Hapless

by Sterlin

The car parks in front of a typical house.

The young man inside the car is Nate Maloney. Nate is 17 years old, a senior in high school, he's not the most popular kid around, but he has no enemies and everyone seems to like him.

As the car is turned off, Nate blankly stares straight ahead a few seconds. He slowly moves his head to the top of the steering wheel and rests it, keeping the same blank stare. It is around 10 o' clock on a Saturday night, and Nate is not used to being home at this hour on this night. After a couple minutes, an old model Trooper that looked like it had been through hell drives by, music blaring, and full of teenagers. Nate hears the calamity but continues his dull activity. As the Trooper drives by, Nate hears smacking against his car, he jolts up, not really knowing what to expect. He had just been the victim of an egging. Something it seemed like him and his friends would be doing at such an hour, with nothing better to do in this town. Nate didn't seem to care, but he steps out of his car to examine what has happened. While he stands there looking, the Trooper comes back in reverse beside him, with the tinted windows rolled up. Nate turns around and just stares. After a couple blinks, the back window facing Nate cracks open slightly, a small lit stink bomb is dropped from the window, followed by gut wrenching laughter and shouts of "Go!" The Trooper stalls and the driver is trying horribly to make a getaway but it won't start. Nate casually walks towards the stink bomb, about to erupt in a hellacious stinch. Nate picks it up, and because of the culprits stupidity he forgot to roll the window back up. Nate tosses the stink bomb back inside the Trooper as it finally gets started and zips down the road. He watches as they get a little ways down, then the car pulls over and the car doors fly open and a green smoke is oozing from the inside. A total of 4 people hastily got out of the car and are coughing. Nate would normally smile at what he had just done, he has always been particularly good getting the best of most situations. However, Nate kept the same look on his face. He continues to watch as eventually the 4 idiots get back into the car and drive off. Nate watches as one of them sticks out the window and flips him off. Nate finally cracks a slight smile. Then he hangs his head and makes his way down to his front door. He notices no lights are on which is pretty strange, he then looks around and notices no one's lights are on. He opens the door and see's his family (father, mother, little brother - age 13, and little sister - age 11) playing Scrabble around 2 old lit lanterns.

The first words he hears as he enters is "Fart is too a word!" Spoken by his little brother, Dillon. Everyone erupts with their thoughts on the view at the same time, then, "Do you think it's in the dictionary?" asks his father. "Yeah, if it's a good one!" Dillon retorts. Nate is still standing in the doorway with his eyes open wider than before. Everyone turns their attention towards Nate. His mother says, "The power's out, here, you can take my place if you want." Nate keeps his pose for a moment then steps back outside and closes the door without saying a word. He sluggishly walks out to the center of the front yard, then purposely falls face down on the ground, and lays there motionless. His family, on the inside are laughing because they thought he was just joking around, and he would come back in. Nate has always been the funny joke around kind of guy.

Nate closes his eyes, we hear his thoughts: "I can't believe this happened. She dumped me. Everything was fine. I bet it's that Steve guy. That fucking Steve. What in the hell did I do so wrong? She won't even talk to me anymore. It's been 2 damn weeks and i still feel like shit. She screwed ME over, yet she acts like I did something? This is like those bad dreams you have, that seem so real, they deal with such inconveniances that no one wants to deal with, then you wake up and feel so relieved that it was just a dream, and you really don't have to go through with it. Only you can't wake up from this. I'd like to pretend to consider suicide, like I'd almost really do it, but the truth is i'm not nearly stupid enough to ever do such a thing. I just feel like I'd like to consider it, you know? Who the hell am I even talking to? God?"

"Nate?" says a female voice.

Nate's eyes open and his face turns to shock.

"You're....a woman?" he mutters.

"Well, yes, I'm your mother."

Nate looks behind himself and sees his mother. He rolls over wondering how he didn't realize this.

"I was..uh..just making sure...you...didn't...have..a sex change...or..something.."

