Rotting Out

Whisper, "Are You Dying?" in My Ear

I awoke in a foggy daze and turned over lazily to see that I was on Dylan’s bed. Dylan was gone I noticed upon my first glance around and I sat up on his bed and looked at his clock. It was a little after ten in the morning. Great, my mom probably is freaking out right now. Or maybe she isn’t, maybe she thinks that I ran away. And there could be many things going through her head regarding that. She could be really happy that I’m finally out of her life and that she’s been waiting seventeen years for this moment to come. She could not have even noticed which is what most likely has occurred. Mother probably stayed up all night getting wasted and brought over her boyfriend. That’s fine, I guess. She’s probably having a hangover right now and I’m sitting here on my ex boyfriend’s bed judging her? I don’t even remember what happened last night. I think I drank a lot though at the concert last night….and then Dylan tried driving. I guess we made it to his house safely, seeing that my body is intact. I just hope nothing else happened that I can’t recall. I guess I’ll find out later. I moved my legs to the side of the bed and got up, groaning. I reached my arms up and stretched.

“Ugh…leave me alone!” I heard a guy’s voice yelling.

I got paranoid and ran out of the room and traced the voice to Dylan’s living room. Looked up to see his dad staring down at me, “Oh hey Ramona…it’s been a while since I’ve seen you here. What’s new?”

Dylan gave me a nervous look from across the room and mouthed, “Don’t tell him.”
I stuck my tongue out at him and responded to his dad, “Oh, I’m doing great. How are you doing Mr. Cory?”

“Oh, that’s great to know! I’m doing swell, just swell….” He trailed off.

“Mhm…” I trailed off and took out my phone glancing at the time which happened to be a quarter ‘till noon, “well I best be on my way now, Mr. Cory. It’s good to see you.”

“Bye, hope to see you around more!” He exclaimed a bit too enthusiastically.

My eyes widened and I turned around to the kitchen facing Dylan, “Hey Dylan?”

He was in the kitchen pouring himself a bowl of cereal, “Can you give me a ride home once you’re done eating or whatever?”

“Sure,” he responded, looking into my eyes; chewing on his faded red lips, “oh, and by the way I’m really sorry about everything that happened last night and what not. I hope you had a good time, I know I did.” He let out a slight chuckle and took his bowl of cereal to the round, bright orange table in the dining room. Dylan sat down on the plastic chair and the chair let out a faint creek in response. I refused to make myself at home though. I couldn’t process everything in my head. This doesn’t mean that we’re back together does it? I hope I can at least have him as my friend. He’s a good person to talk to if there aren’t any of those weird relationship-y feelings tied into the mix. I don’t really want a relationship again for the time being. It’s too much to really balance, I guess. I paced back and forth in front of Dylan. He just stared at me awkwardly. “Yeah, it was really fun…,” I trailed off my sentence, unsure of what else to add to that. He nodded and dug into his cereal with his spoon, devouring it viciously.

“I’ll be right back,” I told him and began to walk to his room to get my stuff. Mr. Cory was gazing his eyes at me and I gave a little quirky smile to him, letting him know I saw him. He looked down though and turned the television channel to a random concert of the rock group “Rush” and I walked further to Dill’s room. Once I got there I picked my jacket and my purse up; then I walked back to the kitchen to see that Dylan had his keys and was ready to go. We snuck out the back door, without me saying goodbye to Mr. Cory. I climbed into Dylan’s truck and fastened my seatbelt. “Sorry about the whole ordeal last night…I feel terrible,” he said while backing out of the driveway and going onto the familiar suburban street which had the name of Rosy Road. Funny name, but there are roses indeed roses everywhere. I took a gulp of pride and built up the courage to speak up.

