Precipice (Pt. 3)
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
I unlock the deadbolt and slip inside. The house is filled with uneasy silence. I reach the landing and see a juice container lying on the floor. Discarded. The lid is missing. I sigh audibly and gently place it in the trash.
I need a towel.
I let my mind wander as I clean another mess.
Just a few hours ago dread consumed me, and then melted away as I became someone else. It felt confusing and exhilarating at once.
I faced my fear. I did something I never thought I could do.
When they announced the winner each syllable of my name ebbed and flowed from the intercom into words and then meaning. Time churned to an excruciating pace. People cheered, and for a moment, I mattered.
The washing machine whirs to life. A door opens. My first instinct is to retreat to my room, but I have to know.
"I won something today,” I say with hopeful anticipation.
"Great, is it money?" the voice asks absently before mumbling something inaudible.
"No, I auditioned to be a speaker at graduation and they selected me," I continue eagerly.
"Oh," the voice says flatly while hands flip through a stack envelopes on the table.
Feet shuffle to the kitchen. "Where's the juice? Oh right, it spilled all over the floor last night because..." The voice, now animated, continues but I can't hear it. I'm already walking down the hall.
The washing machine whirs. My heart thunders. My watch ticks. My fists tighten. I retreat to my room.
"I mattered today," I say to myself as I close the door behind me, "and I will matter again tomorrow."