rose quartz studies
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
ROSE QUARTZ STUDIES
First edition. December 16, 2015.
Copyright © 2015 Pupcat.
Written by Pupcat.
one// rose quartz studies
two// dried out, pipeline dreams.
four// summertime happiness.
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About the Author
“You try to leave and I’m shootin’ you dead in the back boy. Now, what did you say?”
“That we’re brothers, Archie.”
Warmth of blood spread down his back and the young boy falls face first in the midnight water. There was so much ringing. He felt like he was melting. He was becoming the lake.
Accepting his fate, he knew he was going to die. He closes his eyes as he hears the soundhis father talking in the background.
“Archer Dean Collins, what hell you doin’ here? Takin’ my gun, boy you must me outta ya mind. Oh my god! Louise call 911! Litsen boy, no matter what happens, don’t say anything.”
I look out the window, my stare unwavering at a leg swinging from the top of the tree in the neighboring yard. I’ve been staring at it for the past ten minutes out of boredom as the heat stung my face. It was a warm summer day, nothing particularly different about it; my daddy slept lazily on the couch, probably from watching a war documentary or maybe from when he was out drinking; either way, the house had became so boringly peaceful.
I glanced out of my window out of boredom; I saw a pale, long leg hanging happily from a tree. At first I thought it was just a child sleeping the tree—that was before I realized it was an adult eating an apple. His straw colored hair hung to his hips, one hand clutches the apple, the other, a pack of cigarettes. He was kind of looked like an angel. His eyes were bright and the color of rose quartz, his skin was pale like the clouds in the sky. A rosy flush crawled on his face, up to his cheekbones.
I had no idea why he was in the tree. He catches me glancing and smiles at me. He climbs down the tree, walking over to my side of the fence, looking up at me.
“Hello little girl, why are you looking so down on this fine day?”
“It’s a little stuffy and hot in here. Also, it’s boring. There are a lot of reasons to be unhappy.”
“This is the most peaceful day I’ve seen here in years, is it really impossible for Cinderella to leave the house?” he remarks, giving me slight pout. “What’s your name?” I ask him, feeling the cool wind pass me. Sweat ran down my neck and my coiled hair felt hot against my neck.
“Mars, like the singer.”
“Interesting, little one. Want a apple?” he reaches up to pick an apple from the tree. I bit my lips and hold out my arms. He tossed the apple. I caught it, barely.
“Are you new to Beauty? The town gets some takin’ used to but it’s got it’s charms.”
“Relatively. I’ve only come to pick up a stubborn boy, before I go back. Do you know him? His name is Freddie.”
“No, I don’t, Mister.”
“Maria, baby girl where are you? We gotta to go to the beauty supply store for some grease today.” I hear my name being called. It was my daddy walking around in his draws, scratching his stomach. He must of just woke up I look back at the man in the day. ‘later’ was what I mouthed before heading back.
“Daddy! I’m over here.”
Using all my vacation days at my receptionist job, packing all my things and driving for six hours was unplanned. Seeing the dusty, pale yellowish pink sign that said ‘Welcome to Beauty, California, where there is beauty everyday.’ was unplanned. Going back to my hometown was an unplanned thing.
It wasn’t the quaintest town, nor was it a nice town to raise children in unless you where some white, suburban mom. We had a Walmart store, a doctor’s office with one doctor, a gas station, a bus station, an all-in-one school and a postal office. Everyone who lived in the town except for my family and another were white, mindless hicks who enjoyed hunting season more than they enjoyed each-other.
The only thing that made that town good during my childhood was a lake behind the school. We played there so many times it was surprising as a kid to find out that someone drowned there. It was a popular boy. His parents had moved here because of the size and the pleasant name. They were newlyweds as I remember my mother telling me. There were rumors that said he was the result of an affair and my mama and her friends would often talk about it in the hair salon. I couldn’t remember what he looked like. He was such a well-known person but I didn’t know remember his face or his name exactly.
We were around the same age, I couldn’t remember him. I had knew of him, since middle school but still, I never remembered talking him. Some cops from out of town drained the lake and investigated his death. They ruled it an accident but left the lake empty for ‘safety reasons’. His family moved a couple weeks after his death, from what I heard in the newspaper and on the five o’clock news that morning after.
