The World is a Book

The World is a Book

A Chapter by YouoweYoupay
"

It will never heal, my inner doctor said.

"

 

 

Chapter (5):

The World is a Book

 

 

 

"Are you cold?"

 

"Yeah, a little," she pursed her lips, the two of us slowly coming to a stop by the vendor, "Don't take off your sweater for me, I'm going home in a few minutes, gentleman." The air smelled of stale coffee beans and chocolate chips.

 

"Alright, I won't."

 

"Don't be angry, it was a joke."

 

"It's rainy and cold in July." I said, "Your town is crazy."

 

Great, I internally rejoiced, now I'm discussing the weather. I hoped she wouldn't take the wrong idea.

 

"I know." she said, "Weather here is like a uhm--it's like a woman. Her time of the month is kind of irregular."

 

"Yeah, she should see a doctor."

 

"I know." We both laughed.

 

I heard Demon's voice somewhere beyond the second food vendor to the left.

 

A loud whisper. Another voice. Tension, and then the conversation turned into an brief argument.

 

"Wait till you see this park in the fall." A bell rang and enthusiastic music stopped playing, "They'd set up a ghost house for those-"

 

"Yara, wait-I'm sorry. Just stop talking." My feet led me to the source of the racket.

 

There was a winner's name announced, and voices of rude disapproval.

 

On a stadium behind a long, white table lined with food-piled plates, a man among other three slapped away his plate which only had two hotdogs left. He was so close. And as soon as my eye caught him, Demon clumsily turned around and withdrew behind the further trees.

 

"I paid for nothing." I heard another defeated contestant.

 

My chest felt weighed down and my shoulders tensed.

 

"Aaron?" Yara called approaching from behind, "Hey, what happe-"

 

"Listen, I'll see you later." I marched without meeting her eyes.

 

What was he thinking? Does he even think at all? 

 

I tried to release my fingers from painful fists as my vision focused on his distant figure. His back was bent, his palms on his kneecaps, face part hidden behind the greenery, emptying the unnecessary meal he had just had.

 

What the hell were you thinking?

 

He slightly flinched as he recognized the frustration behind him. I thought I'd yelled it in my head, but I was wrong. He adjusted his wobbly form and calmly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. 

 

"Had a good time?" his honey-brown eyes met mine, but the guilt in their color made me angrier, "Where's your girlfriend?"

 

"She's not my girlfriend, you jackass."

 

"Who you callin' jackass?"

 

"You." I glanced around with folded arms, "I'm talkin' to you." locking my misty blue eyes with his again.

 

I heard a car rushed by, the main street must have been near.

 

"What were you doing back there?" I threw a thumb behind my back.

 

"You just wasted more money, didn't you?" Had he been a step closer, I would have punched him, "You made me think you're a responsible person."

 

"Hey, I tried okay? It was worth it." he attempted defensively, "The winner gets three hundred cash."

 

"You f****n' made me think…" a pause, "You didn't make me think--you threatened you wouldn't pay for my college education."

 

"You can't even hold on to a proper job, for God's sake. You don't even have enough money to last us the week."

 

"Aaron--"

 

"Just tell me this, alright? What in the world did my parents see in you?" , "You're pathetic, I swear." His mouth opened to say something and his eyes widened with a new emotion. Fear.

 

The sound of feet trampled the grass behind my back.

 

I felt someone's skin on my shoulder.

 

The world tilted slowly. And what I had just seen, I was hoping it was a scribble from a scary dream.

 

It was a brief struggle, and Demon had gained control over the baseball bat, but I still feared for the other boy.

 

I heard a woman scream.

 

"What the hell were you doing with that?" Demon said, "You could have killed someone."

 

"He looks funny. He looks--" the boy's appearance was similar to that of a normal adolescent around my age, but he spoke like a four-year-old.

 

"Kareem, why did you do this?" the taller man slightly motioned the item in his hand, trying to sound more sympathetic, "Wait--What are you talking about?"

 

"That boy," Kareem pointed at me, "Tha-that boy. He looks funny. He's funny." He slightly laughed.

 

I was still cluttered on the ground, but when I tried to shift sharp pain shot in my left ankle. And another brand of pain twisted in my chest.

 

"This boy's kinda weird. He's weird, Demon."

 

"Yeah, I know, but you can't run around holding that thing. It's not a game--"

 

"He has-he has white hair." he pointed me again, taking narrow steps closer before Demon blocked his path, "He has--"

 

"Okay, listen to me." he lightly lowered the boy's arm, his other hand firmly holding the weapon of offense, "Where's your father?"

 

"What's going on here?" a police officer appeared, probably having sniffed the scent of trouble from that woman's scream. His eyes flooded with the sickness of repetition. Maybe this park had had too many incidents the police were already getting bored with it; like behind-the-tree rape attempts, or abduction operations in the daylight.

 

"It's cool, officer." Demon was actually trying to soothe himself down, "We were just--"

 

"I'll take it from here." The officer said, "Stay out of it." He exchanged a long, odd glance with the other man before walking past him.

 

I'm okay too, officer. Thanks for checking, you b*****d.

