I wrote this short story a few days ago (because I was procrastinating my revision), and although it’s not great or anything I thought I would share it. Enjoy.
Someone’s favorite book character
Evie paced around in her room, a book clutched in her hand and a million notes spread around her. Her messy curls had been thrown into a bun, kept in place by a pencil. Her phone had been chucked to the side, the screen lighting up as it made a loud buzzing sound every so often. Her backpack was placed on her chair, filled to the brim with clothes, socks and underwear.
People were shouting downstairs and it was followed by the slamming off a door. Her parents were fighting again. A car started in the garage below and drove off with a shrieking sound.
«Evie!» Her mother shouted from downstairs.
Evie took a deep breath, trying to force the tears to stop but failing and threw her book on her bed. She wouldn’t be needing that anymore. She ran down the stairs, but before she reached the living room her mother came towards her. Her eye makeup had melted off, thick streaks of black now leading down towards her skin. Her otherwise flawless lipstick had crumbled and had rubbed off onto her teeth.
«Look, there is some food in the fridge. I have to go somewhere for a w-while.. I’ll be back in a few days, I promise.» She said and grabbed her purse from the hook by the door. She fumbled around in it until she found her car keys.
Some situations are so familiar you stop objecting to them. This was one of them. Her parents would fight and her father would take off first, drink in some shady pub and turn up again drunker than ever before a few days later. Her mother would leave only a few minutes after, cursing once she reached her car and racing off to a place Evie didn’t know off. Sometimes she would come back after a few days. Sometimes it would take weeks.
Her mother pushed past her and slammed the front door shut behind her.
Evie was left in a heavy silence and the house seemed to hot, too narrow and small. For a moment, she stood there and stared at the door, tears forming in her eyes and spilling over. Then she pulled herself together, ran upstairs and zipped her bag shut. She threw it over her shoulder and pulled the pencil out of her hair, letting it cascade down her back.
She was on her way to the back door, ready to take off, her revision notes for her upcoming exams forgotten, when the doorbell rang. She froze, uncertain of what to do.
The doorbell rang again, the sound echoing through the hallways. She made an attempt at drying her tears away, but only smudged them down her face. She sighed and with a huff, she walked towards the door. She unlocked it with the spare key and opened the door.
«Hey! I’m so glad I caught you before you left!» A beaming voice said.
Evie was met by a boy about her age, with brown hair down to his narrow shoulders and high cheekbones. He was smiling so broadly his white teeth showed, and his hazel eyes were shimmering with joy. He pushed the door open and stepped inside without an invitation, hugging her with both arms.
Evie frowned and pushed him away, shaking his firm hands of her.
«Excuse me? Who are you?» She said, closing the door further to block him out of the house.
«Oh, how rude of me not to introduce myself. I know you don’t know me because I don’t matter or exist in your world but I’m Milo Taemin.» He said, trying to push past her again.
She blocked him out and shook her head.
«I’m sorry, I have no idea who you are or what you’re talking about. Look, I’m busy and I have to leave now, so if you would excuse me.» Se mumbled, turning away and closing the door with her foot.
He stopped it with his hand and grabbed her arm.
«I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW YOU ARE MY FAVORITE BOOK CHARACTER AND I KNOW HOW IT ENDS AND I WANNA CHANGE IT!» He shouted.
Evie tried to pull away, but he tightened his grip. He was insane and he was currently trying to force his way into her house. If her parents were home, she could have made one of them deal with this. But of course they weren’t, and she was stuck with some crazy guy talking about books and characters.
«look, I don’t have time for this.» She said, signaling towards the bag.
«I know, that’s why I’m here. Please listen to me, I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.»
Evie shook her head and closed the door behind him.
«Fine, you might as well come in then.» She told him, showing him to the living room.
He smiled at er and took a seat in the large sofa without being invited. Evie dropped down in the opposite chair, watching as he looked around, mouth half open. If her parents knew she let a stranger in the house, she would be grounded for weeks. But they weren’t here, and they would probably never know. Perhaps that’s why she let him come in, because she knew it would annoy her parents. And perhaps thoughts like that had made them fight and eventually leave.
«By the way, I think you are awesome for supporting your best friend the way you did! You made her lasts breaths bearable, and I think that is the best anything could have done for her.»
Evie jumped to her feet and approached him in two large steps. She grabbed the front of his shirt and shook him lightly.
«How do you know that?» She growled.
The corners of his mouth curled into a careful smirk.
«I told you that you were my favorite book character.» He shrugged.
She tightened his grip and he flinched, before meeting her gaze.
«I don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Book character? What kind of world do you live in, a fantasy one?» She said, not expecting an answer.
She forced a laugh, but her mind was running over and he would not trigger any tears from her. She didn’t have time for his madness, she shouldn’t have invited him inside. He could be dangerous.
«Of course I don’t live in a fantasy world, Don’t be silly. It’s more like.. you know.. an alternative universe.» He explained.
She let go of him and stepped back to study his expression. He wasn’t smiling anymore, and he looked very serious.
«an alternative universe? Like in books?» She asked him.
«Yes! Well technically you are in an alternative universe for me, but I guess it’s the other way around for you.» He went silent for a moment to think through what he just said and then shook his head. «Anyways, I don’t have much time. I came here to tell you not to run away because it wont solve anything. Trust me, I’ve seen how running away ends for you and it is not the solution to your problems. I know you have struggled since you lost your best friend, and I admire how well you cope with it while nailing your exams. You’ve done so well and I’m proud of you and you are marvelous, so call someone who wants to sleepover.»
Evie sat down next to him, ignoring the voice in her head that told her to step away, to tell him to go. She had never heard of anyone called Milo, and the things he said made little sense. But he was interesting and she curious, and keeping away for what is new is hard when you’re desperate for a change.
«Tell me more.» She said.
A few years ago, someone had told her never to judge a person before you heard what they had to say. That turned to be brilliant advice, at least for her best friend. Evie would never have made the effort to get to know her if it wasn’t for that advice. Still, it would have saved her an awful lot of pain. She tried to tell herself the memories of what was good and safe and beautiful made up for the sadness, but sometimes that wasn’t enough.
He smiled, the same way he did as when he walked in. Impossible cheerful. His hazel eyes lit up and he leaned towards her.
«A brilliant lady made a book about you and your best friend, and it’s wonderful. I can’t say much because to spoil someone’s life for them is an awful crime, but I can say that there are a lot of people feeling inspired for your desire to help and save people, even though in the end you cannot stop time. You’re wonderful and I think you should know that.»
«Thank you, I guess. So you know everything? What exactly happens when I walk out that door with my bag right now?» She questioned, glancing at the door and then at the kitchen counter, where her father had left his phone.
Milo got up, his curls bouncing. He zipped his jacket shut and looked around, finally settling on the clock. He raised an eyebrow and muttered something.
«I can’t tell you. That would ruin the story, would it not?» He winked. «I have to go now, before anyone notices I’m gone. It was truly a pleasure to meet you, and you will always be my favorite book character. Well, except if you do anything ridiculously cruel or stupid, but I might forgive you.»
And with that he was gone. Vanished into thin air, leaving nothing behind but a fading cloud of smoke. She stood there for a moment, dumbfounded, and then took a seat and turned on the TV.