That person. They must have not been important if I couldn’t remember them.
The reason I came back was something common and simple. My sister died. Her name was Sundae. My sister who had got with some white guy named Billy-Bob and had a kid with him; from I read on her facebook page.
My younger sister. My only sister. How old was the child? Barely months or barely six? I was surprised when I had gotten the call that she had died from cancer in her stomach. I hadn’t spoke to my family since I left at 18 with some savings, a college acceptance letter and rode the only bus in town to a city far away called Sacramento.
I had my mind set that I wouldn’t think of my family or of the place I grew up in. And now here I am, parking my Sentra, trying to make sense of the base but complex situation at hand.
“Hello Miss Morris? Semaj Morris?”
“Yes, this is she. How may I help you?” I remembered that there was a pause on the line before the person had spoke further.
“I’m calling to inform your sister died.”
“Oh… was it sudden?”
“Yes, she died of a hemorrhage shortly after her first pregnancy. No one informed you of that?”
I sat at my desk and picked my nails.
“We weren’t that close.”
“Well, you’re aware she had thechild, right? Since there is no family left but you, so it’s your choice to raise that child or not.”
“What about her husband? Billy-Bob, right?”
“His name is Bruce, Ma’am. He went to jail for hitting someone with his car. She has no existing family members except for you.”
“Oh, I see.”
There’s coughing on the other end after that.
“When is the funeral?”
“In a couple days. It’s being held in Beauty so there isn’t that long of a drive to there from Sacramento.”
I drop about twenty dollars in the gas attendant’s hand. That should be enough to fill my tank. I recognized him. He was some red-headed kid who used to bully me in middle school.
“Archie?” He looked at him.
“Semaj, was it?”
“You know, after you left, everything was quieter with one less negro gone.”
“You still have an interesting vocabulary, Archer. See you.”
He’s still an asshole. I see.
Going to the funeral home was interesting. I was the only one there, other than Billy-Bob’s mother. It had been too hot to wear a suit so I settled wearing black shorts and cut-off Slayer shirt. My sister would have laughed at me and told me to stop playing.
I kinda miss her.
“I’m not taking care of that child.”
“Why not? You’re the grandmother.”
“You think I want some kid born from wedlock? This family has values.” I glance at the baby in her arms.
“Charming, you’re very charming ma’am. How old is he?”
“About four months old.”
“Quite big for a 4 month old, isn’t he?”
“Just take the kid, sign some papers and go back to where you came from.”
“Chill wicked witch. You and your family will be able to live the Beverly Hillbilly lifestyle once more. Say hello to Billy-Bob for me after you visit him in jail again.”
As I napped in my car I had a dream that seemed like some distant memory. There was a dark-haired teenage boy in a white gap shirt that contrasted with his black slacks and brown church shoes. Beside him there was a happier, younger version of myself in my faded overalls and my raggedy converses. We held hands in a hazy vision. He laughed and called my name. He told me everything okay.
I’m pretty sure I had loved him at the time, even if I didn’t know his name.
Another boy, this one red-head had hit him. It was Archie. I cried and threw a punch at him. He shrinks away and runs away with his tail caught his legs. After that, we had held hands once more, wading our feet in the coolness of the town’s lake.
That beautiful boy had went away to another place and I wanted to follow him not matter what, but he told me it wasn’t my fate to.
He had the same eyes as me. The baby, I mean. “You’re pitiful, you know that? You’re going to be raised by me and I wasn’t even raised properly myself.” his rosy hands grip the steering wheel while he sat in my lap.
“You’re not driving until you’re sixteen. I know, I know. I’ll get you a car seat at Walmart hopefully.” I look at him at his bare chest.
“It seems the evil witch and Sunny didn’t have any clothes for you. Maybe we’ll have some luck looking at the clearance section in the baby section. Hmmm, some food too. I hope you like mushed carrots.”
A car seat in tact and be good until he starts school and was about 300$ plus tax. Well, damn. I have like thirty dollars left on me for gas. Oh well.
“Thank for claiming my savings you little cabbage patch.”
I turn to the tall, lanky teenage employee closing down his register and ask him for help.
