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Morning comes swift. Busy noises coming from groggy people bustling about to prepare for the day are a good indication of when I’m late.
“You’re LATE!” That familiar voice, like the slamming of a door, throws me into consciousness. I garble a few words in response to hopefully soothe the fearsome beast. “Why aren’t you ready yet? It’s 7:40 and I’M leaving in twenty minutes!”
“M-O-m,” I give it my best ‘stop assaulting me’ voice, “my alarm didn’t go off.” She seems to find this believable and leaves my nest of strewn clothes to bustle around some more. I hop, okay slither, out of bed and charge into the freshening waters of the shower.
The water is so nice and warm. Cozy even. I just might fall back to sleep.
*Knock knock knock*
“I need my toothbrush. Can you get it for me?” Little brothers are a force to be reckoned with.
“Go away. I’m in the shower.”
“What? I need my toothbrush.” This little bugger doesn’t give up. He’d make a good door-to-door salesman.
“Shoos! Be gone bothersome thing. I have soap in my hair.” Oh no, I hear footsteps coming for the door.
“Mom, he called me a ‘brainless thing.’” That conniving fiend! He knows exactly what buttons to push to get his way. “And he won’t let me get my toothbrush.”
“Don’t worry; he’s the ‘brainless fool’ for not waking up on time.” I never said that! Oh yeah, speech.
“I never called him that! He-“
“Whatever you called your brother, get out so he can brush his teeth. We’re leaving in five minutes.” FIVE MINUTES! No sweat. I’ve worked under hairier conditions before, in a dream. I was clothed in the dream though.
I wrap a towel around my waist, nudge my way past the two irritable family members, and lock the bedroom door behind me. “Where are all my boxers?” The drawers of my dresser are fruitlessly empty. I turn to face a sobering reality. Every article of clothing I own littered at my feet.
“Walter it’s time to go!” Boy, can her voice pierce through these walls. A car engine revs. Ok, it’s ‘pick clothes closest to you, time.
“One second!” The car engine revs again. I hastily pull on a green Earth-Day T-shirt, wrinkled pair of boxers, and slip into gray jeans then hightail it to the awaiting vehicle. “That’s odd. I don’t hear the engine.” She wouldn’t have, would she?
The garage and drive way are void of any type of combustion engine powered transportation. Hairs prickle on the back of my neck as I get the feeling of being watched. Something weaves its way around my calves. “AHH!”
“StickyTack!” This ferociously, adorable kitty knows just when to sidle up on you and scare the S-word out of you. StickyTack is his name.
‘Mreow?” Those almond eyes are very quizzical and scrutinizing. They ask me why I’m still at home and not at school. I don’t have a good answer.
Standing barefoot in the driveway is getting old, so I return to the mouth of the cave-like garage. “StickyTack? What have I done with my shoes?” He glances at me and decides the question isn’t of importance. With his tail in the air, he sprints off into the withered shrubs. “Hmph. How skittish?”
“You really need to get a car.” I know this voice. I happen to really like this voice in fact.
“Would you care to offer me a ride Simon.” It wasn’t a question. I walk barefoot to the passenger side of his decrepit 2001 Ford Truck and tug at the handle. “The doors locked?”
“Nice shirt. Be courteous and maybe I’ll unlock it.” The smirk on his face says it all.
“Fine. I’ll take my chances and stay home.”
“It’s your funeral.” I don’t like that voice very much right now. He speeds off leaving me high and dry. Second time today I was left. It’s not a very reassuring feeling.
“AHH! Stop that.”
“Mreow?” this time the cat looks skyward instead of at me. Heavy clouds of rain sluggishly move in front of the sun. Full diapers of acidic precipitation ready to unleash its fury upon the unsuspecting landscape.
“Yes, it’s time to go inside.” I lift the cat and walk back into the mouth of the garage and close it. The house is equipped with acid buffer roofing and wind tolerant, shatterproof glass, but who knows the extent of this storm. “I wish I was with mom.” The cat leaps from my arms to the window sill to watch the colorless grey clouds approach. My whole body feels naked and exposed, not just my feet. I’m safe enough from the atrocity outside but cannot shake this. Storms weren’t always poisonous. People didn’t feel the need to travel to government run shelters every time it drizzled.
I sit in a chair next to StickyTack to wait out the storm. The fruitless masses of clouds are the empty. They bring no life to the land as rain once had but leaves it in swathes for its residence to put back together. Residence like me. But that’s all anyone can do. Only stitch it back together and pray for a less violent storm next time.
The first gust of choking wind beats against the window leaving it slightly yellow. “I just wish we woke up earlier.”