As a writer, I often find myself writing stories about my own life. Especially about events that have changed me in big ways. The only problem with that is, it’s hard for me to know what to change and what to leave in. This is a story I’ve rewritten many times and am just recently rewriting for my Creative Writing course. I am just now realizing that i have a huge group of writers that I can utilize to help my writing get better. So if anyone is interested, I’d like some input and editing tips.
My Right Eye
Covering my right eye, most of my room is invisible to me. I’ve done this before, and I’ll do it many more times in the future. It’s not the same eye Billy can’t use, but it is my dominant one which is the feature I prefer to mimic. Simply looking at the ceiling, all I can see is the blue wall next to me, leading into darkness in my single-eyed periphery. Everything else is hidden, were my right eye should be. Like I do most nights I simply lay, half covered in my blanket, remembering. This time is different though. I don’t just remember the day it happened, I recall every day it effected afterwards. Which it turns out, is every single one.
*“I don’t want to keep doing this. I can’t keep doing this.” Again, you’re leaving. Leaving her because she doesn’t make me happy. “It’s not you, really, it’s me.” Cliché. And not just any cliché, the mother of them all. You can do better than that. “I just don’t know how to be happy. There’s something inside of me.” That’s it. Lie to her; tell her why it’s not her fault. Then again, why doesn’t she make you happy?
She loves you, treats you right, she’s smart, so what is it? What are you so afraid of? She’s not going to hurt you.
“I promise if you let me try, I can make you happy.” She’s desperate; it hurts to hear her like this. But can she? Can anyone really? Maybe it really is you, letting your life tick away second by second every day. Subconscious maybe? What’s wrong up in that brain of ours? Are you afraid of her not making you happy, or are you just afraid you’ll end up hurting her?
*Oh god. What’s wrong in here? Everything feels so fuzzy and confusing. What happened? There was the football practice, alright, but that couldn’t be what’s wrong. The ringing in your ears blocks out the question on this woman’s lips. But aren’t they a strange pair of lips? So big for such a small girl. And she’s only just a girl isn’t she? They make her look like a fish that was drawn by a toddler, gasping for oxygen under all that water.
“The first president?” huh. You know this. Let’s think. Man, there sure are a lot of people her. When did that happen? And why are we on the game field? It is day time so we’re definitely practicing, but we only practice here the day before games. How weird is this?
“December fifteenth.” Finally. I knew we’d get that one. What’s she looking at me like that for?
“Come with me. We’re going to have to call your parents.”
Ahhh. It feels good to be home, but why does Dad keep asking so many questions?
“I guess a lot it all foggy, but I remember a lot of stuff. One thing I’m happy not to remember is the accident. I can’t remember it at all.”
That look on his face, it looks like hurt, but the way he’s talking is angry. “Don’t lie about things like that Eric, it’s just a fucking concussion.” And there he goes. I wonder what you said to upset him so bad. He looked pretty hurt. Better be careful the next time you talk to him.
*Back and forth. Back and forth. You’re like a pendulum aren’t you. But it is nice. Not thinking, not caring, just riding this small piece of wood with wheels across your driveway. Oh no, here comes your cousin.
“What’sup bud?” Oh god, not now. I don’t need a pity party right now.
“Nothing. I was about to go down to the skate park.” Good hint. Hopefully he’ll take it and go back inside.
“Well… that’s cool. You know, everyone’s inside if you want to come in. we’re probably going to do dinner.”
“Alright, I’ll be home later.” Clean get away. You’re not dealing with family right now. You just want to be alone with your thoughts. The breeze kisses your skin as you ride, leaving a chill that runs deeper and deeper the further you go, until it’s no longer the breeze that cools you, it’s your own frigid skin.
*The driveway feels even longer as you hear the playful screams of your brother and his friends. You’re never one to miss out on some fun, hurry up and find out what’s going on. Coming around the long bend, chaos is the first thing you face. Screaming eighth graders firing on two high school seniors with a wide range of bee-bee guns. Is that a sniper rifle one kid has? This is insanity!
The two high schoolers (one being your older brother) go into the house as protection. What side should you choose? Well, you have always loved an underdog story. But to find a gun, you’ll need to use some guile.
“Billy I’m on your team, gimme a gun!” Yes, fool your little brother into believing you’re with them. His friends come closer and you see some wear goggles, or masks, or nothing covering their face at all. A sniper rifle? Not bad at all. “I’m gonna go in and act like I’m with them, then I’ll unlock the door.” Running up, you scream for Nick to let you in. as he opens the door, you turn and fire on Billy’s team, effectively scattering them. Taking the opportunity, you lead Nick and his friend up into the attic of the garage.
Things move quickly as you begin firing blindly down at the kids beneath you. Billy, your baby brother, runs forward to hit the gun with a bat and just as he is going to swing, you pull the trigger.
The scream is something you’ve never heard before. And at first, you’re mad. Of course Billy had to be the little baby to ruin our time. Of course he had to wait until you shot him to over react.
“It’s in his eye! It’s in his eye!” What? No. No way. You see Nick jump down from the attic, completely disregarding the ladder and run for Billy. You do the same and fall when you hit the ground. Lifting your head from the garage floor, something strange is there in front of you. Crimson droplets leading away towards the door to the house. Full speed, shoving everyone from your way, you find Nick asking Billy to open his eye so he can see. But he can’t. It’s already begun to swell as you walk over and grab his face.
“Billy I’ve sorry. I’m so sorry.” The sound of Nick calling 911 and begging for an ambulance is all you can hear besides your own crying as you cradle his head and hope to god you didn’t ruin Billy’s life. It’s all your fault.
*I lay, covering my eye in my college dorm. Thinking about this thing, this blindness that would have crushed me, I start to think of how it didn’t crush Billy. He’s so strong; it actually made him more personable. More resilient. He can handle anything now. And I would have given up.
And I always thought of how I needed to protect him after that, to keep him looking up. But maybe I’m not the one that kept him looking up.
*The musical is only one act, but Billy and his friend wrote and acted in it. As the last song plays, “Don’t Stop Believing” and he’s center stage, you cry. And you have never been more proud in your entire life.