After a few minutes of the worst "pep talk" he had ever heard, they go back inside, and he takes a place in the Scrabble game. He looks at the board and can tell with no doubt who used the words on the board. His sister, Megan, certainly has played the big point getting words "pony," "cat," and "flan." Yes, "flan." It's the kid's favorite food, as weird as it sounds. The other words are all decently intelligent ones aside form the one's he knows his brother used. These include such gems as the infamous "fart," that they apparently let him count, "balls," and "zombie." Dillon has a strong love for those oh so cheesey zombie horror flicks, he picked that up from Nate himself though. As it nears Nate's turn, he examines the letters on his current rack, it reads : F G K U L S R . Of course Nate reads this and thinks to himself, "Fuck you loser, how nice. Even Scrabble is trying to bring me down. Parker Brother mother fuc..." Nate sees an opening on the board to use the word "Fuck." He quickly shakes his head at the thought and starts searching for another word. While fiddling with his letters Megan gets up and starts singing and dancing randomly, well, not really randomly, when it isn't her turn she finds it extremely hard to focus. Since it was still so dark in the living room, she trips over a table and falls over one of the stupid looking ceramics their mother has. She starts whining and their father comes over to clean things up and tell her she's fine. She just fell on carpet, really, she was just startled. Their mother seems more concerned with the ceramic piece, but it wasn't broken. Once order is somewhat restored, their mother yells "Dillon!" Nate looks up to see Dillon placing his word: " F U C K"

Nate starts laughing hysterically. "What?" asks Dillon, "It was the only way i could get that triple word score."

After the arousing game of Scrabble, everyone makes their way to bed. Power was restored shortly after. Like the past few weeks, getting some sleep wasn't so easy for Nate. He flipped the channels on his television for hours it seemed. Ever so often he would look to his side to see his alarm clock to check the time. The next time he looked at it, it read "1:29 AM." He decided he wasn't getting anywhere and got up from bed. Every night when Nate tries to sleep, a myriad of thoughts pour out of his head. He thinks about anything and everything. He proposes questions to himself that keep him up for hours. He thinks of everything he wants to say to people, but knows he probably will never get the chance, yet he practices in his head everything he would say if given the oppurtunity. Nate gets on the computer and logs onto AIM. A couple friends are still online and he strikes up random conversation. After about an hour of this, he decides he really needs to get to sleep since he had work in the morning. Nate works at a local independent department store. He works as a cashier, and while it isn't the most exciting job, it isn't horrible. Nate lays on his stomach and eventually falls asleep. Morning rolls around, and Nate wakes up sluggishly when his annoyingly loud alarm clock goes off. Nate waves his arm frantically upon the sound and tries to hit the snooze button, instead he knocks over a glass of water sitting beside the clock, and it spills all over his arm. This was enough to get him out of bed, angrily. Nate waddles into the bathroom and stares at himself in the mirror. "I look rough." he says to himself. He brushes his teeth ann shaves before taking a shower. In the shower, Nate stands still and lowers his head, just letting the water hit him directly on top, and roll down. Nate stays in the shower until the water starts turing cold, as he always does. Once out of the shower, he is completely woken up. Nate's mother has also been getting ready for work. Her job is some office job at a fancy corporation, Nate knows very little about it, and really doesn't care to. Nate, staring into the mirror again, notices the curling iron plugged in. He hadn't realized this before. He assumed his mother was going to use it, but had it just been plugged in? The temptation becomes too much for Nate and he grabs it to see if it is hot. "Oh shit!" he yelps as the curling iron is flung into the air. The curling iron falls off of the sink and tags Nate right between the legs. "OWWWW!" Nate's jaw drops and his eyes bulge. He remains this way as he walks much like a sumo wrestler out of the bathroom. He walks into the kitchen, where luckily, no one was. He opens the freezer and grabs the first thing he sees. He walks back down the hall covering his junk with a frozen dinner. He lays on his back on his bed and tries to relax. Megan, probably awoken by Nate's yelling, comes to Nate's doorway.

"Nate?"

"..What?" asks Nate.

"What are you doing to my Kid's Cuisine?"

