My favorite color had always been white. It seemed calm, but still managed to draw wandering eyes of strangers who passed by on the cross walks. The stripes to cross walks were also white. They showed awareness, and protection. But white is also a very plain and vulnerable color. It keeps hold of things that splash and rake across it, like jelly, and paint, and stray bits of kelly green Playdough. I think that’s why my dad never got me any of the white clothes that I would ask for. We would leave the store with the same shirt in musty yellows or blinding pinks. White could also be blinding, if it was sunny outside.
That was why my eyes moved on their own, to that boy walking towards me.
He was staring back at me too, but I didn’t know why.
I felt a tugging in my gut, like I was being dragged by something, but not in any direction that I could make out.
I didn’t blink; or at least I resisted against the twitching of my eyelid, only the have my mouth peel open in awe instead. The light flickered black and white, and then black again, then back to white. Was I going to faint? No. Was I going to stop staring? No.
I realized I was almost half way across the street. My legs had been moving save my thoughts. Thank you legs, for having a mind absent from the mush that subsided in my skull. Maybe you can help me with my math homework…
‘What was I doing again? Oh yeah, that guy, where’d he go?’
My eyes had glazed during my semi-conscious dwelling, and refocusing sent a sharp pain to my head, above my eyebrows.
The boy was gone, and all that remained was the few other people I had left the curb with, and the cracked sidewalk I was approaching. I guess he had passed me.
Stepping up onto the curb I was determined not to look back; for some reason I felt he was looking for just that kind of unexplainable satisfaction. Something someone does that makes you unconsciously want to smirk. For me, it’s the feeling of knowing someone has fallen for a trap that was perfectly planned; you were just waiting for the first victim.
Stepping up off the asphalt but not out of harms way, I held my head a little higher, and my strides became slightly steadier.
Was he my age? Was he with someone else?
I didn’t remember if he was with anyone…his family, a friend, a girlfriend…meh. It didn’t really matter anyway, I would probably only stay here for 6 months, no more than a year and a half. Making friends would be easy but dealing with leaving would be the opposite. I don’t know if I wanted to deal with that.
The longest I had been somewhere for one stay would probably have to be in South America; either Chile or Brazil. One of the architects my dad was working with had a her kid with her, and I guess we became friends. We had kept in touch after I left, mainly through postcards. But they weren’t real postcards, they were actually just pictures we had taken (usually of a site our parent was rigorously uncovering) with a sentence or joke scribbled on the back.
But whatever. I only stayed for 16 months, and we never actually unpacked, but it’s not like we ever do. I don’t mean that in a bitter way, it’s just how things are. If I unpack too much, I’m bound to forget where I put something, and then end up loosing it. Either that, or I fool myself into thinking there’s room in my suitcase for more. When it’s time to pack, I realize there isn’t room.
When it doesn’t fit, I don’t try to stuff it in, so I just leave it instead.
That’s how I am. There’s no room inside myself to fit others. I’m not really interested in other people, and if I only know them for months I don’t see the point of even trying to make friends. I can preoccupy myself with other things, like I always have, and this stay won’t be anything different.
I climbed the concrete stairs to our average apartment that we have been provided with during the duration of my dads’ assignment. Searching my pocket for the key, I shifted the bag of groceries that was getting heavier and heavier.
Nothing special, just another couple of months, in a different apartment, with a different bed to sleep in, and a different school with boring, tacky, tile patterns.
Jiggling handle, the door pushed open, and I made my way inside the complex, and began my accent to the 7th floor.
There are plenty of different people just like always, but different does not mean interesting.
And if something is not interesting, you just leave it be. Just leave it be.