 

More people flocked around the scene, including the boy's parents. While recovering from the shock was still in progress, I was hoping that Kareem would stop mentioning the reason why he almost struck the back of my head with a baseball bat.

 

  My ankle wasn't broken, the E.R nurse said, but it was mildly strained.

She said nothing about the twinge in my chest though, because I never mentioned it.

 

It will never heal, my inner doctor said, you will always remember being accused of being 'weird and funny-looking' by even the mentally challenged boy in the park.

 

I sunk in the car seat by the window. His eyes reflected in the front mirror; concerned, foggy brown. At least we still had a ride home before he sold it to other normal people with normal, productive lives, right?

 

"Is that why you sat in the back? You're still there in the mirror, you know."

 

"Yeah, so?"

 

"Just checkin' for tears, kid." He raised his eyebrows doubtingly.

 

Silence.

 

"I don't cry." I said trying not to let him succeed at irritating me, "I don't cry, so just shut up about it, alright? And stop staring at me."

 

"I'll take that as a 'thank-you'," he smugly said evading any chance of awkward silence, "for savin' your a*s back there."

 

Instead of thinking of a smart response, I remembered the officer at the park; the cold, impolite look he gave Demon before turning with a considerate smile to the parents of Kareem, letting them off with another 'keep-your-child-on-a-leash' warning. I had thought it only existed in fiction, this bluntness of displaying prejudice.

 

"You didn't know?" I said, "I hate black people. And I hate this place."

 

It was only then I was able to see my true reflection; in the eyes of that rude, racist officer. If there was more room in the car downwards, I would have sunk even further. I sighed to the back of the driver seat in front of me, and I could tell without looking he was parking by the home turf.

 

"Get out of the car." He opened the passenger door. Now I was quite sure he said it deliberately, to take pleasure in my inability to walk on both feet.

 

"You think I wouldn't if I could?" I shot defensively, "My ankle's f*****g--"

 

"Just checking, kid."

 

"For what?"

 

"If it's alright for me to touch you." the way he said it, made it sound like the dirty version of 'touch'.  My neck flushed, the blood streaming up to my cheeks. He drew out his hand before me in patience.

 

"Are you serious?" I said matter-of-factly, "I let you walk me to the car earlier, didn't I?"

 

"It's alright, Aaron. I know you're angry." I had to look up because his gaze was intruding on my thoughts. The light, clear honey-color returned to his irises. I hesitated before surrendering my hand, "It's going to be alright. You'll see." I pursed my lips and swallowed the knot in my throat.

 

My parents and I never used to discuss why I sometimes came home from school with a bruise or two, or a streamline of tears after being crushed by insults and freak jokes. Driving to the hospital or the physiatrist in lifeless silence was enough. It was their expression of sympathy with my condition.

 

But now I wish they'd spoken. I wish I'd heard it from them first. I knew my wounds would soon dry and I would scrape them off my skin, and there would be no point of mentioning the inevitable. But still I wish they'd said it just once, that it's going to be alright.

 

The world is a book. Life is a book. Living and hurting is like reading and learning. But I wondered as I settled in bed that night…

 

How many times did I have I go through the same lines over and over again?

How many times did I have to be taught and educated that I was different, meant to walk on the margins and watch everyone else flow easily together in one ocean?



© 2013 YouoweYoupay


Author's Note

YouoweYoupay
This chapter was tough to describe in details. Whaddya think?? Thanks for reading.

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Reviews

I think you meant to say Psychiatrist the fourth from last paragraph there. So, Mr. Snowman gets a dose of his own medicine from a cop. Who would have thought? Grammar wise everything seemed okay. Except for the part where you had two quotes from the same speech together in one sentence. That part should be fixed. But otherwise everything else is good. Now for content. First of all, what is a handicapped kid doing with a baseball bat? What kind of place is Cyan where cops are so blatantly prejudiced? You have to pay to be in a hot dog eating contest? So many questions! Overall I think this chapter came out good. Keep up the good work, Rain!

Posted 7 Years Ago


The grammar and parts of the dialogue were a bit rough, but the overall emotions and descriptions of the prejudices came through even if the actions and locations lacked a bit of focus. The angst of the main character and somewhat mysterious actions and words of "Demon" are still compelling enough to warrant further reading but perhaps a bit more world building or scene description would balance it out more than the reactionary dialogue and subsequent flashbacking alone.

Posted 7 Years Ago


great dialogue - both between the characters and the "unspoken' bits - the inner doctor's voice. Well done.

Posted 7 Years Ago


"How many times did I have I go through the same lines over and over again?
How many times did I have to be taught and educated that I was different, meant to walk on the margins and watch everyone else flow easily together in one ocean?"
The above lines are amazing. A very strong chapter. I like the conflicts and the thoughts. I'm glad a peaceful ending of the conflict. Demon is being tested. Hard to be strong when you are wild and crazed in mind. Thank you for sharing the excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on August 8, 2013
Last Updated on August 8, 2013
Tags: story, dreams, love, hate, trust, betreyal, fear, safety, home, belonging, albinism, racism, goodness, evil, charity, friendship, faith, hope, despair, anger, past, future, weakness, strength, wella


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YouoweYoupay
YouoweYoupay

Amman, ..., Jordan



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