 9:13 on a Friday night. The air was cold today. My lips chapped and I could feel my cheeks getting redder the longer I stood outside. I breathed in the air and my lungs got colder, almost turning to ice. I felt so delicate I could have shattered from the inside.

            I lay still in my corner, my favourite corner in the whole building. It’s tucked right between an old desk and a cabinet, and on the side of the cabinet near the bottom, there is “A + J” etched into it.

I always look at that to go to sleep. I think of who A and J are, where they are now, if they’re still together. I like to imagine a different scenario every night, of who they are. Some nights they are Al and Jem" a simple couple with one syllable names, who eat Thai food on Tuesdays and drink coffee in the morning, living contently with each other in a nice suburb. Other nights they are Alessandra and Jasper, who could be in Germany on Monday and Portugal on Wednesday, sleeping together in dirty hostels, always with a smile on their faces.

It helps me fall asleep at night, imagining these scenarios. I lean my head on the cabinet and start picturing a new couple, Alexander and Jasmine, watching the seconds tick by. The clock always amazes me. I always wonder when it’s finally going to run out of batteries. The school has been abandoned for almost a year now, so the clock should die any day. Once it does, I’m afraid that’s the day I might go crazy. Being stuck in time is not good. I’ve promised myself that’s the day I’ll pack up and move on.

I hear footsteps approaching from down the hall. I curl up tighter inside my corner, hoping it’s not the same man from the night before. The school has been overrun by homeless people, and some are not as nice as the others. I try to keep to myself for the most part, but it gets lonely. Last night was a mistake. I hope he’s not looking for me to repeat it.

The footsteps come nearer to my room and I shut my eyes, hoping that they will keep walking past. Silently I mouth to myself, “don’t come in, don’t come in, don’t come in,” and they come in.

I open my eyes and look up. I let out a sigh of relief; it’s not the man from last night. My eyes adjust to the darkness and I see he’s looking right back at me.

“Why, hello there! I’m Don, nice to meet ya!”

I’ve never seen him before. He’s clearly drunk; he’s standing six feet away and I can already smell the liquor on him. He looks like he’s about thirty, about ten years older than me. He has a burly beard and is holding a bottle of vodka in his left hand. The thing most peculiar about him is that he’s wearing a pair of goggles.

“I’m Cara. Why are you wearing goggles?” As soon as it comes out of my mouth, I feel stupid. I’ve always been too direct; it gets me in a lot of trouble.

“Oh, these? I just found them outside. You know, you can never let anything go to waste.” He is very nonchalant about the goggles. I smile, amused. He seems friendly enough, and I could use the company tonight. It’s a particularly cold night, and when nights are colder, I always feel lonelier.

“They’re cool. You can sit if you want.” I motion to the space on the floor in front of me, and Don sits cross legged, groaning as he plops down. Up close I can get a better look at him. His goggles make him look like an alien " something out of this world. I like it; I can pretend he’s a strange creature from my imagination, like he exists only in this room, with me.

He hands his vodka to me, offering me a sip. I take a big swig, looking at him in those stupid goggles.

“So, how did you end up here?” he asks. I’ve always hated this question because I never really have a proper answer for it.

“Well, I guess I just wanted to be on my own, and I couldn’t do it. Clearly.” I laugh, like I always do at the end of my explanation. “What about you?”

“I travel from place to place. Constantly exploring. That’s what got me here " I ran out of money, but I’m still going. Tomorrow I’m heading north.” He takes a swig of vodka and laughs. “Alcohol always makes things more interesting you know.”

I smile a genuine smile at him. He looks so silly with his dumb goggles and he stinks like the bottle depot, and he has a gross beard, but I like him.

I take the bottle from him and take another sip, and move closer towards him. I think of how his skin feels under his jacket. It’s probably warm. I’ve been cold all day and I could use the warmth. I lean in and kiss him, gently on the lips. He kisses me back, and we look at each other.

“Do you want to play a drinking game?” I ask.

“Sure.”  

We play Never Have I Ever until we’ve finished the bottle. I kiss him again, smiling into his mouth. My head feels a little bit foggy and I’m giddy, so happy to finally have gotten rid of the boredom that’s constantly nagging at my insides. That’s the thing about being alone all the time " you’re not just lonely, you’re bored.

He smiles at me, and I can see his eyes crinkle under his goggles.

            “Hey, so do you ever wanna leave this place? I’ve only been here for an hour and it’s already depressing me.” It feels strange to think about leaving this corner. It’s felt more like my home than anywhere in the past year. I think of what my sister would do. She's just eight, but she's smarter and stronger than I'll ever be.

            “I’m not too sure. I wouldn’t know what to do.”

            “As I said, I’m traveling up north tomorrow. Some company would be nice.” He touches my arm, and I was right, his skin is warm. I look at the etching of “A + J” and this time, I imagine a different story.

            I look at the clock above him. 9:13.

 

 


© 2015 karmapoilce



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SFG
I read this yesterday afternoon and it has been lingering in the back of my mind all day. As someone who personally becomes a slave to clocks consistently throughout the day... I became so intrigued by your last line. Made me wonder where they actually are. What time is it really? Your characters are so likable. I'm not sure if any of this is helpful in anyway but thanks for writing it. I enjoyed the read!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




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SFG
I read this yesterday afternoon and it has been lingering in the back of my mind all day. As someone who personally becomes a slave to clocks consistently throughout the day... I became so intrigued by your last line. Made me wonder where they actually are. What time is it really? Your characters are so likable. I'm not sure if any of this is helpful in anyway but thanks for writing it. I enjoyed the read!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 21, 2015
Last Updated on November 21, 2015
Tags: teen, youth, short story

Author

karmapoilce
karmapoilce

BC, Canada



About
I'm just a 20 year old girl from a little town in Canada who likes to make up stories and put words together to make them sound nice. more..

Writing
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