Friday, January 7, 2011

Under the Rug

AGE: 51
I sat in front of the television, which was not on any channel, just a black screen, because it was broken, and I had been trying to fix it for a week. However, it did not work. I felt so frustrated sitting on the couch. But it was merely too quiet for me, I could not stop thinking. 
“Hi, Papa, I’m gonna go to chess class. We are running late!” My son's voice came from the bathroom.
My son, Jaden, was eight years old, a shy, quiet boy, who was cool among all his classmates and good at writing in his English class. Therefore, he got some attention from his friends and classmates who appreciated his writing.  He had very dark, brown hair that looked exactly like his mom’s hair color, big blue eyes like mine, and a little chubby face, though the rest of him was kind of skinny. Now, he must be really excited to go to chess class; this is his weakness-whenever he got excited about something, he had to pee more than three times an hour. 
“All right, get your butt on the car seat and buckle up,” I yelled to him while I was changing my clothes.
I am Eric Gross who was called “Physco Nerd” or “gross nerd” in college, because my hair has been gray since I was in high school, and I was a straight A student. My career went really smoothly, I got a very high-pay job working at a social organization as a psychological consultant. This was after I graduated from college. A couple years ago, I had a short marriage with a beautiful Mexican woman who proposed to just get permanent residence from me. Unfortunately, I fell in love with her, and we had my son, Jaden. That was the worst time in my life, when she left me and told me she merely wanted to be an American. She left me and my Jaden eight years ago, just after Jaden was born. I thought Jaden was a burden to me, but little by little, I found he was a really obedient kid. I felt guilty to have given birth to him, so I tried to sympathize with him, to take him in and to love him as much as I could.
When we came back from chess class, I told him to do the summer homework I gave him, because I always wanted him to be smarter than other kids in his class. He went to his room, and quietly did his homework. I still had to fix that freaking television. 
I heard the turning sound of the doorknob. That must be my parents coming back from a trip in Florida. I called my mom's name, but nobody answered. So I went to the front door to check. When I passed the kitchen, I took a glance into my son's room. The door was open but he was not in his room. Another sound came from the dining room. I went to the dining room and found Jaden lying on his stomach, sneaking under the dinning table. However, I could not see his head for the table cloth was so long that it covered half of his body. “Jaden, get out. What are you doing there?”  “Bang” his head hit on the dinner table for he was shocked by me.
“Papa, I saw something under the rug moving.”
“Come on. Don't be silly. Don't you think I will believe in you?”
“Papa, I am not kidding. I am serious. I swear I saw it.”
“All right. Go back to do your homework, and I will check it out.”
I looked at the rug again, and there was nothing abnormal. I thought Jaden was too lazy to do his homework, so he bothered me with his ridiculous-kid's imagination. Therefore, I did not take it seriously until this actually happened during the family dinner we had with my parents. The water in the glass was swaying and then the table was shaking. Finally, one of the table corners raised up somehow. Everybody was shocked except Jaden. 
“I told you Papa. There is something under the rug.” 
My parents were shocked, especially my mom, who was screaming like a baby. 
She put her right hand on her chest. “Oh, Jesus! My heart is gonna pop out. Eric, do something, I don’t want to see it again. Do you wanna kill me?” 
I guess I had to believe in Jaden, because I did not know how to explain what was going on. What was under the table? We moved the dinner table to check it out, but the rug was as dead as an antique. It was gone. Perhaps it afraid of us.
I felt dizzy, like I had just gotten off from a roller coaster. Because I was the only man in this house, except for my elderly father, I had to take the responsibility to figure out what was under the rug. I had been sitting on the dining chair for an hour, anxiously waiting for the rug to move.
Four hours later, nothing seemed unusual. I could not sleep until midnight, and my head was nodding as I fell asleep. Suddenly, a weak scratchy sound woke me up, and I saw a bump under the rug, moving fast towards my feet. I was so scared, I jumped off my chair. It moved away, fast. Meanwhile, I took the bat, which I had ready and chased it around the room. I tried to hit it so many times, but I always missed. Eventually, it moved to the corner of the rug. 
I stood at the edge of the rug, ready to give my bat a final swing. When it came to me, I hit it continually, more than ten times. I heard the crack sound, like when the egg was cracking.  The bump was gone. I took a deep breath, but this was not the end. A few seconds later, more bumps came. They moved and jumped like popcorn, and I got knocked off my feet. Then, the bumps gathered together,  making the rug move, and they carried me to my bedroom. When the bumps dropped me, landing with a big “thud,” I finally was able to open my eyes to see, but I was totally shocked by the scene. It was my ex-wife’s house behind the door.
“Dad, what happened? Who is she? How come your room looks different?” Jaden was kneading his eyes for he was just woken up by the noises.
“I seriously don’t know what’s going on now.”
“Is he our son, Jaden?”
“What? Our son? Who are you?”
“Huh, I guess you did not tell him anything. I am your mom, Maggie.”
Jaden gazed at his mom. “No. My mom died when she gave birth to me. What are you talking about? Who are you?”
“Is that what he told you? What a liar. We got divorced eight years ago when I gave birth to you.”
Suddenly, the bumps lifted me again, and the door was quickly closed. Everything turned back to normal. Maggie was gone, my bedroom door was closed. Nevertheless, Jaden stared at me as if I was an enemy. I felt so exhausted, after fighting with this unknown organism. I fell on the floor, because I was too weak to stand up. 
Jaden avoided talking with me after this incident. Instead, when I tried to talk to him, he screamed at me loudly. That was a nightmare.
I thought that would be the end of my adventure, but two weeks passed, and it happened again.

“Ah!” I fell off my bed. I kneaded my eyes and stretched my legs on the floor. “Thank God. That was just a dream.” I said to myself. I can't believe I married a Mexican woman in my dream and she just want a permanent residence from me. Eric? Why this is my name in the dream? Such a ridiculous dream. I got ready for today's SAT exam, but the dream was so real that I could not stop thinking about it even on the way to the test center.
Oh, by the way, I am Stephen Bernier. People in my school call me NERD. Maybe that is why I dreamed about Eric, who is a nerd too.

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