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complex - part one

Author's note: One of my favorite pieces I've written thus far.
Author's note: One of my favorite pieces I've written thus far.  « Hide author's note
Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 9 Next »


W h e n y o u ' r e supposed to be the hero… and you fail… you fail hard. It's all you ever think about. Like a broken record, the words failed… failed… failed… failed… they don't stop running through your mind. You start to think about the people you failed, the people who'd been counting on you. What would they think of me now?
That's what sucks about being human. You're not perfect. You can't always win.
But that doesn't stop you from trying, does it?
Yes, it starts out somewhere in the middle. I hate introductory scenes. I like guilting the audience into not catching up fast enough, like how David Fincher began "The Social Network."
you have that hero complex, then you know what kind of curse it is. You know that you should do good… be good. Doing the right thing always comes first to you. People wish to be like you when they should know that they could. They can be good. Anyone can.
Like everyone else, anyone can fail.
Except you, right? When you're feeling so high and mighty, no one can touch you.
That's a lie and you know it. You know you're not perfect… so why try?
{shrugs} I don't know. I just know I gotta.
What for? You don't get paid. You don't get a thank you. You get nothing in return. Why are you doing this?
Because I want to. I like helping people. I do it 'cause I can.
But what about when you can't?
What do you mean?
You're only human. You—
That's what you think.
She sighed. "Have you been listening at all?"
I furrowed my eyebrows, crossed my arms and leaned back in my chair. "I guess I've heard what you've been saying… I just don't care. So… no, I haven't been listening."
The woman flexed her manicured hands, probably restraining herself from unleashing the sides of a woman we're usually afraid of. "Listen to me now, because this is important—"
"To who? Or… whom?" I asked skeptically. "I'm not in the system. I'm not going to be in the system anytime soon. So why should I put up with this?"
"Because, if you don't, you'll be jailed. Again."
"But I've always been bailed. Again."
She smirked humorlessly. "Listen, Dr. Seuss, you may think you know it all, but you don't know the half of it."
I leaned over, looking attentive. "Enlighten me."
She narrowed her eyes, looking like she was going to enjoy schooling me. "You may think you're Superman, but in reality, you're just a kid. You have no permanent residence. You have no parents. You don't go to school. You don't work—"
"Correction. I do work. I just don't get paid."
The woman smiled. "Like I said, you don't work. Helping out the police doesn't count since you a) do it anonymously b) have not studied in the criminal industry and c) are a minor. You're more of a volunteer."
I nodded, looking concerned (obviously not). "I see. And… what are you, may I ask."
"What am I?"
"Yes. What is your profession? What exactly are you talking to me for? You didn't even tell me your name when you walked in." I leaned over attentively. "I bet it's a lovely name, something that goes great with those beautiful hazel eyes… colorful specks in them. Nice." Nice.
She blushed furiously, unable to help it. "You may call me Mrs. Richardson—"
"Ah, married. He must be a lucky man."
She immediately frowned, seriously serious. "She is a lucky woman."
"And—judging by the look on your face—you've been getting away with that false charm of yours far too long to think it'd work on me." She smiled, and I avoided looking directly at her. "Anyway, the head honcho of this precinct asked me to speak with you, seeing as how your somewhat normal behavior… shall way say… became suddenly erratic in the last couple of days—including falling off the radar."
I frowned. "Can I call you Mrs. R?"
"You can."
"Look, Mrs. R, you're either a psychologist or a psychiatrist—neither of which fascinate me since they sound pretty much the same. And—forgive my language—I would like you to pass along a message to Robert saying he can take it and shove it because I'm not talking about it." I'm not. Don't ask.
Mrs. R exhaled slowly. "I can pass along the message, but this doesn't just concern him. You may be surprised… but he cares about you."
I raised an eyebrow skeptically. Robert Lewis was a strict, demanding man with the stereotypically clichéd police chief mustache. He was a hard-ass with no soft side, Concrete Man.
"Why do you think men are the weaker sex?" she asked suddenly. I felt like asking her if that was the reason she switched teams, but I guessed it wasn't the best time. "They—you—all put on false bravados when inside you probably just want to curl up in a ball and cry. There's nothing wrong with talking about deep feelings. There is all kinds of strength, but it seems most men focus on the physical, not the emotional or sometimes even the spiritual. You won't believe how many male clients I have—all of them cry at some point from keeping it all bottled in. You're no different. Do you want to be a shriveling thirty-year-old male at the peak of his midlife crisis coming in because his car wouldn't start?"
"Um… no?"
"Then tell me what's bothering you."
"Nothing's bothering me. I'm fine."
Mrs. R frowned. "Jake Riley, don't go telling yourself and everyone else lies," she said sternly. I hated it when people said my name. Sounds like the name of some wannabe badass, like, Dick Tracy or Clark Kent.
"I'm not lying," I lied. "If I ever need help, I'll ask for it"—very unlikely—"but I don't need anything or anybody to—"
"Why what?"
"Why don't you need anything or anybody?"
"Because… I don't."
"So… you like being by yourself?"
I scoffed. "What's not to like? And stop it. Don't go analyzing me and-and dissecting every response I make, looking for stuff that isn't there."
"What stuff?"
"Stop. Please." I moved back. "Just—stop."
She watched me, no doubt believing she'd crossed some sort of line. "Alright," she sighed. "Have it your way. But I'll be checking up on you with Robert every once in a while. You're not an adult, so don't expect to get away with everything." Mrs. R stood up to leave, but she was giving me the kind of look you would have when watching a puppy getting kicked. "Here." She dug into her pocket and gave me a card. "Call me if you ever need to talk. Free of charge."
"Free of charge? I'm not paying you." I didn't have a penny to my name.
"Robert is. Out of his own paycheck." Ouch. The old bastard really did care about me. "Take care of yourself, Jake." She turned and walked out the door. It slowly closed itself.
I sat there, slightly rattled. The bustling sounds of the L.A. cop shop could be heard through the door, while the room was dead silent. It was a while before I could gather myself up the way I'd come and walked out.
Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 9 Next »

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This book has 3 comments. Post your own now!

WhiteWidow said...
Sept. 26, 2011 at 9:39 am
Part Two is already undergoing the editing process....  Might be up soon....
Kvothe28 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm
Wow I loved the entire first dialogue. I thought it was smooth and realistic and I thought parts of it were hilarious. Your voice in this is awesome. If you have time, would you please read He Went Out With His Boots On (Ch.1) it's posted anonymously. Thank you
WhiteWidow replied...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

Thank you.  ^.^  And I'll check it out.

'complex - part two' is already online, FYI


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