“You must apply!” Harley, my best friend, exclaims and gestures to the application she held from across the table. Summer had just begun and I was already being forced to attend summer school. Surly Harley could hear the annoyance in my voice when I said no for the millionth time in a row. But she pushed on, making her way towards me and placing the paper onto the canvas spread across the table. Nothing was on it.not yet at least. But soon it would be plastered in all sorts of vibrant colors. My hand swipes the form away and it flutters to the floor.
“For the last time, Harley. I’m not going to apply.”
She heaves a low sigh and gently picks up the form. It was her turn to be annoyed. But, that was bad, everyone in the neighborhood knew not to tick Harley off. Luckily for me, she wasn’t at her limit. Yet.
Our situation somehow escalated to us moving upstairs, my hands moving faster than my words. I desperately try to hold onto to my side of the argument,
“I just can’t. You know I’m bad at certain things, I’d be terrible at this job. Besides, my parents wanted me to go to summer school, I don’t have time for a side-job.” Harley just rolls her eyes and places the form on my drawer. I don’t remember walking into my room. The window on the far right, next to the pile of canvases, shows a beautiful view of the sunset. Harley continues to pester me but my attention is elsewhere now. A couple of birds fly by and it strikes me, what does it feel like to be free? No worries, negative emotions, or pressure. Just a lonely soul with only the mission of going forward. All of a sudden the outside disappears and I’m in my room again with Harley holding the drawstring of the now closed curtain with all her might, a “friendly” smile plastered over her face.
“Were you listening to a single thing I just said?” She says, the grin still glued onto her face. If I never knew Harley more than I already did I would’ve been dead where I stood, that creepy smile the last thing I’d ever see. She reminds me of a lot of those horror games.
“Are you deaf? I said–”
“Okay, okay! Drop the creepy face,” I say. Harley nods pleasurably, abandoning the smile for a cheery mask which in my opinion is still disturbing. I run a hand through my chestnut hair, laying back on my bed. Harley joins me and the irritation radiating off her is just as bothersome as she sighs heavily.
“Can you please just think about it? It’ll be good for you,” she pauses before continuing, “and you can finally learn how to read properly.”
I roll to the side and huff like a young child before reaching out to grab one of those Shiba-Inu plushes you’d get at an anime convention.
“Well it’s not my fault I’m dyslexic,” I say matter-of-factly.
Harley lets out of breath of air that I didn’t know she was holding as she shifts off the bed, her voice softer, “I can’t always help you. If you know what’s best for you, you’ll apply. It may sound really silly to learn this way but…” her voice falters, I hate her speaking to me like I’m a disabled child, she sounds like my mother. But if I think about it, she’s right. I can’t hide from my fears forever. However, confronting them is like standing in front of an audience and not knowing your lines.
“You need to learn, reading is important.” Harley finishes off and the door clicks closed behind her. I stay in bed for the next hour, the application haunting me. It’s for the best echos a small voice. I remain awake before I hear my mother coming home from work. Maybe I should apply. Maybe.
By: Sam Chapman