Yup....it's pretty short though. I tried being more descriptive and deep in this one, so I hope it has the desired effects.
Note: thoughts = italics
It was awfully miserable to be alone now, after spending the last forty-eight or so hours with Brooke, and the weather was doing nothing to improve the feeling. The sky was dull and hazy and seemed unsure if it wanted to rain or thunder or nothing at all. There was a musty scent in the air, not exactly like rain but not unlike it either. And though it was humid as anything, the heat still lingered like a stubborn illness. It made Mary sweat easily in her once again freshly laundered clothes. She always sweat easy on these kinds of days, the kind that started off clear and lovely and turned mucky halfway through. They were mildly depressing to her, too.
A weak breeze came from the southwest. It hit Mary, soft and sudden, reaching her as she gazed lazily at the rustling branches of the trees she passed, planted firmly in their square holes in the concrete. Of course, they didn’t feel the heat of it. It was only Mary that felt the slightly uncomfortable increase in temperature, making her feel lonelier than ever as she realized it. She longed for some companionship. Finding that the only other movement on the street was the gentle sway of the trees, she watched their movement wistfully where before she had only stared, not seeing them at all. But even their independent movements were lonely to her. She looked away.
I should have just stayed at Brooke’s she thought bitterly. She and Brooke had said their farewells not ten minutes ago, and already Mary was feeling the pangs of longing. She had left the handsome house, though not for lack of effort on her part. It seemed that for every argument she had come up with, every excuse and every half-truth, Brooke had had one waiting to counter it. Perhaps she had thought them up in her sleep. Mary didn’t know. Had she not known any better she would have thought Brooke had grown rather weary of her presence. It was true that they had never spent that length of time continuously in each other’s presence, but she remembered how the beautiful girl had clung to her last night, had buried her face into her neck. Mary had felt the light pressing of many silent kisses until Brooke’s breathing became deep and regular. And she thought How could a person who was tired of me be so affectionate? It didn’t add up to her. There was really no other explanation that made sense other than the one Brooke had offered: Mary had enough trouble waking up for school without her lover’s presence making things worse. She felt the blood rush to her cheeks as she saw images of the things that Brooke could do, whether knowingly or otherwise, that would further delay her.
But still she longed for everything, the attention and laughing and touching and conversing. Mary frowned as she though of the things they had talked about, both everything and nothing at the same time. It was conversation, nonetheless. It was entertainment, if nothing else.
Her mind suddenly filled with snippets of conversations she had had in the past. Not ones she’d had with Brooke, but ones with Nicole, which were always rather more fun. These memories persisted for only a short while, and quickly flashes of the last time they talked pushed to the forefront of her brain. She saw, quite clearly, the Irish charm in the older girl’s eyes, saw her face lit up with emotion as they laughed about the porno on the television, saw her become wary and guarded as Mary started to say the things she knew she must. It had been a thoroughly depressing conversation after that. She was still a little unsure, actually, that it was indeed a memory that she and Nicole shared, half convinced that she had imagined the whole thing. It would be just like her to do something like that. The fact that Nicole was missing at lunchtime could only be a coincidence.
Her mind took hold of this possibility and ran wild with it. She pictured Nicole doing something secret during those hours, something that she wished to surprise Mary with. Or perhaps, doing some kind of CG work for her graphics class. Or maybe even serving detentions for some slight misbehavior that she wished to keep from her friend. Anything was possible, she told herself. Thinking this way, Mary felt her loneliness lift marvelously. She was almost sure that, if she was lucky enough, she might catch Nicole rushing through this street, hurrying to beat the rain that was looking more and more likely to come with each passing minute. She indulged the thought as far as stopping her brisk walk and taking another look around her. But still the only movements other than her own came from the trees. She paused, watching them dance in the slightly stronger breeze. They filled her again with a longing for human interaction.
Of course that conversation really did happen, you’re being ridiculous. You broke up with her, even felt relieved afterward.
Her thoughts were savage and pained her like a vice to her heart, even though she knew perfectly well that she only felt misery after it was done. But she wanted to punish herself. She wanted to atone for the humiliation and anguish she knew Nicole must have felt. She had seen in it her face, in her eyes, etched in every surface of her. It had permeated her lungs and escaped through her throat, betraying itself in her voice. And she knew, too, that the anguish was still here, though softened with the passage of time. How long had it been? Over a week? It seemed incredible to her that it had been that long ago. The memory was so vivid it might have been a scene in a movie she’d just been to. She wondered if it was still so vivid to Nicole too.
