Issues

Amateur

The sprinkling rain pasted the dirt on the car to it’s frame at first. Eventually the water washed the little black car clean. A young face framed with curly bangs and wild hair peered out into the grey skies, seeing nothing as she was looking for nothing.

The asphalt moved rhythmically beneath the car. She had her chin propped on her fists that were tucked between her curled up knees and her chest. Her seat belt had been rubbing on her neck so much that there was a red line where it sat on her collar bone.

There was only silence in the car. Silence and the hollow sound of the rain tapping on the windshield and that irritating squeak of windshield wipers that slowly moves to the background during a twenty hour drive. Her mother looked over at her momentarily every few minutes, checking for change, maybe seeing if there was anything to be said. There was nothing to be said, nothing right anyways.

A tear rolled down her ashen, porcelain face every few moments, washing her face as clean as the world beneath this giant rain cloud.

“Sarah, I wish there was something. . .” That was as much as her mother could make out in words without bursting into tears herself. Sarah went unresponsive, not crying more or less, not even acknowledging the words.

She pushed some of her curly brown hair behind one of her over-pierced ears and looked at the radio. She pushed a button that broke the silence, it was a classic rock station. Sarah recognized the song. Her father had sung it a million times along with the radio. He couldn’t sing it now, all she wanted to hear was his voice. The crackling voice that couldn’t hold a note. That sincere voice that she would never hear again.

Sarah closed her eyes trying to back the tears that wanted to surge out with the music notes. All she could do to keep them hidden wasn’t enough, her eyes over-welled with tears and just spilled over to a continually glistening strip on her face.

This trip was suppose to be her answer. Sarah had a friend in Washington state, they’d been practically sisters which was a mirror image of the bond Sarah’s parents had with the girl’s father in high school. Wes and his daughter Wendy were the only option Sarah’s mother, Pricilla could think of.

Sarah didn’t think of it at all, she felt permanently numb to all her usual emotions. Sarah didn’t care where she was, she would think about her father just as much in Washington as she would in Nevada where she had just left.

Priscilla was just praying that Sarah’s friend could make her less of a zombie. Nothing else was working. Not to mention the time Priscilla needed for herself, she couldn’t look at her daughter the same since the accident. She had his same green eyes and curly brown hair that she fell in love with on her deceased husband.

Sarah moved her plump pink lips to the song she new every word to and she looked back out at the crying sky. Maybe when she climbed out of the car in front of Wendy’s house she would forget her entire life and be completely normal. It was impossible, she was clinging too much to the memories of her father.

It seemed like another lifetime before Sarah was looking up at a building in the Washington city of Seattle. It was tall and seemed to touch the sky but she knew even if she made it to the top she would be no where near heaven.

“Sarah, …” Priscilla whispered. Sarah looked out the window to where her mother was pointing. Five floors above them a young girl was leaning out the window of her bedroom, waving her arm as quickly as she could. Sarah thought Wendy was a little old to be acting like such a child but then realized she was suppose to be acting the same way about seeing her long time friend.

Sarah climbed out of the car just as Wendy hit the bottom step of the building and they through themselves into each other and held on, refusing to let go. Wendy was trying to comfort Sarah but was crying more than her tragedy befallen friend.

It took Sarah a while to even realize that Wes was also outside of the building, talking to her mother. Wendy’s father had peppered grey and brown hair and an always carelessly scruffy face. Although unheard Sarah saw her mother’s face light up as Wes’s mouth moved, he made a joke that made Priscilla forget her troubles for a moment and she knew this was perfect, Sarah would be back to her old fun-loving self in no time at all.

Wes grabbed Sarah’s suitcase and backpack from the trunk and hugged Priscilla goodbye, they’re reunion was unfortunately short but they both knew their lives were too hectic for a heart-to-heart right there on the busy Seattle street. It took Sarah a moment to see that Priscilla was waiting to give her a hug before she climbed back into the car for her long trip back to Nevada.

Sarah made it short and simple. Saying the usual, love you’s and drive safe thing’s she had to say but her voice wasn’t even really there. She watched her mother drive away and let out a breath as she turned a corner leaving Antalya Escort her sight. It was easier to watch her go than anything had been in the past few weeks.

