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    Home » 2015 » September » 12 » Chapter 6[part 1]: Advice from a Fortune Cookie
    11:29 PM
    Chapter 6[part 1]: Advice from a Fortune Cookie

    Chapter 6: Advice from a Fortune Cookie

                Maybe two hours after Steven had started reading he drifted off and fell asleep with the book resting on his chest. I rolled my eyes when I saw this, but I kept writing on the page. I felt like this situation we were stuck in had a puzzle to solve.

                All it adds up to each time I try and write it out is this: Steven is going crazy if he’s hallucinating; I’m crazy if I’m going along with this; we have until next Wednesday – that’s a week plus some – left to complete a ‘love and hate’ list; this spirit woman owns 1259 Hazel Lane, so I want to blame /her/ for all my current problems; a spirit is possessing Steven; and I missed a cool new art exhibit today!

                I groaned and fell back on my bed, throwing my notebook off the side of it. I threw and arm over my eyes and blew out a breath. Geez, this whole situation just gets crazier and crazier…

                At some point, after all the stuff on my list plus some had been sorted in my head (under kinda normal. Paranormal, crazy, and damn near insane), there was a knock at the door. I was going to yell for them to come in, but Steven was still sleeping, so I decided to be polite and get up. I opened the door right as Michael had started to reach for the doorknob. We ended up staring at each other for a few seconds until Michael stepped back and cleared his throat.

                “Just wanted to know what you guys wanted to have for dinner.”

                I shrugged. “I don’t care. And Steven’s asleep right now,” I replied as I gestured behind me. Michael glanced over my shoulder and smiled.

                “Alright, I just wanted to check. Mind if I order takeout then?” He had this huge grin on his face because he knows I’m not a big fan of Asian food in general.

                I rolled my eyes at him, but nodded. “Just be sure to get me sweet and sour pork with rice. And a fork.”

                He laughed his annoyingly carefree laugh – why it annoys me at the moment, I don’t know – and said he would before he walked away to go find the number of the restaurant. Hopefully he remembers what I asked him to get…

                I slowly walked back to my bed while I started thinking about the lists yet again. After maybe half an hour of my trying to brainstorm, the doorbell rang, signifying that dinner had arrived. I waited a few moments before I decided to get up and wake Steven up.

                It took us a few minutes to wake up all the way and walk outside of our room and to the table where all the take out was. When we sat down, we were each handed out food in those white take-out boxes – I got my order while Steven got some kind of shrimp and noodles combo – and dug in. Phil had come back at some point while Steven and I were in our room, along with Kaleb, so those two and Michael made most of the conversation while I occasionally threw in a jab or two and Steven made a few sarcastic comments. Jake laughed now and then, but he mostly just sat there and ate. Overall, it was a nice, normal dinner. Different from what I’m now used to.

                After we had stacked up all our boxes and threw away the stack and our utensils, we cracked open our fortune cookies and laughed at the weird ones we got. Jake got “don’t forget the take-out!”; Michael announced that his was “people are drawn in by your outgoing personality”(we all had a good laugh over that much to his chagrin); Kaleb is waiting to win the lottery since he will “come into gain a lot of money soon”; Steven’s just said “good luck with your problems” (they got lazy there); mine was that I needed to “relax and enjoy life”; and Phil’s was to “always listen to the fortune cookies.”

                We snacked and made more jokes about our weird fortunes and wondering who makes them before we separated into our usual spots. When Steven and I walked into our room, we roamed around a bit, gathering the things we did when we attempted to brainstorm, but also getting ready for bed since we normally fell asleep during this.

                When I walked over to my bed and flopped on my back, falling against my fluffy comforter, which I really didn’t need on the bed, seeing as it was summer after all, and ended up banging my head against the headboard. It made an extra loud thump and I immediately sat up and rolled onto my side as Steven started snickering. Bastard. Doesn't even ask me if I'm okay...

                After maybe five minutes of us throwing pillows at each other, we quieted and calmed down, getting right to work. After about an hour, I added maybe three items to my list, so I decided it was time for a break.

