Crossing On A Thin Line
by Anuar Tahir
Chapter 2: The Calm Before the Storm
An invigorating aroma from a piping hot cup of steamed milk permeated Arnold’s lifeless and cold bachelor’s room. There were towering stacks of books; namely theoretical books such as “Take Command” by Kelly Perdew. His old brown journal and exercise books were strewn across the four corners of his messy room.
His mother; Zoey had reminded him umpteen times to get his act together by cleaning his room like a real man should. She stared at Arnold who had his laptop switched on the whole night. He had slept in front of his laptop as the words “Genesis” caught Zoey’s attention. She sighed heavily and left the room with the hot drink in his room.
“Always with his science and logic….he should wake up anytime now” Zoey thought to herself as she closed to door.
Dawn was approaching. It was still dark.
“Look I have to go now. Thank you Arnold” Eynn walked away from the alley in a hurry
“Wait! Can we meet aga..” Arnold let out a soft whisper as he felt something pull him away.
By now the torrential rain has stopped. The tattered-clothed beggars in the district hurriedly picked spots in the old Terry Park to receive sympathy from onlookers. The distinctive brown wooden benches, the old pine trees and the dazzling array of colorful daisies made it one of the best tourist hot spot in South Westminster.
Eynn sat down on a worn-out bench in her bright yellow office wear. She loved that spot; it was situated between two old pine trees and the daises were in full bloom most of the time. It was where her boyfriend proposed to her 4 years ago. Eynn was reading a book as she was patiently waiting for her boyfriend to meet and send her to work.
“Where is he now?” She looked at her watch and her phone vibrated in her black Chanel bag.
“Sorry darling, I cannot make it today. I have to attend a very important meeting in the morning. You go ahead first ok?” she scrolled the message down on her piano black iPhone4.
“Sure. I’ll go first then” She gave a fast reply to her boyfriend.
Eynn let out a disappointed sigh and placed her book inside her bag. It was not the first time her boyfriend did this to her.
“Might as well walk slowly then. I’m still early for work.” Eynn walked off slowly to admire the scenery. She plucked one pink daisy to cheer herself up.
The sun was up. It was morning.
Arnold was still asleep in his disorganized and messy room. His mum had left for work and the steamed milk was still hot.
“Can we meet again!?” Arnold stretched out his hand trying to reach Eynn. He felt something pulled him back from the reverie. He was dreaming.
“Oh crap!” Arnold shouted in angst.
The steamed milk had spilled all over his theoretical notes on “The Machiavellian Moment” The notes were important to him. He had been using the notes as references to write his thesis. Arnold had his eyes locked on his batman watch; it read 7.45am. He gathered all his notes and shut down his computer as fast as he could.
“I’m late! I’m sure this will be the last straw for me” Thoughts swirled in Arnold’s mind as he tried to dry his notes.
Arnold quickly grabbed his mum’s hairdryer to dry the notes clean. He placed the hairdryer adjacently to his notes; to dry it without his supervision. He took his towel and zoomed straight to the toilet. He had no time left to waste.
Arnold had forgotten to switch on his water heater. The cold water trickled down his small-framed body and he shivered violently. He can never take cold baths in the morning or else he’ll get a mild hyperthermia. He washed himself up and didn’t have the luxury to spend any more time longer in the bathroom. He took no longer than a minute to brush his teeth. It was a record for him. No less than ten minutes and he was done.
Arnold went back to his room to check on his notes.
“Great! At least I can continue using them. I’m sure go get an extra long lecture on being late by Mr Jenkins” Arnold saw an angry bearded man with his arms in akimbo looking down at him in his imagination.
Mr Jenkins was a respected lecturer in Dunston High. Arnold had no choice but to face the music sooner or later. He took his black sling bag and stuffed his laptop, notes and a Davidoff perfume in it. He took a good look of himself on the full-body mirror. He was ready for another day at school.
“First, it was that incident in the alley. Then there was the weird dream. Now I’m going to be grilled dead” Arnold thought of a million ways on how his lecturer will do to him later in school.
He drank whatever that’s left of the steamed milk, took the house keys along and left the house for school.
“Wish me luck!” Arnold wished himself to face a great day ahead of him.
©Anuar Tahir. The story is the work of fiction. Any ideas and characters in the story are wholly owned by Anuar Tahir. Do not republish it under your name.
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