"Uh..I'm taking out the sprinkles...they aren't good for you." says Nate, himself puzzled by what he had come up with.

"...Oh...Ok." complies Megan.

Megan walks away briefly, then comes back.

"Nate?"

"...Yes, Megan?"

"Why are you doing it naked?" she asks innocently.

After a second of hesitation, Nate gets up and closes his door.

Right after he gets dressed, which was no easy task with a burnt member, he heads for work. He only had to work a couple of hours today and he just wanted to get it over with. It was a rather slow day at work. Nate made an odd sale, at least he thought, though. One of his little brother's best friend's parents came by and bought a gift card that they said was for his Birthday. They said he had been asking for it and seemed happy to get it for him. Nate thought it was rather strange for Tyler, the kid's name, to want a gift card at a department store. Especially since Tyler was, one of those "scene" type kids with black hair over his eyes, and seemed to be all about music. Nate always teased Dillon that if he hung out with him enough, he too would become "emo." After work Nate came home and slept since he was still tired from getting so little sleep the night before. He slept through dinner and on through the night. This was probably a good thing though. When he awoke in the morning he went about his usual activities before school, and had some time to spare. He got online to find that Anna, his previous girlfriend, was in fact with the infamous Steve. He now gets to be reminded of this everyday by seeing them together at school and on the internet exchanging flirty comments. One comment made Nate himself chuckle as he realized blatantly that this Steve was not a very good speller. Nate took great pride in his good grammar and wasted no time leaving a comment right above Mr. Steve's telling him "The correct spelling is 'boredom.' It was a nice try though. ;-)" He knew the comment would probably get deleted by Anna so he took a screenshot so he could never forget. That day at school was as difficult as he imagined as near the end of the day, he was confronted by Steve, who saw the comment and wasn't too happy about it. Steve was a pretty big guy but nate knew how stupid he was so he didn't think it would be very hard to outsmart him and avoid a fight of any kind.

"You think it's funny that I made a typo, Nate?"

Nate couldn't resist and said, "No, I think it's funny that you can't spell."

Steve gets a furious look on his face as Nate continues.

"I mean surely you plan on going to college shortly right? It may just be me but I'm pretty sure most people at a good college can spell simple words with ease."

A few of the people around hear what is going on and have a laugh at Steve's expense.

"You're asking for it." says an angry Steve.

"If you punch me, I wouldn't have to see you and that liar bitch together for a few good weeks, and that would do me just fine."

Steve cocks his hand back.

Nate still looks calm, and smiles from ear to ear.

Steve clocks him in the side of the head.

Nate stumbles back a little, still smiling and bleeding slightly on his bottom lip. Teachers hear the reaction from other students and take Steve away. Nate starts laughing a little and is bombarded by people telling him their views on the situation. "You could have killed him, couldn't you of?" "That was awesome, you owned him dude." "I would have been way pissed if that was me."

Nate seemed to shrug them off until he saw a couple of his good friends who missed what had happened. "Dude, I just heard...Did you really tell Steve he couldn't spell?" asked Jeremiah, Nate's best friend.

"Yep." said Nate nodding his head. "Holy shit, I have english with him, he really is dumber than bucket of coleslaw." said Kevin, his other good friend.

"At least coleslaw has substance." says Nate.

They all share a laugh then part ways. Nate examined his face in his car before going back home to make sure there was no way to tell anything had happened. It wasn't a very big deal to him, but he would rather avoid a "What happened?" from anyone at home. He just didn't feel like having that conversation. Luckily he just had a small cut on the inside of his lip.

Tonight was a big night for Nate's high school, their hockey team played their first playoff game tonight, and since he was assured Steve wouldn't be there, and most likely Anna wouldn't be either, he could go and enjoy himself with his friends.

Nate's high school, the Westdale Devils, were well known for their impressive hockey team. Nate and his friends went all out for this one, painting their bodies red, wearing horns, tails, and horrible looking sharpie drawn moustaches and goatees. Ironically, the opposing team was the Avery Angels.

