A short story by Wyatt Haste

There was a constant almost silent tap on the window as the rain continued to pour out over the city. "Tap, tap, tap, tap" as if in rhythm with the world, I pondered if I too was in rhythm. If maybe my heart beat was the drums for a much larger band that played the symphony of fall. Every year around this time I felt the same way. An erie spooky kind of ironic feeling. For a Friday night I didn't feel as enthused as I normally would be, somthing just didn't feel quite right. See I've lived here in this town for eighteen years and well I guess it's starting to be a challenge to find a little enlightenment. It was an abnormal morning, I awoke to find myself in a feeling of confidence dressing in the most stylish outfit I could manage to put together. Usually I don't care what I wear. I just find clothes that are clean and throw them on but lately I've felt I needed to spice up my life to try and find something new and exciting. Normally I'd get dressed and go to my friends house to see what everyone is up to. You see most of my close friends would hang out at the same place, one of my buddies parents house, they loved when all of us friends would hangout together after our close brother decided to take his own life one lonely night. But out of ordinance, today on this occasion, I was called. My friend Roger had plans to hangout with these two girls Sarah and Vanessa. They were the type of girls who were practically down for anything. It could be the Holocaust and these girls would still be down to steal a bottle and kick it. I know that sounds trashy but in 2014 anything is possible. I wouldn't be surprised if people walked on Mars, in fact I believe the other day I seen a picture of one of the astronauts who walked on the moon wearing a t-shirt that read "go for it, walk on mars" or something of the sort. Roger was the type of person to think of others much before himself. He would live to see his friends laugh and smile. I'd like to say almost every word to come out of his mouth was intended to make the people he cared about smile. I was always inspired by his confidence and the way he could talk to just about anyone without hesitation. There was nothing to be shy about for him, not his off sounding voice, or his indifferent looks, or his unnoticeable vast knowledge. He never looked as smart as he was but he was. He calls me up on the phone; "Davie, what are you up to?" I say not much, he continues with "brotha we've got to hangout tonight. Sara and Vanessa want to meet up and drink a little bit with us!" I told him I was down being as I hadn't any plans for the night. I've been needing this excitement I had thought. I've been looking for love or partnership with any woman but none had left their mark on me. Sure, plenty had been attractive beyond belief but none had had my interest. Or had any interest in me. I wasn't much to be excited for. I was short, very average, and a little bit funny. Most of the time I was ashamed of myself. I'd try and force happiness a pon myself but it would never be true. It seems to this day I honestly do not know what it feels like. I pray that somebody some day would be excited and have their belly filled with brightly colored butterflies when they see my misshapen face. I wish someone would see through my flaws and everything wrong with me and still tell me im beautiful. It is or only seems like something to hope and wish for. And so I told Roger "I'll have to ask to use my dad's car tonight so I can drive us all around" Roger replies: " sounds like a plan. Pick me up at 8 bro". I ask my father David, who i was partially named after, if I can use his car. For the most part David was a great parent. He has always been there for me, even while being a parent. He's stopped me from many embarrassments. One being performing for my junior high school talent show for a very unplanned and unorganized cover of a guitar song by the old 97s called the question. He always encouraged me while never making me over confident. I loved the stories he would tell, they'd always be exciting having adventure filled with glory but every tale would be told out of great humbleness. I admired it so. It gave me courage to make my own memories that were so crazy that my own mind would bend just recalling them. He decided to let me use his car surprisingly with no questions asked. The night began with me picking up Roger. We went on to buy some alcohol from our older friend Steven. We bought a half gallon of rum to share with our two female friends. He was trying to hook up with Sarah as I was planning to hook up with Vanessa who I'd admired from a far for quite some time. We've all gone to middle school and high school together. Now being graduated or in my case should be graduated, I had felt much more mature than maybe I should have. We decided to go to this cliff over looking the Spokane river. We drank just about all of our liqour, mixing it and chasing it with squirt soda making each shot and drink taste like cotton candy. We talked and told stories we've never shared before. It seemed so private and sensual just the four of us. It seemed almost perfect. The view from the cliff gave a new beautiful outlook on the terrible forgotten city, I like to believe as being cursed. Seeing as not a single friend, as great as they were, from this home town to get anywhere close to being called far in this world. I often wondered where and what my life would amount to. Taking drugs to further my thinking capacity was inspired by my favorite people to live and pass in this world. My cousin talked about how he had taken acid back in the 70s and how it changed his world forever. He told how he loved and lost and how he fell and conquered. He told me how in his youth he felt true strength. He felt his mind rush with a power that only God himself knew. Wondering as far out in each direction it could go. Searching for meaning in every aspect of life. It taught me, all of the stories. It helped me grow into a questionable I'd like to say smart person. This city seemingly meaningless, had to be here for only us to make meaning. It is too much for my mind to wrap around. It doesn't feel right with Vanessa. Roger and Sarah are getting along nicely while me and Vanessa can't find anything to talk about. Had my admiration over the years been in vein? Or had we just met in a grey light? I'm one for believing in fate so I feel that I would know when I find my soul mate. It hadn't been the case. We were drunk. All of us. My irresponsibility to allow myself to drink pass my ability to drive with friends in the car would turn out to be my most biggest regret. You never know when an accident can occur. They happen all the time. Large or obscure. After stumbling down the hillside from atop the cliff we all made it to my father David's car. The sound of my fingers fumbling for the keys fill the air. "Beep" the horn sounds as I unlock the doors. We get in, I slip inserting the key into the ignition. The car starts abruptly. I accelerate so fine it would seem I was sober. All that was on my mind was dropping off these three friends I had shared the night with. Driving down upriver, the radio blaring some random pointless song, we make our way around the bends. This October it had been unusually cold and ice would slightly form on the roads at night. Also tonight was haunted by overcast and slight rain making the situation worse. Around one of the last curves on this road a silver sports car came around the corner going 45 to 50 mph and swerving into my lane, I was going the speed limit 35 mph, forced with the decision to hit this car or swerve towards the river. I didn't know what to do. My instincts kicked in boosted by adrenaline and even they didn't know what to do. My drunkness made me choose quickly. I swerved hesitantly and bumped the other car than swerved off road kitty corner to a tree bouncing off that and than off a large boulder into the ice cold Spokane river. I remember the water hitting my toes than climbing up to my knees. I remember my friends faces in pure terror as the blood chilling cold water rose past our wastes to our chests. I remember trying to take the deepest breath I could watching my friends scream as the water passed our necks and hit the top of our heads. It seemed unreal. Maybe it was the shock but it all felt like a bad dream. I kind of blacked out. I guess I kicked and pushed on every door and window I could for 2 and a half minutes before I finally broke through my passenger window, thanks to a beer run a couple months ago where the worker chased my friend Jason out of the store and couldn't catch him before he got in the car so he threw a huge rock at my window not breaking it but what I believe to have weakened it. I swam up took a breath and swam to shore. I woke up in the hospital with horrible memories. They told me the paramedics found me in fetal position on on the beach unconscious. All I remember was a tapping on the window almost to be in rhythm with the world. I wondered if I too was in rhythm, hearing my heart monitor beep I felt as if soon i would be. All three of my friends passed away that night. I'm still alive and i don't know why. Life will always be a beautiful lie.

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