Could You Catch Me
I walk out of my room when Helen knocks on the door, announcing that it's time for dinner. Helen is mumbling in Spanish to herself and shaking her head, making her gray hair fall from its ponytail. Because I only know enough Spanish to get by I have no idea what she's saying, and will not ask her what's wrong unless she offers.
"Juliana, I must get home and handle some matters", she says as we walk into the dinning room. "I made your favorite soup and grilled cheese."
I sit down at my grand oak table and pick up my spoon. I hate eating alone and Helen knows this. But something must really be important if she'd leave me alone. I try to put a fake smile on my face but I can tell from Helen's reaction that I didn't try hard enough. She bends over and kisses me on the cheek.
"I will be back early tomorrow", she says as she slides her purse on her shoulder. "And just in case you awaken before I arrive I set out breakfast."
"Bye Helen", I say around a mouthful of noodles.
Helen smiles at me before she turns to leave. I watch her ,my stomach sinking. I try and eat the yummy chicken noodle soup she left me, but it feels like sawdust in my mouth. I push the bowl away and walk upstairs to my library and curl into my favorite sofa.
When I was younger my parents noticed I'd take a liking to reading and thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. Both of my parents were writers, so to think their only child loved to read so much made them ecstatic. They cleared out one of the many junky rooms in our home and turned it into a mini library that included every book both of them wrote, all of my favorites and all of their favorites.
My mother was a erotic novelist and never let me read her work when I was younger. She always warned that if I read one of her novels she would feel it and come and punish me. I didn't believe her until the year I turned fourteen and decided to read one anyway.
I was traumatized for about a week,
At the end of that week my mother came up to me with a smile on her face that said I told you so. It wasn't until long after she was gone when I picked up one of her novels again. My mothers writing was beautiful: it was a mixture between sexuality and passion. It made me want all the things in life I would probably never have.
On the other hand, my father wrote horror and some mystery novels. I use to be really into his writing when they were alive, but since their death I had yet to even pick up one of his stories. Don't get me wrong: he was as good as a writer as my mother. It was just the topic he wrote on I didn't think I'd be able to cope with.
I pulled one of my mothers novels called "One Of Those Nights" down and smiled. On the cover was a slim boy with long shaggy hair and tight jeans. He held a tiny slime brunette in his arms. I loved how awkward and unlikely the pair seemed especially since I had read the book a million times.
I opened the front cover and smiled as I was taken into the world my mother created before her death.
"Mom, can we play make-up?" A five year old me asked a ghost of my mother. My mothers long brunette hair was gray and filled with cobwebs, her beautiful blue eyes were gone and all you could see were the empty sockets where they should be. Five year old me didn't seem to mind, as I played with the lipstick on her vanity.
"Mommy has no makeup." She replied dully. This was not her usual sing song voice that I was used to. This voice was drab, dead.
"Mommy when are you coming back?" Five year old me asked as I rubbed lipstick on my tiny lips. The lipstick got everywhere, on my cheeks, on my teeth, on my nose. My zombie mother reached over and took the tube from me, smiling a smile that showed decayed and missing teeth.
"I'm dead Juliana."
Yea, she's dead.
I groan at the pain in my neck when I wake up and stretch. I look at my watch and notice I slept for eight hours straight. The book that I was reading has fallen to the ground and my place marker is gone. I pad out of the library and into my own room and sigh.
I listen to wait for a reply, for Helen to tell me to stop yelling in the house: but I hear nothing. I go back down the stairs and into the kitchen and see the food Helen left out for me and the breakfast for the next day.
"Geesh I can't even make my own cereal", I say as I peck into the bowl sitting on the counter. I grab a cereal bar from the cabinet before heading back upstairs and into my room.
I munch on the cereal bar and cut on some aero smith. I love aero smith, my dad got me turned onto them. He use to play it all the time while he was writing, so by default I played it when I wrote. It made me feel close to him to have something special to him, special to me. I could still see the way his eyes would sparkle as he sang along to Janies got a gun. Sometimes he would twirl mother around to Dream on and they would laugh and smile like two teenagers in love.
I would never have that.
"Stupid", I think say aloud as I tear trails down my face. I cut off the music and climb from my bed as the doorbell rings.
"Hurry up gurlie!"
I open the front door to a very happy and bubbly Stephanie. She reaches out and envelopes me in a tight embrace, her perfume making it hard for me to breathe. She lets go of me and I retreat into the house knowing she will follow behind me.
Stephanie knows of my condition, though she isn't very considerate when it comes down to it. She's constantly making mention to things going on outside, she constantly brings me flowers, she's always asking me to meet her somewhere, and she tries to hook me up with her male friends.
She can be severely annoying at times.
"Oh dear, you haven't gotten over your paranoia yet?" She asks as she follows me into the living room. She wipes away at imaginary dust on the table and makes a sound under her breath. "Oh Helen really is letting the place go."
I sit down on the opposite couch and cross my legs. "Helen is doing a fine job." I say, not bothering to keep the menace from my tone. "And I don't suffer from paranoia, it's an actual medical condition."
"Yeah, whatever", she says as she turns her body to reach in her bag. Though I try not to I roll my eyes. God, can you say rude?
"Well I cant stay long." Hallelujah, I think. "I have a very important meeting with another of my writers. You know", she trails off, an evil smile on her face. I know she's about to say something stupid just from the way she's smiling at me like she wants to eat me.
"You should come with me!"
I blink several times, my eyes watering from trying not to laugh. My condition was no where near funny, in fact I hated it with a passion: but the thought of me going outside is ridiculous.
"Miss Juliana is going no where", Helen says, coming from no where with a plate of cookies. She sets them down on front of us and Stephanie makes a face.
"Oh, hello Helen, I didn't know you were here."
Helen stands back up and looks at Stephanie in that don't play with me look. "I just got back actually, I felt bad for leaving work early."
"Oh Helen", I say as I stand up. "I'm not a child, you can go home. Don't worry about me."
Stephanie stands up and wipes imaginary dust from her pants. "Well, I guess I shall see you later Juliana." She steps toward me and pulls me into a hug that has me gasping for breath. "Take care of yourself."
Stephanie doesn't bother to say goodbye to Helen she just walks past her and out the door. Helen watches her, an angry expression on her face before she turns back to me.
"Miss Juliana, I must speak with you. It is a major urgent." Helen takes my arm and leads me back to the sofa to sit down. I nod for her to continue and after she takes a deep breath she does. "I am getting kicked out of my apartment and I have no where to go. I do not want to impose but you have three guest rooms that are never of use so I was wondering, maybe you could doc my pay and I could stay there until I find a new apartment."
I jump up and pull Helen close to me. "No silly, you can stay here for free. I've been begging for you to move in."
"Miss Juliana, it'll only be temporary." She says as I release her.
"Whatever you say Helen" I say with a wink.
Helen burst into laughter, clutching her stomach and bending over. I cant help but join her.