People call me crazy, but I’m not.
I can weave words into sentencesÂ that flow like the strands of a spider web and make even the most skilled arachnid feel ashamed, but I won’t always do it.
There’s this man that lives next door to me who calls himself “Dex” which is probably short for Dexter but he won’t say.
Everyday I go over there after school and sit at Dex’s counter while he brings me a banana popsicle (they are always banana).
A couple weeks ago our visit was different.
“Are you going to tell me a story, Dex?” I asked him, the popsicle juice sliding down my throat ans sticking to inside of my blouse.
Dex smiled his grandfatherly smile, “What shall it be today, Vi? Pirates, knights in shining armor, a killer salesman?” Dex grinned.
He loved telling stories just as much as I loved writing mine down on a pen and paper. When he talked his voice was like soft velvet. As I could weave words onto paper, he could weave words from thin air.
I shook my head, “I want you to tell me something, true”, I told him, staring off curiously into the distance.
Dex looked taken aback, “No fiction today?”
I shook my head again.
Dex sighed, “I think I have just the thing”.
“Once upon a time there lived a young girl who no one in the village knew by name, so everyone called her The Eccentric.”
I furrowed my eyebrows, “Why The Eccentric?
Dex brought a finger to his lips and shut his old eyes, signaling for me to put a lid on it.
Icurled my feet up on the kitchen chair.
“They called her this because no one ever knew anything about her. She stayed hiddden up in her hut all the time, keeping herself safe from prowling eyes that wished to judge her”.
“One day The Eccentric was visited byÂ a friendly neighbor who told her that if she just came out of the house, just once, then she could have all the riches in the world”.
Dex’s eyes began to gleam over and I knew he was losing himself in the story.
“But The Eccentric didn’t want the riches, and she was too afraid to come out of her house and leave the safety of her home where she was free from all opinions, so she stayed in there with only her books as friends”.
“The Eccentric did lose something though, despite her constant fear of losing anything”.
“What?” I leaned forward in the chair, mesmerized by his words.
Dex blinked, “herself”.
There was a long moment of silence, and I didn’t know what to say to him, he looked so old and worn all of sudden, something I hadn’t noticed before.
“So, what happened to The Eccentric?” I asked, shrugging my shoulders and licking the remaining yellow stains from my lips.
Dex came over and sat down beside me, brushing a finger through my hair.
“I don’t know” he gave me a warm smile, but I could tell he was faking it.
I walked home that day with my hands stuffed in my pockets, feeling somewhat lonelier then I had before.
I couldn’t help but wonder what had become ofÂ The Eccentric, the young girl who never left her house?
I gasped, and stopped walking, my feet frozen to the hot cement.
I was The Eccentric. Never loving, never feeling, never letting anyone in. Dex had been trying to tell me that I was going to lose myself if I don’t ever get better, and I have a feeling he’s right, Dex is always right.
I am feeling much better about things today, and I wish more then anything I could hop on over to Dex’s house and tell him that maybe The Eccentric can learn to be Happy. But I can’t anymore.
Dex Died today of a heart attack.
No more stories.