If only life remained simple instead of becoming a complicated, steaming heap of mess.
Billy and Belle spent the remainder of the day at the waterway. They skipped stones and played in the water. Billy and Belle made their way home with the setting sun. Billy walked his friend to the front gate of her ramshackle home.
The lights were off, and her mom’s car was gone from the driveway. Belle smiled at Billy.
“I better get inside,” she said. Billy nodded.
“Yeah, I have to get home myself.”
Belle leaned close and gave Billy a peck on the cheek. Billy’s heart raced; his face blushed a bright red. Belle giggled at his obvious discomfort.
“Maybe tomorrow we could go back to see the hermit.”
“I don’t know about that, Belle. He acted like he wanted to be left alone.”
“We’ll talk about it tomorrow, okay?”
Billy nodded his head, but he was not in a hurry to revisit the cabin in the woods. He watched Belle walk into the house and waited until her room lamp clicked on. Then, he walked back to his house.
Davy watched the sun go down from his sub-basement window. He had spent the day pecking on the keyboard. For every word he chose, another five got deleted. Writing had become a source of frustration for him this afternoon.
He dug out a box filled with books of movies he collected throughout his multiple deployments. It mattered not where he deployed, someone was selling movies. Davy had thousands of movies that he bought from various markets. He flicked on his television and slid a movie into the PlayStation’s disc tray.
The disc whirred and spun. It finally came on. He leaned back in his recliner and watched the film. The quality of the movie was shoddy at best, and Davy quickly lost interest in it.
He went back to his computer and stared at the blank screen. ‘Come on, think of something to write…’
Davy pecked out a sentence and looked at what he had written. “The brown sand of the desert soaked up the blood like a sponge. Life had no value here. It was just another day in hell.
It wasn’t much but it was a start.
Mondays’ suck. Everybody said so.
For Belle it sucked, for Wilma and Jocko too she suspected. Everyone hated when the weekend disappeared. Belle waited for the bus and saw Billy walking up. She smiled, and he smiled back.
“Hey,” Billy said.
“I hate Mondays.”
They waited for the bus in silence. Neither Belle nor Billy were morning people. They needed at least another four hours of sleep, a hearty breakfast, and a power nap before they could start their day. Standing at a bus stop and waiting was cruel and unusual punishment in their minds.
The bus pulled up and stopped. The brakes made a psssh sound. They boarded the bus and rode silently to the school.
For some reason Mondays dragged by. Maybe it had to do with it being the first workday of the week. Either way, the day passed slowly.
At the first break of the day, Billy and Belle decided to sit outside on the steps and talk. Other kids hung out with their phones and friends. They all conversed in low tones, like they were discussing national secrets or what have you.
Gavin Benson, the school bully, plopped down between Belle and Billy. He scrunched up his nose and sniffed Belle.
“Smell that boys? Smells like whore up in here,” he shouted. His pals gathered around and laughed. Belle said nothing, Billy did nothing.
“Oh, that’s right, Belle. Your mom is a whore. Is she still shacked up with that drug dealer? Yeah, like mother, like daughter. You’re a whore by association.”
Billy stood up and the bullies crowded in closer. Gavin grinned.
“That’s enough, Gavin. Leave us alone.”
Gavin laughed and shrugged. “Sure, no problem, Billy.” Billy nodded and Gavin punched him in the solar plexus. Billy doubled over, and Gavin grabbed him by the hair.
“It’s over when I say it’s over. Now, there are two whores out here.” The bullies howled with laughter and started up the steps. Belle knelt down by her friend.
“You shouldn’t have said anything, Billy. My mom is….”
Billy coughed and shook his head. He put his hand on Belle’s shoulder. “You’re not your mother, Belle.”