Into the Wild – Chapter 4
When Matt opened his eyes the following morning, he was surprised to find the sun already coming high through the blinds. Glancing over he barked as he discovered it was just after noon. Why’d he slept so late?
He crawled out from under his covers shaking his head and cursing. He preferred to start his day more pre than post-sunrise if he could help it. He walked into the bathroom thinking about the errands he needed to run, removed his boxers, realized he needed to pee and then spend a couple of seconds deciding pre or post-shower. He climbed in the shower, turned on the water, and as he lathered up his hair let a steady stream of last night’s beer flow out and down the drain. Halfway through, he froze, shampoo still in his hair, as his eyes sprang open. Cursing the burn, he ran dripping back into his bedroom to stand staring up at the dresser. There on top of the mirror sat a gold coin. Eyes wide, had said, “Seriously?”
Matt raced back to the shower to wash the burning shampoo out and decided to stand under the pounding hot stream for a while, still not believing it’d all been real.
Just as he was beginning to dry off the phone rang, reminding him that he had a brunch date with his best friend, Devon.
Answering, not even giving his friend a chance to speak, Matt said, “Sorry, I overslept. I’m just finishing my shower. I should be there in twenty minutes.”
“Don’t worry. I’ve got to go to work. Let’s meet for dinner tomorrow night instead, if you have time,” answered Devin.
“That works better for me. See you then.” He answered as he heard a click and hung up.
Slowly sinking on to his bed, his eyes, again found their way to the coin. “Could last night’s dream have been real?”
Walking over he reached up, then stopped himself. The old man had said when he was ready just to take the coin. Was he ready? He shook his head. Was he ready? He thought. Did that mean he believed this foolishness?
He walked away. He spent the day cleaning house, doing laundry, running to the store for groceries, and keeping himself busy with all the other chores he’d been putting off. It wasn’t until evening he realized he hadn’t, in fact, been catching up, as much as he’d been filling the time between the moments he’d spent sitting on the end of his bed staring at the coin.
He sat watching himself in the mirror but not for long; his eyes kept drifting back to the gold disk, replacing him in his vision. Here he was at the end of the day, the sun disappearing behind the trees, sitting a foot from his dresser and the mirror upon which a mystery rested.
All day, his mind had been a crazy mad dash between thoughts, the coin and what the old man claimed it could do. It wasn’t the coin that was the mystery; it was here, he could see it. It was the offer. It was the thought, if it was true, of what it could mean. What it could give him. Did he not like his life? Did he want to leave it behind forever? Could he abandon this world and all the people he knew to live someplace like the ones to which he’d escaped so often in his books?
What had started as a coin when he’d awoken had slowly throughout the day morphed into a ticket. Now it wasn’t about what could happen as much as if he dared to take that trip. He realized his life had already changed, simply by being forced to make the decision, was this life worth giving up.
As the last rays of sun hit the hardwood floor, he reached up and took the coin…