Chapter One of an Untitled Project

Chapter One of an Untitled Project

A Chapter by Adamwriter

This the new version of the first chapter.


Matt’s Thoughts - Have you ever woken up from a long, night’s sleep and felt like you should be doing something else with your life? I experience this every day of my life. I feel as if there is a more meaningful purpose for me to fulfill other than going to school and getting an education. Now trust me, this is not some teenage impulse where I want to cut all my attached strings and run away; it’s a topic that dominates my mind throughout the day and through the night until I finally fall asleep. This feeling doesn’t only dominate my mind in the mornings and evenings; it will occur other times as well. Every time I listen to an emotional song, watch a movie that grabs me, or even when I’m reading a book that I have become completely immersed in;  I can feel something inside me wanting to come out, and sometimes I’ll have the sensation that there is a hollow void within me, that is waiting to be filled.

Chapter 1

Matt was sitting up in his bed, panting and sweating after waking up from a nightmare. He has been having the same dream each night, and it was past the line of annoyance. Every time he had the dream was like having it for the first time. There isn’t anything wrong with him. He’s a sixteen-year old boy. He is popular for two things at  his school: He is  but he’s lazy when it comes to doing school work.

Matt felt irritated and frustrated for having the same frightening dream. He threw his head back and looked at the clock. The red, sideways numbers read four-thirty. He let his head fall forward and he sighed some of   his frustration out.

It was four-thirty a.m. and Matt wouldn’t be going back to sleep. His alarm would be going off at six to let him know it’s time to get ready for school. He could fall back asleep and get that extra 90 minutes; however, if he is awake earlier than the alarm, at most two hours before he plans to get up, he isn’t falling back asleep. So, after he sat there for a few more seconds, he admitted defeat, threw his covers off, and got up.

Dragging his feet, he crossed the hallway to the closet and got a towel, then went to the bathroom. He is an only child and his father has his own rather sizable bathroom in his even larger bedroom, so there was never fighting for a shower and a sink in the morning. He was immediately able to get showered and brush his teeth before going back to his room. He took his time doing all this since he was up early. He even texted Austin to let him know that they would need to meet up earlier than usual.

Matt opened his closet, chose his clothes and put them on. His usual attire consisted of a random  t-shirt, baggy jeans and a hoody, and of course some boxers and socks. He went to a public high school despite his dad pestering him to go to a private school. God knows his dad could afford it. They were living in a large house for a large family with spacey, large rooms, all of which were adorned with expensive furniture and electronics. However, Matt didn’t want to go to a better, more prestigious school. He just wanted to be a normal kid.

 Matt thought that today was going to be a colder day, so he chose a thicker, heavier hoody from his choices of hoodies. He wears hoodys whenever he is going to school. Even if the day is  going to be hot, he will just wear a thinner, less weighty hoody. The reasoning is he can put the hood up and have headphones on to listen to music during class if he were to become bored enough, which happens quite often. A few teachers had caught on to him at some point, but that didn’t make him stop. Once dressed, he grabbed his mp3 player and headphones from atop his dresser. He left his room and walked downstairs to the kitchen to grab something to eat. Matt’s father, Paul, was already sitting at the table, and he was dressed up in business clothes with a sport coat on the back of his chair. He was drinking his morning coffee. Matt thought it had to be his first cup since the pot was barely past the first mark. He must have just gotten here.

“Morning Matt, you’re up early,” Paul said while giving him a questioning look. If he could, Matt would give himself a weird look too. “I don’t think I’ve seen you up this early in a long time. Gotta be honest, it’s a little weird to see you conscious at this time.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the coffee pot so full in the morning.” Matt said in agreement of the awkwardness of his early attentiveness, while rubbing his head. He is in no way a morning person, but his father is despite the need of many cups of coffee throughout the day.

“What’s wrong? Bad dreams?” Paul asked. Matt didn’t want to tell his dad about his dream because whenever Matt had problems his dad would make a big deal about it. He didn’t want that.  “Nope.” Matt responded as he walked to the counter and grabbed a banana from the stand.

“Ok then, have some coffee.” his father said as he took a sip from his mug and went back to looking at the newspaper.

“Sure, thanks.” Matt said with a forced smile. He hates coffee.

