The morning sun breezed casually in, through the slightly parted blinds. Barbara Forest responded with a deep frown. She opened an eye and reached for her wrist watch in the bed-side stool…. Knocking down the file she had been working on, she accepted it wasn’t there. The thoughts of the day before flooded her mind. ‘I must get out of bed and…’ She trailed off.
‘10: 30 AM!!! What the fff….’ She threw off the covers and blessed the caller. The phone kept up with the shrilling noise. The little passage to the living room seemed to be a hundred in number. Barbara closed her eyes while leaning on the cool wall. Her head settled. She walked carefully into the living room and said into the receiver: ‘Forest’s residence’– ‘Good morning sleepy head,’ said the voice of her Office Assistant and a friend. ‘Andrew! What the hell???’ At the other end, a rich laughter rang out. ‘Well, you weren’t answering your mobile phone. I bet you have fifteen missed calls from me alone–‘. Her brows relaxed as she massaged her temples. She felt sick and nauseated. ‘– ends today. Do I go ahead to apply? – Barbara!!!’ ‘What was that?’, she asked. ‘I said the application for the grants ends 12:00 PM today, I believe we need this for– ‘. ‘ALRIGHT! Apply.’ Andrew blew several kisses across to her. ‘Get off my line,’ she retorted and crashed the receiver into its cradle. The corners of her lips twitched till it produced a beautiful grin. Andrew was a devil who knew how to have his way with her, or maybe– she had a soft spot for him.
Back in the room, she took several gulps from the bottle of water, on the dresser. She stared into the mirror- the mass of blonde hair tumbled beautifully down her shoulders; large green eyes stared back at her. Her pink lips were pale and cracked from lack of care. She ran her slender fingers neatly through her wavy hair, and stared more resolutely into the mirror: jaw pointing forward, cradling tight lips; shoulders tensed- signs she was in a mind session. Something bothered the hell out of her. It threatened her calm. Barbara was a beauty- however all she saw were her failures. She sighed, and settled into the armchair at the side of the wall…
Andrew on the other side had his fat butt seated, sunk down deep in his water bed as scouting wonders began scattering every inch, here and there in his face leaving by confusing remarks of oblivion note buried around all over. ‘She likes me!’ he looked straight at the wall standing painted in pink right just adjacent to where he’s seated at, looking at how she’s managed to smirk so eerie that way in their high school graduation shot and she still looked so awful, admirable and laced with bunches of elegance – he went some sort of trance seeing stars n’ even moons as gorgeously as they would make the night beautified as they danced around her blonde hair. ‘O my o my, I wish she was really mine way back then and even n…’ said as his eyes squinted which drew his attention to some fat-bellied boy, with big head, big cheek, coiled black hair laughing out loud right in the picture – it was him. He was born fat that way. Although, his momma would always try and make him see reasons he should and need to accept himself for who he was and who he would grow to be. It had always been the knowledge and the images of her mother talking him out of his self-pathetic thoughts that had kept him that far. He would hate himself for some moment and would begin to love himself further before you’d dream that happen. ‘O…! Bless you momma’ he remarked as he made that kind of benediction cross signs – first to his chest, then to his head, then to his left and then lastly to his right arm and he looked quite content on the face after heaving some bulkily lousy sigh of relief. ‘Missed you momma’—‘Be In Peace momma’… every bit of the sickly reflection dangling about on his face began to rain down like the pulling down of a surging sea billow till it ran into naught with the sides of the sea shore. ‘We only are good friends and nothing more, I…guess. It had been like so right from first day together. She is uh… she is not my type.’ As he needed to stand up, he placed his right hand on the bed, awkwardly and did the same thing with the left. He put forces in them having rested in them well –having them drawn inwardly into the bed to help him up to go on having the system put on, connect and do all the necessaries as expected and conversed with Barbara and him.
It was another darkly twilight time of the day, when the sun was already doing its wobbling paces down back through the woolly routes back the West. She was down at one corner busy reminiscing the very last time she was gladdened in the heart for real being in a company. She thought and thought four hours and slept on that as she smiled having recollected way back when she was so little and when his grandfather would come into her bedroom to reel her late night tales of our things be in the Arctic woods where his great… great grandfathers had their nascency before their immigration into the States. She remembers every detail even as she had gone real deep into unconscious states. It became a sort of dream within her figment with activities picturesque as she pictured the grandfather by name –Wood –who began to lay rest and hold on the legends of the bush as was being passed across to him to her to sleep. ‘Arctic forest is always there with dire cold, swooshing of cold winds, breezes, beauties of natures are best admired around there and beasts of the bush are there too surviving fine. They are there fine, roaring, bleating, chirping, cawing to feed and to be hunted down for food n’ for sport; there is unlike here where cold comes to show intermittently. Listen… have you ever heard of polar bears before?’ he asked… ‘I have only seen the picture of a very fluffy white one at school before’ she replied. ‘O, this one was way too big. One father told me they had never seen before. It was fluffy as well and was on that day sniffing deeply the snow-earth, and restlessly at the cool, harsh wind, golden eyes in a mass of white gazed intensely into the distance, and down again at the patches of white. Then and now, white furred ears performed a rhythm- for they tweaked backwards-forwards. Great white fore and hind feet held the creature in a towering composure. With the right fore foot, it stamped determinedly on the earth, digging deep patches in the white earth. It worked with great skill with her rotund behind. It was burying its nostrils in the sand, it growled deeply and took off with a sudden force— ‘The strength of the being could not be glossed over. This polar bear, was the lord of the Arctic as my father claimed. Its fur glistened as it shifted its weight, smoothly, from fore to hind and back. It ran with precision; and dropped to a trot by the great tree. Some emotion- loathe- settled on its face, as it came to a halt where the blood made a trail. The strong shoulders tensed; and golden eyes glittered. The creature made a quick turn, content with its discovery, picked pace and disappeared into the woods.’ ‘Woooow….! Could you please continue?’ she asked curiously with awfulness radiating her face. ‘No no… dear. In fact, I was just beginning to think this such legendary tale might be too serious for your age.’ He replied warmly. She gave him some sudden quizzicalness on the face and said in whining ways ‘No I am no kid no more: I am no more in the nursery… please… continue grandpa. ‘One short balling laughter rolled out of one side of his mouth which pulled apart his moustache tagging to it some sort of dimples on his wrinkling old cheeks as his lips reflexed. ‘Alright, Wood said they tracked down the beastie meat to where his strengths could got it to to meet with the ravenous beasts of the forests cawing on top of it already, sore busy, flapping their dirty cold waspy wings about weaving the skies into what later drew around the attentions of bunches of foxes, three of them actually and we would not be able to repeal them. The beast breathed heavily the cold smoke from their innards with bunches of regression painted all over their frosty faces for the night meal which was believed would be yummy and rosy turned into nothingness and wasted expectation. He told me…’ the sudden unconsciousness which befogged her senses was beginning to fade as reality on this side was already commanding her redemption abound as there was one big white bulky Volvo truck outside, driven around on chore course to help her with her wastes. The interruptions gave her missed feelings. It was on one side in her head the scenery she was presented with –daydreaming should continue undisturbed and on the other side, the filths at the other side of the apartment were already emitting into the atmosphere bad odour which was so sickly. So, she had prayed right in her mind that they should come and do the packing and they had come but at a very bad timing as they had caused one severe interruption. ‘O, damn it, what some sick chain reaction that…. wa…s’ she said as she yawned. She stood up to have a look at them as they were doing the packing and that reminded her she would need to go and start getting busy too in preparation for the examination coming up about the scholarship. And that again reminded her how she was so caring before she died of cancer few years back. Judith was an angel to her before her demise after she was diagnosed with cancer. That served as one of her big drives to want to study Pharmacy and to find a way around despite any forms of challenges to be the best in the course of making a living and making other things. All she felt she needed was the grant that would come afterwards, she would be able to do the handlings of the rest miscellaneousness herself. Pharmacy education was a challenging degree in the healthcare industry as was the fastest developing area of medical profession in the States at the moment.
She stood up and left to get herself cleaned up to go to the public library in New York to study even the more. Hurriedly, she was drenched with thoughts on how to merit the scholarship to study Pharmacy as there was no way no other lest she failed. ‘O, how on earth would I go about living my life if…’ she remarked restlessly. She picked up her pair of boots, stooped and puts them on. She picked up her jean trousers, limped and jumped about as she tried wearing them. The t-shirt came; next, she looked for it on the hanger hung in the wooden cupboard buried in the wall next and left for the library immediately like she was way too late. ‘Hey… Howdy, Barbara! It is me’ said the guy standing, resting his side to a street wall waiting.
Barbara heard, but she would not look. She had integrated in preparedness her mind in the likewise ways – that whenever she was called from behind on the street, she would not try and look back nor answer but find a way out of the particular scene; she retorted in her mind ‘I am not gonna answer ya bitch ass.’ There were reasons to that as there used to be cases of robbery, rape, gangs who beat the stuffing out of their frenemies and all that. She paced even faster to avoid the supposed evil impending. ‘I am sorry about Judith… Just wait a moment so we could talk properly please…’ he said as he began to move trying to walk up to her innocently.
On hearing the name Judith, she turned sharply with spitefully biting bitter look polluting her gorgeous face. She twitched and gave him a bitter-sweet as she was surprised to in such odd location. She knew instantly, in a matter of milliseconds counts the person had to be familiar. Thus, there was the good side of her which would like to pause a bit and listen to what he wanted to say. ‘Whoa! I know you. You are… She moved a bit more closer with a reconnecting gaze on her face trying to make sense where really she knew her from to be double sure. ‘I am Ben… So, you do not remember? We used to leave together in the same street, downtown. I had been there looking for you but was… Look, it was a long story before I could make it here’ said he. ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa…! You are still busy haunting me around? I can never be that girl by your side. What I told you months ago still remains intact yet, uh! Please let me be… I have got other things to do’ she reflected gallantly. Then, there, as she was already twisting forwards her right leg making a 45˚ circling to begin on her path. ‘I am sorry about Judith…’ he said remorsefully. ‘Fuck you very much for that. You’d know one thing clearly Ben.’ she said pacing closer having retracted. ‘She might still be alive just now, even be here with us if you had helped with the remaining resources I begged you lend. I hope you know that! Please, you don’t call that name again uh, mom and I used to believe you merited that but you never really did…’ She turned and left with tears pouring profusely out of her eyes. She fell on her kneels having broken down with tears all over at a corner where no one would see her blubber. ‘Mom… why… why did you leave?’ she moaned bitterly.
She heard some clattering sound, and she immediately thought some people might want to harm her. She swiftly cleaned her face with her kerchief and began to rush out in a manic way where there are plenty people walking. After few blocks she was already at the library, she sat and began to do read closely. Whenever she stopped by or passed by the library, she would remember her mother’s words to her at a time when she was younger that ‘failure to prepare well enough is the preparation to fail well.’ As she remembered again, one wry-like smiled rolled out her face, and she awkwardly began to look relaxed, even contented and adequately in charge of the mo.
To be continued…