Fishing in Beirut

March 8, 2010

Part 5: Natural Light, Oct 2001 – Jan 2002 (scene 4)

Filed under: Character : Aria, Part 5 : Natural Light — fishinginbeirut @ 08:37

Aria was late for the lesson. She ran down the corridor, dropping books and sheets, and her trainers made a squeaking sound like tyres or mice. She entered the classroom and sat down.
This was the last October they would be in school. Laura had mentioned this earlier, and Aria laughed gladly, not thinking of it that way. Come next June they were finished. She found the right page in the geography book, and tried but failed to relax. She had 200 dollars in her pocket.
She had come home pretty late the night before, shaking and a little bit drunk. She’d been nervous before the shoot. Some whiskey had calmed her sufficiently, and she’d posed in the way they asked, feeling a high from their stares. That super-attentive attention.
Today she felt stressed-up and guilty, and wanted to do it again. It was always like this. Her mind was a swirl full of chatter, and the teacher couldn’t hope to compete. Aria was lost in her thinking.
Later in the cafeteria, she ate about half the meal. It was nice but she just didn’t want it. Pushing away the plate, she got up and went to her locker. She put the money inside. There was a picture of her mother and Anna there, tacked to the back of the door, but Aria didn’t want to see it now, and shielded her left eye with her hair. She slammed the door.
She skipped the next class but went to the following, and it was boring and hard to keep still. She chewed on her pen as she listened.
Math made no sense in this moment, the sum totals blurring from afar. Her heartbeat was getting annoying. She jiggled her knees, but that moved the desk, and soon other students were watching. She fidgeted.
“You can leave if you won’t stop that moving.”
She stopped. This was a stupid way for a teacher to address a seventeen year old, but it shamed her into inertia. She scowled at the math on the board.

“I’m doing this for you Aria. For all of you.”
At home she lay in her bedroom. She was getting more tired each day. Her lips twitched, and her limbs jumped occasionally. She struggled with imagery unwanted. This was not a great life, she knew that. Something was definitely wrong, but maybe this work could correct it. She felt it might wash it away.
The room seemed to swim momentarily. Her head throbbed. She sat up and her fists clenched, and she inhaled deeply. Fuck these feelings and thoughts then. If this was how it was going to be, fuck it. She didn’t have a clue what was wrong with her, and slumped back down in a heap. Her shoulders and neck felt so stiff.


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