Nate at Night | Teen Ink

Nate at Night

May 4, 2013
By Eliquencity PLATINUM, Winfield, Illinois
Eliquencity PLATINUM, Winfield, Illinois
20 articles 0 photos 28 comments

The sky’s crescent, luminous and wedged high above, guided Nate as he trudged through town. The Coffee Shop Junction’s doors clacked shut. The grungy owner was locking up for the night, much to Nate’s displeasure. The boy dropped his gaze and hastened along to preclude the man from voicing any of his usual presentiments. Sometimes Nate would acknowledge the shop’s owner, tolerating the frivolous foresights. According to the owner, who liked to predict people’s futures when brewing coffee, Nate was supposed to be dead three Tuesdays ago.

When Nate arrived at his whereabouts, he claimed his bench. It positioned on the far side of a homeless man. That man, much like Nate, secluded in the park but had forfeited his apartment and kept his laptop for the sake of protesting against mortgage taxes. Nate was a private school boy residing in the rich part of the neighborhood. Yet he and the homeless man still ended up in the same place nightly. Whatever the intention, the tactic remained.

Despite his small frame, he hunched his shoulders forward and bent his torso, knowing his mother would kill him for disturbing his pretty-boy posture. But Nate required the impression of security, a safety net from and of his dreams. Never for long did he stay at this place. The walk to the park took up sixteen minutes, twenty if he stalled, and provided a diversion. It was nice to have a destination, but once there the memory leaked back into his conscious. Nate clutched his head with parted, curled fingers. He lifted his chest and chin in order to stare at the moon while he imagined the sun in its wake, and suddenly, the clock in his mind reversed.
It was after nightfall when the event occurred four years ago in his basement.

The thud. His checking what occurred. Then seeing. On the ground. His sister, five years his major. Loosely holding a medicine bottle. It was as unfilled as the sound Nate heard in that heavy moment. Ivory’s eyes fluttered, her skin paled and hair cast around her structured face. Her cheeks glistened with tears. The first real thought Nate processed was “damsel in distress.” Only, it wasn’t one of the princesses he and Ivory would watch on cassette tapes. It was his sister. It was too late when he dialed the number. He had never had to call 911 before, excluding the time he tried to order pizza through the policeman in kindergarten. His beloved sister never woke. When he roused his parents, both deep sleepers, the ambulance arrived, checked her pulse, and delivered the tragic news. He remembered his uncle picking him up. His uncle caught The Coffee Shop Junction’s owner just in time before closing and after explaining, presented Nate with Kid Cone Ice Cream. His uncle let the bribe drip for quite a while before swiping it into the garbage. The next time Nate saw his sister, she was in a casket.
Nate rose from the bench, suspecting sunrise in a few hours. The homeless man, as he remarked, across the park was recumbently dozing. He noticed that his own shirt smelled like coffee beans and unpredictable future.
He followed the chronic moon back home.

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