My Midnight Story

Moved from my other account, ElMundoEstaLoco--I'm not somebody else copyrighting! It's the same story.

I'm currently working on something else I know right so annoying but I'll try to continue this story as soon as possible.

Chapter 1

Summer Doldrums--Impact

"'Cause life's too short to take it slow-ow-ow. . . ." croons the rather high-pitched, auto-tuned voice of the lead singer of Owl City, and I scowl, twirling my purple earbuds around my finger. Life isn't short. Life has never been short. Sure, some peoples' lives are cut shorter than others', but there is a saying that rivals the ridiculous "life is short", and I found it on the internet: "life isn't short. Life is the longest goddamned thing you will ever do."

Damn straight.

I pull off my flip-flops once I reach the garage, toss them onto the Great Shoe Pile near the door, and continue walking outside. I don't know where. Maybe to the library, or to my old middle school, or to my old elementary school which is being torn down and I will never see it as I once remembered it ever again. Maybe I should do that.

All these thoughts cross my mind as I walk, barefooted, up my cul-de-sac, the hot pavement burning my feet. It's summer, the summer before I enter high-school, and since the new school gets out a week after mine and won't have time to contact me about summer work, I have a whole lot of nothing to do until then.

And it's the middle. Of the second day. I do not think I am going to make it. Boredom does not suit an ever-flying mind.

Pulling out my brutally damaged, yet well-loved iPod, I switch the song from Owl City to something that creates more adrenaline. "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons has the potential to make even a walk through the neighborhood seem badass. But since the adrenaline seething through my body only switches my mind into hyper-drive, I start to contemplate "life is short" a little more.

Some peoples' lives are comparatively short. I mean, a baby, only just born, that dies of . . . I don't know . . . some disease, something newborn babies are prone to, now that is a short life. Compare that to a fly, however, which only lives a few days anyway; not really, the baby has lived all it can. Compare a teenager hit by a car to a dog that would only have lived to be a teenager itself, and humans really have full lives. If everyone lived as long as they possibly could, then we have really long lives. Of course, compared to some species of turtles. . . .

I turn my music up as I enter the neighborhood park, because thinking about human mortality versus other animals is bizarre even for me and not suitable for a public place, where someone could possibly be reading my mind. Not that I've ever really believed that. Being paranoid that my thoughts are not private is a horrible feeling to have in a park filled with people enjoying the lovely summer day; I climb up the hill and sit under the shade of some oak trees (ouch, acorns, bare feet) to watch some of the kite-fliers and picnickers.

The picnics make me a little hungry, which doesn't make any sense to me because I only just woke up an hour ago and ate lunch a few minutes ago. My messed up sleep schedule requires staying up until midnight, and then sleeping until noon, which is not ideal or healthy, but I enjoy it. It allows me to cut back on meals and stay up until there's nobody else awake to bother me.

As the faint breeze the kite-fliers are pinning their hopes on dries my hair, "Radioactive" switches to "Uprising" by Muse and suddenly I have the urge to burn something down. Why does music have this effect on me? Is it normal? Do normal people have to deal with it?

And what do I mean, deal with it? I wouldn't trade regular listening for feeling. Not for anything.

Anyway, back to reality. I need to stop thinking. I need to start . . . doing.

I'm sitting on the giant hill in the park, overlooking the meadow, dappled by trees and kite-fliers and picnickers, I check my watch. It is precisely 13:26 pm, or 1:26 pm Eastern Standard Time. That means I have much of the afternoon to kill and nobody looking for me at all until around six o'clock, for dinner. I need to decide what I want to do.

"They will not force us; they will stop degrading us. They will not control us; we will be victorious." Muse plays angrily in my ears and the itchy feeling to move, filling every inch of my body and tickling me down to the bone, where I can't satisfy it, makes me get up and scan my options, in order from how far away they are from my current location.

Old middle school: closest, just down the road. Possibly teachers there, still grading papers, and since I love my old teachers it would be nice to see them again. But there could also be summer school there, and I do not want to interrupt that. . . .

Library: Up the street from middle school. Endless amounts of books and quiet and reading space. However, I don't have my library card and I forgot the book that I'm already reading.

