A short slice of life. It doesn’t have a deeper spiritual, moral or ethical meaning.
|As soon as he was sixteen, old enough to start working, he found a job. It didn't matter what the job was, it only mattered that the pay was good. As a high school student, he worked after school which was good because he hated being home. If you can call it home. He lived with his father in a crappy neighborhood and in a shitty apartment.Â
Since his mother died his father started using drugs, that was eight years ago.
His father worked as a night security guard at a warehouse and spent his whole paycheck on the rent for the apartment, bills and drugs. Until he started working after school they rarely had any real food. He grew up on junk food and anything he could steal from grocery stores. Now that he had a job, he started buying food but set aside most of his money so that he could leave when he finished high school. He needed enough money to leave and make a fresh start, to make a new life for himself. This apartment, to him, was just a place to eat, shower and sleep, nothing more.
He hated his father, he hated that the drugs were more important to him than his own son. 'Â Two more years, I'll have enough money, I'll finish high school, I'll be eighteen and I'll be rid of this place finally.' The thoughts went through his mind as he grabbed an old camera. It was one of the old cameras that used film tape to take pictures. He opened the back side of the camera, the part for the film tape, and put money in it. It was the place where he hid the money that he put aside from his father so his father wouldn't use it to buy drugs. This was the last place his father would look because he didn't even know he had it.
Graduation day came and he walked into the apartment he lived in his whole life up till now, for the last time. He packed his clothes and his belongings, taking the money he put aside, looked at his room, for the last time, and walked out, for the last time. A week ago he made arrangements. He rented a small apartment on the other side of the city, as far away from this place as he could, and found a new job close to his new apartment.
The apartment he rented was small but it was enough for him. It had a room that served as a living room and a bedroom, a TV, a kitchen and a bathroom. He liked his new job and the pay cowered his living expenses like rent and food. There was even money to put aside for rainy days or to buy something he liked like a computer or a laptop, if he saved money for a few months.
He worked hard and he worked overtime every chance he got. After a year he saved enough money and bought a new phone and a laptop. The Internet was included in the rent so he spent his free time watching action movies. Action movies were his favorite. He never had a chance to go to the cinema or watch the new action movies on the internet because his father spent all of his money on drugs. They didn't even have internet in that shitty apartment.
People he worked with were nice to him, he even made some friends. One night they asked him to go out with them after work, just to hang out and have a few drinks. They took him to a pub, ordered beer and food. After a long time he was having fun. After his third beer, he got up to go to the bathroom. As he was moving through the crowded pub a girl bumped into him spilling half of her glass of beer on him.
"I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry!" She said over and over again.
"It's ok. No worries. It was my fault." He said trying to calm her down.
She looked at him. ' She is so beautiful!
' The thought ran through his head as he just stared back at her.
"I'm sorry. Let me help you clean up." She said putting her half empty glass on the bar.
He just stood there with his shirt and his pants drenched with beer, still staring at her with his mouth slightly open, overwhelmed by her beauty. The bartender gave her a rag, she walked over to him, grabbed his hand and started to lead him to the bathrooms. He followed her still staring at her, speechless.
They reached the area where the bathrooms were. There were fewer people there and it was quieter. She started to clean the beer off of his hands and tried to soak up the beer from his shirt. "I'm really sorry for spilling beer on you." She looked up at his face with an apologetic look on her face. "There was this big guy that pushed me and I lost my balance. It was an accident."
"I..." Speechless he just stared at her beautiful blue eyes 'Â She is so beautiful. I have to say something or she'll think I'm some kind of a weirdoÂ '. He quickly said "Don't worry, it was my fault. I wasn't paying attention. I'm sorry you spilled your beer. Can I buy you a new one?"
A small smile appeared on her face. "No." She said. His heart sank. "It was my fault. I'll buy you a beer as an apology for spilling beer on you and ruining your clothes. If you will let me."
This time a small smile appeared on his face.
They walked over to the bar, returned the rag to the bartender, ordered beer and started talking. The name of the beautiful girl that left him speechless was Emma. They talked for the rest of the night, they stayed even after his colleagues from work left, and had fun. The pub was closing but he didn't want this night to end. He didn't want to stop talking to Emma, he felt that if she left now he will never see her again.
Emma took her phone, looked at him and said "Gimme your phone number."
"I...It's..." She took him by surprise 'Why is she asking me for my phone number? She is so out of my league.' He thought but gave her his phone number. Emma called the number and his phone started ringing.
