The Green-Eyed Boy
By Madelen Marie
There is a green-eyed boy who lives in the house opposite my own. All of the houses here are identical, the same row-houses with the same dark brown bricks, layer after layer across the entire street. I did not see these streets very often, for I live in the basement in the house of forty-two Lovely Lane. My basement was coloured in beautiful blues, filled with shiny white furniture and a sewing kit for my frail fingers to fiddle with. I had dustless shelves with books and trinkets. I spent many days in this window-less room that I called home. I was allowed upstairs for meals and family time. I adored my life and my family, but this green-eye boy caught my eye one evening as I sat myself down at our creaky dinner table. I held my mother's fragile hands, as we desperately prayed over our meal. Head tilted, I stealthily peeked my right eye open and squinted out of the gap in my bent elbow, looking out of our dining room window and into his. He stood by the window, holding his opaque curtains aside with one hand. He was squinting too, but not because he was meant to be praying. He squinted at me with eyes full of curiosity, as if he was intrigued by me. Then he smiled and released his curtain from his tight grasp; I watched it fall over his brass-coloured face, vanishing like a daydream.
For many days, this green-eyed boy showed up at my front door, asking my mother for my time and my company, and for many days, this boy was refused and sent back across the street. But he wasn't defeated; not this boy. With buoyancy in each step on even the worst of days, refusal like this mattered not to him. He simply grinned and tried again the following day. We wrote to each other, exchanging words and sharing our lives. He told me about his attic – the transparent glass roof with all the clouds to stare upon during the days and the nights. He told me about the busy, polluted city that he strolls down when he wants to think. He showed me the most erotic poetry that made me shameful when I thought about my mother just above me. I spent many nights picturing this life he knew so well, hanging up drawings of my interpretations of them on my window-less walls, giving me a life to look forward to.
On day two-hundred and three, I heard the routine door thumping, and my mother's footsteps above me, hurrying to open the door to cease the deafening knocks. Like the other two-hundred and two days, my mother refused, and just like those other two-hundred and two days, that green-eyed boy pleaded and persisted. But, unlike the other two-hundred and two days, my mother said okay. Little did she know what that decision cost her in the future.
On day two-hundred and three, this green-eyed boy walked his way down the windy stairs into my basement. I was eager to show him my room; my world. Like a little girl showing a friend her new things, I showed him my sewing machine and my books. I was smiling and happy to share my world with. But I did not receive the expression I expected; his face fell into a sorrowful sympathy.
"You have hardly lived, my friend. We should run away and make it like a Bonny and Clyde situation" He laughed.
"What's that?" I asked with an innocent ignorance.
"Bonny and Clyde?" He repeated in bewilderment. I remained silent, shrugging my confused shoulders.
"The two... outlaws? That go -What do you do in your time?" He gasped.
"Nothing. Too much. Everything I don't want to do" I mumbled.
"You do so much, but none of it is useful. What does it do for you?" He asked in efforts to make me think. I said nothing, as I sat on my bed nervously fidgeting with my fingers. He bounced off of the edge of my bed and began pacing my basement in energetic circles, hands in his pockets and eyes fixated on my carpet. "The things you do is pointless. They say it teaches you thinks, but all of these references I say, you don't understand them. How do you not know Bonny and Clyde? I am a failure, yet I will put up words that make you go 'what does that mean', like 'insubordination.' And yet, you have done all of your schoolwork and I didn't. And yet, I know insubordination"
The green-eyed boy, currently in my basement pacing circles and smiling, spun around and faced me. We were so close I could feel his cold breath on my rosy cheeks. Elbow bent, he opened his palm upward and he smiled. "Take my hand, Pia. For I have a whole world to show you."
I looked into his eyes and paused, my heart thumping in thought of the repercussions of the decision I knew I was going to make, and I looked at this beautiful green-eyed boy. I released a wide and childlike smile and with that, I took his hand and was instantly swept away from the dark basement I was captive in for all those years. Running up those retched, windy stairs for the last and final time, I burst out of the front door of forty-two Lovely Lane and before me were wonders of the world I never knew needed to be admired. With this green-eyed boy, I saw the busy city streets, I saw movies with sex, I listened to songs with profanity and put them on repeat, whilst smoking cigarette's on the tallest bridge I could find, staring at the stars and entwining my insubordinate hands with his.
"And finally," He began. "The world is treated to a taste of your talent and your beauty; treated to what you can accomplish and what you can be when you are unshackled and unburdened by fear of family, friends and foes. By those who wish for you to be more like them and less like yourself."