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The Day the Sun Came Up
The Day the Sun Came Up
Aaron turned from his left to his right side while lying down on his mattress. He opened his eyes to see, not to his surprise, darkness. There was always darkness when Aaron turned. He rotated to his back on the plush metal springs and stared up at the ceiling. There was enough light from one of the moons to see the silhouette of the mess in his dorm room.
The moon stared at him through his window with a disappointing glow, as if he was a wonderful failure.
He sat upon his mattress and scanned over his room. With graceful elegance, he danced around the shaped mess to his dresser. He opened the top drawer and dug around the miscellaneous clothing that was shoved in there, looking for his box of matches. He found it, pulled it out, and opened the box. He grabbed a match out from inside. With a refined swipe against the sandpaper side, the radial exposure of light surrounded the burning stick. He put the lit match against the candle on his dresser, giving the silhouetted mess color. The candle was the only light that filled the room in the morning. Then a florescent light bulb popped on overhead to accompany it.
“Bro. We have electricity for a reason. Your bucolic living is so out-dated. Do you still use analog clocks?” Aaron’s friend said.
“You just wait. One day, the right girl is going to come along and she’s going to be flattered with my chivalrous, rustic lifestyle. It’s totally gonna get me laid.”
“Here’s another way to ‘get laid.’ Go to a bar and be who you aren’t.”
“So that way is still around? I thought that was ‘out-dated.’”
“Sex is never out-dated,” Aaron’s friend finished. He sat up on his bed across the room. A female’s top half popped out from behind him, mostly covered with a sheet
“He has a point,” she said and laid back down. She struggled as she put her clothes back on without exposing anything major to Aaron.
“How many did she have? Three drinks?” Aaron asked.
“No. Five. She was a fighter, too. It took a while to convince her,” Aaron’s friend responded. The girl got out of the bed, clothed, and walked to the door. She opened it and said, “It was nice to run across you again.”
“You too, Nikki,” Aarons friend said. She became flustered and pale.
“It’s Victoria! Like Vicky!” she screamed and stormed out. She came back to slam the door and then stomped away again.
“Smooth,” Aaron said, “and you could have done it again if you only stopped at ‘you too.’”
“Oh, shut up. She wasn’t that good anyway.”
Aaron now came to the realization that he’s been standing there, in front of his dresser, in only his boxers the whole time. Even Victoria saw him in his superhero underwear. He blushed at the thought and dressed himself. His calendar on his dresser had tomorrow marked and he knew why. When he saw this, he wanted to share the information with everyone. So, he screamed, “The sun comes up tomorrow!”
“Yes. And not again for another hundred years. Not again for the rest of our lives. Not again until the end of our time.”
“Not again until forever,” Aaron muttered.
“You better make it count,” Aaron’s friend told him.
“I will,” Aaron said and he departed on his adventure. He walked through the hall and glanced out the window. Light posts were everywhere so it could feel like a day even without an actual sun. Over the doorframe, there was a sign that said Carpe Diem that beach over the scene of an ocean.
Aaron was off to another day under the artificial sun to Carpe the Diem.
He walked into the college's coffee shop and saw Victoria talking to one of her friends. Victoria’s friend, sitting down, was taller than Victoria. Victoria’s friend was fine and fair. She had brunette hair that shined with the prosthetic light. Her eyes, like emeralds, were sharp, yet glistening. Her smile was just as sharp, the corners of her mouth curving in the most perfect way. However, Aaron knew that she wasn’t perfect because he knew that nobody was perfect. As Aaron walked up to the cashier, he overheard Victoria talk about her morning endeavor.
“And he was just standing there in his superhero boxers like nothing was going on,” Victoria said, “There he is now.” She gestured over to the cashier stand where Aaron was. He retrieved his order, paid like any good-natured person would, and made sure to walk by Victoria’s table on his way out. He stopped at the table and said, “For the record, I look very manly in my superhero boxers. Nice to make your acquaintance. My name is Aaron.”
“Hello Aaron. My name is Veronica but I go by Vera”
“I go by Aaron.” She giggled. He smiled. “So Vera, do you have any plans for tomorrow?”
“You’re a risk-taker. I like it. I’m free this afternoon,” she said and grabbed his hand. She pulled out a pen and wrote several digits on his wrist. “Call me around two.”
“Okay. I am capable of calling people… I hope.” She giggled again and his smile grew.
“It was nice meeting you, Aaron.”
“It was a pleasure just to be in your presence.” With that, Aaron left the coffee shop.
For the morning, Aaron worked under the artificial light. Once noon struck, he looked up and noticed the time. Could it be only noon? To him, it seemed like he’d been working for hours on end. This is why he can’t wait for things. Because Aaron starts waiting for things and time slows down. Aaron thought about things in a normally unique way. When he looked up, he felt the artificiality of the world he’s living in pouring on him. The fake stars shine on with no error.
Around two, like he was told, Aaron called up Vera. They talked. They talked about themselves and each other and decided that they should meet up again.
She asked where. He answered.
She asked when. He answered.
She asked why. He had no answer for he became temporarily paralyzed and the only thing to cure his paralysis would be for her, the truth-seeker, to answer.