“Did anything happen that you don’t think I would be aware of? Anything that you have to confess to me? I really shouldn’t have trusted you-“

“Ramona, calm down. Nothing really happened….well we almost got in a wreck and stuff. Actually a few times; I was nowhere near as drunk as you were,” Dylan told me.
“Ugh, well first of all I wasn’t done talking. And secondly, I was not that drunk. You were probably so drunk that you convinced yourself that you weren’t drunk. Beat that,” I told him with a sly grin on my face.

“You’re so stupid with your comebacks oh my god, Ramona,” he told me, “seriously, trust me, you were indeed wasted.”

“Even further reason to not trust your report from last night. From what I recall you were hitting on me. How should I trust you?” I raised my voice in questioning.

“Gosh, why are you so assuming? You think that you’re the only god damn girl in the world don’t you? Well you’re wrong, I love you but the world doesn’t revolve around you!”

Tears started forming in my eyes, “Fuck you! I tried giving you a chance, but you never change. You know what? My place isn’t that far from here. I’ll walk.”

“Don’t leave…just stop assuming things and everything will be okay.”

“No, no it won’t. Every fight always turns out like this. We didn’t just break up out of nowhere if you can recall. You will call me if you really care,” I told him as the car started slowing down against a curb, “bye.” I jumped out with my purse in hand and watched as his car screeched off into the distance. My hand reached into my purse, searching for my ipod.

I plugged my ear buds in to my ears, pressing the “play” button; the first song that came up was “Life During Wartime” by Pinhead Gunpowder. The lyrics didn’t help; especially the lines:
“It used to be Us and Them
And You and Me
And now we can't reach
Our full potential
Without a common enemy
A real war to fight against
Instead of our petty disagreements
But how can I rationalize
My life during wartime lie”

“I can’t stand this anymore, I really can’t. He was my savior when I was in need. He just happened to be there when I was the most vulnerable,” I thought to myself as I walked closer to the dwelling that I called home, “how could he do this to me again?

I finally got to my mom’s house and opened the front door with my house key. I walked in and the house was as usual rather quiet. My mom was nowhere in sight. I collapsed onto the lumpy couch and closed my eyes as “When I Come Around” by Green Day started playing in my ears. The lyrics were just too relevant for the time. Everything has been occurring so fast these past few days – a freaking roller coaster of emotions and I’m at the bottom of that huge drop we all fear in life.

I heard a loud thump at the front door which startled me. My mom walked through the door “Hey honey, you’re home! I was so worried about you, Ramona…” she walked up to me and gave me a sloppy kiss on the cheek.

“Yes….hi, I am indeed home,” I agreed with a slight sarcastic chuckle surfacing in my head.

“Where did you sleep last night?” She mumbled.

“Eh a friend’s house…I’m going to go now, see you later or something,” I insisted. I stood up from the couch and walked away and into my bedroom, closing the door behind me. I sat on the floor and opened my guitar case. The guitar was yanked out by my shaky hands; I laid the guitar down upon my lap and strummed a random chord, strumming away.

“I don’t care anymore. No, no I really don’t care anymore. Leave me. Leave while you still can. Leave my aching body and run out to make the same mistakes you know me oh so well for,” my rough voice pleaded as I sang the thoughts on my head. I played a handful of random chords and created a melody of some form. Then I sang again, “But just know that one day that you shall find, that this all means nothing. That my aching heart is just waiting for yours too start feeling the same. And if you want me to be happy, you’ll see it that day.” I strummed a final chord and placed my ocean blue guitar beside me on the floor.

I scrambled to my notebook to write everything down from the little song I had just created before it was too late; before my inspiration was gone and the only thoughts left in my head were those of apathy and disgust.

