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When the Sun Sets (part 2)
The alarm on my nightstand blared.
“Okay, I’m awake.” I gasp, surprised by the loud noise. The sun is shining through my window and onto my face. It’s 7:15 a.m. I get up, walk out of my bedroom and down the hall, to the bathroom. I twist the doorknob. It’s locked.
“Ugh. Ro!” I yell. “I need to pee!” She is taking more time in the bathroom than usual. Rochelle’s always out of there before 7.
“Hold on, Michelle. I’m straightening my hair!” Of course, she always works too hard to look good when she already looks pretty.
Since I am powerless to this situation, I stand outside the door and wait.
“Okay, done.” She says proud, opening the door.
I run into the bathroom as fast as I can; waiting outside of a bathroom while holding your bladder full of pee can do that to you.
I wash my face and brush my teeth.
I look at myself in the mirror. I see a girl with wavy, brown hair 2 inches below her shoulders. Her face heart-shaped with eyes shining, a nose slightly pointing, full lips, and clear, soft, ivory skin. Her body is skinny. Skinny arms, long legs, exceptionally sized boobs, a small butt, and small feet. She is not a beauty compared to Rochelle. She’s just average. Rochelle, sure, looks almost the same, but she enhances her features so well to a point where it is clearly distinct that she is prettier than me. I don’t bother to use makeup, fix my hair, or wear fancy clothing for two reasons. One, it is way too much work. Two, I believe in being all-natural. I get out of the bathroom.
I plop onto my bed, face first, too tired to pick what to wear. I lay there for a bit. I decide not to be lazy and make a choice on what I’m going to wear. I decide on a solid green v-neck, slip on a pair of light distressed skinny jeans and cover my bed-head hair with my favorite blue and green beanie.
It’s 7:45. Oh, crap. I was going to be late to school. Did I really take that long picking out what to wear? I run out of my room, down the hall, down the stairs and grab my black VANS. I hop passed the family room, putting them on my feet and I reach the kitchen which smells of banana nut muffins, my favorite.
“Good morning, honey.” Mom says to me. “My goodness, darling! You’re going to miss the bus if you don’t hurry!” Rochelle must have been picked up by Marco. I don’t usually go to school with her.
“No worries, Mom. I’ll take my board.”
“Sweetie, you know, riding that skateboard is dangerous.” Mom lectures.
“Mom, I’ve been skating since I was five.” I remind her.
“And you have fallen many times since then. Do you remember what happened?” she says, pointing at my right leg.
“But, Mom! That was one time! The one time where I have been seriously injured! And I don’t think it was that serious.”
“Don’t you ‘but’ me, young lady! Why don’t you listen to me for once?”
“Jeez, Dad never had a problem with my skating!”
Mom stopped talking. And that was where I crossed the line. I brought up Dad again. I could see the pain in her eyes; they started to fill with tears.
“Oh, Mom. I- I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say… Mom, I’m sorry.” I walk over to her and rub her back. She begins to cry.
Dad died three years ago. Rochelle and I were fourteen. On Mom’s birthday, July 29th, all four of us went to the scenic view to have a picnic. We spent the whole day there because mom loved being outside and she loved to watch the sunset. We packed ham and cheese sandwiches, potato salad, Cheetos, water bottles and homemade brownies. Mom didn’t like cake so we stuck candles onto a brownie and sang to her with that. Mom and Dad lay out on the picnic blanket while Rochelle danced to her iPod and I skated in the parking lot.
It was 5:45 p.m. The sun was supposed to be setting at 6 o’clock. that day.
“Ro! Mitchie!” Mom yelled out to us. “The sun is going to set soon! Come on back!”
We did as told and the four of us gathered on the picnic blanket and began to watch the sun sink beneath the horizon. It was 5:55. I felt the temperature dropping a few degrees. Mom held Dad close in her arms. Then we watched the sunset. As soon as the sun wasn’t able to be seen, Dad let out a breath and his eyelids began to droop. I took a look at him.
“Dad?” I nudged his arm. “Dad, come on, you can’t be that tired. You’re the one driving us home.” I joked. He wouldn’t open his eyes.
“Dad? Daddy?” Rochelle looked worried. She shook his whole body. He wouldn’t budge.
“Chris.” Mom said. “Christian! Christian Michael Williams, if this is one of your many practical jokes…” she was growing impatient.
We all began to panic. I took out my cell phone and dialed 911. They said they would have help come to the scenic route straight away. Rochelle packed up everything into the picnic basket while Mom and I tried getting Dad to his feet and to the car. The ambulance came in about ten minutes. The paramedics laid him down on one of those hospital beds and put him in the ambulance.
The three of us rode in our Jeep Wrangler behind them and to the hospital. We were to wait in the waiting area once we arrived in the emergency room. After about one hour, a nurse walked out and informed us that Dad was in a coma. He got it from heat stroke. Today was particularly hot and he and mom were outside the whole day, not bothering to step inside the car for cool air. It only began to chill out when the sun had set. Two weeks later, Dad’s heart gave out and he passed away.
I apologize to Mom again, grab a muffin, bottled water, and my skateboard and go to school. With my board, it takes me about five minutes to get there. I stuff my breakfast into my mouth, chug the water and run to my locker to stash my skateboard and grab my books for first period. Tucker was at his locker when I got there, his is right next to mine. Jayden, Owen and Gavin were there too.
“In a bit of a hurry, Mitch?” Tucker and the guys call me this.
“Yeah, man. I slept in. Hey, guys.” I say.
“Hey. What’s up, Mitchie.” We all talk before first period. It is 7:58. We say bye and I slide my phone into the back pocket of my jeans. I grab my Literature book and head to the second floor to Mr. Lauren’s English class.
Period one finishes. I walk out of the room to find Rochelle and Marco walking towards me, their hands intertwined.
“Hey, Romeo. Juliet.” I greet them.
“Hey, Michelle.” They say.
“Well, I guess, we’d better go.” Rochelle says to me, her eyes attached to Marco’s. They walk away. I can’t say I’m offended that they didn’t stop to make conversation with me. Those two can’t stop making googly-eyes at each other for even a second. And I don’t blame them, they’re in love. I walk off to second period Gym.