Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#1 (Apt. 606)

The day started as it had for the last 2 weeks, the sharp sound of the his iphone's alarm and a very sleepy Sep. He had settled into his routine well, a shower, bowl of cheerios (no milk), his crisp state farm office clothes. He sat in his new apartment #606, and crunched on his dry cereal. He checked his facebook, refreshing the screen, hoping for messages from his college friends. It was a transition, from a Wake Forest college student with a cohort of friends, his parents paying for his school and his clothes, to this. He had wanted independence, but he’d forgotten that moving away from his parent’s money meant moving away from Jamie, Cal, Jack, and Brent. It meant moving away from saturday pickup games, the swoosh of the ball in the net. It meant moving away from Jamie’s sister, Kim, who may have started to like him. Yes, he’d forgotten what it meant, when he applied for the job at the State Farm office, forgotten what it meant when he placed an offer to rent #606 Winthrop Place, forgotten what it meant when he moved in, put in a double bed, hung up his pictures, put his Wake Forest spirit wear into the mahogany dresser. He’d forgotten what it meant, until saturday morning, when he didn’t put on his worn kd shoes, didn’t adorn his tacky Steph Curry shirt to crack Cal up, didn’t sink the three pointer.

It was a 5 minute walk from Winthrop place to the State Farm office. It gave Sep time to think. It made living in a small, dingy apartment seem so much welcoming compared to the muggy air, pounding rain, and rundown buildings. It made him feel lucky, not to be the homeless guy camped out on the corner of Juniper and Blackburn by the sidewalk, and not to live in the abandoned apartment building by his office.

The air conditioning greeted him as he stepped into the State Farm building, and so did Catelyn. “Sep,” she said, mascara marked eyes boring into him, “Catelyn,” he returned, hurrying out of the room and to his nice safe, solitary cubical. He wouldn’t have to face her again until 5, that was a big “phew” on his part. It was funny that all he longed for when he was in the apartment were friends, but she reversed that feeling, she made him want to run away from her too-short skirts, made-up face. He wanted friends, but not like that.

The day passed, the sun slowly rising and sinking from it’s perch above the lake. Sep emerged from the haze of insurance reports into the evening air around 5:30. The rain sloshed under his shoes. Nevertheless, he took the long way home, passing by the basketball courts that sat on squarely, cemently, and emptily just off of Grayston and Brookline. Someone had left a basketball, and it was rolling lazily in the cold wind. A little orange sun, set on the gray cement sky. Before Sep really knew it, he was flipping his backpack off, his 900$ laptop (his parent’s last attempt at paying for something expensive) inside. Scooping up the ball, he whipped down the court, twisted by the basket (insert: faking Brent out), gave himself a pass (insert: Jack with the bounce pass), and then Bam! Slam dunk! (insert: Cal whooping). He skidded across the court, passing to, sidestepping, faking out his fake teammates and opponents, until he felt something warm on the ball, something, wet, slimy, thick and red. He looked down, there was blood on the ball, blood on the ground, and blood on his fingers. Sep flinched, the corners of his vision growing fuzzy, blood. Too much blood. Too much blood to be his own blood. He looked down to find more, and a note: “I haven’t got rid of me yet, I will return”. Sep’s hands shook.  He ran over to his backpack, red stained fingers smearing the bag until he reached his cellphone.

The police came quickly, and they let him go quickly too. It took them approximatly 25 minutes to proclaim Sep not a suspect. They stood, watching the park cameras, watching himself, walk onto the court oblivious to the existing blood and juke out his imaginary teams. They watch him notice the blood and note and run over to his bag. “Ok son,” The police said, “We can see you didn’t do it. If you’d just leave we need to watch the watch rest of the footage”. As if Sep wanted to be there a moment longer.

He rushed home, and flopped on the floor. He couldn’t even wait for a shower, he needed to talk. He went to the green and white app on his phone and called his mom. "Today started as it usually did but ended..."