                I was in a rush to go and use the restroom – I didn’t realize I had to go, I was busy! – so I hurried down the hallway into our small-looking bathroom. A few minutes later, I walked out just to see Jake opening his door and glancing around like he was checking for anyone following him. We stared at one another for a few seconds before asking the other what they were up to. We stared at each other a few second longer before Jake breathed out and leaned on his closed door.

                It was an unnerving sight. I’m used to seeing Jake moping about. But his head hung low and his shoulders hunched forward, he just looked really defeated. I walked past him.

                “C’mon, let’s go talk in the living room rather than the hallway,” I whispered at this shadow of my brother.
                We sat down on the couch. It was silent for a while. We don’t talk too often, but I felt this was important. After three minutes passed by, I took a breath in to start the conversation, but Jake beat me to it.

                “Kicking it is a lot harder than I thought.”

                I looked at him. I didn’t know what he was referring to.

                “Kicking what?”

                Silence.

                “Jake…” I whispered, trailing off. What had I missed? How did I miss it?

                He sighed and leaned his head on the back of the couch, staring at a blank spot on the ceiling.

                “Kicking my addictions. Like… you know… weed… alcohol…”

                I didn’t know what to say.

                He looked at me and half-smiled. “I knew you hadn’t known. You were always more focused inward, we all were. But you created your own reality inside of you. You… you were always off with your friends, always gone, always looking life was its hardest on you, when it was hard on us all. But you always had a good time with friends, got the things you wanted… we did that for you and you… never noticed…” His voice cracked a little. I teared up. I didn’t think I was that bad.

                “Yes, you were that bad.”

                Jake and I both jumped at the sudden new voice. Steven was standing in our doorframe, watching us. I had never seen him with a blank expression before.

                Jake only nodded. He and Steven stared at one another for a moment. Jake stood up, and walked towards the door.

                “Hey Jake.” He paused in the middle of pulling his keys out of his pocket, halfway to the door. “Wanna help us with our project?”

                He lifted his eyebrows in shock, then he returned to his normal neutral expression. “I’ll pass for now, because you two will probably just get annoyed with me. But I will stay home, if that makes you feel any better.”

                As he walked past us, we both bumped into his sides and smiled at him. He just rolled his eyes, but he had a hint of a smile on his face. He went to his room and locked the door.

                “Well, that could have gone far worse than we thought,” I said.

                Steven stared at the door. “Very true. I’m still worried though…”

                I lightly punched him in the arm. “It’ll be okay. C’mon, let’s go.”

    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -

    After we walked back into our room, we both went back into our own mini worlds, ending up with us both half on and half off of our own beds while I drew a bunch of little sketches - flowers, random patterns, or trying to create my own characters - while Steven was reading a book. Steven sighed at one point, so I glanced up from what I was doing and stared at him until he looked over at me. We had a small stare down – which I won – until he sighed once again, bookmarked his page with a random slip of paper, and put it off to the side. He crossed his arms and folded them under his head. I did the same after I placed my pencil and notebook on the ground. 

    He looked at me closely, then finally he said, "What do you think is going to happen once this is all over?" I just shrugged in response. "Well, I don't feel like things will be very normal , even after all of this is basically done, because I think this weird spirit... whatever, will still be possessing me-" he paused for a moment and gritted his teeth. Then he started up again. "And the woman will still be living in that house on 1359 Hazel Lane. And I will still visit there," he finished, and I can't say I was shocked by him wanting to still go there, but I wondered why.

                It was quiet for a moment before I sighed and reached down – almost falling off my bed, but I caught myself – to grab my notebook and pencil again. He picked up his book again, and we both laid on our stomachs on our beds. I started doodling again, but I looked over and realized Steven was just laying his head down on his book and his arms, spacing out.

                “What are you thinking about?”

                He glanced at me out the corner of his eye, then shrugged as well as he can lying down.

                “I’m kind of thinking about… I don’t know. Just this whole situation. Like what will happen if we don’t make a list? Why are we making a list of stuff? It’s just surreal sometimes. And we can’t really list enough ourselves because we’ve haven’t had enough experiences to list things about love and hate. So what are we going to do?”

