Saturday, June 19, 2010


Revolt - 489 words

Mary Ann Loo

Charlene lay in bed, her cluttered bedroom illuminated only by the retiring sun’s red rays passing through her open window. In the semi-darkness, the mess seemed to fade, blurring into gray shapes that blended with the purple walls, now charcoal-colored in the waning light. Pierre should be getting off work anytime now, and he’d call to arrange when to pick her up. She contemplated stealing another 5 minutes of sleep, but her stomach growled angrily. With eyes closed, she felt under the pillow for her cell phone, and reluctantly squinted into the white glare. It was 6.38pm.

Sighing, she wrestled the covers off, and laboriously sat up. Should I eat something now or wait until dinner? The smell of fried rice beyond her closed door beckoned, so she sleepily stumbled over books, clothes and shoes into the living room, where Dad was watching the Chinese news.

“You’re awake,” Mom said, setting the table. “Come eat something.”

Charlene nodded as she passed through the kitchen of the tiny apartment and entered the bathroom. Standing before the sink, she reached for her purple toothbrush and glanced into the cracked mirror. I look like crap. She gently pushed at her eye bags, as if they could be flattened, and sighed at the small fine creases around the corners of her black eyes.

“I made your favorite – fried rice,” Mom said, as she emerged from the bathroom. “I know you’re going out with Pierre, but just eat a little bit.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Charlene said. Dad was already at the small square dining table, still glued to the TV, munching on rice. She settled herself at the opposite side, and spooned some rice onto her plate.

Her cell phone rang from her room, and she raced to answer it, half-closing the door behind her. Pierre’s voice made her smile, “Hey darling, happy birthday!”

“Thanks, dear,” she said.

“You just woke up?” he asked.

He’s disappointed. She cleared her throat. “Just a nap.”

“I’ll come get you in an hour. See you then.”

“Okay, bye.”

In the darkened silence of her room, Dad’s voice was rather clear: “…every single night playing with her computer. When the rest of the world is awake, she’s sleeping! What kind of life is that? 34 and still living here! Don’t know what to do with her anymore.”

She reached out and slapped the door shut, standing amidst the chaos of her possessions. Just you wait and see, Dad. I’m going to be in Pierre’s feature film, and when it gets to Cannes, I’ll be famous! And when we get married I’ll be starring in all of his work, and then you’ll know that I’m a DIVA – a diligent, intelligent, and versatile actress… Charlene smiled, enthralled by her usual daily daydream of fame and fortune, a blissful marriage, and everything she’d ever wanted to be.

The sun’s descent was complete, but the sky was a radiant glow of reddish purple.

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