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Mystery

I woke up the same way I always did; with the sun getting in my eyes through that annoying rip in the curtain I never fixed – not that I don’t have enough money to fix it, I just 1)Always forget 2)Don’t want anyone in the house 3)Don’t care enough. Pick your excuse.

I had the same dream I’ve had for over a year now; I was home and Chris was here and we were celebrating Christmas together like we’re supposed to, he made his special Turkey roast which I always call Turkey a la Scorche`. (For obvious reasons) while I ordered pizza and pretended to eat his Christmas dinner while stuffing my face full of pizza on the sly – not that he’s a bad cook, he’s actually better than I am at cooking, turkey is just not his thing, It’s like all the turkeys of the world have collectively decided to burn once he tries to cook them. Until he catches me and starts chasing me around our house while trying to throw little pieces of turkey roast into my mouth (and missing terribly, getting into my nose and ears instead; don’t ask me how) so I start using pizza crust as defense and then we start a full blown food fight which ends with us on the couch next to each other arguing over who will clean up the mess…

And then; because the universe hates me, I wake up.

I’m wearing the same oversized hoodie I’ve worn to sleep since the day I found out Chris was gone; two years ago. It says ‘CANON BALL’ and it was his favorite so somehow it makes me feel closer to him. The strings are literally almost completely chewed off because of my habit of absent-mindedly chewing on them (which; unsurprisingly, I don’t do to anything else). I’m also wearing my black top, it’s blank apart from the white star on it and my favorite extremely fluffy pajama bottoms that are a crystal blue color and go all the way to my toes. That’s right people, I have turned myself into a human teddy bear.

I realize that I’m hungry and start planning what I’m going to make in my head before I even get to the kitchen. I’m about to get up when my phone buzzes – that’s new, I haven’t gotten a text since the day the University Chris was at sent me the news about Chris’ death. It was short and simple; Thank God, very straight-to-the-point. It read simply;

“Elizabeth Matthews, we at the Institute of Arts and Sciences wish to inform you (with a broken heart) of the disappearance and passing of your brother Christopher Matthews.

We are very sorry for your loss”

Chris was the best brother a person could possibly ask for, he had shoulder length golden brown hair and emerald green eyes, he was tall, well-built, fun, funny, No, they’re not the same thing. Smart-ish, smart enough to help you with your homework until you realize that you can do it better yourself, Mr. popular, meaning that no one can make fun of you or touch you without facing the wrath of the entire school body, an athlete… I could go on forever Not. He’s annoying enough to argue with forever but sweet enough to apologize when necessary barely though and he was the best cook I know. He loved hoodies and when he died, I had three of them with me which I now wear a lot; to sleep, to stay at home and to go out. I really miss him.

I remember that I got a text and start wondering who it might be, maybe a telemarketer, or it could be an advertisement from google. Does google send ads? Don’t they just pop up when you’re using your phone? I hate it when that happens. Maybe it’s a text from tech support. Wait, does that mean there’s something wrong with my phone? I didn’t notice anything unusual, but if there is then I’ll probably have to go out to get it fixed and then I’ll have to talk to people *Ugh*; or maybe I can get them to come here…This is silly, I should just open it and see who it’s from. I open it and see a text from Drake – my brother’s best friend for as long as I remember. Apart from me of course. He’s tall, cute; I hate that that’s true, he has jet black hair and salty sea blue eyes that seem transparent, he was also popular and was the bane of my existence, the creepy annoying Joker to my Batman. His text was short and straight-to-the-point; the way I usually like it, but this time it just made me angry. It read;

“Hello Liz; In case you’ve deleted my number, it’s Drake.

I’m coming over”

That’s it! No ‘how are you, Liz’ or ‘how you been?’ or ‘I’m sorry I never came’ or ‘forgive me for never even texting’. Nothing! That boy always finds new ways to get to me – it’s like his hobby! I’m so angry I feel like sending him a slap through the phone!

Then I realize that I’ve been awake almost an hour now and I still haven’t gotten out of bed. I promised my therapist I would stop doing that.

