Sorry this is so incredibly late but… it is what it is. I decided to write some fiction today. It is my favorite type of writing to do. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it.
The TV was humming downstairs, the noise of the city was too loud.
“Julie,” Someone downstairs was calling me.
I wanted to ignore it, but paused on my way up stairs to call down, “I’m going to bed,” And hurried up two flights of stairs to the attic.
As I pushed the door open a warm, woody smell wafted out. I almost started crying. How long had it been since I was last here? Three whole months of being away from my attic. It was a small space with wooden beams and four round windows, one on each side. It was dusty with boxes of forgotten things piled all around.
I passed by everything that I had left up here in May; my guitar, pencils, notebooks, books, and the paper tacked up on the walls. I glanced over them, ramblings of a singer-songwriter.
I found that I had walked, subconsciously towards the western window. My favorite window. A golden light lay softly on the window seat and on the floor all around it. I crawled onto the seat and curled up in a ball, staring blindly out the window. There was something so beautiful about being home that made me want to never leave again. There was something I had desperately wanted to do since I had left… I was back at the window a moment later, guitar in hand.
I ran my hand across the strings. Out of tune. I started to tune it when something white caught my eyes. It was a piece of paper hidden in the sound hole (the hole in the middle of the guitar). I pulled it out. It was a sheet of notebook paper folded up like a letter. My name was written on it in a messy hand that I instantly recognized, but when had he put it there? I unfolded it quickly and read:
I guess you forgot to lock the window, because I found it very easy to climb the tree and sneak up here. Everything is just like you left it, except for this note. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂
Welcome home from Washington! I wanted to meet you in person but I wasn’t sure when you’d be back and everything. If you are reading this before 6:00 pm than I am probably not home. If you are reading this after 7:00 PM than I am most likely home. 🙂 Please come over if you can. If you can’t than we can meet tomorrow.
I ACTUALLY DON’T CARE IF YOU CAN OR CANNOT COME TONIGHT! COME TONIGHT!!!
I laughed aloud as I finished the letter and checked my phone. It was 7:15 PM. Without another thought I ran down the stairs and grabbed my jacket from the closet. “Julie?” My mom said, appearing in the doorway to the kitchen, “What are you doing? I thought you were going to bed.”
“I was but,” I held up the letter, “James. He says he needs to see me right away.”
Mom smiled ruefully, “That’s fine, but be back in half an hour, okay?”
“I will, bye!” I swung out the door and into the evening. The sun was setting fast, but it was still light out. The hum of the cicada’s trumped even the traffic noises. Humming a tune I set off down the sidewalk, looking at the sky. It was pinky-blue with specks of purple cloud throughout. I loved the sunset sky. It had rained so much in Washington that I had hardly seen the sun at all.
At the end of the street there were three empty lots, all next to each other, that had never been built on. Over the years trees had sprung up, the grasses had grown tall, and the perfect hideout was created. I first looked towards the house nearest the empty lots, James’ house. His light was off, but the rest of the house was bright. I entered the woods by the main entrance, two trees that leaned towards each other. It was instantly darker beneath the trees, eerier, but it was a friendly eerie. I wandered among the long grasses and the wildflowers admiring the hominess of everything and always heading towards the clearing at the far edge of the place.
James was facing away from me when I came up, sitting on the fence that separated the lots from that stretch of grass beside the highway. I paused, waiting at the edge of the clearing to watch him for a second. He hadn’t seemed changed in his letter, but everyone knows that over the summer people change. He looked darker and taller, of course, but from the back it was hard to tell. He turned around and smiled. Maybe he hadn’t changed. His hair was still too dark to be called blonde, but too light to be called brown, and his eyes were still a strange, muddy green.
I walked over to him, smiling, but feeling strangely shy. I often do feel shy around friends after being away for a while. I climbed onto the fence and sat beside him. “You look older,” He said, looking away from me, towards the highway, “And your eyes look greener and your hair looks browner.”
My momentary shyness evaporated, “Greener? My eyes look… greener? How does that make any sense at all?” I laughed.
“I think it’s because you’re paler than when you left,” He said, “I don’t think that climate did you any favors.”
I laughed again. It felt good to, “I don’t think being here alone made you any more polite.”
“Being alone generally doesn’t,” He joked, and we were quiet for a while. I watched him from the corner of my eyes and realized that he had changed. He had really changed. His smiled was fake and his eyes were dull.
“Why did you need to see me tonight?” I asked cautiously. James was sometimes a tad touchy about this sort of thing.
He shrugged unconvincingly, “I just… you know… missed you.”
“And you’re admitting it?” I shook my head, “That’s quite out of character for you. What’s wrong James?”
“Nothing… I mean there was a problem before, but everything is fine now,” He said, “I just wanted to say hi.”
“Okay, but you know I’m…” I started, but James jumped off of the fence before I could continue.
“Always here if you need someone to talk to,” He finished. His face stony and unreadable, as usual, “I know.” He turned towards the highway. The sun had set now and everything was a grayish-blue hue. “I just wanted to welcome you home. Goodnight Jules.”
I wanted to ask more questions but… “Goodnight James. Tomorrow?”
“Sure. See you then.” And he disappeared into the wood.