I’m happy to announce that one of my short stories received a bronze medal in “Writing Academy” short story contest.
I split it into two parts so it would be easier to read. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for all the love and support. ♥♥
Inside These Walls.
By Zeina Abi Ghosn
The subtle squeak of a rebounder bounces from under my feet. Loud music floats through the vacant hallways motivating me to keep moving. This is the only wayto get my heart rate up without leaving the house. I hop off the rebounder and grab my water bottle. I sit by the window observing the weather outside and I wonder what the fresh air smells like today. The snowman looks stranded in thebackyard so I desperately stare at my phone wishing one of my friends wouldtext me.
The conversation over dinner with my parents is always the same, “He keeps asking about you.” My father says and I’m rolling my food with the fork trying to avoid eye contact.
“You wanna see a photo of him?” Mum always asks which is usually followed by an awkward silence, but tonight my dad keeps talking.
“Honey, listen…Nobody can change the past.” My father explains. I’m halfway up the stairs when he adds, “Don’t you think you’re being too hard on yourself?”
People say I have my whole life ahead of me and I should be fearless at seventeen.That’s how my life’s been for the past two weeks watching outdoor life floatby. Boredom has been my constant friend lurking at me in mysterious ways and itturns everything in its path to grey. I have paced each inch of my bedroom,arranged my closet over seventeen times. Even though I’m confined to shop forclothes online now, I’ve never admitted to anyone that I miss window-shopping. SometimesI find myself in front of my little brother’s room without any explanation. Ifind myself staring at his Legos and at his small bed. Sometimes I think I seehis little shadow sitting across from me in the living room. Owen is only five years old; he didn’tdeserve what I did to him. The void he left in our lives floats through thehouse during the nights that I can almost hear his squeal as if he was rightnext to me.
The next morning, while I’m doing my homework the doorbell rings. I peek from the window and spot a package waiting at the end of the porch. I open the door to find snow has dominated the neighborhood and panic washes over me. I feel myself falling into the space around me. I gaze at the fuzzy sun that’s hiding behind the dark clouds. The noises swallow me and I quickly shut the door. Sweat is trickling down my forehead and my shoulders feel stiff. I crouch down on the floor and crawl to the living room feeling defeated.
The door knocks again, and I don’t know how to find the power to stand up now. I crawl back to the window to find it’s my best friend Lisa and she’s holding the package in her hands. I stretch my arm up and un-lock the door.
“Hi Soph!” Lisa grins and walks inside, “Aren’t you glad to see me?”
“Sure!” I hesitate and stand up.
“You busy?” Lisa asks.
“No, I was doing my school work.” I reply trying to control my breath.
Lisa places the package in my arms, “I got you more school work.”
The sound of the crackling fire fills the living room with warmth as Lisa catches me up on our schoolwork and the gossip at school. Then she blurts out the question I despise the most, “When are you coming back?”
“I…I don’t know.”
“Is your brother doing better?” Lisa asks cautiously.
“They say he is.” I smile as I scan
through my science assignment.
“You know at school they’re saying you have a phobia… we’ll never see you there again.” Lisa says.
I look up from the book not believing the words I just heard, “It’s none of anyone’s business.” I snap.
“It’s not a big deal…” Lisa
stands, “See you tomorrow?”
I watch Lisa leave and I stand on that step which connects me to the outside world. The crispy breeze hits my warm cheeks and I shiver from the cold. I retreat inside and look through all the schoolwork I have to do. I think of all the courses I’m missing and all my classmates’ gossip. My heart breaks from the judgment, why does everything have to be labeled. Since when were my fears everyone’s business? Why do people look at me as if I’m missing a piece?
My eyes wander towards our family photo right above the chimney and a sharp noise returns to my ears. My friends have no idea the things I had to go through. My life changed in an instant for me and the people around me because I was texting and driving. One wrong decision ruined all the things I took for granted. Nobody sees the shackles on my feet but I feel them. I understand how people can carry this guilt around and it sinks them down. It seeps slowly into their souls and steals away all the magic from their lives.
I approach the front door again whilemy mind automatically revises all the times I’ve ran out of here either to goto school or meet some friends. I envy the times when these limitations neverheld me back and being frozen in front of the outdoors wasn’t an issue. So Idraw in a deep inhale, open the front door and my feet shake. I wave at myneighbors and then the view begins to blur. I try to ignore it and force mybrain to order my foot to step forward. Instead, it ignores my request and I collapse on the floor.
Thank you for reading♥ I will be posting part two tomorrow. Please let me know your thoughts below!