                We stared at each other for a moment.

                “Stop having an existential crisis.”

                He threw his book at me. “Shut up!”

    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -

                We woke up the next morning to the smell of food being made for breakfast. But because we were groggy – and wondering how or when we fell asleep, and how late it was when we did – we stumbled out of the room and into the dining room.

                And, of course, we got questioning looks, me most of all.

                Plus the rapid-fire of questions such as: “Aren’t you usually gone by now?” “Why are you two up late?” “Wow, you two are hanging out?” “Why do you guys look so exhausted?”

                We glanced at each other out the sides of our eyes and raised a brow. I walked over to grab a cup before sitting down while Steven plonked himself down at the table. “Project,” he mumbled before trying to grab some food – some of which just spilled all over the place because he has no motor control when he’s tired. Go figure.

                The rest of the morning sort of dragged on as we tried to wake up and actually process what was up. We all decided to watch TV in the living room. It was basically watching a few minutes of a show until a commercial came on and then hopping on to something else. We managed to pass a whole day by that way. It was strange in a way since we hadn’t done much together lately, but it was nice.

                Aside from a few minor fights over shows, what to order as take out, and who was sitting where.

                And of course the final fight of the night.

                “So what’re your plans for the next few days everyone?”

                We all glanced at Michael, wondering why that came up. It was mostly us staring at him and saying, “I don’t know.” But when Jake said that, Michael called him out and said that he was lying.

                “What the fuck, so everyone else can say it, but I can’t? That’s bullshit!”

                Michael just shrugged in response. “I have a good idea of what happens when –“

                “Shut up! You don’t fucking know!”

                “C’mon, Jake, chill –“ Steven started saying as I walked over to Michael about to ask him what was up when Jake stormed out with a yell and Michael threw the remote into the wall above our TV and went to his room. Phil and Kaleb had moved to the corners of the room early on in case things got violent. I can’t really blame em.

                Phil, Kaleb, Steven, and I all just looked at each other, not really knowing what to say. Eventually, we just said goodnight and went to bed.

                Well, it was fun while it lasted I guess.

    Chapter 6: Advice from a fortune cookie

                Maybe two hours after Steven had started reading he drifted off and fell asleep with the book resting on his chest. I rolled my eyes when I saw this, but I kept writing on the page. I felt like this situation we were stuck in had a puzzle to solve.

                All it adds up to each time I try and write it out is this: Steven is going crazy if he’s hallucinating; I’m crazy if I’m going along with this; we have until next Wednesday – that’s a week plus some – left to complete a ‘love and hate’ list; this spirit woman owns 1259 Hazel Lane, so I want to blame /her/ for all my current problems; a spirit is possessing Steven; and I missed a cool new art exhibit today!

                I groaned and fell back on my bed, throwing my notebook off the side of it. I threw and arm over my eyes and blew out a breath. Geez, this whole situation just gets crazier and crazier…

                At some point, after all the stuff on my list plus some had been sorted in my head (under kinda normal. Paranormal, crazy, and damn near insane), there was a knock at the door. I was going to yell for them to come in, but Steven was still sleeping, so I decided to be polite and get up. I opened the door right as Michael had started to reach for the doorknob. We ended up staring at each other for a few seconds until Michael stepped back and cleared his throat.

                “Just wanted to know what you guys wanted to have for dinner.”

                I shrugged. “I don’t care. And Steven’s asleep right now,” I replied as I gestured behind me. Michael glanced over my shoulder and smiled.

                “Alright, I just wanted to check. Mind if I order takeout then?” He had this huge grin on his face because he knows I’m not a big fan of Asian food in general.

                I rolled my eyes at him, but nodded. “Just be sure to get me sweet and sour pork with rice. And a fork.”

                He laughed his annoyingly carefree laugh – why it annoys me at the moment, I don’t know – and said he would before he walked away to go find the number of the restaurant. Hopefully he remembers what I asked him to get…

                I slowly walked back to my bed while I started thinking about the lists yet again. After maybe half an hour of my trying to brainstorm, the doorbell rang, signifying that dinner had arrived. I waited a few moments before I decided to get up and wake Steven up.