“Just kidding. I know why. Because you find me attractive. As I, you.” Aaron regained the ability to breathe. The world continued to spin again.
“Good,” Aaron said.
“So, thirty-four minutes?”
“Yes. Give or take a couple minutes.”
“That’s a word I haven’t heard in a while. Couple.” With that, Vera’s side of the line went dead and Aaron began to prepare.
This next meeting was even more interesting than their first. Aaron talked and Vera added in. Vera talked and Aaron added in. These perfect strangers seemed like they'd been the best of friends for forever even though they just met. Their friendship blossomed within a few moments of conversation. Somehow, Aaron knew that Vera is special. Aaron knew that Vera is unique. Aaron knew that Vera was not like anyone else.
“Yeah!?” Vera cut in.
“-the sun comes up tomorrow.”
“Really!?” She had such childlike enthusiasm about this just like he did.
“I was hoping that maybe you would join me tomorrow and hang out with me in the sun,” Aaron asked.
“Aaron, I would love to join you,” Vera said. She could tell exactly what was going inside him. Aaron was galvanized inside while trying to act tranquil. Aaron now had another eternity to wait for.
There was a reminder from the city that the lights provided were going to go out at 6:00 p.m. that night and not be turned back on for another thirty-six hours, compared to it’s normal twelve, for they finally had the sun. The artificial lights started to fade away, giving the actual stars the opportunity to be the coruscate beauty that they are.
“I just feel like, as humans, we’re just idling our emissions into the environment,” Aaron continued. Vera cut in, “Do you have a plan for the future?”
“The future? Like hover-cars and telekinesis?” Aaron mocked.
“No. A day from now.”
“I was hoping to spend it with you.”
“And two days from now. And a month from now. And a year from now. And a decade from now.”
“I don’t know. The plan was always get to tomorrow.”
“Is that good enough? Even when there is no tomorrow? Do you want your last thought to be ‘Did I just waste my life away?’”
“What are you implying?” Aaron asked.
“There’s no implications. Just questions. Now, is your plan good enough?”
“Do you have a better one?” Aaron questioned.
“I asked first,” Vera said in a second-grader tone.
“No. My plan is good for survival. It’s not good enough for living though.”
“I do have a better one. Live for something. As humans, we need to stay fit, wise, and faithful. We also need to be fit and wise in our faith.”
“Whoa,” Aaron said, “You’re smart.”
“If we’re recapping compliments, you also called me beautiful.”
“Well, you are beautiful and you are smart,” Aaron summed up.
“Thank you,” Vera added. They talked throughout the night meandering under the stars. Aaron walked Vera home like any chivalrous man would and ended up in the place where he started the day, in his bed, asleep.
Aaron, despite the long night, still woke up to darkness. It didn’t change. He dug around his drawer, in the dark, looking for his matches, and eventually lit his candle, which let to his roommate turning on the light overhead.
“You came in late last night. Were you getting it on with her? If so, where? Her car? Her room?”
“I hope you know that sex isn’t the only thing in this world. How’d it go for you? Failed at the bar scene again?” Victoria’s head popped out behind Aaron’s friend again. She said, “No. Your friend is just such a wordsmith and just so great.” Those last two words came out more of moans than actual words. She kissed Aaron’s friend on the neck and pulled him back on top of her completely disregarding Aaron’s existence. Aaron felt awkward in that situation he was in, so he hastily dressed and left. He stood outside looking for the sun.
“It’s suppose to come out today. It’s suppose to be here. It’s suppose to…” Aaron muttered aloud.
“You couldn’t sleep either?” Vera asked as she popped around the side of the building. At that comment, Aaron checked his wristwatch and found that he was only asleep for a short while. She guided him to a bench, which she sat upon. He followed her precedent.
“So, this sun. Tell me about it,” Vera requested.
“Well, from what I’ve read, it’s just a super giant star, very close up. So close that you don’t need electricity to give you light.”
“You know what Aaron,” Vera started. Aaron asked, “What?”
“This might just work out.” She opened her hand and placed it at her side. Aaron cautiously wrapped his fingers in with hers and they sat on that bench until the sun gave it’s first glance on Aaron’s world for the first time in forever.
“Another thing I’ve read,” Aaron said, “is that sunrises are beautiful, but sunsets are breathtaking.”
“Then I guess I’ll just stick around until it sets.”
Aaron and Vera felt real as the natural light made it’s approach upon the couple on that bench. They were liberated from the fake world around them. Vera could act like her true self around Aaron and Aaron felt this need for Vera, and the only way to satisfy this need is to stay with her, and the only way to stay with her is to be himself.
She liked him, he liked her, and they wanted to see where it would go. To see where it would go, they spent the day under the sun together. They laughed and played and were youthful under this sun with powers of adding majestic beauty and realism into the world of fakes.
The time they had together with the sun was slowly ticking away. Hour by hour, the sun wrapped around the sky. It was slowly becoming late. Aaron and Vera ended up on a grassy hill, on a blanket, with each other as the sun said it’s final good-byes to the people in Aaron’s world. They sat there, watching the only and final sunset, beautiful and morbid, as the final day caved in and left the couple in the dark for the rest of their eternity.