I sit up straight to flick off the lights from my nightstand, tucking myself inside the covers. My lids have begun to droop and I’m gradually drifting away into a slumber, listening to the clock; the only source of noise, as it ticks away... tick...
You know what I like about sleeping? It’s never of the sordid dreams that occur in my head throughout the duration, but it’s the moment of dwelling before actually falling unconscious. tick...
In three months, I’m going to turn eighteen. In three months, I’m going to be considered a legitimate adult—only time runs faster than Usain Bolt. tick...
By then, I’ll be impelled to make life-threatening decisions and be accountable for them. It’s crazy to be reminded of the fact that merely yesterday; I was a snobby little rascal who had no clue of this merciless Earth we live in. tick...
Is it just me or is the clock much bothersome? I would be dead asleep by now if I’d never purchased it in the first place. I grunt in frustration and draw the sheets over my head, plunging down my ears within the covers. tick...
Despite all the contra, turning eighteen is rather something I look forth to in life. As a matter of fact, I’ve always longed for that time to come as I’m desperate to depart home. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not, by any means, ungrateful of my home and all the wonderful things I’m granted here. It’s just that by turning eighteen, I’ll be fully liberated. I want to experience the stereotypical mad life of a teenage girl and do witless things without a care in the world! I want to rampage on the entire neighborhood without a rational cause and flout homework without ever feeling guilty. Yet again, that’s not realistic, at least for a goody two shoes like Astrid Sherman, who’s perceived to be too disciplined for such delinquency.
I’m already seventeen, and through all those seventeen years of living, never in my life have I acted even a bit inane. I’ve always been extremely mature and as composed as a rock almost my entire life, which in truth, is not fulfilling at all. Especially looking back now that I begin to realize how awry it has been for me. When my peers are out blanketing the entire neighborhood with their teenage sins, I’m practically segregating myself from the world. They would be out TP-ing houses, doing graffiti on walls and doing what typical seventeen-year-olds do in this town, whereas I’m nowhere to be spotted. My life is full of lifelessness—ironic isn’t it?
Right then, I sight a shooting star stretching across the dark starry skies. Simply the image of it pacifies me for a moment. Just when I was about to doze away, the irksome sound of shattering glass erupts from inside my bathroom. Cussing under my breath, I promptly jolt up and out of bed to quickly ascertain the source of it. I pray that it’s not an issue too severe that I can’t worry about tomorrow. I slam open the bathroom door, paving a grand entrance for myself. Reflected moonlight gleams through, allowing me to distinguish pieces of glass scattered all across the floors. Have I mentioned of how the window’s damaged, too? I narrow my eyes to discern in detail what surrounds me and what had led to an utterly wrecked window. My head whips around, and to my immediate notice, are a pair of luminous orbs staring right back at me.
I gasp, startled upon the vague sighting of a male stature standing motionless nearby the window frame. The boy reeks of stale manure and has dirty blonde hair clumsily disheveled over his scalp. My eyes grow wide; almost popping out my eye sockets. My heart begins to hammer ferociously against my chest; threatening to leap out of it. Like a normal person, I freak out; unleashing a deafening scream of terror— almost splitting my own ears in the process. Now a random creep has broken in my property and my costly bathroom window has a huge circular hole on it the size of a butt! The latter for me is larger of an issue, really. That’s just great, now I have to pay to get this ruckus repaired. In other definitions, I have to get a part time job and earn some cash; that is, unless I can bear a pretty massive hole on my bathroom window.
‘I can explain!’ the figure mumbles out of the depths of the bathroom murkiness, as it approaches me; looming closer and closer.
‘Yeah well, explain!’ I cross my arms. I see his foot nearing me, and punctually stepped on it as violently as I can, making him yelp and stumble back to eventually fall flat on his buttocks. I flick on the lights, ‘who are you!?’ I yelp, snatching the first item I can grasp and pointing its acute edge towards him. He drops his arm from obscuring his face as if to let me identify him. His face looks very familiar, indeed.
‘I’m Howard, nice to meet you.’ He says casually.
‘Get out of my property, Howard or I’m going to stab you with this rusty scrap of metal.’ I demand, gritting my teeth. ‘If you ever think of laying a finger, just know that my dad’s downstairs and you’re approximately one third the size of him.’ I threaten again, agitated that he doesn’t bother to respond with anything more than a dumb expression.