Nate car pooled with his friends to the game, Jeremiah was driving. They decided to go to a drive-thru for some quick food before the game started. Everyone ordered hamburgers and fries.

"Here you go guys..Hah, nice get-up, going to the game, huh?" Said the mildly retarded looking man at the drive-thru.

"No, we're going to late service at church." Says Nate from the passenger seat.

Jeremiah steps on the gas and they drive away laughing. After the laughter died down, Kevin exclaims "Wait a second...We didn't get our drinks.."

"FUCK!" yells Jeremiah, while Nate cracks a smile as big as a whale.

They drive back to the place and go in.

"Come back for these?" says the burger flipping phenom.

"Yeah..." Jeremiah says shamefully.

They grab their drinks and start walking out. As they are exiting, Nate yells, "Nooo! We're late for our cross burning!"

Kevin pulls him out the door.

"Well, they think we're good Christian people." says Kevin.

"Well, I think they're horrible fast food people, this tea is God awful." replies Jeremiah.

"Funny of you to mention God." Says Nate.

"You are too in character, man." Says Kevin.

They regroup in the car and carry on towards the stadium.

They get to the game and buy tickets.

"Oh crap." Says Nate dreadfully.

"You don't have enough money?" Asks jeremiah.

"No, I gotta go boom boom."

"What??" asks Kevin.

"I have to give birth to a brown baby boy, man." Says Nate laughing.

"Haha, go then, hurry up."

Nate goes into a crowded restroom in the stadium. All of the stalls are occupied so he decides to go the other restroom, on the visitors side. Nate expected some conflict since it was obvious which team he was rooting for. When he entered the restroom he noticed a guy washing his hands, dressed up as, you guessed it, an angel.

Nate asks "So, did you lose a bet or do you dress like this all the time?"

"I could ask you the same thing!" says the kid.

"Hey, you're the one with the wings."

They share a friendly laugh and a stall opens up.

"Well, time to drop the kids off at the pool, good luck tonight Cupid."

After Nate finishes business he goes to wash his hands. He looks beside him to see a small child staring at him eating a chocolate ice cream cone. The kid looks baffled by Nate's get-up and lost in thought, yet he keeps licking that ice cream.

"You like that ice cream, buddy?"

The child nods his head.

Nate smirks and places his attention back to washing his hands. Just as he was about done, he felt something squish against his bottom. Nate stands straight up and freezes. He slowly turns his head around and looks down. The child, still with his hand on the cone, stuck the ice cream to Nate's butt.

"...Why did you do that?" asks Nate calmly.

"I heard about you in Sunday school. You're mean."

"Yeah, but I mean...I'm not....It....Oh come on mannnn."

Nate cleans up the best he can but there is still a noticable brown splatter on his backside. He rushes back to his friends.

"What the hell, did you not make it in time?" asks Kevin who noticed the incident.

"It's a long story, I'll tell you after we get tickets."

Nate tells them what happened as they make their way to the seats. The game started shortly after. It was a great game and Westdale ended up winning 3-2. They had a great time and were extremely tired so they called it a night. Nate was so tired that as soon as he got home he went straight to bed, still covered in red body paint. Nate was awoken at 6:30 AM by the doorbell ringing. Nate opens his eyes and sees his sheets have some dabs of red on them. He looks around and finds more.

"Oh my God!! What happened?" Then he remembered the paint.

"Oh.."

"Nate, can you get the door?" yells his mother.

"Uh, ok."

He knew this might be a little awkward, answering the door looking like a member of the Church of Satan. Nate opens the door and there stands two door to door evangelists, ready to tell Nate all about Jesus. They look at him with shock and take a deep breath. Nate, not really knowing what to do, didn't bother to explain, he just started smiling a big cheesey smile.

"Nate!" yells his mother as she rushes over and takes over from there.

