Wandering Life, Endless Dreams

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I just sat at my desk all day. I was reading the screen without an thought of originality coursing through my brain. I always hated days like today. I knew that the same thing would happen over and over again. I would do my work until I got bored. Then, I would end up staring at the bottom right of the class screen that had my name in small print: Aaron Kordakov, Honors English, Time: 1:37 pm. I wondered how people survived their lives in Flourier without going insane.

Nothing ever changed in my house. The same person walked out the door every morning at 7:20 every morning and didn’t come home until 4:00 in the afternoon. The same almost robotic voice would ask “How was work today?” with the same response “Fine.” I felt like life was becoming so increasingly mechanistic I never wanted to wake up from dreaming in the morning. I wanted something to change, but I never seemed to make a significant difference. I guess that is just the cynical side of me. I clicked on my next assignment, and I felt reality drop on me like a house.

I sat and stared at the blank screen in front of me without an inch of creativity flowing through me. The assignment for today was supposed to be about something that you took pride in and I was clueless as to what to write about. My normal tricks to get my creativity going included making two eggs, toasting some wheat bread, a banana, and a bit of tea. I played piano for an hour just waiting for something creative to come along, until my mother came home and told me, “Aaron, how long are you going to keep stalling? This is so like you, waiting until the very end to do something. You are so irresponsible about everything. You think your fifteen? Right more like five. You need to stop procrastinating young man or you will never go to college or…” I left the room before things got complicated or until my anger would get the best of me.

What would I have to write about that I had to be proud of? I was fifteen, I went to online school, I never went anywhere, and I never did anything out of the ordinary. If someone were to document my entire life and put it into a folder it would be labeled: Average. Being an only child with no father also didn’t help. I didn’t even have siblings to fight or compete with in order to get motivation to do something completely out of the ordinary. I looked around my room at the different objects in it to try to get a good idea about what to write about.

The first thing that caught my eye was my tomahawk that my mother got for me on one of her business trips to Alaska. It was sharp and I used it everyday in our yard. Since there were no neighbors around us in the woods and the town of Flourier, Colorado didn’t offer much to those who inhabited it, I threw it against an ancient oak stump with no one around. It wasn’t anything that I was particularly proud of, I mean all that I did was throw an axe into a stump. Right around 8:30 my mom came in to inform me that there was an emergency with the tax papers at work and probably wouldn’t be home until five the next morning. With that, she was gone.

The next item was a lamb I had carved from a cedar block that sat collecting dusk on my shelf. It stood about six inches high and had taken up a good amount of time last year. I had made it for my mom for her birthday, but mom didn’t come home for her birthday either. An important business meeting had come up and she had to stay all night at the office. I remember feeling numb for quite some time before I decided that it was just a piece of wood and it sat on that shelf ever since.

The third item that I saw was baseball that I had caught at a professional game. I will never forget what I went through to catch that ball. I practically fell into the field after I did catch it. Right after the game I went with my mom to the hospital to visit a friend of mine. James had been diagnosed with a rare illness that had started to dissolve his bones from the inside out. Recently, he had been responding to some treatments so he was allowed visitors. When I walked into his room, he was watching television. He heard me at the door and turned his head to smile at me.

“Hello Aaron, I saw you catch that ball at the game on T.V.”

I grinned a little bit, I knew how excited he must have been to have seen me for the first time in months, “Yeah, we heard that you were allowed visitors and we decided to come. Good to know you’re responding to treatments, maybe sometime you could come to a game with us.”

He smiled, but didn’t reply to me, instead he kept smiling and shut his eyes. I grinned even wider realizing he had fallen asleep. The nurse had told me that the medication that he was taking put enormous strain on his body and that he might fall asleep in the middle of a conversation because talking was difficult for him at the moment. I walked across the room and left the ball next to him on his bed and left the hospital.

Three days later, we got a call from his father. His health began to decline rapidly and his response to the treatments might as well have been non-existent. A week later I received a package, with a note and the baseball. The letter was from him and explained how happy he was that I had stayed his friend through the entire illness, and that he was wanted me to remember him as the best friend who would get into trouble with me and be there for me as I was there for him. He did not want to be remembered as a sick fourteen year old boy who could barely move. The note remains next to the baseball on my shelf. Even now, I still can’t read the note a second time for I barely made it through the first.

I didn’t see that as something that I took pride in. I found it difficult to come up with a rough draft of how to take pride in a baseball and the loss of a friend. So I discarded the idea, also realizing that I had written another paper for the same teacher describing the experience, so that would not work either. I took a look at the clock: 11:42 pm. At this rate I wouldn’t be getting any sleep.

I laid on my bed for about twenty more minutes thinking about the objects in the room and the experience that went with them. I began to feel mind compress as it often did when I was having difficulty with an assignment. So, I set my cell-phone alarm for 2:00 am and tried to sleep as much as possible.