He raises his arms into the air in defeat, ‘my drunk-ass father is chasing me around the neighborhood with a shotgun, and your house had the only lighted room, so I was forced to break in to escape from that folk. Please just don’t stab me.’
‘Honey, I have a dozen reasons to stab you. Tell me why I shouldn’t’ I say, slightly loosening my grip on the weapon.
‘I can make you happy?’ He says, as if it’s a question.
I pretend to contemplate it for a while. ‘Wrong answer’ I spontaneously state; promptly launching my weapon at him. No, I don’t intend to stab him dead—I simply am curious as of how he’ll react when he thinks that. He quickly recoils into a ball like a cowardly cat. The fact that he’s so frightened of me makes him appear so hilariously frail that I can’t help but burst into laughter.
Upon hearing me laugh, he glances up from his bodily shelter. ‘So you’re not actually going to murder me?’ he questions curiously, making me chuckle of his idiocy.
‘Just be glad that I’m merciful’ I roll my eyes and slightly lower my weapon. ‘Stray idiots don’t usually validate as serial killers, so take that as a reason why I trust you enough for you to still be alive’ I frankly state. ‘Just bluntly answer some questions for me, would you?’
‘Of course, I can’t thank you enough’
‘Are you a rapist?’
‘Are you a drug smuggler?’
‘Have you got two hundred bucks?’
‘Sure’ he reaches into his pockets and pulls out two hundred dollar bills, before handing them over to me.
‘That’ll cover the expense for all the damage you’ve caused’ I say; partly smirking.
He pauses for a moment to glance out my newly broken window. ‘Oh no’ I hear hum mutter, as he proceeds to point his index towards a guy with a grey cap who’s standing vainly by my doorstep. ‘He’s found me.’ He says, denoting more panic in his tone than previously. ‘Tell him I was never here.’ He implores, with both hands clasped at his front.
I was about to refuse until I notice the man carrying a weapon beneath his leather coat; a handgun to be precise. Fret quickly overtakes me. ‘Stay here and don’t make a noise.’ I order, scuttling down the stairs to respond to the man’s harsh thumps on my front door.
‘Yes?’ I reply coldly from the other side.
‘Do you happen to see a boy wandering around here? He’s wearing a red flannel and stands about six feet tall.’ The man describes.
‘Nope, I don’t recognize him’ I state coolly.
‘Would you be willing to let me in for a moment? I suspect he might’ve gone into your property Miss.’ the man asks. Is he fooling around with me? What seventeen year old miss will be willing to let an old sinister-looking hobo carrying around a gun, inside her house? Only one dead in the brains!
‘Excuse me? Are you countering me sir? If you don’t leave right this second, I’m going to have to phone security. Good night.’ I threaten with an icy glare to my voice. Soon after, I hear the man’s furious thumps looming further away from my grounds.
‘I see. Your dad is not actually home, is he?’ The boy from earlier asks from over my shoulder. When did I ever allow him to exit the upstairs?
‘Why are you here?! I told you remain upstairs!’ I rebuke. I assume he’s just not very fond of rules. I heave out a sigh before beginning to pace to and fro. ‘Okay, what do I do with you now?’ I contemplate to myself. ‘When do you plan on leaving, again?’ I ask, obviously not appreciating his presence.
‘Not right now for sure. My father will threaten to slay me in his drunken state if I do. Can I please stay for the night?’ he beseeches. I assume the mad hobo with a shotgun earlier, is his father. ‘I’m not asking for much. I can sleep in the attic, or even inside your kitchen cabinets. Anywhere! I just need a secure place to spend the night’ he pleads again.
‘Why don’t you go roll around in the pavement outside?’ I ask with a weary yawn.
‘Because he’ll find me!’ He reasons. I think of it for a second. Perhaps, the boy’s got a point. He does appear genuinely frightened and I definitely do not wish to delay my beauty sleep any further. Hence I decide, why not?
Heaving out a final sigh, I agree with his proposition. ‘But I’m only letting you sleep in the garage overnight which I’ll keep locked up until dawn’ I blurt. This can officially be the first ludicrous thing I’ve done, in fact. I’m investing for my future; this serves as a memory I can reminisce through when I grow old and ugly. I must celebrate! With this, I’ve achieved the first point to my bucket list, which is to adopt a stranded animal. He is a moron, not precisely an animal; but that translates to pretty much the same thing, doesn’t it?