A Short Story: Waiting For Friends

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I lay on my twin bed, in my fuzzy ducky pajamas, shifting uncomfortably while I try to get a good view of outside from the window just above my dresser. I’m unable to sleep for the third night… “Why haven’t my friends arrived yet? I’ve done everything right..haven’t I?” I quickly go over a mental checklist in my head, inside out pajamas, check, spun in 10 circles right before I slipped into bed, check, and drank hot cocoa with my dinner, the final check. “So why haven’t they come?” All at once it hits me, and I sit up frantically. “Could they have forgotten me?! But..how could they? They’ve come every year, at the same time, to this very house, since I was born.” I take deep breaths trying to figure out a reasonable explanation for why they might be late. “They must have just gotten lost.” I stack my pillows in a different way, in hopes they would prop me up enough to lay comfortably and give me the ability to watch outside for any signs of my friends. I lay back down, just to find out my attempt with the pillows had failed. The wind pounds against my window pane, making the old wood around it creek and groan. “Shut up…” I mutter in spite toward the wind, “Don’t tease me with hopes that you’d brought my friends with you”. Almost in retaliation the wind picks up speed and bursts open the window, sending an awful draft around the room. I furiously kick off my warm blankets and venture off to the other side of the room to close the rattling window panes. As I stand on my little stool, staring out the window I just shut, I close my eyes and slowly count to ten. I open them, almost positive I caught a glimpse of my friends, but it was really just a few strands of my blonde, white curly hair. “Oh well… Maybe my big brother was right, maybe they won’t come this year”, I blink away what I feel might just be a swell of tears, hop off my stool and leave my room to make my way to the kitchen. The cups clank together, making that “dinging” sound that reminds you of a holiday dinner, where all your friends and family share a meal together, and make some lame, heard-it-before kind of speech above everyone else’s conversations, but still manages to make you smile. I fill my glass halfway, chug it down, and burp weakly into the darkness of the kitchen, which seems to be growing around me. “Pure light ancient white hear the silence feel the night, the fire is so delightful and there really is no place to go so let it snow let it snow let it snow” I carefully recite the words into the dark, hoping my friends might just hear and realize they’re not going the right way. I steal a glance through the window in our dining room, hopeful, but still only a half hearted action. Then… I see it… The first of my friends, tapping against the glass, asking me to come outside and play. “I’ll be right out!” I say in a sort of yelling whisper. I charge upstairs and throw on socks and my robe and I race back down, scared they’d disappear before I got a chance to even say hello. The deadbolt clanks open, the doorknob creaks, and I rush outside. I skip and prance all around our front lawn, greeting every single one of my friends. “Hello Peter. How are you Jane. Oh Luke you’re looking well.” Deep down I know that I’ve named them time and time again, always something different, but I guess thats okay, because every year they seem to change. The ground crunches and crackles under my feet while I run around and play. Time passes by, I’m not sure how much, maybe an hour, maybe two, or maybe even just fifteen minutes. The absolute joy of my friends being here was too overwhelming for me to keep track, or to even care. All I know is that there was enough time for the deadly draft to reach up to my families rooms, because soon enough my mom, dad and brother were all standing on the porch. “James! James! You get back in here or you’ll catch a cold or worse!” my mother calls out to me, pleadingly but still stern. “Hunter, James has no shoes or coat and it’s almost 15 degrees. Go and get him!”. My dad steps down from the porch and goes over to me and kneels “See James, I told you they would come. You should listen to your old man more often” he chuckles softly and rustles my hair, “but you still should have put on the proper clothes to come out here, and definitely should have told me or your mom you were gonna come out and play”. He stands and picks me up, “Lets get you inside. We’ll get you nice and warm before you come back out here. Deal?” I nod slowly and put my hand out to catch a few flakes in my hand. “I’ll be back everyone, don’t go anywhere”. My family goes inside, and as my dad turns around to close the door, I give a final wave outside. “See you later everybody.”

*Original Story By Me

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