Misguided Musings of a Hypocritical Teenager

After being involved in a near-death experience, teenager Andy Marcks begins to see life for what it is. This realization seems to be shown to him by a new personality growing within him. New feelings and urges will lead Andy on a path that he can never return from, it will change his life completely, in the way that it will finally allow him to live. Along with this personality a host of people with various perspectives on life will help Andy to find what he has been secretly searching for since his mind first entered this world...

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2. two

My bed didn't feel as if it was my own, I don't know why. I'm sure it was my room. I mean I had been living in it for my whole life, but it just didn't feel right. My thoughts were interrupted by raised voices in the house, my parents.

"Third party insurance was all I could afford, let's just be happy we don't have to pay for her car as well, now that would cost a fortune." It was my mother, she sounded as if she had calmed down since the accident yesterday.

"Still we will need money to repair our own car, it's not going to be pretty" My Dad, the voice of reason, retorted. He had started planning on how to tackle the situation as soon as he found out I was alright, I know he cared but he never would allow what he saw as petty emotion to consume him or blind his judgement. Cool, calm and collected my father always used sense to make a decision. By growing up in Africa he had seen much hardship and in turn had steeled himself against it in order to get by. He always knew he had to use his smarts in order to escape to a better life, emotional attachment would only hinder him in this pursuit. In the end he did what he had to do to achieve what he wanted and I as admired him for that, I also respected him as I knew that I could never sacrifice as much emotion as he did.

Whilst I saw the merit in Dad's approach to life I also sympathized with my Mother's view. This view of course was completely opposite to Dad's. Her fair white skin, long blonde hair and blue eyes opposed Dad's dark complexion with short black curly hair and deep dark eyes. Physical appearance foreshadowed the contrast contained within their relationship, most things about them and the way they went about things were completely different, which begs the question of how they came to the same conclusion on many of their ethos. 

I guess there are many roads that lead to Rome... and there I am at it again! Since the car crash I had been reading into everything people said and did, it was quite unbecoming of me. I noticed it most when I got home from the the crash, my mother had been in tears distraught with emotion she was so scared, so terrified  and when I looked into her face and saw that fear, that pure primitive instinct , I knew it was about more than just me, I knew that she had felt it before, I don't know how but I just knew...

"Andy," my mother spoke my name as she knocked on my door. It took a few moments to realise that she was talking to me.

"Come in" I replied.

"Andy, your father and I just got off the phone from the lady, the lady from the car accident. She said you called yourself...Saul," Mum paused on the name as if it would make her tear up again, "why did you say that was your name?"

"I did?" I can't remember doing that, I don't even know anyone named Saul, "I must have been in a daze or something... I mean I didn't feel all there at the time"

My mother suddenly became concerned "I thought you said you felt fine? What was wrong how do you feel? Maybe there's some internal damage in the brain." She began rattling on about seeing doctors and making appointments and the like. I stopped her mid-sentence.

"No I don't think I'm hurt... I just felt like I was a different person when it happened" I didn't exactly know how to explain what I meant to my mother. I knew I could  tell her anything, but I didn't truly understand what I was trying to tell her.

"I blacked out and...I saw something .. I mean I was somewhere else, it was like the past and there was a lady in old clothes screaming next to an old car...It was like I went back in time but I was in the exact same spot and the exact same thing had happened,"

Mum looked at me queerly but didn't say anything so I continued.

"And when I came to it was like I was in a dream and I wasn't really me anymore... I was more myself during the vision or whatever you call it."

She took a while to reply and then said "That sounds very peculiar, do you know who you are now?"

I smiled, "I'm Andy Marcks, 18 years old, the third of four brothers and a recent high school graduate." It gave me reassurance to recite these facts about myself and it also seemed to please my mother. Despite this she still insisted on me seeing a doctor and told me would go tomorrow as she left the room.

I picked up my mobile to engage in my usual morning ritual of checking Facebook, only today I scrolled aimlessly through the news-feed  Statuses that would usually interest me seemed mundane and boring, it was as if the everyday occurrences of binges, break-ups and hook-ups meant sweet fuck all. We're trying to find meaning in all the wrong places, this rebel thought made me laugh to myself, I sound like a preacher reciting the age old proverb 'The kids aren't alright, the youth are in trouble!', our generation may be wrong but show me one that's right. I was rudely pulled out of my minds abyss by a phone call. 

It was my mate Cook Stonem, he was always up for a party or a bit of mischief 'never mind the consequences' was his motto adapted from his favorite album 'Never mind the bollocks, here's the Sex Pistols'. Just like his idols he had a 'fuck the world' attitude which radiated with the kids we hung about with. I don't know why this was, maybe it was due to some sentiment that we had inherited a place falling apart so why bother with it, a predetermined fate laughed at all our attempts for anything better. I went along with this feeling before the crash, but now I felt as if there was something more, I guess the only way to describe the feeling was hope. Of course I didn't share these feelings with Cook as I answered the phone, for fear of sounding like a 'fag' or some other word Cook perceived to be an insult his brain which was not from the highest of shelves to say the least.

"Cook man, what's up?"

"Not much man not much, looking to get monumentally hammered tonight, you keen?"

I suppressed the urge to ask Cook what exactly he was escaping from? What was it that he was scared to face? What was it that made him run to the bottle every weekend?

Why am I thinking like this? Usually I would say yes and that would be the end of it.

"Aww mate, I'm not feeling that flash after the crash you know? Maybe next weekend?" The lie fell from my lips effortlessly.

