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the attic

Bard Essay

The Lounge | The Techie Bible | Other Stories | Six

            Something that could only be described as a dull roar surrounded us. It was that kind of incomprehensible noise that you recognize as inane chatter and shufflings of feet and shopping bags. Only if a person was on top of you or closer could you hear what they were saying, and even then that was only three times out of eight. The strand of glass along the archways blinked to mislead any toddler into believing that a dozen fireflies were moving between the bulbs. Our eyes lit up and a carnival spirit inflated our voices to top those of the surrounding multitude.

            Chair legs scraped along the tile floor sending thousands of spiders in retreat up my spine; the boys were at it again. “I bought it, give it back!” Justin yelled as he chased Chris around the table. These may have been the toddlers that I had previously been talking about, but no, they weren’t.

            “Stop it! You’re embarrassing me!” Chris’s girl friend and my best friend, Sam, cried. Gooey red ketchup from the burger she was holding tightly, to prevent thievery, dribbled down her chin as she attempted to speak with her mouth full. Her hair matched the ketchup, for now, and I marveled that it hadn’t fallen out yet. Her ice blue eyes pierced into Chris’s head with annoyance, but he didn’t notice. Finally catching up to him, Justin grabbed Chris’s shirt collar. It was too late; Chris was shoving the last golden onion ring into his greasy, crumb cluttered mouth.

            “I’m a mooch,” he attempted to mumble. “What can I say?” I thought that Justin was going to loose his temper, but his clenched fists relaxed as he took his seat to my right. Without even looking I moved my own onion rings from my tray to his. He smiled a thank you but I pretended not to notice.

            “Hey! Why did you give them to him?” Mike yelled, removing the head phones that he had been wearing for the past three hours, ignoring us completely through no fault of our own or consideration from him.

            “Did you ask?” I reasoned. He shook his head and I shrugged, ending the conversation. We may have all been the same age, seniors in high school if you can believe it, but I was the mother.

            “I’m not tawkin’ ta you,” Sam said to Chris in her Staten Island accent as he sat down next to her, laughing. What else was new? They were more like feuding siblings than a couple anyhow.

            A voice sang out from nowhere as if a goddess was about to rebuke our juvenile behavior. It started as simple white noise but reached a crescendo as words formed, “Half an hour until the mall closes. Half an hour until the mall closes. Thank you and good night.” I took a slurping final swig from my Coca Cola. I was about to ask if any of the group needed a ride home but I realized that the last of us had finally gotten his license the week before.

            “Same time next week?” I asked the group. They all nodded their own reply and we dispersed, separately or in pairs. I walked alone through the movie theater and out into the brisk night air. The chill snuck through the thin material of my sweat shirt; the lights of the parking lot, though imitating the sun, radiated no heat whatsoever. Slamming the door behind me, I turned on the car and cranked up the heat. ‘What’s My Age Again’ by blink-182 suddenly drifted out of my speakers and I smiled to myself. Even though we didn’t see each other during the days, despite the fact that we attended the same high school, Friday was our day and no one could take it away from us.

The Scariest Thing About Memories is Believing You Will Forget Them