My guitar was picked up by my hands and placed back into it’s’ guitar case. I threw myself upon my bed and curled up into a ball underneath the warm covers. I closed my eyes and cried quietly; tear by tear. Drop by drop. My tears were salty and my mind was overwhelming me. While I was still trying to calm down from crying I picked up my journal. I grabbed as well my inky old black pen and opened a random blank page and wrote:

Dear diary,
Summer is almost over. I can’t believe all of this time has been wasted; everything went by in a flash! The summer started out okay, I saw a lot of my best friends like Ana and Darcy. We had some good times together really, but I got in a pretty bad fight with Darcy in early July. She was mad at how much time I had been spending with Dylan and that was literally not even a week before he broke up with me. So yeah, I lost her. I patched things up with her, but our friendship is really strained; I’ve seen her maybe twice since then. And each time it was really awkward. We went out for coffee once and she just kept ranting to me about her boyfriend who gets high every night. I feel bad for Darcy, I really do. But I don’t really understand why she sticks around with him if he’s as bad as she’s described to me…poor girl. Ana on the other hand is very alone and doesn’t know what to do with her life. She really doesn’t have much fun and she is missing out on a lot, because of a lot of problems she has with herself…anyways….So yeah, mom gets drunk a lot these days. I miss the old her to be honest…she used to be a different person, but the booze covers up her softer side. I just don’t understand what the appeal is with booze; I’ve never understood that. Okay…well I guess I’m not one to judge, but it’s not like I’m an alcoholic or anything…I get drunk maybe once I month…smoking is really the bigger problem for me. I love the cancer sticks, but I figure that the quicker I die, the better. I don’t plan on getting married, having kids, or any of that. So why live through my life lonely as well? I look at it as a slow suicide and I’m down with that. I’ve been playing my guitar more recently which is good…practicing every night and writing songs.

Oh and Dylan….just why the hell did I take him up on that offer? That was stupid. I HATE HIM.

And yes, I’m going to runaway very soon. And everything will be better for everyone…

The Green Day concert though is happening in a couple of days. Ana and Darcy are going with me so that shall be fun.

Green Day…they’ve been my favorite band ever since I was 11. They’ve gotten me through so much and I’m pretty sure what I feel towards them in the exact emotion of love. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know me personally. I’m in love with them and everything they do.
I’m going to stop here and go eat something…maybe find another way to kill my precious little time.

Ramona. >:)

I threw my journal and pen onto the floor. The floor had a strong reaction of a thump from the weight of the journal I suppose. I just really needed to get that all out…everything was bottled up for far too long.

I pulled my weak body off of my bed and ran to the kitchen to pour myself a nice cup of tea to help the slight hangover that was still lingering. I lifted the tea kettle off of the stove, poured water from the sink into it, placed the kettle back down upon the stove top and turned the stove on. While I waited, I grabbed a mug from the upper cabinets. It said in big, bold and capital letters: “NO REGRETS” in purple writing, with a solid white background for the rest of the rather plain mug. I threw a green tea bag into my mug and poured the steaming hot water in. The clear water instantly began to have a yellow tint and it smelled amazing; I stirred it and threw the tea bag into the trash. I walked back to my room and rested the cup on a table close to my bed. The TV was showing an old cartoon from my childhood called CatDog…about a two headed animal that has one head which is of a cat…and the other of which is of a dog. I think that this cartoon is honestly pretty deep; sadly I’m not being sarcastic. Call me the over analyzer, but it’s true in my humble opinion.

I took a sip of my hot tea and the aroma was overwhelming. Tea is one of my favorite things in this whole world. Tea is even better than cigarettes to me and that’s saying quite a bit. I began to flip the channels and rested the remote once I got to a music channel. At the moment they were playing the Beatles song “Yellow Submarine”. I had always loved that song, but the Beatles is general influenced me a lot growing up I guess.

My phone decided to vibrate; Ana had texted me “Ramonaaa can we hang out please, I’m sorry about yesterday </3”

I texted her back “Sure, name the place and time.”

“Umm…how about we meet at the gas station on Lake Street…I forgot the name sorry :P,” she texted back.

