Thursday, March 26, 2009

his deeply guarded secret

1

i had the day off and all of my friends were at work, so i was stuck at home with nothing to do. i tried to stay in bed as long as i could. i tossed and turned until the brightness of the sun forced me out. the heat made the air in my bedroom thick and stale. i kicked the covers off the bed and laid there for a bit before i got up. i staggered my way to the kitchen. i fixed myself a giant bowl of corn flakes. tons of sugar with just enough milk to make it soggy. i plopped down on the couch and flipped through the mindless daytime programming on tv. it made me nostalgic for the times they'd show andy griffith and green acres reruns during the noon hour. now it's just judge show after judge show. it's all trash. nothing good anymore.

cereal milk is the reward for eating each and every flake, but it makes me thirsty. i checked the fridge for some water. no luck. i had my last bottle the night before and my tap is hard as nails, so i decided to walk to the convenience store. i hit the power button on the remote and tossed it on the couch on my way out the door.

mr. gardner was my next door neighbor. he always came home for his lunch break. i guess it was a little after 1 pm. he was standing at the end of his driveway, flipping through his mail. any junk mail immediately went into the nearby trash can. i waved, but i don't think he saw me.

walking down the street, i could see the new house that had just been built on the corner lot. the lot had been vacant for as long as i could remember. now, there was a large monolithic house taking up most of the lot, leaving enough space for a driveway wide enough for three cars and a tiny front yard with the greenest grass in the neighborhood. the house was long and wide with only a few windows. the modern white fence that wrapped around the entire lot looked sturdy and secure. but it wasn't very tall. i'd have to squat a bit to rest my chin on it.

as i turned the corner, the idea to take a quick look before going to the convenience store took hold of me. suddenly i was intrigued by this house so much, i had to see it closer. i stepped lightly as i walked on the narrow patch of grass at the front of the fence and i peeked over. my eyes widened. my mouth dropped. my heart skipped a beat. for that moment, i felt like i was looking at the most beautiful thing in the world. a pool, filled with crystal-clear water was less than five feet away from me. i thought it must be olympic size. my apartment could sit in it and still have room to stretch it's legs.

i hung there, my arms wrapped over the fence, watching the water move with the slightest breeze. it was so quiet at that moment. the only thing i could hear was the sound of the small waves slapping the walls of the pool. it was asking me in. and i accepted the invitation.


2

"hey!"

my ears were submerged underwater, so i couldn't quite hear whatever was said after that. i opened my eyes. the sun was bright, but in my peripheral i could see a figure standing over me. i stood up in the water and tried blinking the water out of my eyes. once i could focus properly, i could see it was a man trying to get my attention. he was waving his arms. i cocked my head slightly to get a better look. he was holding a very nice leather briefcase. it was the perfect match to his business suit. i thought that he must have taken a great deal of time to choose his outfit that morning. i waded over to the side of the pool and shot him a look that i felt showed him how inconvenient this was for me. he had some nerve disturbing me.

"hey, are you hearing me?", he asked. "i asked you what you think you're doing! this is mine. not yours."

"oh! i'm sorry", i said, feigning naivete. "i didn't know. i'll leave. i just have to find my clothes. do you see my shoes? are you happy here?"

i'd laid my clothes neatly at the edge of the pool, but far enough away so i wouldn't accidentally splash them with water. the man picked them up and threw them at me.

"now get the hell out of here before i call the police", he said. as he walked away, i heard him mumbling. "people don't respect other's property anymore. this neighborhood..." he must have had a bad day.

i gathered up my wet clothes and walked to the fence i'd climbed over earlier. i took one last glance at the pool. such a shame, i thought. i said to myself, "if a man owns such a nice pool like that and he doesn't want people using it, he should buy a proper security fence."

i like talking to myself a lot, but not so loud that people around me will notice. i don't need people thinking i'm insane. "jesus, it's hot today! it was only in the 80s just yesterday."



part 1



story: mchl mchl




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