It's late. Much later than what I had thought. This could be the reason why the streets were empty of all life, with the exception of the 'lost souls' that wandered the streets at night looking for something, anything to make them feel alive. I keep my head down, so that they don't think I'm looking for something I'm not. That's all it takes, isn't it? A glance, and they come at you like vultures to a carcass. A shiver runs down my spine as I think about it, just keep walking Ethan, I think to myself. The sooner I get off these streets, the better. Just a few more blocks and you're where you need to be, in the safety of a place you could have called home.
No need to knock, I know I'm always welcome here, as long as Matilda is home. I haven't known her for long, but she is the only person that I can truly call my friend. I head up the stairs and to her bedroom, it's the only place she feels safe, in her mothers house. I stand there in the door way, and I watch her as she's working on something at her desk, probably tomorrows homework. She always did wait for the last minute to get it done. She crumpled up the paper and threw it to the waste bin that barely four feet away, and missed. And the reason she didn't play sports. She glanced over her shoulder at me, and I smiled. She didn't do or say anything to acknowledge my presence, she just went back to the new blank piece of paper in front of her.
After several long minutes she got up from the desk and walked over to her bed, taking the piece of paper with her. She placed it on the bedside table and took a few sleeping pills. Everyone knew that Matilda had problems sleeping, because her mother would stay up all night crying about her father. Her father had died over in Iraq, there was nothing left of the body to ship back, so Maria- Matildas mother- had buried an empty casket. She set the glass down and crawled into bed, pulling the covers up, just about over her head. She looked so small in the large bed. She looked to the ceiling and I swore I saw a tear glide down her cheek. I open my mouth to say something, anything, but no sound comes out. She looks to me, sadness filling up the bright green eyes that I used to know and whispers faintly so I barely hear what she says.
“I'm sorry, Ethan.” Another tear slowly makes its way down to her pillow. Sorry? Sorry for what? There is no reason for her to be apologizing to me, she never did anything wrong. Confusion runs through me, as I replay the past few days, trying to find a reason for this, but I come up blank. Nothing. No reason for this madness.
“What are you apologizing for, Matilda?” I ask, my voice sounding distant. Another chill runs down my spine and Matildas eyes flicker something more than sadness. She turns over and pulls the covers up over her head, ignoring the question I had asked.
“Fine, I know when I'm not wanted.” I say, pain in my voice. “You should be sorry Matilda. You've never once shut me out before, why start now?” I turn and storm from her bedroom, I make my way back down the stairs and out the door.
The nights have grown shorter now that winter is no longer on us. Summer has taken over, and the cool summer nights are what I live for. To sit down by the river and watch the days go by, peaceful and satisfying. And that is just what I do, I head down to my favorite spot by the river and I lay there, thinking. Is there really a reason for Matilda to be acting the way she was, and if so, what is the reason?