"...Okay." Cook replied slowly like a hurt dog, I realised Cook didn't really have many true friends, sure there were the people that admired him for the act he put on and the entertainment he provided every weekend, but they didn't truly know him or appreciate him as a person. Cook would always be just a bit of fun, there was no substance to him, there was no meaning. I wondered to myself how Cook would turn out when it came time for everyone to settle down and I just couldn't picture it.

"Sorry Cook." He seemed to brighten up after the apology and get back to his usual happy self.

"Ahh no worries mate I understand! You just get yourself better I'll make sure I drink a couple for you, Seeya Round!"

"Yeah seeya later Cook" I laughed as I hung up the phone. That quick change from sadness to overt happiness reminded me why I liked Cook, he just had such a youthful exuberance that made you feel as if you were in Neverland and would never grow old and grey. He was just the sort of friend every teenager needed to balance out the dreary depression that many of their friends would allow to seep out of their body and infect all around them like a cancer. For a generation that lives in relative peacetime it sure does never feel like that, we have no great war or depression but still things never seem as if they are right. It feels as if a doom hangs over us and none of us know why. It could be the fear of toxic disease or the pressures from billboards and magazines. Maybe it is the knowledge that we have had from such a young age when others did not, that nothing in the scheme of the world is right and fair, the knowledge that strips us of our innocence and throws us into the deep end when we are not ready, for better or for worse.

 

~~~

After breakfast I went to help Dad with the gardening, I was the oldest kid at home as both of my older brothers were away on uni exchange, the oldest in Europe and the other in America, they'd be back within the week though, it was getting close to Christmas. Unlike their destinations there was no winter snow to cover up our garden, instead our plants flourished in the hot Australian Summer. We were engaging ourselves in the murderous task of ridding the garden of weeds. It was among this backdrop of death that my father and I got to talking about money.

"So do you know how we will pay to fix the car?" I asked.

"No I don't but where there's a will there's a way" he grunted heavily and pulled a weed out by its roots while he said this, beads of sweat dripped from his brow. Despite the humidity my Dad did not complain, he never did.

"I'm sorry Dad, I didn't mean to lay this trouble on you guys, I could defer starting uni for a year and work instead if that will help?"

"No, no, no Andy education is the most important thing for you at the moment. Money on the other hand should never be your primary worry. To be honest it usually causes more worry than its worth."

That's true, my thoughts were inspired by my Dad's words, how can we let paper control so much of our lives, it does not breathe, it does not live and it doesn't die, therefore it isn't precious, the most precious and have meaningful things are those that die, if something can be lost indefinitely than it is all the more important to hold onto. My mind no longer seemed to be a part of myself but rather a person telling me things that he thought to be true. I told my Dad these new thoughts and he seemed both surprised and impressed.

"You seem a lot different now Andy" no sooner had he stated the observation, he had shrugged it off, "I guess it's not unheard of after a near-death experience."

That's when it occurred to me, maybe I did die. I definitely was not the same person I was before the crash, my Dad was right, I had changed completely. Andy was a boy devoid of expressing emotion, numb to the world and reluctant to voice his own opinions for fear of being ridiculed. Andy was caught up in his own wants he did not see or care much for the plights of others nor did he see the true meaning behind words and actions. Andy was a typical 21st century teenager, hypocritical at times and always disillusioned. Now I notice everything no matter how small it seems at first glance. Now I feel like there is some meaning in the world... but still I don't know exactly what that is. I stopped myself for a second, there was something missing, I did feel like a different person but I didn't feel as if that person was whole, there was something missing something I felt as if I had to find.

I heard my little brother calling from inside, "Andy come help put up the tree!"

"Sounds like duty calls Dad!"

A deep laugh came from my father "Go on, I'll be fine here by myself."

I went inside to find my little brother Chris decorating the Christmas tree.

"I thought you said you didn't believe in Santa Claus anymore?"

"I don't," my brother replied, "but I still need a place for my presents!"

His youth allowed me to pass off the statement as cuteness whereas I would have otherwise seen it as some rotten sentiment of consumerism. My main love for Christmas had always been getting to see my whole family at once, and knowing that for that one day of the year their faces would not contain even a hint of worry but only content and happiness.

I hoped my little brother would learn some of this feeling. He himself still had this happiness everyday of the year. A look of utter bliss lightened his features that were nearly identical to my own, tanned skin with curly brown hair and eyes so dark that you could hardly tell the difference between the eye colour and the pupil. This set me at ease, he was still happy, he still hadn't been weighted down by the horrors of experience which I feared would hit him all too soon. 

I sighed as I thought what this realisation in the lie of Santa Claus actually meant. I thought 10 was too young for the first layer of innocence to be stripped away. It's starting younger and younger, I thought to myself, he probably already knows about sex. It makes me sick this society we live in, I had always held the innocence and purity of children in high esteem, I believe it is what we forever try to imitate throughout life, to find that happiness once again. Alas it can never be found and what we experience through life to try and find it, sex, drugs, material happiness, they all just drive us further from it. A pessimistic teenager, just what I'm trying not to be, once again I had fallen into deep thought.

"But there's so much to be pessimistic about" I thought out loud.

"What? Andy its Christmas you dumbo, stop thinking for a minute and do something!"

Smiling I did as my little brother ordered. It is still there, no need to worry myself with questions of for how long, I need to learn to just enjoy the moment.

 

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