Comments / Typos welcome.
Kathryn’s been very sweet and advised me that my suspected tendancy to over-write comes out quite strongly, uh, when I write. I’m attempting to turn it down a little. I’ve trimmed this a bit, and I’ll try to trim and edit it based on people’s comments…
The room was bathed in the neon glow of the alarm clock. The blinds kept out what little early morning sun was around, leaving the blinking digits to illuminate the cluttered interior and, under the duvet, the lurking figure of a boy.
The radio crackled into life (it was cheap, and crackled into most things), bringing news of a traffic jam on the Westway, again. Not that it mattered; he lived well outside London, but it made him feel part something bigger than his small suburban existence. Not that that mattered anyway; all of the events being earnestly reported were currently falling on the ears of someone deeply asleep. His head buried in the feathers of the pillow, his mind elusively detached.
But slowly, The Clash being broadcast from the little white box dragged him into the land of the living. Well, in a limited way. The actual, perhaps unintended result was that he attempted to burrow deeper into the pillow, making himself one with the mattress. Perhaps, just perhaps, if he thought hard enough about it the day would go away and leave him in peace.
The radio didn’t stop playing though, at least not by itself. After a few minutes a wiry hand crept out from under the duvet and felt it’s way across the bedside table. Hunting along the row of buttons it found ‘Snooze’ before making it’s way back under the duvet. Unfortunately for the boy, the ‘Snooze’ function failed to stop the sun continuing to rise, and the sunlight began to filter through the trees, then the blinds, and finally he could ignore it no more and as the radio crackled into life again bringing forth ‘I Believe’ he crawled from the bed.
Pausing only for a somewhat theatrical switching off of the radio he went, cursing en-route, to find his dressing gown.
“How do you get from London Calling to bloody I Believe in 10 minutes?” he muttered to the room.
Staring at the disorganised clutter he awaited some kind of response.
“No, bloody thought not” he mumbled.
“Kim! Are you up yet?”
“I’m getting there.” he shouted back.
“Getting there? Are you actually out of the bed?”
“Of course I am mum!”
He could here the mutterings about the inappropriateness of the ‘of course’, but decided that discretion was probably the better part of valour and made his way into the bathroom. One brief shower later he was fishing in his battered wardrobe for a school uniform. ‘One more year’ he thought to himself. Then he’d be able to wear whatever he wanted; well, sort of, to school.
And then she crept into his consciousness. Would she be there today? Sometimes she was there, at school, and sometimes not. No one ever seemed to comment on it. At least, not where he’d overheard them. Not being Mr Popular meant he kind of lacked on the gossip front, only catching what was said loudly enough for him to overhear. Being almost invisible, at school at least, helped on that front. Not that he normally cared for such conversations, but since her occasional appearances – and the slightly odd fact that her name was only ever called at register when she was there, he’d become more interested conversations to which he’d normally not be a part.
“Bye Kim. Have a good day at scho..” he heard his mum disappearing out the front door.
By the time he grabbed his coat he heard his mum’s fiat pulling away. He cursed again – he’d missed his lift to school, again.
“Ah well, better late than never”
He chanted his teacher’s favoured comment on his late arrival – then he considered other clichés he could use for his arrival, grabbed his Walkman, and stomped down stairs. At least he’d get breakfast. He’d probably get some kind of warning at school, but so long as he made his first class they’d not care. Mind you, he thought, one of these days if he was early he might see her arrive. He looked at his watch.
Not today though. Today he’d be lucky to make registration, and he’d only make that if he didn’t eat. He perched on the stool and poured out Cornflakes. Breakfast first, then school.