Written by Ricardo
The light which illuminated Grace’s front room was not the kind she was accustomed to. At this time (which was 21:03 on a Saturday night for anybody out of the know) Grace would usually have just landed on the sofa after spending exactly twenty-four minutes soaking in the bathtub and then dressing in her Marvel pyjamas; the television would be on Channel Four and she would begin watching her shows three minutes late.
But this time was different. Instead of the kit-cat clock which hung on her cream walls striking 21:03, its unblinking, unreal eyes gazing around the room as if afraid that she wouldn’t turn up one day and leave it with only its own incessant ticking for company, the clock showed 21:00 when Grace’s backside hit the sofa. This time, it wasn’t shielded from the eyes of her kit-cat clock with her usual Marvel pyjamas. Today she wore a Batman onesie. And to complete the utter anarchy which was her life in these few desperate moments, the light which illuminated her front room was the glow of the moon instead of her television.
And so Grace sat upon the sofa, alone except for her kit-cat clock, which for the moment she decided to called Terry, and looked around herself. And she noticed that by the light of the moon, everything was in fact a lot darker. And at 21:03 she turned the television on, and the light of a floating number four joined the moonlight in its game of showing Grace the darkest corners of her own front room. And she began to cry.
When Grace wiped her eyes and resisted itching her puffed eyelids for long enough to regain her sight, she saw that Terry had been ticking away rather profusely and had burned through half an hour in the time she had used only a dozen tissues, his eyes still swaying from side-to-side, catching her in his sights for not even a second every time he did.
It was around this time when she heard three loud knocks at the door. Her dark brown hair had fallen forward in the time she had spent crying, and as she raised her head, sniffling and coughing, several locks of hair which had glued themselves to her rosy cheeks lost their grip and slipped back down to her shoulders, falling heavy against her thin onesie. Terry’s eyes also seemed to linger when they swayed back toward the door.
Grace stood up from the sofa, doing her best to mop up the tears where she could as she made her way to the door, leaving the light of both the moon and the television to illuminate only an empty cushion.
Company is the last thing I need, she found herself thinking, and planned to make this a short conversation.
She pulled the handle down and opened the door, and stood staring out at a man with a pizza box in one hand and a bag of movies in the other. The wind which blew in beside him and the droplets of rain which escaped from the shower rustled the legs of her onesie, which appeared brighter in the light from the door, and her pink slipper socks which she forgot about even putting on stung her feet as a wave of cold air drifted across them.
“So, what first,” the man asked Grace, a somewhat sly grin on his face. “Dirty Dancing or Grease?”
Well, maybe one day won’t be so bad…
A breathtaking short story with deep personal meaning to the author, The Start of Something Beautiful was written as part of the Inkwell’s Fiction Frenzy early last year, the theme for which was “Just One Day”. We highly recommend you check out the winner of the Frenzy, Avolet, and stay tuned for more of Ricardo’s work in the future!