It is, even more vivid, almost palpable. I’m sure of it.
She had a sudden image of Nicole, laying in bed with the memory filling her mind so full that it was oozing out of her ears, eerie and unreal to her, yet frighteningly so. Could that kind of thing really happen? It seemed impossible to Mary that reality would not permit memories to physically manifest themselves if ones emotion was so great. And she imagined Nicole’s to be greater.
Mary was walking without really thinking about where she was going. Her surroundings seemed now wholly irrelevant to her, a reality beyond the one in which she now lived. She felt that she was in a world she had no connection to, save for, perhaps, her bedroom, Nicole’s bedroom, and Brooke’s. And she knew couldn’t occupy space outside of her reality for long. She ran down the list mentally, aware that she had already been dismissed from Brooke’s house and that she couldn’t go to Nicole’s (doing so would only make things horribly worse). There was nowhere else; it couldn’t be helped, she was going home, where she was back into the refuge of her own reality. She knew in the back of her mind that she wasn’t exactly welcome there either, but she did have one small comfort. They might not be home... This feeble ray of light sustained her in the gloomy openness that spread before her as she turned into her own street. It was rather like walking into an old western movie, about to meet the bandit that was terrorizing the town.
It must be the weather that kept her neighbors, indeed everyone who lived on the streets she’d taken, from coming outside. The sky was an even bleaker shade of bluish-gray than it had been at the start of her trip less than an hour ago. The color was more gray than blue now, and it reminded her of the men’s guestroom in Brooke’s house. It looked that flat, too. She frowned at it, thinking that it should just hurry up and rain, just to get it over with. But she didn’t trouble over it for more than a second. She was coming up to her own front door fast. As she drew closer, she could feel the pull of her room, calling her into the house and up the stairs, down the hall and through the door. She could picture, quite clearly, the perpetually, casually messy state in which she liked to keep it. The disorder of it comforted her. If it hadn’t been for that, she might never come home.
She thought of her parents, their emotionless glances, their uninterested manner, their silent neglect. They were always distracted by other comparably trivial matters, so much so that they hardly remembered that they had a daughter at all. It didn’t used to be this way. They used to marvel at her for her good grades and early writing talent. But ever since a few years ago…well, everything had changed. Mary didn’t like to think about it at all. It seemed impossible to her that there was a time when they were such doting parents. And while deep inside herself she knew why, knew that she wasn’t the only one with a hollow heart, she thought that would have brought them closer. But instead, it had only driven them apart.
Another breeze hit her like a small wave as she dug into her pockets. Her fingers searched blindly, feeling past the rough texture of her jean pocket and seeking out the cold, smooth surface of her keys. It only took a moment, and then she turned the lock and pushed the door open.
She stood in the doorway almost directly facing the stairs, its familiarly silent presence ascending high into the gloom of the upstairs hall. On either side of it were the kitchen and living room, both of which were fully lit, quite unlike the upstairs. Otherwise there was no sign of anyone having been home within the last few hours. The TV stood undisturbed against the opposite wall in the living room with a cushy couch three-seater in the very center. There was no meal sitting half-eaten on the stove, neglected and unwanted and getting cold, like usual. The windows were all bolted tight against the elements and the curtains were pulled shut. There was nothing strewn about the floor, no trash or dirty laundry or blueprints or bottles. It was all in stark contrast to the state she usually found it in. She found it unnerving, and the silence alarming.
Repressing a shudder, Mary pulled the front door closed behind her and started quickly up the stairs, not chancing anything. The last thing she wanted to do, after just spending three glorious days and two heated nights with her lover, was come across a cold and uncaring face. She climbed the steps two at a time and crossed the first landing briskly to her room. The door locked fast against the eerie peacefulness of the house and sealed her with the intentional disorder of her room. It was a welcome sight for her sore eyes. She was, once again, within the confines of her own reality.
She took to her bed almost immediately, hearing it groan slightly as it bent to accommodate her thin frame. It was littered with various objects taken and thrown from her closet as she had dressed Friday morning. Now she merely brushed them aside. It was really too much energy to try and put them back in place just this minute. Her blanket was crumpled near the foot of her bed, and she pulled it up over her body, feeling its cold fabric fall over her body. She liked the feeling of being covered in dampness. It eased her into a fitful sleep, where her dreams were penetrated with images of Nicole and black and white trees and cartoon versions of Mr. Phil. Every so often, she could even see Alex, laughing and full of youth and happy. It made her miss him terribly.