"Now you have my number. Call me anytime you want to hang out, just don't spill beer on me." She said laughing. They finished drinking their beers, said goodbye and parted ways. Walking home all he could think about was Emma, she was the most beautiful woman he ever saw and she gave him her phone number. He felt so happy.
Next few days he thought about Emma all the time, trying to decide if he should call her or not. 'Â What if I call her and she says no? What should I do then? ' He never felt this way about a girl before and didn't know what to do 'What if she says yes?' He was worried that he'll only do something wrong if he calls her. 'I need to think this through. I don't wanna drive her away.'
The next day his phone rang, it was Emma. He started panicking but answered the phone. "Hi Emma."
"Hi! You doing something tonight?" Emma asked.
"I was gonna watch a movie at home. Nothing special." He answered 'You idiot! I should have said I was doing nothing!'
"A movie? Can I watch it with you?"
'She wants to watch it with me, at my place?' She caught him off guard "Yeah, sure. I'll text you my address." He was starting to get nervous, it started to show in his voice.
"Is it ok if I come around eight?"
"Yeah, no problem. I'll see you then." He tried so hard to hide the nervousness in his voice. As soon as he was done with his job he hurried to the grocery store, bought juice, beer, wine, food, all kinds of snacks and ran home. He wasn't a tidy person, his apartment was a mess, but he had two hours to clean up before Emma came.
It was eight o'clock and Emma wasn't here.'She probably won't come. She is probably messing with me. No. She's probably just late, maybe I didn't give her the right address. Maybe she can't find my apartment.' His thoughts were a mess. He started to panic. The doorbell rang. 'Ohhh...She's here!' As he opened the door he saw Emma, he stopped panicking, smiled and invited her in.
In the morning he was laying on the bed, next to Emma, recalling last night's events over and over in his head. It was the best night of his life so far. He couldn't believe he would ever be so happy. Who could have thought? Yesterday morning he was happy that he was going to watch a new action movie and that now he is happy that Emma is sleeping next to him, wearing one of his T-shirts, her arm resting on his chest.
That first night they spent together started a relationship between them that lasted for years. They fell in love and at one point started living together. Emma taught him how to drive, because his father never did, he passed the driving test and got his driving license. His love of action movies was now equal to his love of cars. Emma always teased him and joked around that he would rather sleep in a car than in a bed and that he would rather watch action movies than see her naked. He loved that about her, she knew how to make him laugh, so beautiful and funny, he still thought he didn't deserve her.
One day he was driving, two dozen roses and a small box with a ring inside it on the passenger seat beside him, hurrying to get home before Emma. They were together for four years now, he loved her and he knew she loved him, it was the right time. He wanted to get everything ready at home so that, when Emma opens the door, he catches her off guard and asks her to marry him. He didn't want to do this in public, he didn't like it when people did that. For him, this was an intimate thing that he wanted to share only with the person he loved, with Emma.
His mind, occupied wit planning the proposal, didn't see that a van drive through a red light as he was driving through the intersection. The van crashed into the front part of his car, into the driver's side of the car.
Thoughts in his head were a bit blurry. He was in a car, driving really fast. There was a car chasing him. 'Where am I? What's going on? Why is that car chasing me?' He didn't understand he got into this situation. He looked around the car. It wasn't his car, it was his favorite Mustang, he always talked about how he's gonna buy it one day, but it was so expensive he could only dream about owning it. The car chasing him was also a sports car like the ones from the action movies he watched. 'Are they chasing me because my father owns money to a drug dealer and they found out he had a son? Do they want money for his drugs from me?' Whoever was in the car that was chasing him started shooting at him. 'These guys mean business!' He thought and started driving faster trying to lose them. The chase continued.
Emma was sitting in a chair beside a hospital bed in which he was lying in a coma. She was leaning against the bed, holding his right hand, a ring on her finger, recounting the action movie she saw yesterday to him. She was telling him about this epic chase scene where the good guy was driving a Mustang, his favorite model he always wanted, and how he was trying to lose the car that was chasing him, hoping that he will hear her. Hoping that hearing a loved one's voice, her voice, talking about the two things he loved the most, action movies and cars, would be enough to make him hear her and make him wake up.
For two weeks Emma sat beside him holding his hand, recounting the scenes from his favorite movies and telling him about his favorite cars. One evening she fell asleep leaning on his bed, holding his hand when something woke her up.
Emma felt him squeeze her hand. She looked up at his face and saw him looking back ad her.