                It took us a few minutes to wake up all the way and walk outside of our room and to the table where all the take out was. When we sat down, we were each handed out food in those white take-out boxes – I got my order while Steven got some kind of shrimp and noodles combo – and dug in. Phil had come back at some point while Steven and I were in our room, along with Kaleb, so those two and Michael made most of the conversation while I occasionally threw in a jab or two and Steven made a few sarcastic comments. Jake laughed now and then, but he mostly just sat there and ate. Overall, it was a nice, normal dinner. Different from what I’m now used to.

                After we had stacked up all our boxes and threw away the stack and our utensils, we cracked open our fortune cookies and laughed at the weird ones we got. Jake got “don’t forget the take-out!”; Michael announced that his was “people are drawn in by your outgoing personality”(we all had a good laugh over that much to his chagrin); Kaleb is waiting to win the lottery since he will “come into gain a lot of money soon”; Steven’s just said “good luck with your problems” (they got lazy there); mine was that I needed to “relax and enjoy life”; and Phil’s was to “always listen to the fortune cookies.”

                We snacked and made more jokes about our weird fortunes and wondering who makes them before we separated into our usual spots. When Steven and I walked into our room, we roamed around a bit, gathering the things we did when we attempted to brainstorm, but also getting ready for bed since we normally fell asleep during this.

                When I walked over to my bed and flopped on my back, falling against my fluffy comforter, which I really didn’t need on the bed, seeing as it was summer after all, and ended up banging my head against the headboard. It made an extra loud thump and I immediately sat up and rolled onto my side as Steven started snickering. Bastard. Doesn't even ask me if I'm okay...

                After maybe five minutes of us throwing pillows at each other, we quieted and calmed down, getting right to work. After about an hour, I added maybe three items to my list, so I decided it was time for a break.

                I was in a rush to go and use the restroom – I didn’t realize I had to go, I was busy! – so I hurried down the hallway into our small-looking bathroom. A few minutes later, I walked out just to see Jake opening his door and glancing around like he was checking for anyone following him. We stared at one another for a few seconds before asking the other what they were up to. We stared at each other a few second longer before Jake breathed out and leaned on his closed door.

                It was an unnerving sight. I’m used to seeing Jake moping about. But his head hung low and his shoulders hunched forward, he just looked really defeated. I walked past him.

                “C’mon, let’s go talk in the living room rather than the hallway,” I whispered at this shadow of my brother.
                We sat down on the couch. It was silent for a while. We don’t talk too often, but I felt this was important. After three minutes passed by, I took a breath in to start the conversation, but Jake beat me to it.

                “Kicking it is a lot harder than I thought.”

                I looked at him. I didn’t know what he was referring to.

                “Kicking what?”

                Silence.

                “Jake…” I whispered, trailing off. What had I missed? How did I miss it?

                He sighed and leaned his head on the back of the couch, staring at a blank spot on the ceiling.

                “Kicking my addictions. Like… you know… weed… alcohol…”

                I didn’t know what to say.

                He looked at me and half-smiled. “I knew you hadn’t known. You were always more focused inward, we all were. But you created your own reality inside of you. You… you were always off with your friends, always gone, always looking life was its hardest on you, when it was hard on us all. But you always had a good time with friends, got the things you wanted… we did that for you and you… never noticed…” His voice cracked a little. I teared up. I didn’t think I was that bad.

                “Yes, you were that bad.”

                Jake and I both jumped at the sudden new voice. Steven was standing in our doorframe, watching us. I had never seen him with a blank expression before.

                Jake only nodded. He and Steven stared at one another for a moment. Jake stood up, and walked towards the door.

                “Hey Jake.” He paused in the middle of pulling his keys out of his pocket, halfway to the door. “Wanna help us with our project?”

                He lifted his eyebrows in shock, then he returned to his normal neutral expression. “I’ll pass for now, because you two will probably just get annoyed with me. But I will stay home, if that makes you feel any better.”