Until then Sarah was relieved to be away from her home. She turned to Wendy and Wes on the step of the city apartment and saw something horrible. Wes had Wendy tucked under his arm as he kissed her forehead. Sarah lost her breath for a moment but covered it up professionally. Her father used to tuck her under his arm like that, a knife rammed through her heart but she couldn’t tell the only two people she knew within a two thousand mile radius that.

Sarah took a breath, smiled and followed the two to the elevator and into the apartment marked 5C. In the elevator Wendy’s mouth echoed off all the walls and left Sarah feeling like she couldn’t breath. Was this the best idea her and her mother could come up with? Spending time with a daughter and father?

Wendy drug Sarah to the extra room there. Wes followed behind them with Sarah’s bags and put them down in the doorway. He welcomed her and left quickly with the same smile on his face she’d never seen him without.

Wendy helped Sarah unpack and put on music behind her nonstop talking. Sarah was fully distracted.

“Don’t you remember this song?” Wendy asked excited. Sarah opened her ears quickly listening for the beat she had been blocking out. Sarah nodded and forced on a fake smile.

“Of course.” Sarah said back in the same tone Wendy had spoken. Sarah begrudgingly began to sing the words to a song that was preformed by her then favorite band three years ago. They sang together and then Wendy threw herself down on Sarah’s new bed and sighed.

“Aren’t you so excited to be back together?” Wendy asked with a smile on her face. Sarah’s heart broke looking at the seemingly so young girl laying across the bed she didn’t want to touch, Sarah didn’t want to sleep here, she didn’t want to eat here, all she wanted was her father and it took her this long to figure out that nothing was going to make her excited to do anything.

But she lied instead, of course. Giggling and joining Wendy bouncing up on the bed.

Wendy drug her to the kitchen and Sarah couldn’t help but think to herself her age.

‘Eighteen.’ She thought. ‘Eighteen years of living and I can’t tell her to stop dragging me behind her like a puppy on a leash.’ She just put on a smile and even choked out a giggle to a few of Wendy’s jokes. Wendy was a lot like her father, Wes, she was funny. But nothing was really funny to Sarah at the moment and she laughed because her own apathy had nothing to do with Wendy’s humor.

Wendy fell asleep quickly in the living room after their last horror movie at one o’clock in the morning. Sarah’s eyes hadn’t been functioning since the first person was killed in the first movie at nine o’clock. Sarah knew Wendy hadn’t even linked the constant deaths of people on the screen to Sarah’s life so she didn’t take it personally.

Sarah inched silently so she wouldn’t wake Wendy up. Wes had left just before the movie’s began, with nothing more to say than he was going out, neither of the girls asked more of an explanation. Sarah crept to the bathroom and undressed quickly, as if there were spiders on everything that was touching her. She stood over the sink panting once she was completely striped.

Her eyes welled and turned a light pink color. Her crying face overcame her normal calm and she let herself collapse on the cold tile floor. She thought of everything that happened in the day that she couldn’t think of at the time. She thought of her mother’s choked words and the song that came on the radio, she thought of Wes and her body jolted in pain, she saw that mental picture she had taken of Wendy snuggled under her daddy’s arm, she thought of every drop of blood she’d seen in the movies throughout the night. Every little thought sliced her brain and all the slices together felt like fire.

She eventually pulled herself up off the floor and turned on the water in the shower. Once in the stream she changed the temperature from scolding hot to freezing cold as often as it would allow. Sarah cried until she couldn’t cry then for some reason she couldn’t explain she was oddly refreshed and felt like she could run a marathon. She put her headphones in her ears and blasted a rock song she knew Wendy would hate because unlike Wendy’s beloved Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, Sarah preferred Pink Floyd and ACDC.

Sarah wrapped a towel around her body that was still dripping wet, opened the door to the bathroom and turned out the light. She was met by pitch black. She took a sharp deep breath as she always did when she was circled by the darkness, it was one of her biggest, illogical fears. Sarah put too hands out in front of her as she tried to feel for a wall to clutch onto and find her way to her new room. What she found was much softer than a wall. She felt cloth and gripped it, thinking maybe she’d grabbed Antalya Escort Bayan a curtain or maybe she was even facing the hallway closet.

‘Was there a curtain in the hallway?’ She asked herself silently in her mind.