Nate walked back to his room chuckling and got ready for school. After an uneventful day of school Nate headed to work. While at work, Tyler, the "emo" kid came into the store. Nate assumed he was going to be using his gift card his parents had bought him not long ago. Nate was interested to see what on Earth he would want there. After a couple minutes Tyler comes to Nate to check out. He throws a small box of razor blades in front of Nate. Nate looks down at them then at Tyler and they stare at each other for a while. Tyler tries to hand Nate his gift card but instead Nate grabs his arm and pushes back his hoodie sleeve, exposing red marks all over Tyler's forearm. Tyler pushes it back down and runs out of the store. Nate knew he didn't want his little brother hanging out with this kid anymore. A few hours go by and Nate finally goes home.

"Nate, you need to pick up your brother." says Nate's father.

"Fine, where is he?"

"At Tyler's." replies his father.

"Oh, yeah, I'll go get him alright."

Nate leaves for Tyler's house and practices in his head what is going to happen about a million times. Nate knocks on the door nervously. Tyler's mother answers.

"Hi Nate, Dillon's upstairs with Tyler--"

"Come with me, I really need to show you something."

Nate makes her walk with him up to Tyler's room.

"I noticed today when I saw him at the store, I.."

They enter Tyler's room. There are model cars, planes, robots, all kinds of models everywhere. Shelves full of them all over Tyler's room. He looks at Tyler and sees him and Dillon painting one of them. Then Nate put it all together in his head. He uses razor blades to help cut the parts and the red on his forearm was model paint. That explained why he wanted the gift card perfectly. Nate felt like throwing up.

"Yep, he loves those models" proclaims Tyler's mom.

"Nevermind." Said Nate with his head down.

Tyler sticks his tongue out at Nate as he leaves with Dillon.

"What was that all about" asks Dillon in the car with Nate.

"Nothing, don't worry about it."

"Just promise me something. Please always tell me why your friends would come to my work, ok?"

"Ok, as long as you tell me why it looks like you crapped your pants."

The next few days reality sank in with Nate, and he was back to being completely miserable. He couldn't take seeing his life turned upside down, and he never felt like doing anything to turn it around. Nate started missing work and eventually got fired because of it. Not that he really cared at this point. People started taking notice in Nate's depression but he would negate any help they tried to offer.

Nate looks in the mirror, we hear his thoughts:

"I have to be the most unlucky sap on the entire planet.

All I can do is sit here and wait for the next day to see what misfortunes it brings.

But no, not this time, no, tomorrow can't come if I don't let it."

Nate looks through his belongings, finding everything but a suitable suicide weapon. He found old pictures he tried not to look at but couldn't resist the urge. He found some of his old electronic toys, including a gigapet. Nate had a moment of nostalgia and hit a button on it. The toy began beeping ferociously and would not stop. Nate's nostalgia turned to anger.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

Nate began smashing it with his fist until the beeping stopped. Now on the screen sat a dog. Nate's nostalgia returned. He began fiddling with his old friend. Suddenly the dog disappeared, Nate confused. Then a "R.I.P." block of text came on screen. Nate couldn't even keep a virtual dog alive for more than 2 minutes. Nate threw the plastic fad against the wall.

Nate continued his search but found nothing of help.

"Have I ever even owned a knife? Anything?"

Nate sits down on his room floor with his head in his hands. He looks up and eyes his room. His attention turns to his old model rocket set. He starts imagining a suicide with it :

Nate sits atop a secluded area with the rocket set and ready to launch.

Nate places his face right on top of the rocket and hits launch.

The rocket begins rumbling and Nate starts screaming with his face still square on top of the rocket.

"Would that even kill me?

Or just fuck up my face?"

Nate starts looking again. He then remembers in some of his drawers he might have some knives. He looks for a moment then thinks he has the perfect find, a switchblade. He hits the notch on the side and a novelty comb pops out.

"For Pete's fucking sake."

He rummages through his belongings again, more frustrated, and finds 3 yo-yo's. He thinks to himself maybe he could tie them all together and throw them above some limbs and possibly hang himself. Nate thinks to himself how incredibly stupid and hard this would be to pull off but looking around it was sadly his best shot.