Not forty-five minutes passed when my phone rang. At first, I thought it was my imagination and waited for it to pass, but the phone kept ringing. Sighing, I placed my hand on the nightstand where I put my phone and blindly searched for it. It was an old friend of mine named Jennifer. I caught it just as it was about to finish ringing and answered.

“Hello…”

There was some crying on the other end and then a girl’s voice, “Aaron? Are you awake?”

“Nope.”

“Okay, I‘m sorry. My parents were in a car accident and I’m scared. The hospital called me and they won’t tell me anything. I just want someone to tell me that they are alive and that they’ll be okay. I just…I’m scared…”

I stood up and started getting dressed into my sweater jacket while I talked to her, “Listen to me Jenny, everything will be fine. Your parents are going to be okay and they will come home and I want to make sure that you are smiling when they get there. I’m on my way over so just stay calm. Can you do that for me?”

There was a period of silence until I heard a small, “Yes.”

I hung up and got my shoes on. I stepped outside to see how cold it was, only to find it was about 65 degrees tonight. Jenny lived with her parents about five miles away from my house and I would have to run because my bike had been stolen and mom had the car. She had been going through a bit of a rough time recently. Directly following her 16th birthday a month ago, her parents kicked her older sister out because of her “bad influence” and had been feuding a lot more recently. Unfortunately, they often took the anger out by yelling at her and insults. We had been friends for about six years and we talked with each other almost every night.

I ran all five miles to the outskirts of town and stopped to catch my breath a block from her house. I trotted down the block until her house came into view. It was dark out but the ground was dimly lit by the moon and the light mist that was spread out against the ground. She was waiting for me on the bench on her front lawn.

She was so lost in thought that she didn’t notice me walk up to the bench or sit down. I had to touch her shoulder to get her to realize that I was there. That was when she began to break down. She hugged me fiercely as if she was afraid I would drift away and she cried. I let her get it all out and I sat there thinking for the next thirty minutes not moving and telling her that everything would be alright.

She stopped crying and felt calm enough to talk to me. She explained how she was sleeping and the phone started ringing. She thought that her parents were home already after she had fallen asleep and it shocked her to find out that they had been in an accident. That was when she had called me.

“The worst part was, when they left I didn’t say goodbye or even tell them that I loved them. Why did this have to happen?” She began to burst out in tears again.

I hugged her and told her that her parents would be okay. I then gathered her up in my arms and brought her back in the house. For being sixteen, she was still only five foot four compared to me who was four inches taller. Therefore, it was easy to bring her up the stairs and to her room. I put her down on her bed knowing how exhausted she must have been physically and emotionally.

I looked around at the state of disarray her room was in. I realized just how much of a disaster her life had become once her parents had kicked her sister out. I went over and sat in a lounge chair that was next to her bed. I would wait for her to feel better and to make sure that her parents got home to her.

I sat there for a straight hour and without realizing it, I dosed off. I woke when she put her hand on my shoulder and looked at me with her large blue-green eyes.

“Thanks Aaron, for staying here and making sure I was okay. I’m not sure what I would do without you.”

I grinned at her and said, “Well, I wanted to make sure you were okay and I will make sure that your parents come home to their daughter full of life.”

She squeezed my shoulder and said to me, “You must have been really tired. My mom called from the hospital about thirty minutes ago. They are both okay. Dad had to get some stitches and mom broke her arm, but they will be home tomorrow. The doctors wanted them to stay for some more tests. I’m just so glad that they’re okay…”

“Yeah, me too.”

I left an hour afterwards making sure that she was okay and started the long walk home. I felt something that seemed to evade me in my normal day and would only come out in my dreams. It was the feeling of happiness and fulfillment. I had pride in myself for being there for my friends and I knew I would always be there for them.

When I got in the house, I saw that mom had yet to return from the office. Maybe that was for the best. I went to my computer that had switched to standby mode for my long absence. I logged back on and began typing about that which I take pride in: my friendship with those who were important to me.

I don’t know what changed that day, somehow I felt lighter. The bond between my mother and I became less strained and she began to come home earlier. I talked to Jenny even more after that incident and even invited her family over several times to have dinner and talk. Jenny’s troubles seemed to clear up after that incident as well. Almost as if that was what would drive them all closer together. Her parents eventually allowed their oldest daughter to come home. I finished my assignment and turned it in receiving a 100% on it for “Good writing.” and “Deep comprehension of the assignment.”

The most amazing thing that came out of it was that life no longer seemed so empty and dull. I felt energized and wanted to get up in the mornings again. I started working outdoors more and got a job at a local restaurant. I realized that the thing that I was missing was realization. Realization that I did have the power and drive to do something extraordinary. Well played reality, well played.





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