Chapter Four

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"Her arms were folded most indignant

Not looking like she was soon to leave;

I had to squint in order to believe.

And then like a butler pushing on a bookshelf,

I'm unveiling the unexpected.

I, who was earlier reluctant, was suddenly embarrassed and corrected.

How could such a creature

Survive in such a habitat?

The secret door swings behind us

She's saying nothing

She's just giggling along.

And even if they were to find us

I wouldn't notice, I'm completely occupied

At all the fools on parade

Cavort and carry on for waiting eyes

That you would rather be beside than in front of

But she's never been the kind to be hollowed by their stares.

Fools on parade frolic and fuck about to make her gaze

Turn to a scribble on a page by a picture

That holds her options,

But you're daft to think she'd care."

-The Arctic Monkeys, "Secret Door"

            The burnt scent of falling leaves filled my senses as I left the warmth of the squat, aged building behind me. The voices inside it were muted as the door swung shut, a small burst of air from its closing blowing my hair in wisps around my face as I breathed in slowly, a small smile playing on the corners of my mouth. Fall was in full swing, I thought to myself while I began making my way down the sidewalk to await a ride home from my mother. The shift from summer to fall was one of the few things in life I took true pleasure in-the turning of the trees to bursting, brilliant hues no artist could ever truly duplicate, the crisp breeze that blew through drying grass and crackling, browned leaves that had tumbled forlornly to crunch beneath your feet as you walked along, enjoying the otherwise silent backdrop. I even loved the caws of the birds overhead as they made their way further south for the winter months.

            I drew in another breath as I reached the edge of the sidewalk, bracing myself for the long, silent ride home with my mom, whose quiet disapproval was far more annoying than any sort of yelling she could possibly do.

            Not that she yelled. Ever. Or did much of anything for that matter. Mainly, she just went along, subdued, but never quite giving you the feeling she very much liked what you were up to at the moment, much less with your life in general.

            Maybe she should learn to speak the hell up then, I had always mused to myself-speak up so I didn't have to do it for her through action.

            "Whatever," I muttered aloud, stuffing my hands in my pockets and kicking irritably at a thatch of leaves by my feet with my scuffed, black high tops. Mom preferred remaining as blameless as utterly possible. Then she would feign shock at the acts her eyes had silently begged you to do because she didn't have the guts to do it herself. "Just whatever."

            I found the tiny burst of joy I'd felt from the smell of fall quickly dissipating as my thoughts once again became muddled and dark, filled with the frustration of a thousand different things I simply couldn't control.

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