Nate throws the 3 yo-yo's in his car and takes off. He wasn't really sure where he was going, he figured the local park was his best bet. He could find somewhere in the forestry and try to pull this off.

Nate had the blankest stare during his drive to his yo-yo death fate.

Completely ignoring a stop sign, Nate hits another car. Just slightly on the upper right of his car, but he definitely knicked it.

"Oh come on! What in the hell is wrong with me?"

Nate and the other car pull over to discuss matters.

"I'm sorry, listen, I'm having a really bad--"

Nate stops once he sees the person he hit. No, it wasn't Anna. Nor was it Steve. It was someone completely new to Nate. She was the most naturally beautiful girl nate had ever seen. Her dark brown hair complemented her stunning hazel eyes creating a tandum that bedazzled Nate.

"I uh uh buhh." nate mumbled.

"Eh, you barely hit me, it's not that big of a deal." The mysterious girl said with a smile.

Nate regained control of himself enough to string together some sentences.

"Well, yeah, I guess. We should probably still call the police and that whole thing."

"Yeah, good call." She says.

While waiting for that whole scene, they continue talking.

"So, your name is?" Nate asks.

"Oh, I'm sorry, it's Anna."

Nate has no expression for a while then just starts laughing lightly, until it's a big hearty laugh.

"What? What's so funny?"

"Nothing, well, I guess I'll explain..

Anyways, Hi Anna, I'm Nate."

The slow arriving police could have stayed away for even longer as far as Nate was concerned, he and his new interest seemed to really hit it off.

"So, uh, nice yo-yo's?" Anna says kind of puzzled.

"What? Oh yeah, I was actually gonna kill myself with them..(In Nate's head: OH GOD) I MEAN--"

"Haha, you smartass." Anna says.

"Hah, yeah..Haha. Sorry, just joking around." Nate says relieved.

Later Nate insisted he take Anna out to dinner or anything for him to make it up to her. She happily accepted and they exchanged phone numbers and Nate drove home with his 50 dollar ticket the happiest and most alive he had felt in a long time.

Out at dinner the two learned all about each other. Nate relayed his humorous stories about his horrible luck and Anna helped to teach Nate to just laugh at those things, because they really were funny. Nate learned that Anna was an adrenaline junkie who lived for thrills. Nate was kind of worried about this because of his below average luck. After dinner they both agreed that they would go out some other time and said goodnight.

The next few weeks were amazing for Nate. He felt great and things were finally going his way. Nate and Anna were getting extremely close to each other.

One late night they went to the park and sat on the highest hill. Nate began spilling out how down he was before he met her.

"Nothing ever went my way, everything was just so wrong.

I really didn't think I could take it anymore."

He explained every fiasco he went through and why it made him so depressed.

"Nate, were you really going to kill yourself that day?"

"Well..."

"With yo-yo's??" she added.

'Uh..Of course not, how would I even do that?" Nate asked.

"I guess you could like tie them up or something and try to hang yourself with them.." She replied.

"...."

"Nate!"

They both start laughing.

"I knew it wouldn't work, I don't have the nerve to kill myself." Nate said.

"Did you really have nothing better than yo-yo's?" She asked.

"Well there was this model rocket set.."

They shared some more laughter then Anna said "Let me show you something.."

Anna picks up a rock and chucks it down the hill.

"You see how the rock takes hits and loses pieces along the way, but at the end no matter how much it loses, it still sits at the bottom, and remains a rock."

"That is the supidest thing I have ever heard.."

Anna lifts her eyes up to Nate's.

"..And I think I'm in love with you."

They share a moment, and for the first time in a long time, Nate was at peace. With the girl. With himself. With life.

The next day Anna asked Nate to come with her on one of her bike riding adventures.

"Are you sure that's such a good idea, with my luck and all?" Nate asked.

"Oh come on, you'll be fine. You can bring training wheels if you'd like." She replied.

Nate finally gave in and decided to go. They went to a rather advanced trail and Nate was kind of skeptical but continued anyway. Everything was going smoothly and Nate was getting relaxed. They reached a steep slope and Nate, behind Anna, heard her say almost in a whisper,

"Oh no."

