and bad timing
make the most painful combination.”
* * *
~ HIGH SCHOOL ~
~ SOPHOMORE YEAR ~
~ PROLOGUE THING ~
I mean, it’s not that I didn’t like the suburbs, but having spent a good percentage of my life growing up in the city, it was just really boring. Moving there when I was ten, so I felt like I was playing catch-up with everyone else at my school. My parents divorced when I was eight, and my father remarried when I was twelve.
That was quite a year for me.
But along with a stepmother, Patricia, I got an older stepbrother, Sam, and a younger stepsister, Alyssa.
I’m Adrian. The name was, apparently, my mom’s idea.
So, my favorite space in my new house was the reading room (which was actually the study but I called it the reading room because why not), which was painted blue and white, with a pretty good view of the street.
Suburbia was kinda frustrating. Everyone knew everyone. If you didn’t know someone, you were probably friends with someone who knew them. It was too quiet some nights, too. I waited to hear a police siren go off, or the sound of a car alarm ringing a couple blocks away. What I got was the local commuter train that stopped every hour until about eleven, and the occasional car passing by at night. It was pretty rare when a police siren or a car alarm went off.
It felt too much like The Stepford Wives sometimes. But then I’d see upper middle-class kids doing something stupid, getting high, drinking while underage, getting a car when they turned sixteen, and then I realized that I’d rather live in this world than a idyllic one.
But that’s not the point of this story. Obviously.
There was this guy who walked down my street at 7:15 at night, every night. I did homework in the reading room, and I usually stared out the window for most of it. His pace was always the same, his attire was always the same, everything always the same. During the summer, I’d sit on the curb and watch him pass. He looked two years older than me.
It was kind of frightening.
But that’s not what got my attention, though. Sorry, just bear with me for the time being.
His eyes are what made my, curiosity burn. He had striking green eyes, but his stare was fixated on the pavement; this glossy, vacant stare that was an array of angry emotions. It was the kind of eyes that beckoned you to come in and hug someone. I tried to stop him to talk to him, but I constantly noticed that he listened to music. I felt awkward approaching him and trying to get his attention; even grabbing him felt so out of place.
He walked by my house every day for two years. Every time I saw him pass, his stare became more and more angry, like he was trying hard to get away from something.