Eye on the Storm staff writer Vanessa Ricketts’s short story Chasing A Dream will be published one chapter at time. Enjoy the first installment below!
“Sammy, are you even listening?”
I jerked out of my reverie and looked up at my girlfriend sitting across the dining table from me. The sunlight pouring through the diner window made her a dark silhouette. For the last fifteen minutes or so (not that I was counting), she’d been going on and on about makeup for some reason. Seriously, what did she expect me to be doing? But anyways, Kendra wore a look of exasperated annoyance.
“Yeah, not really,” I admitted, stretching. “See, I was just brainstorming about this new video game I’m designing at work. It’s gonna have the total package: international super spies, wicked gadgets, complete with a headset and motion sensory controls …”
I caught sight of Kendra’s face and faltered. Her bottom lip was quivering. My mental DANGER alarm went off. The waterworks were coming.
“You care more about video games than you do about me!” she cried.
“Oh, don’t start that again!” I said wearily, but she shook her head and got up, swinging her purse over her shoulder. “Where are you going? Let’s talk about this.” But she didn’t want to hear it.
“You can forget about a second date!”
She turned on her heel and stormed out of the diner. I leaned back in my chair and watched her disappear around the corner. “Phew!” I whistled in relief.
I quickly dug out my phone, scrolled through my contact list, and hit the delete button. Goodbye, Kendra! From the very beginning, I knew we weren’t going to last. She was a nice girl, but … how do I put this? Emotionally unstable. Yeah, that’s it.
“And I’m a free man,” I said aloud, sitting back with one arm dangling over the back of my chair.
Later, I’d feel the crushing sensation of yet another breakup. Later I’d feel the silence of loneliness fill up every square foot of my apartment. I’d sit in front the blank television screen and wonder if there is someone out there for me. Because I was in public, I wouldn’t burden myself with those thoughts, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t come back to haunt me later.
From the time I was eight years old, girls had learned to steer clear of Sammy Goldstein. I remember the first time I saw Alexandra Davis, aka Alekayé. She remains a good friend of my older brother, George. Long dark curls, tough, and cute, she was totally out of my league. She humoured me for a time, but it wasn’t meant to be. She was in love with my brother’s best friend, Zip. He was cool, the fastest skateboarder on the block. His real name is John, but nobody calls him that. Then there was George’s girlfriend, Angel. When she started going out with him, I was secretly jealous because I could’ve sworn she liked me better. Now she’s my sister-in-law. Yippee. And then there was Ashley Fist. Oh, she was awesome: the beautiful daughter of a world-famous fashion designer and a professional wrestler. Can you believe she married that scrawny, shaggy-haired kid named Crash? Like, come on!
But enough about my brother and his friends, the point is I always went for the older ladies and got rejected. I’ve had five actual girlfriends in my entire twenty-four years of life. Well, six now that Kendra and I are through. My longest relationship lasted about a week and a half.
I’ve gone to George and the others, I’ve talked to my parents. They’ve all told me the same thing: “Just make an effort.” Well, I’m sorry if I wasn’t all that interested! My dad says I need to grow up and maybe he’s right. But I don’t know what else to do. I may as well be chasing a dream, as insubstantial as the wind.
COMING SOON – Chapter Two!