The only man in town who has yet to figure out life. That's me. Adam Andrews, and I was born in 1994. I know I'm still quote, unquote young..but I've been wondering through life trying to find a purpose. It seems as though no matter what I do, I can't find one. I still work at McGrogan's Grocery store, it's the last stop on the bus. I ride in every morning around nine and board it every night around nine. I'm still the buggy boy. I've never been promoted, well because of my rogue attitude. I have to admit, I have a temper. I try not to let it show, but when it bubbles and rises it surfaces. I've been told my whole life to get it under control. But why should I care? I still make some money and I have no responsibilities. Thanks to the fact that I still live at my mom and dads. Well, my mom's. My dad has been dead for years now. A brain tumor. Do I wish he was here? Yeah. Then mom wouldn't have to break her back for me, like she always has. She was a very strong women. Your typical mom growing up. Protective. Apart of every community thing, involved with the school, and working. Through the midst of it all, she still had time for me. Even when I started blowing her off. Age fifteen is when I started to do my own thing. Coming in late, drinking, partying, whatever trouble I could find. I was tired of being treated like a child, and that's something mom's are famous for. She had a rough time with me. And she still kind of does. I was just released last week from prison. This time it was for stealing from a store on the other side of town. I was drunk. So I got another charge on top of that. I usually went in and out, and every time I'd come back to work for McGrogan's. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to go back yet. To me it was a vacation, from the outside noises. The loud cars, the whispers, the flashing lights, it was a time to escape everything. The days I'd sit in my cell were peaceful. Except for mail day. Everyone else would get letters from their loved ones, as I would from my mom. But a special connection was missing. So many had honeys, and I had no one to call my own. But who would want me? I'm a mess. A twenty-two year old man who still has yet to find a reason. Nothing. I had nothing. The only thing I had was the county prison and McGrogan's. What could I show for it? An apron? Or a photo of me in an orange jumpsuit? No woman would want that. At least that's what my mother would say to me. She didn't mean to be harsh, but since she was becoming older, she tended to have a bold sense of wonderment to her.
On my way to McGrogan's the bus ride was a bit bumpy. I looked out the tinted windows to see fresh rain droplets hit the surface. One by one they trickled down. I never spoke to anyone nor paid attention to an individual. I stayed put and kept to myself. I didn't want to open conversation. Truth is, I wasn't comfortable. I was never the best at talking. Especially to a girl. Speaking of which, one just boarded. I watched her carefully as she scrounged through her purse for change.
"No money. No ride." The driver simply stated.
"Please give me a second sir." She nervously rambled as she continued to slice through her handbag.
Growing impatient he reached for the handle to the door, "I'm on time lady." And he closed the doors.
I looked to see the sadness that filled her brown eyes. Something in me snapped,a mdi couldn't see her like that. I didn't want any bit of sadness to bitter her. I quickly pushed to the front and demanded the doors to re-open and allow her to board.
"I'll pay your fee." I smiled at her as I handed the driver the fee.
She breathed out easy smiling, "Thank you."
I felt a warmth grow in me when I saw her smile. She had a small gap in between her two front teeth. It reminded me of what we did with Sharpie's when kids fell asleep at a sleepover. Except hers was so, elegant. She warmly sat in the front as I returned to the back. For some odd reason, I had to keep my eye on her. My mind on her. I was so focused on her movements. Her mailing, her notebook, the way she wrote, how her posture was breath-taking, just everything. She uneasily looked up to see me green eyes looking her way. I nervously smiled at her. To my surprise she smiled back as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. It was almost like silk was on her head, it looked so gorgeous. The bus bumped along the road, as I tried to remind myself not to stare. Sadly, it was no luck. I wondered who she was, if she was taken, where she was going, what she was writing, if she was thinking about me, etc. I wasn't even sure I was going through a normal phase. One thing's for sure, seeing her, I didn't want to be in the cold facilities of a jail. I wanted to be by her. For her. I felt as though I was suppose to be with her physically, emotionally, and mentally. Like she was meant to play a part in my life. I quickly shook the feeling away, as the sun peered through the once dingy clouds. I shined down, giving the bus a small glow on the inside. A glow that only enhanced her beauty. As others boarded and departed, they saw the way I was looking. No doubt. Was it embarrassing? The first few times. But after awhile, I didn't care. I wanted them to know I was admiring her. Could I be crazy to think of someone I barely knew as such? A stop before mine came, and she pulled the line climbing off of the bus. I was so busy being wrapped up in her sight, that I hadn't noticed she left her notebook until the bus began to pull away. And I don't think she realized either. I quickly grabbed the book reading 'Lana Miller' across it in perfectly inked writing. I knew it was against the idea of me opening it to reveal her secrets. But my mind was curious to what was inside and whom she was. The better me just held onto it, no peeping. I reached the end where it was my stop to get off at McGrogan's and work. I brought the book with me, tucking it under my arm. I didn't want to lose it. If I never read it, at least I'd get chance to see her again. If I found her, or we happened to board the bus together again.
The longest work day of my life gave me a sore back. I made it hope later than usual as it took me a substantial amount of time to walk home from the station. Which was two blocks away from my home. Upon arriving into the small beaten shack that was ours, dinner was wrapped in foil waiting for me, as it was every evening.
"Your day?" My mom asked predictably.
"Long." I always replied.
