28 Day Writing Challenge #5

By , Elk Grove, CA


My heart was thoroughly broken. I lay slumped on my bed, gangly limbs hanging over the edge. I'm on my stomach, head c***ed to the side, staring blankly at a treadmill occupying most of the other side of his room. Is it possible, I wonder, to have a broken heart from a relationship you were never really in? Jean had run off with Loren Page to explore the world or something. I guess that means she's taking a gap year. I also wonder if it's possible to loathe an object that has done nothing to you. The treadmill is an unused artifact of my Mom's habitual diet and exercise phases. Treadmills were invented as a torture device. Love was also invented this way. I could curse at the Lord, Loren, or Jean. Mainly I'm mad at myself. How did I expect to get out of the friend zone when I never clearly expressed my interest? I mean, I tried. But she never took the bait. I should've accepted that it was never meant to be. She had to have noticed my feelings. I got my licence before her, and I offered to drive her anywhere. To the mall. To football games (she was on the dance team). If she wasn't into me, why didn't she just say something? Instead of riding into the sunset with one half of the band that haunts my existence. Angst is my new favorite emotion. I can listen to tortured emo rock now. I've been through enough to relate to them. My door bursts open and I roll onto my back. It's my mom. "Hey." She says. Her brown hair swept into a bun frizzes in a halo around her head. The white skirt adds to her ethereal vibe. "Mom," I groan, "What?" Not a harsh what. An annoyed one. "I'd love to leave you to wallow in self pity, but you need to go pick up some butter." She's always been straightforward. Got to love her. "Ugh." I groan again, stretching it out as she leaves the room. I roll off the bed and to my dresser. Grab my car keys. How can a family of two go through butter that fast? On the way to the store, while jamming to righteous country because that's the only station not playing the stupid song, I pass by the clearing next to the woods where we found Loren. I expected police tape. Maybe fan girls rolling in the dirt where his presence graced. It's empty. I turn into the clearing. I have ascended, from a loser going through a sort of breakup to the man with a plan. I want to get out of the truck full sprint and run into the part of the woods I remember the attacker fleeing in. Instead I awkwardly half-jog over. No footprints on the ground. Darn. The dry Earth is not reflective of a path for me to follow. Just dead grass, weeds poking out of dirt that crumbles. I sit on the ground, cross legged. I close my eyes. I have heard you can become happy by absorbing sunlight for one hour a week, getting vitamins that stimulate your dopamine. I sit like a yogi for about ten minutes before reopening my eyes. I hear a twig snap. I'm not a horror movie character so I quickly stand up,ready to run and drive away. I didn't realize my legs went numb. I fall back to the Earth, catching myself. My hands aren't bleeding but they're dirty. A few feet from me is a bird. It's eating something crunchy. I feel as foolish as I did when Jean said she was a girl who was my friend. I'm destined to be the jester in someone else's court. There's something shiny catching my eye. The sun glints off it like gold. I take a step after calmly getting off the ground. The bird jets off, like the person I loved. The shiny thing. It's an earring. A little heart, golden and not tarnished by the dirt. Maybe this is a sign, or a gift from the heavens. The last thing for me to hold onto, reminiscent of my first love. Just as yellow as the butter I need to pick up. Back in my car, I'm disappointed that I didn't find any clues as to who attacked Loren. I'll come back tomorrow to look for more clues.

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