Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crab Mentality (Part 3)

   He opened the door and walked out, but Mother had told him not to leave whenever she was away. The flames had stopped peering out of his doorway. He had to call for help, but he would do that only if he couldn't stop the fire himself. He went back into their house, and went into the bathroom. There was a small pail of water in the bathroom. He took the pail and walked into his room. Then he saw. That there was. No fire on the wall. The whole wall looked the same as it did when they moved in. It wasn't burned at all. What did I see? Could I have just made it all up? How could I have imagined it if I was so scared of it?
   He left the pail on the cemented floor of his room. He walked to the wall and raised his right hand to touch the spot where he had seen the fire. He carefully and gently felt the smooth wood with his fingers, scared that the fire would appear again and burn his hand. I couldn't be dreaming.
    He sat on the mattress to put his shoes on as he glanced at the wall, then he left the room. He sat on the edge of his mother's mattress, and brought out his black Nokia 1202 from the right pocket of his pants. "It's scary in here," he typed, and sent the message to Kim's cellphone number.
   He waited one minute, two minutes, and so on. No reply. He waited and waited.

   "Why? What scared you?"
   "Nothing. It's just in our room, but we're leaving, so it's okay," Chalano replied to Kim, who had texted back 30 minutes later.
   The bags and their belongings filled the back and the trunk of the car. The car smelled of orange-scented air freshener and the new bags that Mother had bought. His mother turned the engine on. Her hair was in a ponytail, and she wore a red blouse, black pants, and black, high-heeled shoes (she loved that attire). She asked, "Your best friend?"
   "Yes."
   "But you said that you're scared," Kim texted again.
   "No, I'm not scared; I just said that it was scary in the place where we stayed."
   "Really? 'Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.' You wouldn't say that it's scary if you weren't scared. It's in your subconscious, but you still wouldn't admit it. The thing about living is to be honest with yourself."
   "What?"
   "Hey, I'm just joking!"
   Chalano was smiling to himself, "You sounded Greek to me."
   "Well, really, what makes your place scary?"
   "It's a looong story. I'll tell you about it when I'm home. Texting in the car gets me dizzy."
   "Alright. Bon voyage!"
    Speaking with Kim made him feel a lot better, but he remembered that strange place again. Sitting on the passenger seat, Chalano looked out the window as their gray Mitsubishi Lancer moved out of the narrow driveway. There were moss on some parts of the walls of their little house, and a big rubber tree was standing beside it.
   He had thought that the place was strange even when they had just moved in. There was something gloomy about it. He'd never heard or seen things before they moved into this place. One of his classmates, John, had said that he was crazy. Maybe he was really crazy, or maybe there was just something wrong with this place. It was relieving to leave it and its creepyness.
   She wondered what he was thinking about. He was so quiet when she came back home with the additional bags that she'd bought from a nearby store. She hoped that he enjoyed their vacation. She wanted him to grow up into an individual who knew his way around. That was why she kept bringing him beyond their neighborhood. As she drove down the road and into the highway, she really wished that her beloved son appreciated the trip.
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