Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dinner Party

Nothing feels normal anymore. Any shred of security I felt here is gone, and I'm not sure if it'll ever come back. Dad is sick. I've suspected it for a long time, but I was so caught up in leaving and moving here that I pretended I knew nothing. Ignorant. Ignorant and unempathetic and stupid. When I knew that he was trying to reach out to me, when I knew that he wanted to talk to me, and I put it off. It all feels like a terrible dream. I curl back up in my covers and wish it all away again.

A knock at my front door jilts me awake. Sleep hits me like a brick, and I inch away from my bed. Something has been slipped underneath my door. It's an invitation. To a murder mystery themed dinner. Great. Another reason to stay in tonight. I open the door. "Have you seen these? Kind of bizarre, but I think it'll be fun. What role did you get?" Banks jabbers and then looks up at me, taking in my appearance. "Timma, you don't look so good. Are you feeling okay?" "Fine." I reply. Desperately trying to distract her from asking any more, I bring my attention to the invitation. "I'm supposed to be a.... rich housewife? Perfect. 19 and married, exactly the vibe I'm going for here." Banks laughs. "You're going to the party though, aren't you? I'm pretty sure everyone is." "I don't know Banks, I'm not really in the mood-" I sigh, but she cuts me off. "You have to go! It's going to be so much fun! I'll be there too. Meet you outside on the way there!" She says excitedly, and I know there's no way I'm getting out of this. Rich housewife it is, then.

I leave my apartment for the first time in three days. I shift uncomfortably in my dress. It's long and emerald green and not my style at all. It was my mom's, when she was my age. I look next door and rejoin Banks. The walk to the seventh floor is quick, even though I'm nearly shaking the whole way there. We walk in, and the place is decked out. I had to give the hosts some credit, they truly outdid themselves. I take my seat and look around the room. Banks wasn't kidding when she said that everyone was coming. It seemed as though all the residents of Winthrop Place had piled inside the apartment.

Dinner begins, and I begin to feel more comfortable. The food is delicious, and my mind drifts away from all of the terrible things happening right now. Tonight, I want to forget them. I want to act normal and be present like everyone else. And it's working, I'm doing this, I'm acting as though nothing is wrong. Until the lights go out. They flicker at first, and then shut off entirely. When they come back on, a man is laying face down, blood dripping down his face. This is not a prank. I can feel the panic rising in my throat. I look for Banks, but I don't see her. Everything goes dark again.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Playing The Fool

Fall is over, and everything is cold. My cheeks are flushed pink, my hand are always icy, and I'm out of hot chocolate. I had forgotten how much I hate winter. I feel like the weather is sucking the inspiration out of me. My creativity is low, I'm out of sketch book ideas, and I'm out of ways to distract myself from the fact that I'm all alone here. Sure, I've got Banks, the girl who lives next door, and the other people working at the movie theater, but I still feel abandoned. After meeting the girl at the greenhouse, I've felt empty. I want to go somewhere that gives me ideas again. And then it hits me.

I hike through the terrible, bitter cold and into the Temple. It's not an actual Temple, of course, but the town's tarot and palm reading shop. It smells of incense and dust. There are rugs everywhere, and candles burning on the book filled shelves. "Can I help you, honey?" The woman behind the counter has a southern accent, and is probably only thirty or so. I guess I was expecting some sort of old, wrinkly woman. It seems my expectations were dead wrong. "Yes, actually. I'd like a tarot reading, please" I say to her. She smiles at me, and gestures to the table in the center of the room."Alrighty, pick three cards." I do, and she turns the first one over. She looks slightly uncomfortable. "What is it?" I ask. She shifts in her chair. "The fool." She looks up at me solemnly. I don't know much about tarot cards, but I know enough to know that this isn't exactly the best card you can draw.

All of a sudden, everything feels wrong. I know something is off. I'm not sure what it is or what's happened or why I feel like I have to get out of here, but I feel it. I look at her, into her pitiful eyes looking down at me like she knows something I don't, and I run. Through the clunky front door and the empty streets and the crowded lobby of Winthrop place. I frantically unlock my door and collapse against the inside. Everything inside of me is telling me something's happened. I check my phone, and I have one missed call. It's from my dad.

The woman was right. I am the fool.