Matt and his dad talked a bit to pass the time until each had to leave for their day. They didn’t talk about anything specific; just about the weather and Paul’s business meeting today. They spoke until Paul’s cell phone, hanging from the waistband of his pants, started beeping. Paul dumped the remaining coffee in his mug into the sink. He grabbed his sport coat off the chair and threw it over his shoulder. He keeps the morning goodbye to a slight as he pats Matt on the shoulder as he passes by him to grab his briefcase. Matt like the relationship they had because they didn’t make every moment sentimental or serious. They talked more like friends than father to son. Matt returned his goodbye with, “Later.” Short and sweet. Paul stopped as he was bending over grabbing his suitcase. He stood back up and continued to face away from Matt. Matt was facing the other way, tossing his banana in the garbage, when his dad spoke. “About tomorrow,” Paul said still facing the other way. Matt felt a lump in his throat afterhe heard what his dad said. He turned to look at Paul, who had half-turned and had his hands in his pockets, seeming more casual, while looking out the window  over the sink. Matt did not expect his dad to say anything today, but he was definitely not surprised. He figured Paul didn’t want to look him in the eye because of what he suspected his dad was about to say next, “I think we should be together this time.”

Matt forced himself to not show any reaction to it, so his dad continued, “It would make the day easier for you. More importantly, we can celebrate!” Paul faced Matt, but he never looked at him in the eyes. Matt noticed the guilt and worry on his dad’s face as he continued his offer, “We can go to your favorite restaurant and get the usual. After we’re finished we could catch a movie; I remember hearing about a good one the other day. C’mon Matt. It’s not every day I get to see you turn seventeen.” Paul’s face had changed from somber to more radiant. He stood there looking at Matt, waiting to hear his response.

Matt looked down to the side not wanting to look at his dad. Paul pushed more, “There’s no need to be by yours-.”

“Dad, I’m sorry,” Matt interrupted, he couldn’t let his dad say anymore. He raised his eye line to his and said, “It has nothing to do with you, but tomorrow is a day I will spend alone.” Matt said this as calmly as he could despite the shaking in his voice and the pain and anger he felt inside at that moment. It wasn’t for his father he had these feelings; it was what he was referring to.

Matt figured it was odd for him to be alone on his birthday, but he couldn’t care less. Paul was looking at Matt full in the eyes. “Matt, tomorrow is going to affect me as much as it will you.” Paul said more stern.

“I would like it to affect me while I’m alone.” Matt said.

“I would really prefer-.”

Dodging his father’s line of sight, Matt walked past him, not without giving him a tap on his arm, letting him know no harm was done. He walked towards the front door, grabbed his school bag and put it over his shoulders. As Matt was walking out the door, he could hear his dad try to say something else, but he couldn’t make it out nor did he care to. “I’ll see you tonight.” He shut the door and began the walk to school.

It wasn’t a long walk to the corner of the sidewalk that is the place where Austin and he meet up to walk to school together. Austin was already there. He waved at Matt, which Matt returned. “Mornin’.” Austin said as he joined Matt at his side. “Hey.” Matt responded.

Austin removed his backpack from his back and opened it as they walked. He rifled through it for a bit before he pulled out some papers. He handed the papers to Matt, closed his bag and returned it to its position on his shoulders.

“Thanks Austin, I appreciate it.” Matt said as he leafed through the papers and skimmed the work Austin had done.

“Hey, it’s no problem,” Austin said.

“I had that dream again last night.” Matt said. Austin is the only person who he has told about his dreams.

“Again?” Austin asked sounding confused. “I mean this in the nicest way possible, but is there something wrong with you?” Both Matt and Austin smiled at this. “Probably.” Matt chuckled.

 “Dreams about endless forests, whiteness, blackness… that’s a bit messed up.” Austin said.

“It’s a little more complicated than that. And I’m just as curious as you. I’m the one having them so I should know what the dreams mean, shouldn’t I?” Matt said.

 “Don’t sweat it, dude. I’m sure it’s just another dream, and if it is supposed to mean something, you’ll figure it out.” Austin patted Matt’s shoulder. Matt nodded and let it go. There was a silence between them for  a couple minutes. Austin broke it by saying, “You know. I have to work tomorrow night, but I can get my shift covered.” Matt silently sighed. Matt calmly responded, “Stay at work. My dad already made the same offer this morning.”

“Oh, so you’re going to hang out with him?” Austin asked sounding hopeful.

