First revision of a draft started a couple years ago. This is the first couple pages.
|I had no idea how long I’d been laying on the couch dozing. When I awoke I absently reached for the remote before I remembered the cable was turned off last month, the internet the week before, and the phone the week before that. All in all I was a mess. I knew I should go take a shower but what I really wanted was to go back to sleep; just as I closed my eyes a loud banging on the door brought me back to reality.
Stretching lazily, I got up from the couch and began to walk to the front door wondering what bad news was coming to greet e now. There was a period of time where I hid from the bad news, didn’t answer the door or phone, instead opting to pretend nothing was going wrong. As time passed, I grew so apathetic to the bad news, the unpaid bills and collection calls that I started answering the door, and phone when it worked, just to tell them to stop calling I have no money. It didn’t work, of course, they kept calling, but at least I felt a little more proactive. When I opened the door I found my landlord, an old family friend, standing on the other side looking disheartened. Before he even took a breath to speak I knew what was coming, “One more week. Then you pay or you leave.” He turned around and left. I wanted to get mad, but I just didn’t care, besides he’d been so nice. I hadn’t paid rent in months, I should have been gone a long time ago. He called to me as the door was shutting behind him, “Ally,” his brown eyes big and sad, which made the rest of him look a little cow like given his short round stature and nearly bald head, “do you think you’re making you’re father proud right now? He expected more from you.” Then he left.
The pain always started in my chest where it tightened over my heart before spreading outward. It happened every time someone mentioned him I had believed with time the pain would subside to an ache and then eventually stop. I knew the sadness would never leave, that was good, the sadness meant I would always remember him. I hadn’t thought the pain would take me by storm and never end, counseling didn’t help, my friends didn’t help, nothing made me feel better. So I stopped going to the counsler, to my friends, and then eventually, to work. The only thing that took away the pain was work. And drinking. Now I felt nothing but sadness, and was about to have nothing but sadness as well. I looked around my apartment.
It was small, no reason for too much space for just me, but it was cozy and I loved it from the instant I saw it. The door opened to my living room, which had standard beige furniture, a couch and large chair with an ottoman , from there I could walk straight back to the dining area. I had a small round table with two chairs pushed off to the bar, to the left of which was the kitchen and directly behind the table was a sliding glass door that led out to my balcony. Which was also small and overlooked an empty expanse of grass beyond which sat a road. I stared out the door, I loved to sit on the balcony and I wasn’t going to be able to any more. I was not going to have a balcony, or a cozy chair, or a home. I felt a different kind of sadness at this loss, there was no way I was going to be able to get caught up on my rent in a week. I should not have even let my life come to this. The sadness hadn’t gone because I wouldn’t let it, instead I held on to it too tight and used it as a way to try and replace him, or keep him, neither of which could be done in reality. I let the sadness take over my whole life, and now I was on the brink of nothing. I didn’t mind losing the cable, internet, or phone, but this was my home. I sighed, I knew I had to do something, of course getting a job was something I had to do, maybe if I got a job my landlord would extend a little more leeway to me, but he may not. I needed as much money as I could get as quickly as I could get it. I headed to the shower to get off to a fresh start.
After I was nice and clean and starting to feel uplifted, I began to clean the mess that had become my apartment. There were dishes piled in the sink and dirty dishes piled on the counters as well. The floor needed to be swept and mopped, the co0unters wiped down, the fridge cleaned out, and that was just the kitchen. When I had finished cleaning up my apartment I went back to the couch and sat instead of laying on it for the first time in a while. I felt overwhelmed with having to start over looking for a job. I had gotten my previous job almost directly out of college and was there for six years. It seemed like forever since I had to do interviews and resumes. I didn’t even know where to start anymore. Maybe some time out of the house would do me some good.
I gathered up my purse and keys, slid on some shoes and headed out the door. My landlord noticed me as I hopped off the last stair, he gave me a startled look, which amused me so I smiled and winked at him as I headed out the front door of my building. I marveled at how well I felt, and so suddenly. Sulking about in my apartment had stalled the healing process, I guess. The sadness was still there, I had already known it would never leave, but I was feeling exhilarated at the thought of just being out in the fresh air, putting things back together, having an actual life again. I decided against driving, I would walk around the block instead. Deep breaths of autumn air always made me feel good, it was crisp, cool, and fresh. No other season had air which could rival fall. The colors, too, they were vivid and stupendous, joy rose from stomach up to my head and tears stung my eyes from the elation of being again instead of just existing. Fall is my favorite season and exactly for this kind of day. I was chilly, but not freezing, it was evening, but not quite dark yet. Perfect. The most perfect fresh start I could have ever asked to have.