Letter Box (Rewritten and retitled) | By: Curtis Williams | | Category: Short Story - Friendship Bookmark and Share

Letter Box (Rewritten and retitled)

Part A: Freedom

His head was beginning to spin. The small fine printed words on the pale page belonging to the maroon book of American history were starting to blur, clustering into a jumbled group of unreadable letters. He sighed, rubbing his throbbing temples before flipping to another page. Outside, summer the sun struck post noon, its bright light seeping through the half-open window blinds, illuminating the scarlet wooden dressers, bookshelves, and his striped emerald bed in the tidy room. Allegedly, it was supposed to be one of the hottest days of the summer. Terrance couldn’t tell though; the air conditioner was running. Turning to the window, he lifted the window blinds, pressing his face to the surprisingly warm glass. He frowned disgruntled. The yellow brick building across from his own home blocked his view of the street. Groaning lowly, he scratched his dark faded hair, laying his head back on the wooden table. Every day, from sunrise to sunset, all he did was study. With no free time of his own he, was ordered— or “locked” in his room by his cruel aunt, disconnected from his friends.

Aunt Justine was a vicious woman, who lived down the street from his mother’s house. Ruthless, she always hated him for some strange reason, but he never dared to ask. He could barely look her in the eye sometimes; her icy words were like titanium knives, slicing deep flesh wounds into his soul. She simply loathed everything about Terrance, and even worse, she hated his friends. Even at school, she cleverly managed to separate him from them, by making him take A.P. classes. “All you do is hangout all day in the streets doing who-knows-what with those hooligans!!! Those kids are a bad influence; they won’t help you become a doctor, or lawyer, or even accomplish something meaningful for that matter! It’s hard enough raising you all by myself, after that bitch-of-a-mother of yours dumped you here… I’ll be dammed if you just become another thug like the rest of them ignorant ass kids out there.” Time and time again he struggled to explain to her that his friends were harmless. His stubborn aunt Justine just wouldn’t listen. He missed the days when he used to live with his mother, and every summer break she let him roam the streets with his friends, April, Koby, Julius and Skip until the sun went down. Those were the days. He could still hear the sweet firm voice of his mother’s echoing in the back of his mind, explaining to him to be back at sunset. The treasured memory brought warmth to his chest, sending goose bumps along his back before being replaced with a frigid void of loneliness. It has now been a full year since he has seen the three of them and a year since his beloved mother passed due to lung cancer. Her death was the reason Terrance was stuck in his aunt’s prison. Though he couldn’t stop his heart from aching with each thump that passed, Terrance also couldn’t help but feel a bit bitter towards her. A sudden knock from the door disrupted his thoughts.

“Yeah, what is it?” he called out.
The door swung open quickly, creaking loudly. In strode a tall, bony woman, with wrinkled bronze skin. Her small beady eyes magnified under wire rimmed rectangle glasses, and short salt and pepper-streaked hair was tied into a large bun. The scent of rosy perfume wafted in from the hall as she stood, frowning.

His aunt growled, folding her arms. “I’m having some company today and I need you to get out of the house for a couple hours.”
Terrance couldn’t stop his eyes from growing wide. She’s letting me go outside! He nearly collapsed from the impact of excitement that crashed into his body, surging through his veins. Quickly shaking his head, he nodded quietly, his heart thumping in his ears.

“What the hell is wrong with you, boy?” his aunt asked, titling her head to the side.

“N-nothing. He stammered lowly.”

“Then move! I mean now! Take your phone and I’ll call you went it’s time to come back.”
She didn’t have to tell him twice. Swiftly slipping on his sandals, he grabbed his phone and bolted from his room, doing a small jig once he was out of his Aunt’s sight. He was finally going to see his friends!

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