“What the fuck?” I announced in utter bewilderment as my duffel bag with all my things falls to the floor as my shoulder goes limp. How unlady-like for those three words to spill from my mouth. Not to mention the fact that those words were the first I’ve ever uttered since I hailed a taxi from JFK to arrive in this complete mess.
It was a long weekend and I decided that the hectic college life would have to be put on hold for my best friend when he asked me, more of pleaded me, to visit him in New York where he got an apartment near NYU where he got in with a full scholarship. I still gag whenever I think about that letter he got because at first impressions, you’d never even think that Christopher Mahaffey actually graduated high school.
I was still at the doorway of his thrashed apartment when he came up to me to engulf me in a big bear hug. My blonde bangs went to my eyes as I stood there frozen and looking at the soiled couch, the broken down TV, the open refrigerator, the scraps littered all over the floor, the books piled up in every direction, the dirty piled up dishes on the sink and I could go on and on for days.
“Chris! Are you kidding me?” I almost screamed and he shushed me, trying to relax my frustration by rubbing circles on my back and making these calming noises that only irritated me further. He was such a child sometimes that I could never understand how he, even if he acted like a seven year-old, was the brightest person I had ever known. Even though he was brilliant, he still had his dumb moments and this was the proof to that case. The boy couldn’t take care of himself.
“It is fine, Whitney, I’ll clean all of this up… someday.” He muttered to me, pulling some tufts of his brown hair peeking out of the orange-brown beanie while he cringed at the mess he created.
I sighed, already picking up a few papers on the floor before he could stop me.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” He said, trying to pull me up from cleaning the apartment. I glared at him.
“Christopher,” I snapped, “your father was kind enough to rent out an apartment for your whole college education and here you are, messing it up.”
“I’ll clean it, ok? I didn’t call you to come all the way from Chicago to clean my apartment.”
“Well, I want to clean your damn apartment.” I countered back. I should have been excited to come here. I was oh-so ready to jump into his arms and hug him until we crashed. From being inseparable all our lives, it was for two months that I hadn’t seen him and all the Skype and calls just weren’t enough to satiate my need for Chris Mahaffey.
I stomped all the way to his bedroom, ignoring his protests and his reasons. I had missed his whiny voice but I’d never ever tell it to his face because in the end, a whiny voice will always be annoying.
“Don’t go in there!” He cried in realization at what I was supposed to do. I was sure though that there wasn’t going to be anything drastic like a girl half-naked on his bed or something so as usual, I ignored him and swung the door open. My breath hitched but a long sigh came afterwards. It was as bad as when I entered.
I turned to the left and looked in horror at the vandalized Alice Blue walls.
“Jesus, Chris, graffiti?!” I announced in defeat at what he had done.
“I didn’t do that.” He informed as if it would make it any better. “It looks shitty, I know. There were just a couple of boys who came over and started messing around. I’m planning to paint over it.”
“When? At the end of the world?” I replied with a roll of my eyes. The thing about Chris was that even as his favourite past time was sinking into a book or anything to do about Literature, his next favourite past time was procrastination and he was the master of it.
I glared at him. He was such a kid. I looked back to the bed and tossed my duffel bag there only to see the right side of the wall. Chris bit his lip, wishing I didn’t have anything to say. I was supposed to open my mouth to scold him once again but shut it when I realized what was scribbled in all the lengths of the wall. He had the same thing on his bedroom wall in his parent’s house actually, so I was used to it. It was just a wall full of quotes, sayings or anything he had picked up from all his reading. His musings, his opinions and things he saw and noticed. It was like this big journal laid out for him to see everyday.I remember enjoying myself at a mere 14 years old, trying to read every single word scribbled on his wall. It was comforting to say the least, things were always on my mind but when I started reading all kinds of things on his wall, it seemed like it was a whole other world from where we lived in.