She pushed pause on her ipod with her thumb and grabbed the cloth, trying to feel to the other side. Once she maneuvered one headphone out of her ear she heard a light chuckle and a light bulb clicked on in her mind just as a light flick on above her head.

That chuckle was the unforgettable Wes laugh. His hand was on a light switch beside the wall but when he saw what the darkness had hidden from him his smile faded. Sarah was frozen, her face close to his and her hands wrapped around his shirt. She’d never seen him not smiling, she didn’t know what to think. Was this face nervous or angry?

She saw his fingertips shivering on the wall and realized she had him trapped, back against the wall, his hands flat on the wall behind him. He looked over her accidentally, noticing her shimmering damp skin and tightly wrapped towel and she lowered her head, smiling bashfully.

Her wet curly hair dropped into her face and Wes’s shaking hand moved up to place it behind her ear. “How was the girl’s night?” His voice wasn’t light and joking like normal, it was deep and almost nervous. Sarah raised her eyebrows when she thought of the real answer but quickly said something else.

“It was fun, chick flicks galore.”

Wes looked down at her hands that were placed on his chest, still gripping his shirt and she immediately released him.

“Uh,” She thought quickly of a different subject. “How was your night out?” She asked. Wes shrugged, finally smiling again.

“Lame.” He said. Sarah didn’t have the mind to notice the awkward pause. Wes gulped and placed his hands on both of Sarah’s shoulders. She looked at his parted serious lips and found herself leaning toward him without meaning to. He smiled and delicately pushed her away an arms length from him. She regained her mindset and grabbed her towel tightly at the top.

Wes forced himself to let go of her shoulders and moved into the bathroom, quickly flicking on the light and shutting the door silently. Sarah stood there thinking for a moment before she moved back to the door with light shining on her toes from the other side and tapped lightly.

She heard him exhale heavily before he turned the doorknob. She stood in the doorway smirking devilishly. He swallowed the lump in his throat and raised his eyebrows.

“Yes, Sarah?” He said pretending to not be thinking of what she could possibly want. She paused, torturing him, before answering.

“I forgot my clothes in there.” She whispered as she leaned toward him. He exhaled in his relief of tension, slightly. He looked around and saw that he hadn’t noticed the clothes that were tossed everywhere as if someone had been shred to pieces in the bathroom. He grabbed the pants laying over the toilet lid and her shirt was on the door knob. Then he paused as he reached for her bra that was on the sink counter.

He handed her the pile, trying to not stare at her or any of the items he was handing her. She was smiling while she watched him squirm in his mind. He smiled again when he could finally concentrate on her face and he paused, wondering why she was still standing in the doorway of the bathroom.

“Wes,” She said softly. He closed his eyes when she spoke his name. “I just wanted to thank you for letting me stay. I really do appreciate it.” He chuckled like he had before he saw that look in her eye when he walked in. He shook his head.

“Sarah, I’d do anything for you and your family. Just let me know if you need anything else, okay?”

Sarah blinked and thought about that offer. “Okay.” She agreed. “I’ll let you know.” She said the words slowly and bit her lip before she turned around, she felt his eyes on her as she walked down the hall way and turned into the doorway of her room but turned and waved to him goodnight before leaving his sight.

He pulled his hands from his forehead to his chin as hard as he could as if wiping away everything he just saw, and heard, and felt. He splashed cold water on his face before he brushed his teeth and looked at his face for a minute before deciding not the shave for the third day in a row.

Something caught Wes’s attention, the black lace panties that were hanging from the top corner of the mirror. He almost choked as he grabbed her thong off the corner of the mirror and opened the bathroom door without thinking. He peeked into the living room to see his Wendy fully passed out on the living room couch before continuing down the hall and tapping almost mutely on Sarah’s bedroom door.

It was a long pause, he thought it impossible to fall asleep so quickly, but wouldn’t be shocked if she didn’t want to be stuck in anymore awkward conversations with her long time best friend’s father. Just when he thought of dropping the thong and Escort Antalya tucking it under the door he heard a whisper on the other side.

“Wes?”

He gulped loudly and rolled his eyes at his own uncontrolled volume. “Yeah.” He said barely audible. The door opened but the light was already out.

