original watercolor by Dylan Scott Pierce
“Stop ringing the doorbell. I hear you. One time is enough.” I yell through the door.
I hear a little voice out there,
“Can I get a cup of water?”
“What’s wrong with your water?” I yell back as I unlock the door.
“I’m thirsty. My mother won’t let me back in the apartment.”
“Come inside. The cups are beside the five gallon, reverse osmosis, refreshing and delicious water jug. Let’s go back outside and play some baseball. You’re up to bat, and I’m pitching.”
He doesn’t move an inch from this safehouse position.
“Jay, I’ve known you for three years, and I know you like art better than baseball. How many times must you draw Spiderman? Would you like to paint an owl in water color?” I ask. He takes off his shoes.
It’s now seven in the morning on April 29, 2014, when the alarm sounds. I have this date documented in my Note Everything app on my android smart phone. This crackerjack app shows the day the note was created, when the note was last modified, and it keeps a running word count without a spill chick. This short story you’re reading is 550 words in length. That’s 2,403 times my finger pads have tapped the keys. Tap, tap, tap.
I awake and jump out of bed to see that the alarm is tripping. I crack the door as wide as the chain on the frame will allow.
“Miss. Stacy, I want to give you a hug, because we moved last night.”“Jay, this makes me very, very sad. Give me a minute to get dressed,” I say. Surely they didn’t move last night. Surely not. Surely. The Swiss-American psychiatrist and author Elisabeth Kublor-Ross’ first stage of grief is denial.
I come back and open the door, but I see him stealing away. I will not be able to catch him on foot, so I run upstairs and knock on his apartment door, hoping someone will still be there. His mother’s boyfriend, TL, opens the door. Smoke streams outside, along with three other tough guys. Tatooed arms. Shaved scalps. Missing belts. Looks of surprise.
I thought to myself, “Yes. Yes, your always too loud, and it disturbs me. It frightens me when you guys fight so fierce. You’re so close to death I can hear it. I can smell it.” The second stage of grief is anger.
Myths & Misconceptions.
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