Old elementary school: farthest away; I'd have to go all the way around both my old middle school and the library to get there, plus another long road. And it's under construction so technically it's a no-trespassing zone.

And I'm not wearing shoes. So every option is ruled out unless I go back to my house and get them.

No way. . . . Maybe later.

I become a rebel and head the direction opposite all three of my choices, the direction of the older part of town, which leads to the richer part of town. The wind has died completely, leaving the outside world a humid, sticky mess; all of the kite-fliers have abandoned all hope and retreated into air-conditioned areas. My already-soggy hair is sticking to my face and neck with sweat and I reach into my pocket, pulling out a hairband, and not-so-expertly tie the damp hair into a ponytail.

Talk about a bad hair day. This is why I prefer winter.

My pockets contain numerous hairbands, papers of varying importance, my phone, my iPod, and a few writing utensils, but no money, so even if I had shoes I wouldn't be able to stop at any of the stores in the older part of town. I don't think I ever have stopped at any of the stores in the older part of town. They're mostly Really Fancy restaurants that "kids" like me wouldn't be caught dead in, one of which is a tavern so yeah, don't think so. Another one everyone knows is some sort of clothing store that advertises with mannequins in the windows, and as a younger kid I liked staring at the soft-looking material they wore as we passed by.

I remember that when I was younger, there was a small not-store called . . . I don't remember what it was called. Something creative—Imagine-something. We would get dropped off there during the summer, like daycare, and basically just make things; we could weave, paint, glue Lincoln Logs together and build something from that, whatever. It was an art daycare that was really expensive and I loved it, but after a while they moved somewhere else and I never heard of it again.

I wonder, if they were still there, would they let me in to come weave miniature scarves again? Even if I'm not wearing shoes?

Walking along the main road, I pace for a few minutes, letting the songs switch from one adrenaline-rush to the next. There are more options now, and I don't particularly like it. One way, to my left, is a Kroger market where I can basically just walk around the building and stare at the people who come and go. I rule that option out immediately; though I've lived here forever and people, like, know me, I don't want to be mistaken for homeless.

Another option, up ahead and to my left, is the pharmacy, which is like a smaller Kroger with less food and more junk. You can basically find anything at the pharmacy. But, again, I cannot go in, so alas, option two has been overruled.

Which leaves option three, and that is not ideal. Venturing into The Richer Part of Town is very not ideal, considering I'm not wearing shoes and I could very well get lost, as that place is huge. I mean, it's a forest. They built giant mansions in a forest.

But I love the hills, the vastness of the place, the gorgeous old (and even some of the new) houses that look built for royalty. I even love flinging insults at the people who live there, things like "Oh, I hope the people in there aren't just a middle-aged couple with no children, hogging that house all to themselves, selfish pigs; that mansion could house three families" and "Jesus, how many 'Vote for Mitt Romney!' signs are there? Why can't there be one intelligent rich person?" Then I'd laugh at myself because I really don't have a problem with people who are Republican; politics is something my parents stress over and, I don't know, I guess I get caught up in it, even though I've never really cared.

Ever since I'd learned that The Rich Part of Town existed, and was considerably more beautiful than my neighborhood (not knocking my neighborhood, however, 'cause we're doing alright), I'd always begged my parents to drive through there as often as they could. And since now there isn't anything better to do, why not?

Pressing the button that magically tells the lights to change, I can't believe how much traffic there is for so late in the day. I guess it's the lunch hour, but there isn't usually a blockage of people on this road during the daytime; usually the morning is busy, and the evening during five to six pm is Stop-and-Go Hour, with more stop than go. But the cars whiz by me, one by one, and as the light turns yellow it occurs to me that I haven't actually been to this area of my relatively tiny town during this hour of the day. Unless I'm getting out of school early to go to the doctor's office.

I need to get out more.

The light blazes an eye-burning red and the sign tells me, in crude stick-figure language, that I may walk across the street, and so, keeping my eyes pinned to the ground in case of broken bottles (the tavern is on that side of the street, after all) I walk out into the middle of the street.

Out of the blue, several horns start to blare, at me is all I can register, that I can't get out of the way fast enough is all my body believes and I stand frozen, not even bracing for impact.

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