• One TwentyOne

Troubled Man

By France Archange, Oakwood University





Every morning was the same; he woke up and sat on his bed for an hour and a half; he didn’t care to drink water or stretch or speak, but he waited patiently for that hour and a half to be over, passing the time by scrolling through feeds of things he thought might entertain him; he didn’t want to scroll but nothing else seemed to be worth doing; then he got up and brushed his teeth; sometimes he grabbed an orange, sometimes he grabbed an apple, sometimes he grabbed a granola bar, but this morning it was a pear; he didn’t care too much for pears but he wanted to get rid of it before it went bad so he forced himself to eat it while scrolling through feeds of things he might find entertaining to distract himself from the taste; he often did that; taking in things that he didn’t like for some reason; he stopped and looked at the window; the blinds were closed and he couldn’t see what outside looked like but the weather app said that the sky would be cloudy and rain would pour all week so he didn’t care to open them and see gloom, he’d rather see the white walls and paintings he was used to; he paced around his room for a bit until he decided to read a little; he loved books, particularly those that were by successful people who had thought it to be beneficial to share their secrets of success and of life with the world; he read a page or two until he decided that he didn’t want to read anymore; the author suggested that maybe he should think about analyzing himself and his decisions to the same degree he analyzed whatever else was around him, but he thought himself too busy to do so; he had to look at the paintings on his white walls, he had to scroll until he found entertainment, he had to eat all the foods he didn’t like because they would go bad, he had to avoid the window because the weather app said it’d be very gloomy and he didn’t want the gloom outside to affect him; he was just too busy; the days of the week waltzed by and each day, the same routine took place; he had a granola bar on Wednesday to take a break from eating the pears he didn’t like; he was happy about that; he couldn’t understand why the choices of the week felt like they were made for him and not by him but he was too busy to entertain that thought; Saturday came and his morning started just like the others did; the hour and a half of scrolling, then the brushing, then the pear, then the book that he wanted so badly to dive into but could not; by midday, the silence of the room had gotten louder than the scrolling, the crunching, the turning of pages, even his thoughts decreased in volume; he sat still but the stillness seemed to be choking him and he could not breathe; he ran to the window and paused; maybe the gloom from outside will make it worse, he thought; maybe he should go back to his bed and let the silence torture him; then he heard a sound; maybe it was the wind, maybe it was laughter; he couldn’t tell; he slowly opened the blinds and was overwhelmingly surprised; he stood at the window for an hour and a half and decided this would replace the scrolling every morning; the sun shone so brightly that the grass seemed to glow and the sky was the bluest he had ever seen; he looked down at the sidewalk and there she was, laughing to herself and walking as the wind danced with her braids; the rain did not make her stick to her four beige walls and review the quotes that adorned them every day and let initial fear stop her from reading her favorite books and only eat strawberries, which she didn’t like, just because they would go bad because she could always share them with a friend who did like them or put them in a smoothie so the taste would be blended with other things she liked; maybe it didn’t rain at all.



About the Author

France is a lover of literature, writing, people, cookies and cream ice cream, science, and research who enjoys being a student of life as it develops. Her mission is to share the diverse skills, experiences, and lessons she learns to make equally diverse contributions in literature, medicine, and any other field she finds herself passionate about. She lives in Huntsville, Alabama where she studies Professional Writing and Biology at Oakwood University.

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