Chapter 3:

Destiny loves curveballs

I watched Life Spring into my eyes

My mother came in a jiffy to pick me up from the park in her Prius took her about 15-20 minutes or so, even though our house was about 35 minutes away.

Once she was in my view, she slammed on the brakes making the tires roar loudly then forcing the car to a halt, she then jumped out of the car to try and help me into the car--if I let her that is. 

She called out to me in a frantic manner with an overbearing amount of worry seeping from her. Disgruntled, I quickly walked over to the backdoor of the car and got in--shutting the door on her. 

Shortly after, she got back into the driver's seat and asked what had happened. “Nothing….just take me home.” “Oh...ok,” she said in a somber tone, she didn’t ask a single question throughout the whole drive.

 See that’s the thing about my mom, she worries herself until she is sick. She is always there for anyone even if it might kill her...I just want her to adore her life...and learn to enjoy the life I won’t be able to be a part of. Like old Murph said to her dad as she was on her deathbed in Interstellar-- “No parent should have to watch their own child die.”

Just as my body jolted from the sudden acceleration of the car I reached into my pocket for my phone sighing while opening up the map's application. On it, I pinpointed the nearest Walgreens in Milsbury.

Milsbury was an odd town that I would like to say was like no other, while it held the qualities of being an urban town it was predominantly suburban when it came to housing…you see Milsbury was more like an urban-suburban city with a population of about 70,000 people. It’s a quaint place with so much natural beauty it’s hard to believe that you can actually find a convenience store on a corner but not be able to find a park within a mile of your house. Besides all of that seemingly nerdy stuff I absolutely love this city, I don’t care for much of anything outside of it since I have most of the nature I need right in my own backyard—you’ll see what I mean. I have never really traveled unless it was for doctor appointments and such and I don’t like airplane flights one bit, they’re horrible both for me physically and mentally, thus allowing me to spend a majority of getting to love my town…especially the park that I frequent which I went to today called “laberinto” Spanish for a labyrinth.

*ping* “Your route to the nearest Walgreens has begun…take a…” the virtual assistant on my phone comes alive as I set a destination for a Walgreens nearby. I make sure the virtual assistant is loud enough for my mom to hear it at the front of the car so she can head there, not really wanting to interact with her after the slew of events. “Could you at least tell me if it was severe? A concussion? bullies? One of your paralysis attacks?” My mom incessantly asks.

“It was just that I tripped mom, no big deal. I've just been feeling a bit under the weather since the morning and I want to pick up a couple of Pokémon booster packs before we head home.” I respond, slightly giving into her inquisition.

“Well alright, you remember what doctor Rodney said, right?” she inquires worrisomely again. “I remember what every doctor has said…every single one.” the words slip from my lips like a snowstorm caking the surface of the world. At first glance they are harmless but once you look further into the storm, you see the deep cold and loneliness that exists. I pull the cord for my headphones out of my pocket and connect it into the aux port of my phone, slowly slipping the earbuds in and letting the bass drown out the hyperactive world surrounding me.

As I drift to sleep I make sure to rest my head on the side that doesn’t have dry blood trailing down my temple so that mom won’t over-exert her worry and force me into a hospital bed for the next few days. All the worry and music coalesce into something harmonious, almost like a high dose of a sleeping elixir...I drift into the untamed world of sleep.

*Tap* *Tap* *Tap*

I feel a slight pat on my left shin, “mmm?” I scratch my eyes as I look down at my legs and find someone's hand, my mother's hand tapping my left shin. “We’re here Theo, here you go. You already know the pin and everything. You sure you don’t want me to help you out?” Mom asks as she holds out her debit card. “I’m fine, I’ll be quick.” The words escape my mouth in a drowsy manner, each word tumbling behind the other while I tap around the door trying my best to reach for the handle and grab the debit card from her hand simultaneously.

Once out of the car I shut the door closed and take a big yawn followed by one of those extremely satisfying stretches I walk from the parking lot to the Walgreens just ahead. I rub my bloodied temple as I enter the Walgreens, the bright light above blinding my eyes, and the glint that rolls off of the white floors make me nauseous with each step I take and forces me to squint. To my surprise, I catch the glimpse of a worker roaming about the entrance carrying a yellow sign reading “CAUTION SLIPPERY WHEN WET.” I ask in a soft voice, “H-hello, Is there a bathroom that I could use?” The worker turns to look up at me and I can now see their full face and their actually large figure “Bathroom?'s all the way at the back and on the right.” He replies quickly. “Thank you” I replied as I walked towards the aforementioned directions, not really caring if he heard or not, just anxious to wash my face and get the hell out.

After washing my face off and all places where the blood may have been, I rub my eyes and stare at the white lights that hang over each aisle, my eyes finally adjusting to the brightness but not the white floors or faint smell of medicine that started to emerge.

I groan softly as I begin my trudge towards the last aisle on the far left side of the store. There I find a bunch of toys misaligned and disrupted from their preconceived positions on each self. I groan ever more loudly now realizing that I would have to search through this amalgamation of toys to find some old booster packs. I crouch and quickly get to work excavating each mountain of toys searching for that slim plastic feeling that is so unique to booster packs, but my concentration is constantly broken by a television booming just above my head, constantly going silent then exploding with a Dove soap commercial. “Aggghhhh, dammit,” I say as I bite my bottom lip and shift everything around--this minimal exertion literally caused me to hyperventilate. Breathing rapidly I rub my temples again and suddenly a newscaster basically screams out, “Breaking news: teenage international sensation ‘Luna’ missing. Reports say that she missed a small concert that was supposed to be held here in Milsbury about a month ago and has not contacted her agency or has appeared in public since. Her manager and family eagerly await her arrival. If you know anything about her whereabouts please contact 1 (700) 780-2203.”

Then, an image overtook the screen and presented a fair-skinned girl with what I believe to be an exaggerated amount of makeup dressing her face. The makeup, however, wasn't as much to beautify but exaggerate the appearance of the girl. She had multi-colored circles around her face that seemed like bubbles but more noticeable was a strip of black that ran across the bridge of her nose and covered both her eyes. was messy but organized in what seemed like two buns that sat on top of her head while the rest of her hair was levitated pointing to the left of the screen almost like a huge wind was blowing.

But there was something that entranced me more than her odd makeup and obsidian-like hair, it was her sharp jawline and perfectly rounded head. “All that makeup for what seems like a beauty,” I said as I stared at the screen and rubbed my chin, pondering; then it clicked.

“A..Ariana?” I whispered to myself as the final piece of the puzzle satisfyingly slid into its predetermined spot. Her soft hazel eyes, now brighter than before, allowed me to take into account her whole face almost like someone who just finished a thousand-piece puzzle and steps back to view what they wasted a portion of their life on; satisfied but wanting more.

In the picture, she wore a bright smile that accentuated the soft skin that hid under the makeup, like a mask that hid the true her from the world. I stood there puzzled trying my best to sort out my thoughts. She’s famous? Did she run away from the fame? OBVIOUSLY, idiot, do you think a beauty like that would just happen to be in Milsbury of all places in the world? AND OF ALL THINGS, TALK TO YOUUUUU???!?!?!?!?

Before I could get my thoughts together the newscaster had already moved onto other news and the only words that can escape my mouth are...


Real Aire