Every single day from August to June, I walked home from Gillingdale High School, a pretty rough school where, if you don't learn anything, you would at least earn a beating from some of the students there. I happen to have a couple of those throughout the days I counted.
But there was always a time where I would talk to my neighbor, a guy named Jim. Jim was a likable guy, he had charisma, a sense of humor, and a nice personality to him. He owned a nice home, he drove a nice car, and he had a wife named Carrie, who would sometimes bake cookies. I thought those cookies would always taste a bit grainy, and felt something was in them, but well, y'know, they tasted pretty fine.
Jim had blonde hair, had blue eyes, wore a light blue turtleneck that was knitted by his wife, wore beige pants, and also wore some pretty nice brown shoes. Brown shoes that shined when he stood on the sidewalk at day.
I frequently had talks with Jim, and y'know, Jim was talking like a Gatling gun. He talked fast, but fast enough to the extent where I could listen to him. He kept talks with me short, and you know, Carrie and Jim were expecting a kid soon, so Jim was in a rush to always check on Carrie. But, I did remember a time where Jim acted...off. He was always so normal, and had such a perfect life, so much so I would call him "Jim The Normal Man." But when I had that talk with him, it was to the point where I wanted to basically run from him.
It was a lazy day in May, to be precise, May 24th. It was a lovely, sunny day, but later on, the rain kicked in. I ran into Jim on the way home, cleaning his car.
"Hello, Jim!" I shouted out.
"Why hello, Carter!" Jim replied, turning off the hose. The water droplets coming down his car glistened as well as his smile.
Jim walked near me, so we could talk in a normal pace.
"So Jim, what's going on? How's Carrie?" I asked.
"Not much. Carrie's doing fine. I really am excited for our kid." Jim replied, with a happy tone.
At this point, there wasn't much to talk about. Then, I brought up a topic that made him odd.
"Are you going to get some toys and stuff for your child?" I asked.
Then, Jim's happy tone, happy expression, disappeared. I don't know why.
"Hah...what? Toys? Stuff? He'll be like me, of course! A hard-working man with a dream!" Jim replied. He was forcing a particularly strange smile.
"Well, you can't force a young kid at a young age to go provide for the entire family. Don't you think he should get some entertainment, at least? Like a toy?" I asked again. I didn't raise my tone as much with Jim, but this time I did. Jim was a nice guy, but I knew he couldn't do this to his child, of course.
"Well, you see, I don't believe in that stuff. You know, I...I have to provide for my family! And some day, he has to, too!" Jim exclaimed. He broke out of character.
"Well, listen, Jim, don't be rough on him." I told Jim.
"No, no. Don't tell me what to do. We're good buddies, right, Carter? You're a good kid, don't tell me what to do!" Jim shouted then. He broke even more out of character.
"Stop freaking out Jim! I'm being nice!" I shouted back. Jim was starting to act crazy, all for nothing.
Then, Jim was about to blurt something, something that looked like it would make sure it would scar me. But then, he disappeared. Right there, of course. No longer was the car there, the house there, Carrie looking out from the house too! All gone.
Then, I head my mother from the house.
"Carter, you're home! Welcome back! Take your meds after you get in, you forgot to take them today!"
Then I realized, I forgot to take my medication! I headed inside, and as I did, I could hear Jim faintly yelling. "Nothing personal, kid!" Man, I'll talk to Jim someday later in the week.