                As he walked past us, we both bumped into his sides and smiled at him. He just rolled his eyes, but he had a hint of a smile on his face. He went to his room and locked the door.

                “Well, that could have gone far worse than we thought,” I said.

                Steven stared at the door. “Very true. I’m still worried though…”

                I lightly punched him in the arm. “It’ll be okay. C’mon, let’s go.”

    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -

    After we walked back into our room, we both went back into our own mini worlds, ending up with us both half on and half off of our own beds while I drew a bunch of little sketches - flowers, random patterns, or trying to create my own characters - while Steven was reading a book. Steven sighed at one point, so I glanced up from what I was doing and stared at him until he looked over at me. We had a small stare down – which I won – until he sighed once again, bookmarked his page with a random slip of paper, and put it off to the side. He crossed his arms and folded them under his head. I did the same after I placed my pencil and notebook on the ground. 

    He looked at me closely, then finally he said, "What do you think is going to happen once this is all over?" I just shrugged in response. "Well, I don't feel like things will be very normal , even after all of this is basically done, because I think this weird spirit... whatever, will still be possessing me-" he paused for a moment and gritted his teeth. Then he started up again. "And the woman will still be living in that house on 1359 Hazel Lane. And I will still visit there," he finished, and I can't say I was shocked by him wanting to still go there, but I wondered why.

                It was quiet for a moment before I sighed and reached down – almost falling off my bed, but I caught myself – to grab my notebook and pencil again. He picked up his book again, and we both laid on our stomachs on our beds. I started doodling again, but I looked over and realized Steven was just laying his head down on his book and his arms, spacing out.

                “What are you thinking about?”

                He glanced at me out the corner of his eye, then shrugged as well as he can lying down.

                “I’m kind of thinking about… I don’t know. Just this whole situation. Like what will happen if we don’t make a list? Why are we making a list of stuff? It’s just surreal sometimes. And we can’t really list enough ourselves because we’ve haven’t had enough experiences to list things about love and hate. So what are we going to do?”

                We stared at each other for a moment.

                “Stop having an existential crisis.”

                He threw his book at me. “Shut up!”

    -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -           -

                We woke up the next morning to the smell of food being made for breakfast. But because we were groggy – and wondering how or when we fell asleep, and how late it was when we did – we stumbled out of the room and into the dining room.

                And, of course, we got questioning looks, me most of all.

                Plus the rapid-fire of questions such as: “Aren’t you usually gone by now?” “Why are you two up late?” “Wow, you two are hanging out?” “Why do you guys look so exhausted?”

                We glanced at each other out the sides of our eyes and raised a brow. I walked over to grab a cup before sitting down while Steven plonked himself down at the table. “Project,” he mumbled before trying to grab some food – some of which just spilled all over the place because he has no motor control when he’s tired. Go figure.

                The rest of the morning sort of dragged on as we tried to wake up and actually process what was up. We all decided to watch TV in the living room. It was basically watching a few minutes of a show until a commercial came on and then hopping on to something else. We managed to pass a whole day by that way. It was strange in a way since we hadn’t done much together lately, but it was nice.

                Aside from a few minor fights over shows, what to order as take out, and who was sitting where.

                And of course the final fight of the night.

                “So what’re your plans for the next few days everyone?”

                We all glanced at Michael, wondering why that came up. It was mostly us staring at him and saying, “I don’t know.” But when Jake said that, Michael called him out and said that he was lying.

                “What the fuck, so everyone else can say it, but I can’t? That’s bullshit!”

                Michael just shrugged in response. “I have a good idea of what happens when –“

                “Shut up! You don’t fucking know!”

                “C’mon, Jake, chill –“ Steven started saying as I walked over to Michael about to ask him what was up when Jake stormed out with a yell and Michael threw the remote into the wall above our TV and went to his room. Phil and Kaleb had moved to the corners of the room early on in case things got violent. I can’t really blame em.

                Phil, Kaleb, Steven, and I all just looked at each other, not really knowing what to say. Eventually, we just said goodnight and went to bed.

                Well, it was fun while it lasted I guess.

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