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What My Name Means (The Miserable Life Of Abner Bright)

3777 words - 16 pages


Floating to the top. Dancing. Swirling all around and popping. Clustered together, like a little family, all struggling to stay warm. Three of them, all snuggled in the corner. I watched them, my eyes sagging. The two on the end were small - they were so close, they were almost one. Another stayed away, larger, more eager looking. It slowly floated to the pair, inching closer and closer. The two sailed off, around and around, chasing each other, until finally, the big bubble caved. Pop! I couldn’t hear it, but I knew what it would sound like. The two bubbles soon morphed into one. Large, just like the other one. Soon, it too popped.

I couldn’t help but sigh. Slowly, I lifted my cup and drank. Sprite. Fizzy and bubbly. I’m sure I killed a few bubbles with that one. More than a few, probably. I drank half the glass already. With a small clink, I set the glass back on the bartop, watching the ice cubes bob up and down, almost tauntingly. I could just make out my wavy reflection in the liquid gold - I didn’t look like a wreck; I was a wreck. No, I was atrocious. Physically, emotionally, mentally, everything. With contempt, I pushed the ice cubes along with my finger, blurring the hazy mirror. I couldn’t stand it any longer.

Not just my reflection, but everything. I couldn’t stand it. Weakly, I pushed the glass to the side. I tried studying the wooden bar top. At least it was still. Somehow, it still managed to get me. Everything got me these days. I could feel my glasses slowly falling off my face. No matter. I let them. Plunk. Right on the wood. I hoped it hurt.

I forced myself to look up. My glasses laid there, lenses face down, arms outstretched and pointed skyward. My eyes danced along the walls. Bottles of wine, old posters, a dartboard, wallflowers, wood panelling, awards, certificates, jerseys, all in frames. There I was, sitting - no, sagging - on a leather barstool, drinking my Sprite, looking all around, but still not looking in that one spot. I couldn’t look. It’d kill me. Painfully and slowly. Until I couldn’t see anymore. My stomach churned. I knew I had to. I’d seen it in movies all the time. But this time, it was so different. She was so different.

Slowly, I turned. My vision was blurred. Faces were hazy. Outlines. Colors. Basic shapes. Specifics were gone. I could barely read. Maybe that was a good thing. Still, it took me no time to spot them.

Talking. It was fine, I guess. Better than before. She leaned against the wall, drink in hand. Some kind of cocktail, but I could barely tell. I slowly reached for my glasses, but stopped myself. I just didn’t want to know. Why would I? She wore a black dress, I could tell. I’d seen her wear it before. I’d seen her wear a lot of things - that dress was my favorite. She always wore black on Tuesdays and red on Wednesdays. White on Thursdays. Purple on Fridays. Pink on Saturdays. Blue on Sundays. And whatever she wanted on Mondays. Always something different on a Monday....

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