“You can come in.” He heard escape from the dark of the room. Wes couldn’t help but be nervous as he looked into the dark, he inhaled exaggeratingly and took a step in, immediately moving his hand for the light switch. Once he flicked it on he exhaled in relief. Sarah had just made it back to her bed from opening the door for him and for his sanity the towel was replaced by a decent pair of night shorts and a spaghetti strap shirt.

She moved the covers and sat down on her pillow. Wes smiled and looked down at the panties still in his hand. “You missed these.” He stretched them out and rubber band shot them to her. She giggled which made him smile at her quickly.

“Thanks, that ruins them, you know.” She rolled her eyes as she threw them on the floor beside her bed where the towel lay in a heap. Wes was still standing in the doorway, awkwardly, Sarah was just smiling at his nervousness.

Sarah looked away and heard him take his first breath since he had entered the room. She knew after the first whole minute of silence that he didn’t know how to leave or how to stay. Sarah decided to make it a little easier to get him where she wanted him.

“Can you shut the door?” She asked. Wes didn’t say anything, just froze, not really looking at her or anywhere else, completely lost without a joke to cover up his nervousness. Sarah patted the bed beside where she was sitting. “I’ve been wanting a minute without a teenage girl in my head.” She furrowed her brow in humor when she saw the confusion on his face. “I actually meant Wendy, not myself. No offense, you’re daughter is amazing, just like her father.”

He blushed as he turned to door knob to shut the door silently. Wes walked over to the bed and sat down beside her leaning all the way back to slouch against the wall. Sarah smiled, leaning her shoulder and tilting her head to lean against the wall, matching him.

“I love it when you get that look on your face.” Sarah admitted casually. Wes looked confused again.

“What look?” He challenged quietly, not trusting the door to hold back their voices from his sleeping daughter.

Sarah blushed as she looked at his face. “When you can’t think of anything funny to say, I’ve never seen it until tonight.”

Wes bowed his head in shame, he hoped she hadn’t noticed how lost he was when he couldn’t make someone laugh. “Well, it’s been a long day.” He tried to cover his reasons. Sarah nodded with a devilish smile on her face.

“It’s been a long month, Wes.” Sarah closed her eyes and Wes didn’t notice himself leaning toward her as she inhaled, like a string was connected from her lungs to his lips. “I haven’t even said sorry.” She admitted, without opening her eyes.

Wes snapped to attention with the words. “What would you possibly need to be sorry for?” His words were serious, almost harsh. Sarah’s eyes shot open.

“For everyone, my mother, my family, … you.” She paused ashamed. “I’m not the only one that lost someone when he died, but I’ve been very selfish.”

Wes was shaking his head faster with every word. “No, no … just, …. No.” He tried to stop her from speaking but it didn’t work.

“I am sorry Wes, he was your best friend since you were kids. I’m so sorry.” Sarah didn’t mean to let a tear fall but it did anyway and she wiped away the silvery trail it left behind with such force it left her cheek a dark pink color. Wes moved her hand away from her face by her wrist and touched her lips with his other hand.

“No.” He demanded. Sarah’s mind wondered instantly to his fingers on her lips and wrapped around her wrist. She looked down trying to see her own lips but failed and looked at his instead. Wes hadn’t looked away from her eyes since she started talking.

“No more apologies, Sarah. No one here just lost their father, be selfish, for now. Worry about us later.” He paused wondering if what he thought he was trying to say even made sense, it was all a mush of words that he couldn’t control.

Sarah closed her eyes again and left them resting.

“Wes,” She whispered, her lips moving along his finger, his mouth dropped open on accident but he quickly pulled it back up. “What if I wanted to do something unforgivably selfish?”

Wes thought for an answer. “I’d say you deserve it.” Sarah opened her eyes, they were burning with a new emotion. Wes immediately dropped his hands and sat up completely. The suddenness of his motion startled Sarah but she buried the emotion fast.

“Goodnight, Sarah.” He said quickly as he bolted to the door and barely managed to stammer down the hall to his room. She heard the door slam and she smiled.

“Goodnight, Wes.” She spoke to herself as she sat alone in the silence of the whirlwind in his wake. Sarah stood to turn out her light and close the door before she felt her way to her bed and climbed in. She hugged her pillow and smiled, a smile that was real and felt so very amazingly warm and somehow very familiar.

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