We disagreed on the subject of horror movies. You loved them, and it was a love I did not share. For the longest time, you refused to take my “no” for an answer, and would ask me every Friday night if we could watch one. I’d get annoyed, and once I even told you to keep Kelso’s horror movie theory from That 70s Show out of our lives. You chortled in a way that said, “I can’t believe that’s what you think this is.” and tried to convince me that you only wanted me to get over my fears, especially my fear of darkness. I said watching horror movies would only aggravate any and all fears I had. Then you told me the only movie you were ever genuinely scared by was Paranormal Activity.
“Which part?” I asked.
“The first one. I didn’t watch any of the sequels. Didn’t think I’d survive it.”
“Well, that’s how I feel about all of them,” I said, laying that argument to rest.
One night, you weren’t there; you were spending the weekend with your mom. I’d had a hard time falling asleep and almost as soon as I did, the power went out. It was pitch dark. My heart was beating so fast and so loud, I felt it would split into two and pop out of my ears.
I wanted to keep my eyes shut, and hoped that when I opened them, the power will have magically come back up. But eyes don’t stay close when you want them to; your eyelids push against your will and roll up like a tent flap. They kept darting around the dark room, waiting for apparitions to pop up, and move things around the room to entertain themselves. Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness, my gaze fell upon your shirt hanging on the rack. The white one with the black stripes, which was two sizes too big for you. I called it your parachute shirt. The white fabric seemed to glow in the dark room.
I got out of bed, gingerly at first, making sure the ground under my feet wasn’t shaky or inexplicably cold. I didn’t want to step on any ghosts. I walked to the rack, picked up the shirt, and hurried back to the bed.
You hadn’t washed it. I thought of the times we had argued about your sloppy laundry habits. Tonight for the first time, I was thankful.
I didn’t need a quilt that night. The stale deodorant-scented, glow-in-the-dark parachute was enough.
Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!