-Author’s Note –
This is a sequel to the six part short story, Orchestrated. It features the same characters and takes place in story two months later. Keepsake won’t spoil anything from Orchestrated and will only make small references to it. You don’t need to read Orchestrated first, but it’s recommended if you have time. ;D
I noticed the odor coming off my shoes as I walked up the stairs. I didn’t like taking them off at the front door of our house every time I came home, but that was mom’s rule and one dad supported. Our entire house was wooded floors and they had to remain clean and spotless. Still, it’s not like a big deal. I’d gotten used to carrying them in my hands. As usual I rushed up two steps at a time into my room.
Stepping passed my door, throwing my backpack into the nearby corner with my shoes kicked off in the same direction, I felt excitement wash over me. There were scuff marks on the white walls from former throws and surely I’d just left more. But that’s alright.
It was Friday night, with the entire rest of the weekend to enjoy!
Quickly, reaching over to the coffee table in the middle of my room where the remote rested, I pressed play and the music to my stereo system simply blasted its tunes. Guitars sprung to life and drums hit their beat. I started to tap to the rhythm and couldn’t help but grin.
Well, I’ve been going through the motions,
Wonder if anyone can see,
Shaking and spinning to the beat. Carried by this sound of bluesy rock and roll, the jacket I wore was pulled off and thrown on to my brown colored futon.
That I been looking for something,
Have you been looking for me?
Today, school was simple. Not too hard, not too easy either. We had basket ball practice today, where we ran so many drills I broke into my usual sweat. I actually enjoyed the exercise. The thought of my body becoming healthier and building my stamina felt like something accomplished. Besides, going to the gym really isn’t my forte, so I needed to build muscle somehow. Halting my dance, I caught a glimpse of the full body mirror hanging on my wall and checked out my revealed forearms and lean torso. Grinning a little deeper. I reassured myself that I wasn’t the kind of guy who cared too much about his looks, but hey, if you had em…
I ain’t the same no more!
In fact I have changed from before,
No, you ain’t gonna find me!
Oh no, cause I’m not who I used to be!
Decorated the way I wanted, pride filled me as I took in my room. I felt like you should be proud in something worked hard to build. It’d taken a lot of allowance money that I accumulated over the past few months, but totally worth it. I had spent it on canvases of various places around the world, all displayed on my walls – a grand picture of the Eiffel Tower for example. There was also a South American Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef! God, someday I promised myself I’d make it there. The main window of the room had no curtains and my futon was placed underneath it, which was the perfect spot to lie and watch the stars at night, during clear skies. At the far right of my room, my desk held my old tower computer, an HP PC. I leapt up and played the air guitar as the lyrics were sung by the wonderful Brittney Howard.
Pulling out my wallet and cellphone from my pants pockets, I remember to briefly scan the pin board above my desk. There, my list of test reminders and calendar. October, already? I thought of the Halloween lawn ornaments already placed up in the front yards of our neighbors as I walked home from school. Continuing to study my board, I see a photograph of me and my friends. I had pictures of family by my bed and some of my team. But the only shot that was from my polaroid camera – photography being a hobby of mine – was that of my friends. Focusing in on the picture of Lace, Austin and I as we stood in front of the ice cream shop.
I grinned. I had even managed to get Austin to smile for that one. That was… I tried to recall, about two months ago?
I said I’d never grow old!
I can’t remember how that used to be,
I find myself without the power,
I find myself without the glory.
A feeling of restlessness filled me again, and I had the idea to call them both up tomorrow, see if they wanted to grab a bite. I hadn’t seen Austin in a while, and Lace in an even longer time. I knew as well, that Austin needed the company of I, best friend Sam Christ – well, that was a self proclaimed title but most likely best friend. Austin may not need anyone actually, but he’d get company either way. I was bored.
Taking my gaze away from the picture, I stepped over to the futon. Tomorrow would be a long day. Fifteen year olds have it the worst, in my opinion. But it was better than fourteen.
Out the window, it’d become darker more quickly than the month before. Already the sun was dipping low to the west, here in Florida. Getting up early tomorrow meant I could get a great shot of the sunrise over the bea-
“Uh…” the breath escaped my mouth unintentionally. I caught sight of my dad, walking out the front door of our home. As usual.
Listen! I ain’t the same no more,
You’ll find I have changed from before,
The corner of my mouth dropped slowly and my cheek bones lowered, as I stared after him. I couldn’t do anything about it. It was my decision, and I’d made it. But…
“You’re wasting your life,” I called out to him from behind a closed window. He of course didn’t hear me, and stepped into his car unawares. I watched as it came to life and drove away. Then, falling back into my futon, I tried to calm my mind. I shook my head and sighed.
I didn’t know why, but I felt my face grimace. Come on Sam… Tomorrow was going to be a better day. Tomorrow was the weekend.
Still, I couldn’t get the picture of what I saw out of my head.
You ain’t gonna find me,
Oh no, cause I’m not who I used to be,
Tired, I listened to the music and sang the words I knew well. Please, Brittney Howard, give me a distraction.
Oh, no, no, I ain’t who I used to be,
“Oh, no, no, I ain’t who I used to be…”
Oh, no, no, I ain’t who I used to be!
“I ain’t who I used to be..”