I get out of bed and into my fluffy werewolf slippers; Yes werewolf; Cats and Puppies are overrated and bunny slippers are for SpongeBob, brush my teeth and walk to my kitchen; my messy kitchen, and get out a pot, I feel determined to make myself an actual breakfast the way Chris would have wanted me to today. I stay determined for about four seconds exactly before I give up and pour myself a bowl of cereal and add milk, close my eyes and pick a random spoon from the spoon drawer and ta da! Breakfast is served! And the crowd goes wild!! Applause, Applause!

After breakfast I take a quick bath because I need to go shopping today and once it gets to noon it gets so crowded with people, If I haven’t mentioned this yet, I don’t like being around people, I didn’t like it before Chris died but now I hate it; it gets so frustratingly awkward with all the apologies and sentiments and how “everything is going to be alright” I’ve even been asked if I miss him. What; pray tell, does one say to that?

I put on the second of Chris’ hoodies I have; this one is black with the words ‘BASKETBALL STAR’ on them in orange with white jeans and white converse. I leave my house and stop by the post office and the bakery – post office to see if I have any mail; not that I ever do, and the bakery to pick up two loaves of bread and a ginormous chocolate and velvet cake with vanilla icing. It tastes nice okay, don’t judge me. Apart from that it takes me three minutes to walk to store and six minutes to get what I need; Actually, it took me three but I ran into Mrs. Ackerman on the way and she just HAD to tell me how sorry she was about my brother’s passing on while I tried to leave without being rude. Basically, our conversation went;

“Hello Elizabeth”

“Hi Mrs. Ackerman” I try to leave without being noticed.

“I just want to say I’m so sorry about your loss”

“No, it’s fine; Don’t be” I try again to leave without being noticed.

“You know, things like that just happen and we can’t do anything to stop them but I personally think that we should just learn to deal with them as they come up, and –”This is the point where I tune her out and start thinking of the chocolate cake I’m going to eat and if I should get milk or yoghurt. See, I like yogurt but milk is good too, or I could just get both; but that means I’m going to stop at the milk store. Should I go to the one a mile from this store? No, if I do that Mrs. Ackerman might actually follow me there so I’ll go to the one across the street from my house…

Then she says “Well, have a nice day and PLEASE try not to think about it, okay?”

To which I give a curt nod and practically run for the exit.

Once I’m out I stop at the milk store across the street from my house and get milk. Then when I’m about to cross the street but there’s a truck in my way and so I wait. It passes and then I see a person at my door. Oh no, I totally forgot about Drake. But then he turns and faces me so I realize it’s not Drake. He looks so familiar. And then he sees me and smiles – and then my heart skips a beat because at that precise moment I know who he is, because at that precise moment I must have finally crossed the line and gone insane because the guy I see at my door is my older brother. My DEAD older brother. Am I the only one seeing this? Everyone else is going about their daily life activities so I must be the only seeing my ‘dead’ brother, Emphasis on DEAD. He waves me back into reality but I don’t respond because I’m putting all my effort into running across the busiest street in my town without dying. I’m surprised I didn’t fail though.

When I reach him, the first thing I do is to poke him incessantly for a good five minutes to make sure he’s real and not just a product of my imagination – he is.

“You’re real” I say completely dumbfounded.

He doesn’t reply to that, he just says;

“I’m sorry Liz”

Then he pulls me into what can only be described as a bear hug. I feel a dampness on my cheek so I raise my fingers to it and I’m crying. Because, it’s really him.

Chris is Alive. Boy, does he have some explaining to do.

July 27, 2020 12:22

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3 comments

12:16 Jul 30, 2020

Nice job! This was a good story! Although, like, a third of it was italicized, which kind of confused me. Maybe consider fixing that? I like how you finished your story right when her brother came, so there was much to be left to the reader’s imagination. Keep it up! -Aerrrrin! (P. S. Would you mind checking out my story ‘Rebel Prince’? Thx!)

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17:44 Aug 09, 2020

Thanks for taking the time to give me your feedback Aerin, I really appreciate it! And I'm sorry the italicization confused you it signifies the thoughts of the main character, I was actually confused with it too and redid it like six times but I'll try to work on it more. All in all, I'm really glad you liked the story. Thanks P.S. I checked out your story and left a comment <3

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18:56 Aug 09, 2020

Thanks!

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