Inspiration: http://www.oneword.com Today’s word was “glimmer.”
A Glimmer. A Spark.
By: Aaron Dethrage
Gradually, Hope awoke, repeating in her head the words which had sung her to sleep the night before: “This year. This year it will be different. This year I will change.” 2011 had been a long pause for Hope. It wasn’t her worst year—that was definitely 2006—but it had been a year of patterns, mundane and stagnant routines that she was ready to abandon. She wanted adventure and excitement. She wanted to become the type of person that effortlessly attracted those around her with her spontaneity and apparent reckless abandon. She wanted to see new places, experience new cultures, and kiss new lips. This year. THIS year.
The adventure of her glorious rebirth excited her, and she pulled back her sheets and stepped out of bed. Her cotton-socked feet touched the cold, hardwood floor resolute. In the kitchen waited a pot of coffee, self-activated thirty minutes prior. Hope floated through the house, her spirits ablaze, and poured herself a cup. On the counter blinked a bright red three, missed calls from the night before. She would sip, she would listen, and then The Perfect Year of Endless Adventure would begin. That’s what it she would call it; she had decided.
“First new message. ‘Was that it? Oh, hi, Hope. It’s your mother. I’m sure you’re out having a good time. Your father and I are just about to head to bed, but we wanted to wish you a Happy New Year first. It was so great seeing you last week. It always means so much to me when the whole family is together like that. Now make sure that you don’t overwork yourself when you go back in next week. You just seemed so tired at home, and you know how much I worry. Anyway, sorry to drag on. We love you, honey. Happy New Year. Keep in touch.”
“Message Deleted.” Mental note: Mom does worry too much. I must make sure to avoid that in my new life, and I must make sure to regularly check in with her so she stays happy. Check and check.
“Second new message. ‘Party rock is in the house tonight. Everybody just have a good time. And we gonna make you lose your mind. We just want to see you. Shake tha-”
“Message Deleted.” Pocket dial. Mental note: my new life must involve dancing. I think I’d really enjoy dancing.
“Third new message.”
I bet I look sexy when I dance. I bet I will meet more boys if I go out danc—
The air hung still for hours, days, an entire, spoiled year. Her name from his voice was all there was, all there had ever been.
“Hey, um, sorry, I must have pocket dialed you earlier. I, uh, hope you are well. It feels like it has been ages. Jesus, I shouldn’t be doing this; I’ve had way too much to drink. Um, you should give me a ring sometime. We could grab coffee and catch up or, you know, whatever you wanted. I… I’ve been thinking a lot about you. I mean—ha, shit, I should end this before I make any real mistakes. Anyway, um, Happy New Year. Call me. Bye.”
Her pink, cotton socks suddenly hardened into cement blocks and the scuffed hardwood floors became the mud she must trudge through day in and day out. The Year of whatever she had called it would not happen. She would save his message and pray that he meant it, and, undoubtedly, he will have not. She’ll arrange her life into carefully staged run-ins, where she will see every other girl that he bothered to take to dinner, to take dancing, to take to bed. She’ll cry alone to Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker and hate herself more with every night. This year will be nothing new. This year will be last year, will be every year that she has ever known him. This year. THIS year—
“Message deleted. No new messages.”
And with that: a glimmer, a spark. Hope found the brightest dress in her closet—the shorter one that the cute Starbucks barista had commented on two separate times last year. She opened her front door, stepped out into the bright January sun, and gradually hope awoke.