“Haha okay see you soon. Leaving now,” I replied to her and set my phone in my purse on the corner of my bed. I finished the rest of my tea and got up; whipping my purse across my shoulder. I walked quickly from my room to the living room and out the front door not saying a word to my mom. I took out my ipod and put it on shuffle as I walked. The scenery around me was very hazy for it being only late afternoon and the music I was listening to didn’t quite match my mood. It was just so warm outside, yet hazy; but I really needed it to feel like right now is cold. Bitter winter in the Arctic is what would match my emotions. But Summers offer a chance to ignore your emotions and cover them up around people, because the warmth doesn’t typically match emotions such as udder crying and such.

I finally walked up to the gas station and sat myself on a bench outside of the snack shop part of the place. I saw Ana in the distance approaching and I smiled at her, even though she likely didn’t see me waiting for her. I put my ipod away in my purse after the last note of the song I was listening to called “Indestructible” by Rancid.

Ana greeted me with a warm, gentle, and friendly hug; I returned the hug and patted her on the back. “Hey!” she exclaimed, “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you oh my god.”

“Yeah it has been a while hasn’t it?” I agreed, as she sat down right beside me. I turned towards her, “So tell me what you’ve been up to.”

“Oh, just the same old stuff. I haven’t really done that much this Summer. What about you?” She asked.

I bit my lip slightly, “Hmm…a lot of stuff has gone down this Summer for me. Not really good stuff either, but I’ll deal.” I gave a wide, toothy smile to her.

“Sorry to hear that,” Ana sighed, “but hey at least the Green Day concert is in a couple of days! Aren’t you excited?”

I smirked, “Yeah, completely….love that band to death.”

“I know,” she acknowledged with a chuckle in her voice.

My eyes decided to roll at the comment. “So um anyways, I’m going to go get coffee from inside. Want anything?”

“No thanks,” she smiled.

I grinned and stood up off of the bench and made the awkward turn into the store. I picked up an iced coffee and brought it onto the register counter. The cashier was a young looking man, probably in his mid twenties. He winked, “Will that be all?”

I gulped, “Yeah.”

“Okay, that will be exactly three dollars,” he proclaimed to me.

I handed over three single dollar bills, picked up my drink, and walked out the store. Ana was still sitting there and she was going through her ipod, listening to songs. “Boo!” I exclaimed softly and hoped it would scare her.

Ana just chuckled, “I saw that coming.”

“Oh,” I said softly, “sorry.”

She giggled, “No, it’s funny when you do that.”

“Really, it is?” I asked her. She nodded and went back to listening to her music. I cracked open the bottle of iced coffee and took a sip. I stared out into the parking lot and a sudden awkward silence spilled over. After about a minute I coughed and said softly, with my voice cracking, “Hmm…do you want to do anything?”

Ana turned down her music and asked, “Sorry, I couldn’t hear you…what did you say, again?”

“Well, do you want to go hang out somewhere else? I’m sorry; I’m just really antsy and slightly hung over….” I admitted to Ana weakly.

“Sure, we can go somewhere and what not…but Ramona…you’re hung over?” She asked, hoping that she heard wrong and stood up. I did the same and looked at her in the eyes.
“Okay, well let’s start walking…but yeah hung over. I was kind of stupid last night,” I told her, rolling my eyes at my stupidity and I began to walk next to her out of the parking lot of the gas station.

“Define stupid…?” Ana asked, with serious concern in her voice.

“Stupid meaning…well you remember how we were supposed to hang out last night with Darcy and you guys kind of ditched me…? Dylan was there and basically he apologized to me for everything and we went to a show together. And he bought me drinks and then I woke up today in his bed, basically. Then when he was driving me home, we had a fight and yeah. I should’ve never trusted him,” I said, sighing and took a sip of my coffee and kept walking.

After a handful of seconds, which felt like forever to me, Ana just replied with an, “Oh my god, that’s…horrible. I’m going to hug you now, I feel like I have no choice.”

I replied, “Okay. You can hug me.” And Ana did just that, she wrapped her arms around me, bringing me into a warm and sympathetic embrace.