"What? What!?" yelled Nate.

Anna took off down the slope, her brakes had stopped working. Realizing what had happened Nate took a deep breath and started racing down just as fast. It was no use, he couldnt catch her. Anna finally took a spill and rolled down what seemed for miles until she was finally stopped by a large tree stump.

"Oh God!" Nate yelled in disgust. After he finally got down to her Nate started getting delusional.

"I knew this was a bad idea.

My bad luck follows me everywhere, this is all my fault."

Anna was knocked out cold and Nate immediately dialed 911.

Nate was a wreck spending that night in the hospital. Nate wasn't allowed to go in to see her, only her family.

Finally someone came out to share the news with Nate that she was awake and ok. Nate was so very relieved.

"There's just one thing.." Said the doctor.

Nate stops and his eyes get a little wider.

"She has suffered some severe memory loss and so far she has only recognized those in her family who are very close to her. If you two were very close there's a good chance she'll remember you though."

Walking into the room, Nate was the most nervous he had ever felt in his entire young life. Nate walks up beside Anna.

"Hey you.." Says Nate.

"Hi.." Anna says.

"Do you..remember me?" Asks Nate, trembling.

"I..Are you my brother?" Anna asks.

Nate squeezed his lips inside his mouth and felt his heart drip through the seat of his pants.

"...No..I'm not.."

"I'm..Sorry." Anna says difficultly.

"No, I'm sorry." Nate says shamefully.

After the unfortunate events that happened, Nate decided it was in his best interests to try to forget everything and go on with life. He knew he would never truly forget, but he acknowledged that pursuing someone who doesn't even remember him would end up only making him feel worse. Nate handled things better than expected. A week had passed and he seemed alright.

"What's for dinner?" Nate asks.

"Tuna casserole." Replied his mother.

Nate nods his head and thinks to himself, "Fan-fucking-tastic."

Nate goes back to his room to wait on his below average dinner to be prepared. Nate enters his room and lies down. His phone begins ringing. Nate looks at his phone to see who is calling. Nate almost thinks he's dreaming when he sees that Anna is calling. Not the Anna he wanted to hear from, though. It was his old girlfriend. Not that Nate really expected to hear from either of them, but he especially didn't see this coming.

Nate answers,

"Wrong number?" he asks.

"Nate?" Says a strong male voice.

Nate was surprised to hear a male voice and dropped his sarcastic tone.

"..Yeah."

"This is Officer Gardner with the local police department, we were wondering if you knew anything about the disappearence of Anna West."

"What?" asks Nate confused.

"Anna has been missing for 4 days now and until we get some more information you are considered a suspect."

"I...I..Didn't know anything about this."

Eventually the police came and talked to Nate and came up with the conclusion that Nate wasn't involved with Anna's disappearence.

Although they had such a falling out, Nate was very concerned.

Dinner was as awkward as it could have been that night. The usual was a big, loud, messy dinner with everyone talking and stuffing their faces. Tonight no one really knew what to say. Nate just wanted things back to normal. When things are like this it just makes it that much harder to return to normalcy, though. Eventually Nate couldn't stand it anymore.

"Yeah! I've had a great couple of weeks huh? I'm trying real hard here to not bring everyone down with me, but Jesus Christ, say something, anything."

Still no one knows what to say, or even if there is anything to say.

"I'm leaving, try not to make it so obvious how fucked up my life is next time."

"Oh, and this casserole looks disgusting. I mean honestly, it looks like it was whipped up by Picasso."

And with that Nate made a grand exit.

Dillon laughed while their parents looked at each other in concern.

"Mommy, who is Picasso?"

Dillon answers in place and replies, "A good painter and a bad chef."

Nate knew exactly where he was headed. The one place he would always go to clear his mind. Riding past the high school, Nate mutters to himself, "High school, the best and worst four years of your life."

