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0:28 AMChapter 2[part 1]: Equations; L(ife)=P(eople)xM(yself)/R(eactions)
Chapter 2: Equations; L(ife)=P(eople)xM(yself)/R(eactions)
After spending a day engrossed in art with my friends, I finally headed home. Now, Steven doesn’t know this, but he does scare me sometimes, which is why I usually try to go out and do things all day on Fridays. I remember how the first time, maybe a year ago now, he would come back from "hanging out with his friends” and he would seem more hollow and fake to me.
It’s hard to tell when you don’t know him well enough, like my brothers, but it’s definitely there. Something like a spirit that no longer knows feelings. Strange, right? I mean, sure, on the outside, he seems happier and lighter, but when I look harder, deeper, like the artistic part of me demands, it sees something far darker, something overcoming him and changing him.
I don’t want to ask him, and worsen whatever relationship we have now due to all the family problems. As long as he is fine the rest of the week, I don’t care. But back to what I was about to explain.
So as I walked through the door, could almost feel all the tension in the room, and decided to go into my room and just sit there for a while, hoping for some inspiration to draw. I walk over to my bed near the window on the right side of the room, pull out my sketchbook and notepad, just in case, along with a box full of my favorite pens, pencils, colors, and paints. I lie all of these out neatly on top of the covers in a semi-circle and then I climb into the middle of it all. I sat and stared at my sketchpad. But, I had something I needed to write. I grabbed my notepad and a very neat-looking ballpoint pen from the pile next to it, and began to write.
Those monsters you are told of as a child that live in your closet or under a bed, they aren’t lies.
They are truths. They exist.
They live in your shadow, if you are lucky.
They trap you in their heart, if you are not.
Their heart is not cold and hard as stone as you might think; rather, it is full of all the evil and unkind things in the world.
Their hearts try to drown you in the sorrows they know you face.
And sometimes, they succeed. Once they succeed, they leave you for your last moments, and find a new host.
They keep their veils constantly over your face, just far enough in front of you so that you can partially see what is true.
Only partially though.
The truth is blurred and a haze.
And when others try to tell you the truth, they can’t see who you are, so they can’t tell you everything. And you can’t believe them because everything is blurred.
I stared at the page for a while. I can never tell when I write a poem or a short story told in a poem-like form. But why do I feel like this relates back to Steven and our family? You know self, maybe it does. But why do I feel compelled to write it now?
Crash. Boom. The smell of smoke. It’s pitch black.
"Who are you, child?”
"Me? I’m Stephanie. But who-or what- are you?”
A deep voice rumbles in the distance. Laughter?
"Nothing of importance to you. Well, for this moment anyway.”
"Wait, what are you-?”
"Good bye for now, small one, tell that spirit that resides under your roof that we all wish her well.”
"What don’t you understand about that, sis?”
I blink once, and my vision is completely restored. I see my brother looming over the left side of my bed, arms crossed and irritation, sketched across his face. "Uhm, sorry, I’m still kinda stuck in the land or art, I guess.” That’s my spacing out excuse. "Can you go over it again?”
He rolls his eyes, but calms down a little bit. "I was asking why on earth you were allowing your page to be covered in random doodles. Isn’t that you writing notebook?” I look down and give a small gasp. I grew a person-the voice from my daydream?- and a smaller looking child underneath the large figure. How did that happen? "Besides that, I was wondering if you had anything planned this weekend, or if I should bother bringing up family movie night again.”
"Nope, no plans, let’s bring it up at dinner!” I said a little too quickly, which made him raise his eyebrows in confusion. He still seemed different, like all the other Fridays, but maybe more controlled?
"Okay, Sunday then? What time?”
I thought for a minute. Man, I had a piece I was going to make Sunday… I’ll figure it out. "How’s 10 pm? I think I heard that was when one of the newer movies was playing.”
He shrugs "Works for me.” He walks around my bed and flops over onto his and picks up his math book.
I decided to make fun of him to hopefully get my mind off of that weird spirit. "So when did you become a math nerd?” I asked when I saw him flying through his algebra problems. He likes keeping in practice, just so he won’t fail during school and get kicked out of sports.
He looked up after he finished the problem he was on. "One: not a nerd. I’m a jock. Duh,” making fun of the stereotypes about high school groups. "Two: if I don’t get the concept, I’ll apply it to real life. Or I’ll make up one to describe my life in my own special way.” Wow.
"That’s interesting, to say the least. Can I see an example?” He looked a little hesitant at first, which made me wonder why, but then he shook his head, and grabbed another piece of paper from a random binder in his backpack. On the page, he wrote L=[(P)x(M)]/R.
I stared blankly at the page. I looked up into his slightly dull dark eyes and saw a small sparkle of laughter at my confusion. Good. He is still in control.
He took the paper back and wrote something underneath it and handed it back. I looked at the line below the first equation. Life=(People x Myself)/Reactions. "Oh, okay. So how do I use it?”
He looked up and thought for a second. "I usually just plug in whatever is affecting me at the moment, like if my team, family, and friends are surrounding me then, I’ll usually do this.” Then he wrote down on the page Life= [(team+family+friends) x(myself)]/(stress+tension+disfunction). "Wanna try to figure it out?” Oh, haha. You know I hate word problems.
"Nope, go right ahead.” So wait, you count the numbers in each word, then do regular math? Let’s see…. So Life=(17x6)/24? Yeah, okay. So then it’s… "What the hell does 4.25 mean?”
"Well, I’m usually pissed if I use this equation, so then I would make 4 lists, you know, like friends, family, team, and myself, and cross of ¼ of the stuff, like stuff I can’t change about those people or just whatever minor thing I got mad at them for. Then I look over the list, and let out my frustration by ranting about how irritating they are on the back, then get over it.”
"…Wow. That is a special way to do things. Now how did you come up with it?”
"Well…” I gave him a look to continue, and he rubbed the back of his neck in response. Then right as he was about to say something, we heard the front door open and close loudly.
"GUYS WE GOT FOOD!” Great timing Michael, good job.
"Well, I guess it’s time to eat!” Steven said, sounding a little relieved. Did his eyes get darker? "Let’s go talk about movie night with them.”
I shrug. "Alright.” As we leave the room, I can’t get rid of that weird conversation and Steven’s equation, like they are somehow connected.
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