“I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been going through, Ramona. I love you more than you could ever know,” she smiled at me with glassy eyes.

I hugged her as well, “I know…I love you too.” I smiled at her and pulled back from her, letting go. I kept walking once again.

“I can’t keep secrets from you. You know me too darn well,” I admitted.

“You know it’s true!” She said in a shrieking tone and slapped my arm in a playful way.

“Yes, yes I do,” I reassured her that the message got across loud and clear, “anyway, so I really can’t keep any secrets from you. I had to tell you.”

“Yes, because I would have found out anyway,” she sighed and sat down on a random curb, close to her house.

I sat down next to her and made a groaning noise, “So how have you been doing?”

“I’ve been okay,” she smiled at me and pointed to the glassy container of iced coffee asking for a sip.

I nodded in approval of her taking a sip of my coffee and asked, “Are you honestly doing well or are you just saying that?”

“I’m totally being honest. Nothing really good or bad has happened to me either way, things are pretty neutral for me,” Ana told me.

I nodded, “Sorry things have been so boring for you.”

She smiled, “I’m used to it, so don’t apologize.”

“But that makes me even sadder how used to it you are,” I frowned.

“Well let’s talk about something happier…what song are you hoping that Green Day plays on Friday that they typically don’t play live?”

“It would be cool to see ‘Blood, Sex and Booze’ live,” I chuckled.

She laughed as well, “Oh gosh that would be awesome to see live now wouldn’t it?”

“Yes, I’m being completely serious. Imagine it live….just imagine it.”

Ana nodded and then a smile appeared on her face, “I know exactly what you mean now! I completely agree.”

“Glad you do,” I giggled.

“Hmm…,” Ana looked around, “want to come over to my house? We could have a sleepover or something if you want.”

I sang out, “Oh yes!”

She gave me an odd look, because of how enthusiastic that statement was.
We walked silently up to her house, she opened the door and we walked in. Her house was pretty big, but I remembered it being not quite this large. I heard her mother vacuuming upstairs and her dad on the phone will some sort of business professional, it sounded like o me since I was eavesdropping only ever so slightly. I followed Ana to the kitchen and she asked me, “Want anything?”

“Hmm…sure…whatever you’re eating, I’ll eat too,” I smiled at her and sat down on a random chair in the kitchen, next to the window looking out to the backyard and pool area. I pulled out my ipod and put it on shuffle. I stared at Ana as she started to boil a pot of water and she took out a bag of dried spaghetti. She turned towards me looking for a sense of approval for pasta. I gave her two thumbs up and a wide smile.

Ten minutes later and the pasta was finally done cooking. I stood up from my chair and served myself some without any sauce on top. I began eating the noodles and they tasted really good and hot. “Thank you Ana,” I yelped across the kitchen, stretching her name out a bit too long while pronouncing it.

“You’re welcome, missy,” she told me.

I grinned and ate the rest of my pasta. I then brought the fork and plate and threw the two out into the trashcan.

“I’m going to go get a board game for us, just wait for me in the living room or something,” Ana told me and I nodded in understanding. I walked into the living room and plopped myself onto the couch.

She walked into the living room a handful of minutes later holding the board game “Life” in her hands and she placed it on to the floor. We set it up and began to play. I started off without going to college, and she started with going to college. In the end, I ended up having three kids: Two little girls and one little boy. I ended up with less than ten-thousand dollars at the end of the game. Ana, on the other hand, ended up rich with two boys. It was really fun and then we packed up the game and walked up to her room.

We sat down together on her bed and she asked me, “Want to watch a movie or something?”

“Sure, maybe like a Disney cartoon or something?” I suggested. She scrambled to her VCR stack on her floor and found Mulan. We popped it in to the TV and spent the next couple of hours watched the film that we adored as kids. I passed out immediately after it was over.
♠ ♠ ♠
Title for story taken from the song "Rotting" by Green Day

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- Hannah