When Nate arrived at his destination he was exhausted from thought. He made his way up the large hill he had come to so often. As Nate got closer to the top he saw that two other people were on top of the hill. As their image became louder he realized it was Anna and...Anna. Nate starts running up the hill.

"What in the fuck??"

The girls turn their attention towards Nate. Nate sees that Anna M. has a gun aimed at Anna W.

"What in the bloody hell is going on?"

Both girls say in unison, "Dinner is ready."

"What???"

"The casserole is done."

"Nate, wake up. It's time to eat." Says Nate's mother.

It was all just a dream.

Nate awakes in the biggest relief he had felt in a long time.

"Bad dream?"

"Yeah..Something like that."

Nate walks down the hall holding his head and mouths "What the hell?"

After dinner Nate came back in his room and decided to document his strange dream. As he began writing out what he remembered from the dream, his phone rang. The toothpick that was bouncing on his lips dropped out of his mouth. Nate slowly navigated towards his phone and looked at the interface. It was Anna W. Nate stood up and picked up the phone but didn't answer and stuck it in his pocket. He then bolted out the door and headed towards the hill. On his way there his phone rang again. He looked and saw that it was Kevin, so he answered.

"Hello?"

"Hey man. I'm just calling because Anna--"

"I know! She's fucking missing! I don't know what the hell is going on dude I'll call you back."

Nate hangs up and gets out of his car and starts sprinting up the hill. He notices one person on the hill. He looks for a second but doesn't seem to see anyone else. As he nears the top he realizes Anna M. is on top of the hill sitting down. There is no one with her and she does NOT have a gun. Nate actually seems a little disappointed his exciting dream wasn't a reality.

"Hello" Says Nate.

"Oh, hey, long time no see."

"So, you do remember me?" he asks.

"Well, kind of, we were friends right? They said you were the one with me when the accident happened."

"Yeah."

"I, just, can't remember anything or anyone and it's driving me crazy. It's like being re-born or something, starting all over. It's so hard."

"Well it can't be all that bad, at least you're still alive." says Nate.

"Sometimes I really wish I had just gone, you don't understand how horrible it feels to not recognize your own family."

After a moments hesitation Nate says, "Let me show you something.."

He sits down beside Anna and grabs a rock. He chucks it down the hill.

"See how the rock takes hits and loses pieces, but at the end of the ride, it remains a rock, no matter how damaged it becomes."

Anna looks at Nate and says "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.."

Nate looks up thinking she has remembered and he waits on the words he wanted to hear. However, they never came. Anna laughs and says "I'm just kidding, I can see why we were friends."

"Hah..Yeah.."

"Well, I need to be getting back home, thanks for that though, really. I feel better."

"Anytime." Says Nate.

"I suppose I'll talk to you later, see ya."

"Yeah, sure, bye." Nate says.

Nate stays sitting on the hill with his elbows on his knees and hands grasped. A couple minutes later his phone rings. It was Kevin again. Nate recalls that whole mess and answers quickly.

"Yeah?"

"Hey I have no idea what you were talking about earlier, but Anna told me she called you and you didn't answer, she was gonna see if you wanted to get your stuff back, but don't worry I got it from her so I can give it to you, I figured you wouldn't want to have to see her."

"Oh....Yeah...Thanks. I'll come by in a bit."

Nate closes his phone and continues his stare. Nate nudges over and begins rolling down the hill, under his own force. He rolls all the way down to the bottom and lays there staring up at the sky, like a rock.

Albert Camus once said, "Our life must have meaning for us to value it. If we accept that life has no meaning and therefore no value, should we kill ourselves?" Did Nate really want to kill himself? No. He never did. He never had the nerve or selfishness to perform such an act. To keep Nate happy, however, he needed people, reasons for him to be alive and wake up each day. As for now, Nate was fine. In fact, Nate was happy. He knew it was fine to let things happen on their own and let everything fall into place, but he knew if he wanted something badly enough, if he made an effort he could achieve it. For now, he was free to exist, and he now had something to strive for.

The End.

Rate this submission

Plot:
Dialogue:
Characters:
Wording:

You must be logged in to rate submissions