“Hey, could you help me put this in my car?”’
“I just became a mommy today. I wasn’t planning on him being younger than three, though.”
“Is your sister’s name, Sundae?”
“Yeah. I’m guessing since there isn’t but 150 people living in this town, the news that the occupation size dropped spread.”
“Thank you…” I look for a name tag.
“It’s Freddie. How long are you staying here?”
I clicked the seat, locking in the quiet child.
“Three more days and then I’m heading for Sacramento.”
I noticed he was sweating.
“Fred, was it? You might want to dry yourself off, you’re dripping all over the floor.”
“Oh… this? I just had an accident, you know, at that lake.”
I close the backseat car door.
“What you mean at the lake? You’re kidding, right? It’s been drained for years and no one’s swam there since that guy drowned there a while back. I forgot his name, though.”
Before I reached to the driver’s side, I asked him this.
“That was me, Freddie Miura. I’m glad you came back, I heard that moved. I’m sorry you guys couldn’t play in the lake anymore.”
“Since you’re here now, was it really an accident?”
Oh, I remembered who he was. Freddie, I mean.
“You can say that. It seems Archie wasn’t too fond of me. I feel sad you’ve forgotten me, though.”
He was my best friend.
“Freddie, it’s time to go.” a tear runs down my cheek as I stare at the man in front of me.
“Are you sure I can’t stay longer, Addie? I want to make sure she get’s home safely.”
My fingertips were turning into mist. I feel like I’m disappearing. I was dissolving. I had felt the same way when I died, too.
I couldn’t be here much longer, it seemed.
“Absolutely not, your time has been more than a decade overdue, Freddie. Freddie?”
I closed my eyes again.
“I’m so scared Semaj.”
‘I’m so scared Semaj.’
“What is it Mrs. Morris?”
“Nothing. Just remembered something that happened when I was younger, that’s just it. What are you getting for lunch.
The night I met you was the night my mother died under the the indigo sky of my hometown, Beauty, California.
My father had come home and the smell of whiskey was on his breath. The scent was strong, almost like that of filled pub. I mean, he must’ve seen the pictures I sent earlier of Mom with that other guy, right? It probably persuaded him to drink, which probably have probably persuaded him to come home angry; or maybe, was the summer heat?
Things like affairs can drive people to worse. I mean, it wasn’t like he didn’t have an idea of it, or she didn’t have time to slip up and leave behind momentos. I just gave him the photos. I just confirmed what he already knew. I was just adding more fuel to the already escalating fire. I had hid outside while the screams echoed from the front door and my mother was sobbing.
I knew everyone in the neighborhood could hear her, so I wondered why didn’t anyone come? Could it be that they don’t want to get involved? I wanted them to see the mess I stirred up. I mean well, I didn’t want to blame them for not wanting to help. I didn’t either. It wasn’t like I scared, it wasn’t that I was a coward. I hated my mother. I wanted her to die. I wanted her to suffer. I realized I was slowly descending into hell not too long ago and I wanted to drag my mother with me. She deserved it.
I was shaking in excitement as I walked farther from the house, tears streaming down my face. They weren’t tears of fear or sadness. They were tears of happiness. Thorns sunk in my bare toes as I walked in deeper and deeper from the house into a neighbouring forest; I stopped crying after I was too deep in. You were waiting for me, somehow you just knew I would be coming. I just didn’t know that I would come to me, immediately, like something you had drew me foreword. It was like you were calling me, not with your voice but with your mind. You were laying on the ground, fully loaded with nobody to claim you as it’s owner.
You were just calling me, telling me to come closer. When I did, you told me to pick you up. You began to to tease me, and I liked it. You’ll feel so much better when you hold me, you told me like a tease. I held you close, to my heart. I held you close to my heart and let you erase me from reality. Your coaxing began more and more convincing, like a lover’s words whispering hot in my ear.
And, with one swift motion, I was lured to death by you.
It was such a terrible thing.
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Pupcat is a cynic living amongst society. They’re a fan of Sleepy Hallow, Drunk History, a blogger named softmami, pop bands, unconvential rappers, and singing in the shower.
Read more at Pupcat’s site.