She'd smile at me and shuffle her way back to her bedroom. I knew she state dup to made sure I was home safe. But her excuse was always that she couldn't sleep. I always laughed when I thought about it. She stopped admitted that she still watched me about four years ago. I still knew she watched me. It was her way of secretly caring. I couldn't be mad at her. Even though I was twenty-two, I was still her baby. I'd always be.
That night, I laid wrapped up in my blue comforter thinking about Lana. I couldn't believe she was still on mind, and her book was still in my hand. I didn't want to, but it was basically screaming for me to read it. Against my better judgement, even though I barely have one, I lightly trailed my fingers against the pages, and slowly flipped the cover open.
As the first page read:
New day. New opportunities. I always look at another day as another chance. Not everyone gets one of those. I've had chances for years. And I assume so did others as I look around to see fresh faces everywhere. I try to be grateful for each life and moment to come. But I feel as though something in my moments are missing. Like a part of me is lost within the fresh faces. Perhaps I am overreacting. Maybe I'm not. I can't make my mind up to decide. I guess whenever it's right he'll come out of no where and into my life. And maybe his love is gonna change me. Until then I remain on my own. With these swarming thoughts invading my imagination.
Yours, Lana Miller.
I observed the way the words were wrote, almost in a careful and intricate way. I could only imagine the expression on her face as her pen glided across the page. Her words sounded as though she had no worry to finding love, and didn't mind that she didn't. But at the same time, for a moment, it was almost as if she was aiming for a person to want her. Like she wanted someone to find this and sweep her away. But then again, I could've been crazy, or just tired. Either way, she was calling. I slowly closed my eyes as the spell of sleeping washed over me.
The next morning, I was off. But I still woke up before time could catch me. My body was so adjusted to it, it never really bothered me. I stretched my limbs, trying to feel my nerves again. Upon waking up, I threw on a grey v-neck t-shirt and a pair of ripped jeans. The same scent I woke up to every morning was drifting through the house. My mom's cooking. She always made breakfast for me. I didn't always eat it, but I tried to. I understood the effort she put fourth for me. I walked in to see her smiling face over the steaming stove.
"Good Morning Adam." She commented flipping a piece of bacon over.
"Morning mom." I replied back setting the book on the table, then pouring a cup of coffee. "So, what are you going to do today?"
"Work." She simply replied glancing over at the clock.
I already knew what she was going to say. We had the same conversation as always. Each morning and each evening. It was typically about our day. Every now and again we'd get into a good conversation, but that's when something happened in town. Like news wise. She finished breakfast, and with that headed out for work. I was alone, with just a plate of food and my own thoughts. On days like this, I usually stayed in or waited till night to go to Bentley's Bar. But, today I thought I'd take a walk. I guess I hoped I'd see her again, and give her the book back. A crazy idea I know, but I wanted it to be more than idea. A reality. I opened the front door to feel the cool breezes dance around. It wasn't too hot nor too cold. I began walking without a destination. No thought in my mind but Lana and her book. I looked at it once again admiring her hand-writing. I was so lost in it, I hadn't realized where exactly I was walking. But I wasn't in any danger, instead I found myself in the park. I looked around to see families smiling and kids playing in the distance. I found shade under an old maple tree, where I sat to rest. One leg straight out, the other slightly bent. I was content. No other way to express my emotion. I was content with where I was at. But questions started to race through my head. Was I content with who I am? Would Lana accept me? What would she think? Am I even man enough to be in her presence? I quickly shook my thoughts at the sight of her notebook. I flipped it open observing the first page I had read last night. Without a thought I turned to the next page:
Today wasn't really bad. I mean it was. But why focus on the negative things? I was always taught to see the brighter things to every situation. So the sun was out today, I was alive again, the birds sang so sweetly, there was so many good things. I guess sometimes I let the devil cloud my judgement. I shouldn't. God has done much for me. He has done more. But, it's so hard to look up when you've been down. Just shake that off, I guess. I'm sorry for really even writing this. It makes me seem so depressed. When in actuality I have been smiling through this whole entry. I feel as though if I wear a smile, it could be passed on to another, and their day will be whole. Sounds silly? Maybe, but an old woman is smiling back at me. In that moment I knew God was here. I could see he was with the old lady. She was so fragile and glowing, but at the same time tired. It was like nothing was going to stop her, and even though she was wearing thin, she was strong. I hope that one day, God will give me that same glory.
Yours, Lana Miller
She was simple. I smiled at every letter written to form a sentence. She was a grateful being also. And if passage couldn't tell, religious. I never really thought about God the way she did. I believed in him. I believed in heave and hell, even lucifer. But, I never stopped to really look for him in people or even near people. I could understand each thing she said as she described the elder lady. Somehow, I feel as though I was with her. As though I could see exactly what she was talking or, writing about. I closed the book not wanting to read another passage until tomorrow. Perhaps, I would read one a day. Since the first time I've read it, it lifted my spirits. It made me feel like I belonged. Like I had a reason to live. Maybe this book and this girl was my reason. Then again, maybe she wasn't. Maybe she'd feel violated and leave me for the creep I was. After all, I am violating her privacy. No woman wanted that. I was confused yet sure of myself and my thoughts. I closed my eyes to feel the winds play around, and for some reason I thought of God fanning the Earth for the young at play. To keep them cool. It was then that I knew her writing had influenced me. She was a beautiful creature. And I wanted to be one as well.