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Chapter 11 (Insomnia By Chuks Obinna)

POSTED 12/01/2017 04:21:13
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The movie turned out to be nice. Very nice, actually. It was unrealistic, for sure, then again all romance books and movies were. But for a work of art, it was nice.
I thought I'd be the first to leave the theater, but as I left our row I joined the slow moving crawl edging out through the door. It was mostly the guys at the forefront, no doubt eager to leave that certain tense atmosphere romance flicks seemed to always create.
The guy beside me turned to me, probably seeing my distant look, and said.
"Eager to leave the girlfriend, huh?" He chuckled, "me too. What a movie."
I managed a dry chuckle and literally said "heh-heh."
I remained quiet till we left the theater. Cassidy joined me almost immediately.
"It was a nice movie?" She said. I think it was a question.
"Yes, very nice. I liked it." I said matter-of-factly. Let's never do this again, I wanted to add. I couldn't.
She paused and smiled, looking at her feet and running her hand through her hair. I was so inexperienced but something told me that this was 'a moment'.
"I better get back to Amy's theater." I said and checked my watch, "they should be done in less than fifteen minutes now."
Cassidy smiled, "Oh, yes. See you at work." She added and began walking away. I just stood there, watching.
She paused and turned back, my heart leaped. Was this one of those awkward movie moments when she rushes back for a kiss? I looked around for a possible exit point.
"You know this was necessary, William?" She asked, standing close to me.
I opened my mouth slightly and shook my head, I had no idea what she was talking about.
"I don't –" I shook my head again.
She smiled, "I mean, we obviously will be seeing a lot of each other at work so it was necessary that we hung out today."
"Oh," and I nodded. I didn't share that ideology, though. I prefer to reserve any form of 'hanging out' for the workplace. We had board rooms, actual offices and maybe the lunch room, that was enough. Not movies.
She smiled again and tapped my shoulders, "See you at work."
I suddenly dreaded tomorrow. What would work be like? It certainly wouldn't be that bad. I hope.
I checked my watch again and quickly hurried to get Amy.

************


I couldn't get enough of how awesome the film she saw was.
Amy kept bouncing on her seat at the back, recounting, in impressive details , every bit of the film. I grimaced and then smiled; I could almost see it in my head.
I wanted to say 'Hey, Amy, you know how my movie went? It was awkward, but nice.' But she wouldn't understand. I'd save that for Felix.
Amy finally kept quiet as we drove on.
"Who was that white bear on the poster?" I asked. Big mistake. Amy launched into another wave of narrative that made me cringe.
I hated cartoons, and it took me way back to my childhood. I spent the better part of my childhood raised as an only child by my widowed mother. Prior to that, I'd only know my father for a few years as a child. Not enough, if you asked me.
My father, a man I only remember as dark and tall, was as scary as my little mind could comprehend back then.
Naturally, as a kid, I enjoyed cartoons. I thought they were colorful and fun. In fact, they made me develop a habit of drawing figures with charcoals, or color pencils or soap, basically anything I could inscribe with. That was until my father killed them off.
I vaguely remember the first strike. It had been a rainy day (one of the things I linked that day with), and I sat cross legged in front of our TV, watching Sesame street. Bobbing my head to the music.
I'd been so engrossed that I hadn't heard my father knocking on the door. It was raining heavily and the volume of the TV was high; I was basically deaf at that point.
I did however notice a shadow by the window. I looked and it was my father, his leather bag above his head and a string of profanities escaping from his mouth. I was in trouble and I knew it.
The show on the TV suddenly looked drab as I got up and ran to the door. With fidgeting hands, I removed the bolt and unhooked the U-shaped rod used in holding the door.
Standing right there, under the rain, and glaring at me was father. He looked menacing, like Gargamel from the Smurfs.
He stepped into the living room, his shoes sloshing from water it had taken in. He looked at me and then at the childish music coming from the TV; the glare was still on his face.
I tried to mutter a greeting when I saw his hand raise high into the air. Although, I didn't really see it on time because the fraction of a second between when he raised his hand and when I saw it, I was already on the floor, rubbing my burning cheeks.
"Turn off that rubbish and get your books!" He said, in the calm finality that was the voice of a retired police officer.
I really couldn't remember how old I was, but something about that day struck me. And I don't mean the slap. Strike two happened almost a week later. Of course, as a kid, I didn't relate that slap to anything order than my incompetence.
Again, the scenario involved the TV and cartoons. Something about Alice in wonderland made me so joyous. Maybe it meant freedom, or a fantastic land where everything was possible. I don't know, but one thing I know for sure was that as the screen went black to cut into the next scene, I saw father's reflection; and he was standing right behind me.
I gasped and turned around.
"Didn't you hear your name?" He asked with a scowl. I gulped and stood to my feet.
The cartoon switched to a new scene; I think the one with the Mad hatter. We both turned to look at the TV, with me hoping father would just go away and let me enjoy the cartoon in peace. I hoped weakly.
I could see the look of venom in his face as he moved closer to the TV and pressed the power button.
Tears well up in my eyes, but that was just the half of it. In the blink of an eye, literally, father's palm was glued to my cheeks; the friction of which sent fire through my body. I was still a kid so any slap, no matter how little, hurt bad.
Mother intervened this time; the smack had been loud enough to attract her attention.
She yelled and they had an intense argument.
"He spends too much time in front of that box!" I heard him yell.
"It's his time. Let him be a child!" Mother yelled in an equally loud but tearful voice.
I just stood there, watching and listening. I wasn't exactly sure if I was at fault but I was sure that those things I watched on the TV was part of it.
I made up my mind never to watch them again.
There wasn't a third strike. Father died the next month. A terrible accident, I had a man tell my wailing mother. I never watched cartoons again.
Thinking about it now, I think I was scarred; marked for life.
The little I remembered of my father made me determined never to be like him.
So, most Sundays, I take Amy to the movies and I sit through the cartoons with her. Let her be a child, like mother wanted for me.

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