The Sun Sets

Joined: November 20th, 2012, 9:32 pm

July 7th, 2016, 4:33 pm #1

((Henry Spencer continued from Screamer, Screamer, He's a Dreamer))

That could’ve been better.

Henry stood up from the family computer (well it was really just his computer since his dad didn’t use it at all) and pushed in his chair. He stretched, blinking in the dimly lit living room where he’d been stationed for the past 100 minutes watching a movie. What was the title again? Whatever. It hadn’t been very good. Normally it would’ve been a good time, but something about ‘Goodnight Mommy’ resonated poorly with Henry.

Rubbing his eyes, Henry checked the time. Sheesh, almost one in the morning and he had school tomorrow. Henry did pretty well on not a lot of sleep, so it shouldn’t be that bad. He ventured into his room, careful to avoid tripping on anything or bumping into a wall. His dad was most likely asleep by now, so noise would make for a bad time.

Henry washed his face, wiping his eyeliner off and brushing his teeth while staring into the mirror. He had some sort of comedo (a funny name for a whitehead. Get it? Funny ‘cause it sounded like comedy even though they don’t share etymological roots? No?) around his nose that was bugging him, his hair was a mess, and he was probably going to need to start shaving too. The worst of it? That he was so worried about his appearance all of a sudden.

He felt down. That was a good word for it. Today had been rough; someone had called him a name, ‘emo’, and told him to go cut himself. Normally Henry would just laugh it off, but it had kind of hurt this time. He wasn’t stupid; he knew people thought he could be weird. That was just who he was, though. It didn’t have bug him. But all that stuff about racial discrimination and police brutality that happened last year had gotten him thinking.

It wasn’t like Henry was being discriminated against. He was a white, straight (sort of) male in a non-impoverished household. They weren’t rich, sure, but it wasn’t like they were especially poor. That kind of made it worse, though; people talked about privilege, serious or sarcastic, and either way Henry had a lot of it. He had a non-traditional or socially normal style, sure, but that was just one thing. That was something he could change if he really wanted to.

Flopping onto his bed, now in his boxers, Henry curled up on the sheets and exhaled harshly. He would have trouble sleeping tonight from the heat-it was an unusually warm day even for Arizona-and his unquiet thoughts seemed eager to trouble him.

Sitting back up, he turned on the light on his nightstand, rubbing his eyes in the bright light. He took a deep breath and clenched his fists. He slid off the bed and stood on the floor. Then he slipped into the living room again, where, to his surprise, his dad was sitting in his recliner.

“H-hey dad. What’s up?” Henry didn’t see his dad up this late usually. He was an ‘early to bed, early to rise’ sort of guy. Dad looked over and smiled.

“Oh, nothing. What are you doing up, Henry? I thought you went to bed.” Henry moved over to his chair, turned it around and sat down to face his dad. Henry fidgeted for a moment, not sure how to respond.

“I dunno, can’t sleep. Just feeling kind of down, you know, like, sad? Not like I’m depressed or something, but just feeling kind of anxious. It’s like the thing that make me happy are making me feel bad now. I watched this movie and these kids killed their mom and normally that wouldn’t bug me but-”

Henry became preoccupied with the carpet mid-sentence, as his dad bit his upper lip. “Hey, c’mere.” Henry moved over to his dad, and they embraced. There was a long period of silence, and Henry was grateful for that. There was no need for words right now. That was all Henry wanted; a moment to come to a conclusion, one that made him feel like things would be okay.

He wasn’t alone.

After a moment, Henry separated from his dad, who kissed him on the forehead before standing up and going to his bedroom. Henry smiled, slightly misty-eyed, and went to bed.

He slept better that night.

V5: Cut Short
Theodore Fletcher
Nina Clarke
Gwen O'Connor

V6: Broken Down
Alice Baker (->Aura)
Henry Spencer
Blair Moore

V7: Unprepared
Rhonda Lawson[/b
Toby Underwood
Paloma Salt