Feb 8, 2013

Chapter 4, Part 1

So, there's more to this section but I'm struggling with it and I really just want to get it out there for you to see. There may be more grammar errors than even before (gasp) but it's just because I really want to get this out. I'm spiraling in to a writer's hole, sequestering myself until everything is perfect. Well it's not going to be perfect and I think this is pretty damn good. So here is chapter 4, part 1... mostly.

The floor was cold. Greta hadn’t moved from it all night. She had counted the ceiling cracks like stars. One…two… three hundred. She started again when the cracks blurred together, just like with stars. Her life blurred before her, like one long crack in the ceiling. She was at an age where she’d had enough big moments that reminiscing about them should make her sad and happy. Sad because she’ll never have those moments again, but happy because she’s at the age where she doesn’t need to.

Instead she felt empty. She reached the age and had no moments. She flew through the years emotionless and scared. When kids were going to the prom she was staying home watching Apocalypse Now. When kids were getting drunk and reckless at the Graduation Party, she was at home raiding on an MMORPG.

There were a couple parties Greta went to, in college. Mostly because they were on her dorm floor. She tried to shut the door and shut it out, but that’s the problem with parties, everyone gets drunk. Get drunk enough and a shut door really isn’t the obstacle it was when sober.

He was sweet and when he stumbled upon Greta doing homework, was endeared. After their first encounter he came to talk to Greta at every party. Greta wasn’t used to being flirted with. She assumed he was either joking with her or simply bored. It was until they had sex that Greta began to think he might like her.

The sex was awkward and unloving. He was drunk and she was insecure. The bed was a tiny, dorm issued thing. Music from the party was blaring in the other room yet both felt the need to be quiet. It was over in minutes.

That was how Greta lost her virginity. At that point in time Greta would say she had already lost all preconceived notions of romanticism, that sex is sex and she was not a girl stuck in a fairytale, but that would be a lie. Greta was and still is a huge romantic, but she’s also a horrible realist.  A realistic romantic? Poor Greta’s psychology still suffers the brunt of that dichotomy first hand.

Maybe she didn’t doorbell ditch the dean or do a keg stand, but she lost her virginity to a one night stand. That was an experience. That was more than a crack. She chose not to call the guy back because, well, that was one of those boxes in her mind she didn’t want to open. He’d called her. He’d called her more than once. And she chose to ignore them all.

As she counted the cracks in the ceiling it dawned on her that it was not her choice. She liked it better that way, because the idea that one isn’t in control of one’s own life is terrifying. The truth is Greta could tell herself to the moon that she didn’t want to go to the grocery store, that she didn’t want to go to the bank, that she didn’t want to call that guy, but it didn’t change the facts. She had no choice. She was scared. Her stupid, stubborn fear had thrown her to the floor her whole life and now all she had were a bunch of empty cracks.

There was a knock on the door, dust and plaster sprinkled down from the ceiling. Too scared to buy a better apartment. Greta lifted herself from the floor and floated like a ghost to the door.

“How are you?” Jack immediately questioned when Greta opened the door.

“I’m…” Looking at the bits of plaster that fell on her shirt, Greta paused. She dusted them off and continued, “The best I’ve ever been, I suppose. Which is a troubling thought, knowing this is the best I’ve ever been, because I feel dreadful. Exhausted, worried, and hopeless. At the same time, I know every day before this was worse.”

Tittering, Jack bent over and reached for something to the side of the door frame. “I have Chinese food.” He held a brown bag spotted with grease stains to Greta’s face.

“Cream cheese wantons?”

“Of course.”

She stepped aside, smiling. “Come in.”

There was an audible crunch beneath Jack’s boot. Fine blue powder like pixie dust fell from under his soul, blowing discreetly away. “The best you’ve ever been?” Jack questioned, shaking the rest of the blue filament from his sole. Greta watched the dust float down, hiding in the floorboard and underneath the counter. She remembered the night before like it had just happened. She hadn’t slept at all, so really, it just had.
“Yes.” Greta placed a box of a Chinese food on a TV tray. “Did you read the news today?”

“No.” Jack walked the tray over to the couch.

“No?” Greta questioned, reaching for another assortment of boxes.

“I don’t watch the news,” Jack said, placing the tray down on a coffee table.

“I don’t either. It’s all over the internet.” Greta handed him the next tray.  Jack held the tray barely in his hands that Greta had to hold it also. They stood like that in limbo.

“I used to read all about it, but now I don’t. End of story.” Jack took the tray from Greta and walked away.


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