This is the story of a young man in college and the things one can put themselves through in Finals Week. Anyone who has had those times where you stay up for two days studying just for one test will relate to this on some level.
This is also my first attempt at a short story, this is unedited - not rewritten. I will revisit it soon, and work on it.
He sits in a stupor; his mind wanders the worlds that exist within his psyche. He can imagine the footsteps he leaves behind in the wet sand. He recalls the blades of grass he leaves trampled in his wake. He views the dust he kicks up in the streets of the slums. He thinks of the fingerprints he leaves on the railings of the stairs that lead down to the tube.
Like I said, he sits in a stupor.
His eyes are glazed over. The way he stares at the wall across from him speaks volumes to the people that pass him. Furtive glances are cast his way. Footsteps resonate around him.
“Hey, are you okay?” Emotions ring in the question
Snap out of it.
“Yeah,” he looks from feet to head, to the smile shining at him and the green eyes piercing him, “I just dozed off for a second. I’m going to miss my exam. What time is it?”
What the hell is going on?
“Uh, it’s like…” Her phone comes out of her pocket.
Jeans, they’re nearly tight to her skin. That’s the way girls wear their jeans now days.
“It’s nearly half past.” A smile.
She still looks at him with a bit of curiosity, and that motherly look most women past twenty-four get. He doesn’t know she’s older than twenty-four. He actually doesn’t even have a clue.
Wow, she’s beautiful. I mean, seriously, look at her. I love the way her hair kind of curls down. That skin look so smooth and soft. I’d love to touch it. Those emeralds, I would love to own those.
His hand slowly rises. It almost looks like it has the hiccups as it climbs up from his side. She looks from his hand to his eyes. Her face scrunches up, one eyebrow hiked up. It’s only been three seconds so far. His hand his breaking the invisible barrier of comfort that exists for all people.
She had been standing kind of bent forward. Her motherly persona portrayed in the way her hands rest on her knees. Now, his still blank face, coupled with the slowly ascending hand, affected her.
Her head moves slowly farther away in conjunction with his hand. They for once share something, motion. She still maintains her curiosity and her motherly persona. Her hands still rest on her knees.
The unhurried manner in which his hand rises, the blank face---comfort.
Oh my God! I don’t even know, this skin feels amazing. Her honeyed skin is sweet to touch. How? I can feel the electricity pass between my fingertips and her rosy cheeks. The color. How do I describe the color? It looks like my coffee, lightly creamed and lightly sweetened.
“Are you okay? Do you need me to help you get somewhere?”
I’d go anywhere with you? Where in the world would we go? There is nowhere in the world I wouldn’t go. As long as I can caress this skin, and those eyes look at me in the morning, I’d be happy.
His hand his formed to the shape of her jaw. The middle finger in his right hand runs along the line of her jaw. He holds her head with sensitivity. His hand begins to draw back. This way it may move forward, a gentle caress.
A look of confusion runs over his face. Her blank face looks back at him. One of his eyebrow arches. The coffee color drains from her face, slowly. He is still drawing his hand back.
What the hell is going on? Her skin, it’s like a piece of wood now, barely smooth, just cut, barely sanded.
Her cheeks are losing their tautness. The firmness of her forehead is fading. Her skin is becoming wrinkled as her hair recedes, shortening in length and climbing her head.
No longer does it curl, nor does it reach the shoulders. It’s being peppered, salted. Her lips are thinner now.
What the hell? Am I going crazy? No. I wouldn’t be able to tell I was going crazy. This doesn’t make a bit of sense. Seriously, what the f-? huh… When did she change?
Snap out of it.
“Sir, are you alright? I need you to respond, sir.”
He looks up from the toes to the head to the harsh blue eyes looking at him. They sit in deep sockets, rimmed with blue from the long nights they were forced wide and the harsh suns they’ve seen. The gray hair, cut to an inch, a widow’s peak.
He sits in a stupor.
“Uh…” He can get nothing out. His eyes are fixed at a thousand yards. He brings them back to right in front of him. He looks again at him standing up straight. The man remains in place. One hand on his belt, the other is barely extended from his body. His palm is open, towards him, cautioning him.
“Sir,” he says again, harder, “do you know where you are? Do you know what time it is?”
“Uh…” He thinks is all he can get out. “It’s half past. What other time would it be?” He regurgitates.
An eyebrow arches on the man’s face, the last stand of his once strong black hair. He bends slightly at the waist, as if to get a better look in the man’s eyes. They’re still fixed at a thousand yards.
Who does this guy think he is? Because he’s got some stupid shiny shoes, belt, and thing on his chest he can just ask me whatever he wants. Look at his pants; they’re the exact same color as his shirt. What’s with all the pockets? Why’s he standing like that, all on edge? I’d like to punch him right in that wrinkled chin of his.
His hand escalates slowly. His fingers curl in and his body remains still. The man looks at his blank face, again, an eyebrow arches. The man glances at this slowly nearing fist. A smile creases his face.
OUCH! What the?!
Confusion reigns for a minute on his face. The man is hysterical. Bent over at the waist, now his hands are holding his stomach. Some noise comes from his wide-open mouth. His eyes are cinched shut. A minute passes.
“I effing love slapping people,” he says between breaths and snickers, “I’m real sorry about that.” Laughter echoes. “It’s just so fun. I mean, seriously, you can understand why people love slapping people.”
What is going on?
He makes eye contact. “What time is it? I’m going to miss my exam.”
“Son, it’s half past nine, in the morning. Have you slept?” The man leans forward a bit; his hands rest on his knees. The man looks at the young man sitting before him.
Damn, he just said nine-thirty.
He looks around a minute, recognition alights his face. The food court across the pathway is busy.
Why the hell is any sane person at the mall at nine-thirty, in the morning, on a Thursday?
Only ten seconds have passed now. “Thanks, I have to run. I need to be three blocks away for my exam in less than fifteen minutes. A quick study session there will be good.” He stands up. Lethargy plagues his actions. The man grabs his bag and coat and hands them to him.
“Can I offer you ride? It’s pretty cold outside, something like one degree. Then you add the wind-chill and what not, damn cold. So, how about it?”
“For some reason, showing up to my final in the back of a cop car doesn’t seem like a normal thing to do.” He replies with a gracious smile.
This all happens as he assembles himself. He’s been making his way towards the doors. The man puts his hand on the door before he can. He opens it and ushers him outside.
“Get in the car son,” he opens the front door to his squad car, “You can ride shotgun. You’re not in the back anymore.”
Ahhh, what the hell? It’s actually kind of cool. Much better than the back seat. Look at all those buttons, rock on.
“Yeah, I suppose I could appreciate that. Cheers.” His face is suddenly lit up. A smile makes his lips curl at the sides and his eyes crease at their corners.
“That’s what I thought. Now get it in, it’s cold as hell.”
What? That totally doesn’t make sense.