by John Mendoza
Chapter 2: Klark
It had taken three hours, excluding the multiple times it took him to refocus on what had to be done, to actually finish cleaning his room. Klark now stood in the middle of his room with a triumphant smile plastered onto his face that was quickly replaced with a confused look.
“When did I get carpet?” he asked himself. His thoughts drifted to the past in order to answer the question. Eventually he just shrugged it off and examined his newly cleaned room.
The bedroom floor that had previously been littered with clothes and wrappers of a random assortment was now clean, revealing a soft beige carpeted floor. His bed was fixed neatly with the covers tucked under and the one pillow sat puffed up against the headboard, the curtains were pulled fully open as to let in some natural light into the cream colored room. At the corner of his room on a desk, now completely free of litter, sat a silver laptop that he was unsure whether needed charging or not.
“Uncle Ernesto!” Klark shouted as loud as he could. The sound of glass shattering and the shouting of a word Klark dared not to repeat back to his uncle could be heard from downstairs. Klark could hear the echo of rushed steps on the stairs, then his bedroom door swung open.
“What? What happened?!” Worry was spread on his Uncle’s features.
“Nothing. I’m done cleaning my room.” Klark smiled and Uncle Ernesto’s face flushed red. If it had been a cartoon, steam would be billowing out of his uncle’s ears.
“Why on God’s green Earth did you yell, then?!”
Klark scratched the back of his head whilst asking himself the same question. He shrugged. Klark laughed nervously and gave his uncle a lopsided grin.
Uncle Ernesto sighed, then pinched the bridge of his nose all the while shaking his head. “I swear…”.
“Room’s clean. Which means I’m outta here.” Klark waited by the door of his bedroom for his Uncle’s response. Klark’s fingers tapped impatiently on the doorway.
Finally, after what seemed like years his uncle heaved a sigh “Fine. But I want you home before sundown, got it?”
Klark nodded quickly to his uncle before heading downstairs and through the living room. He grabbed his sweater from where he had thrown it on the floor the previous day and threw it over his shoulder.
“Hey! Put that on.” Klark jumped at the sudden shout. “I didn’t buy that sweater just to have you not wear it.”
Klark walked along the street with his hood over his head, Klark’s head hung low with his eyes focused on the ground ahead of him. As much as he hated to admit it, Klark wasn’t a very good people person. Others found Klark to be blunt or overly honest but Klark preferred it that way. When he lied, an uneasy feeling would consume his mind.
All of a sudden he stumbled backwards, it was like he had walked straight into a brick wall. A well dressed and highly intimidating brick wall.
“Hey, watch where you’re…” His words trailed off as he eyed the man who stood in front of him, the man seemed unfazed by the interruption.
The man was wearing a black suit with a bold red tie set against white, his golden-blonde hair was slicked back, and a pair of intimidating black sunglasses hid his eyes but Klark could feel them burning their way through him. Klark swallowed hard.
“…Going.” A nervou energy filled Klark. He fidgeted in place. A phrase from elementary school popped into his mind, stranger danger.
“Sorry about that, my fault.” The man flashed a smile and pulled off his sunglasses to reveal a pair of icy blue eyes. Klark was suddenly aware at a growing fear that gnawed at him.
“I’m Hal. Hal Hutchinson.” He extended his hand towards Klark who shook it gingerly.
“I’m Klark.” Hal’s hand was cold like he had just stepped out from a room filled with air conditioners.
“Klark.” He said the name with such familiarity that it sent shivers down Klark’s spine.
“Yeah uh…can I have my hand back, please?”
Hal apologized and let go of Klark’s hand. The skin on Klarks’ fingers itched and crawled with displeasure from the contact. “I um… I have to go.”
Hal simply nodded and moved to the side. “It was great meeting you Klark. I’ll see you around, I’m sure of it.”
Another shiver ran down Klark’s spine when Hal’s words reached his ears. From the corner of his eye, Klark noticed Hal pulling out his phone and calling someone. He watched as Hal’s lips moved hurriedly but Klark was now too far to try and figure out what he had said to the person on the other side of the phone.
Klark walked out from the dimly lit theater, pumped up by the ending of the movie. “That was flippin’ awesome!” he chattered excitedly to himself. The other moviegoers paid him no mind, as they have often seen him act this way whenever a new movie premiered at the theater.
In his burst of excitement Klark bumped into a person. This time, however, it was at least a familiar face. Or so he thought.
The boy who he had bumped into turned to Klark, a spark of familiarity in his eye. “Klark?” the boy asked with curiosity peaking his voice.
Klark cocked his head slightly to the side. “Ya, who’s asking?”
“It’s me, Ramon. Remember?”
Klark dug through his head for the name. ‘Ramon? Ramon? Ramon…’ he only knew one person by that name. Ray Agnello. AKA Klark’s ex-best friend.
Klark imagined this Ramon with wild black hair accompanied by a reckless smile. He added on a beanie, a skateboard
“Ray.” Klark said the name with such malice that the other boy flinched.
“Just call me Ramon.” He looked nervously back at the group of people he was originally talking to, then back to Klark. Klark tugged on his sweater. Suddenly he felt self-conscious about his clothing while Ramón’s friends were well dressed with a sort of squeaky clean air about them.
A girl with brown curly hair and a light purple dress walked up to them, and the two started talking in a language that Klark didn’t understand. Klark figured that the duo were talking about him by the way the girl kept glancing to him. Klark waited, foot tapping impatiently on the sidewalk, until the girl returned to her group of friends.
Ramon smiled sheepishly at Klark. “Sorry about that, she can be really nosey sometimes.”
“Ya. Seems like the type.”
Ramon scowled. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Klark threw his hands up defensively. “Easy there. You decided to talk to me remember.”
Ramon nodded swiftly then apologized for his hostility.
Klark, who wanted to avoid any further conversation with Ramon, spoke up before he could say another word. “It was really nice talking with you.”
Klark spun on his heel and turned his back towards Ramon but before leaving, he looked back to his old friend.
“See you around, Ray.”