Closing the Door | Teen Ink

Closing the Door

July 19, 2013
By HPRGSuperFan GOLD, Indian Creek, Illinois
HPRGSuperFan GOLD, Indian Creek, Illinois
12 articles 6 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.
--Ludwig Wittgenstein

John stands at the doorway, tan suitcases packed. He takes a sweeping look of the shack-like apartment, frown lines extending across his face like the twisting paths on a roadmap. There’s his frustration at the intersection of Forehead and Eyebrow, his depression between Mouth Corner and Ear, his determination just south of Hairline.
Victoria crosses her arms protectively over her chest and makes a point not to look in John’s direction. Her gaze strays to the window instead. She pulls tighter against her grey robe as if it will protect her against the cruelty of reality. A second skin.
Only the pattering of rain hesitatingly thrums through the fragile silence.
John coughs lightly. “Victoria?”
Her bloodshot eyes don’t move. Not a curl stirs on her head, and the slow rise of her shoulders, her breathing, is the only sign she is still alive. John is about to repeat himself, believing she didn’t hear, when she whispers hoarsely, “Do you see that cat out there?”
John sighs. He wanted this to be quick, but Victoria is clinging, drawing it out like the torture before the execution. He plays along. It’s the least he could do for her now. “See what?”
“That cat.” Her black eyebrows knit together, and the contortion of her face disturbs her wire glasses, which slide down the steep curve of her nose. “It’s in the rain. All alone.”
“There are plenty of cats outside, Victoria.”
“This one looks lost.”
“It’s just a stray. It’ll find its way eventually.”
Victoria shivers, but edges closer to the oppressive darkness of the night anyways. “No, I don’t think she will.” Her fingers curl against the icy glass. “She doesn’t have any other cats to show her the way. That’s no way to live. Alone, I mean. Directionless.”
John’s eyes sting with pity. This is a meager shell of Victoria, the shadow of the lively sight she once could fill a room with. “It’ll find another cat.”
“It’s too dark outside. She can’t see anything through this storm.”
“It’ll be okay.”
“She’s cold.”
“It’ll warm up.”
“She misses her family.”
“It’ll find a new family.”
Victoria sniffles and wipes her nose with her oversized sleeve. “But what if she can’t? What if she dies out there? She can’t make it through all this rain!” Victoria becomes more frenzied, agitatedly biting at her nails and hiccupping suppressed sobs.
“It will be okay, Victoria,” John insists as he readjusts his bag strap. “It just needs time for the storm to clear.”
Victoria finally fixes her eyes on John’s. Both appear drained; purple bags sag their somber eyes, hair sticking up at odd angles, and clothes treading the fine line between pajamas and day clothes. A look passes between them.
“You’ll be okay, I promise,” John murmurs.
The door closes behind him.

The author's comments:
In my creative writing class, we were assigned to write a piece where characters are talking about a "cat in the rain" when they're really talking about something else. We're keeping the mystery alive!

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