“No, I turned him down, too. Although, he did seem a bit desperate this year.” Matt said. This morning wasn’t the first time his dad had tried to get him to not spend his birthday alone. This year, however, he seemed more determined for him to not be alone tomorrow. He was more emotional. Every other year all he would get was, ‘Let’s hang out for your birthday’ or ‘You want to do something for your birthday tomorrow’. There was nothing that could make Matt change his mind. He wanted… no… he needed the time to himself.

“I figured you turn me down. I just wanted to make sure you knew I was there for yah,” Austin said.

 “ I love  you, too, man.” Matt said humorously.

Austin put his arm around Matt and said, “I know, dude.” They both laughed and pushed each other away.

“The way I spend tomorrow every year is how I’d like to spend it, but thanks.” Matt hated blowing his friend off, and his dad even more for that matter, but it was just going to be God and him at the end of the pier on the lake tomorrow night.

They had been walking along a creek for a few minutes until they reached the part of it that had a small opening at the edge of the sidewalk, which they passed through. Matt briefly thought that maybe passing through this shortcut in the creek was what may be causing his dreams, but it couldn’t be. The trees in the creek were full of bright and dark green leaves. The trees in his dream were completely different; the trees in the whiteness were tall and beautiful, and gave off a glow, and the leaves were slender and white. And they gave off a brilliant light. The trees in the darkness were fat and ugly. Their branches were large and ended in sharp spikes, with small, sharp thorns adorning every inch of the branches, which had grown in different and unnatural directions. These trees emitted an aura as well, it was like a light, black smoke that pulsed off and dissipated when it got too far from the tree. And the creek didn’t explain the voices.

Matt shook off these thoughts and just in time. He and Austin had reached the edge of the stream, which had to be crossed in order for them to continue to school. They both took their bags off their shoulders and one at a time threw them across the stream where they landed safely out of water on the side.

“Ladies first.” Austin said smiling, with his hands pointing in the direction of a fallen tree. “Thanks friend.” Matt responded sarcastically while grabbing the limb on the fallen tree that bridged their side of the creek to the other side. Matt and Austin had been taking  this shortcut since their sophomore year. They would have done it earlier, but the tree that they used to cross to the other side had not fallen until the summer prior to their sophomore year. The two boys noticed the tree, concocted a route through the creek that included crossing the creek via the fallen tree, and made their shortcut. One problem that came up, which didn’t stop them, was this woman and man, assumed to be husband and wife, who lived close by found out what they were doing half way through and told them to stop because they were damaging the creek. True it may have been, but they didn’t care.

Once they reached the other side, Matt and Austin grabbed their bags. They threw them over their shoulders and continued the short distance left in their shortcut through the creek to school. They were almost through, but when they reached their exit they noticed it was a mess. The exit wasn’t clear anymore; it had the branches of bushes and small trees sticking out rather than being open and clear of them. It was close to the time for the morning bell to ring to start school, so they couldn’t fix it. They had to push through the branches. It was quite thick, so they couldn’t avoid getting scraped. When they got through the branches and bushes, they were on the side of the creek the school was on.

“God dam! Stupid burs.” Austin said. Frustrated, he dropped his bag to the ground and removed the small thistle balls that like to catch and bunch up on your clothes from his hoody. When he had finished, he picked up his bag and the two boys continued to school. As they were walking, Matt felt pounding on his back. He turned his head to see that Austin was removing his own burs from the back of his clothes. “You had some of your own there, buddy.” Austin said.

“Thanks for the assistance.” Matt replied.

“Course, bro, course.” Austin said as he adjusted his bag.

They had just passed over the soccer field when Matt felt Austin tapping his shoulder again. “I think you got them all.” Matt said as he continued walking. But, Austin grasped Matt’s shoulder and shook it. “C’mon man, personal space.” Matt said, a little annoyed.

“Turn around and look,” Austin said in a firm tone.

Matt rolled his eyes and half heartedly turned around to see what the big deal was. Austin was pointing towards the school’s football field. The field was surrounded by a metallic, chain fence, and next to this fence was what Austin wanted Matt to see. “What’s the big deal…oh.” Matt said, his eyes now wide.

© 2010 Adamwriter

Author's Note

This has been revised and re-done

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Added on February 9, 2010
Last Updated on February 23, 2010
Tags: Chapter, One, Story, Novel