Jeremy Pocket and the See-Through Wall
“Jeremy. Jeremy. Jeremy!” He never answers –Mother’s call. It was too raspy. “Jeremy.” She entered the room in a huff (as always). Mother was a bit of a stickler for obedience. Jeremy knew this, he just didn’t care -not anymore. “For the love of God Jeremy what are you doing? We’ve got company coming, and you still aren’t dressed.” Jeremy sat still. It was his birthday. She didn’t remember. They often forgot his special occasions. Though how much could be expected for a tenth birthday?
“Look, you’ve got fifteen minutes, to shower, dress, and be your best. We don’t want to disappoint your father.” Not my father, Jeremy thought to himself, as he stared blankly at the wall. Not even a little.
The new home, was all that Jeremy cared for in this arrangement. His step-father was “okay” – his real one had passed less than a year a ago. How could she remarry so fast? His thoughts often attacked him in these emotional moments. But this wall. This wall had quieted the “mean voices”.
“The mean voices.” Jeremy murmured as his mother left the room -slamming the door. “I hate when she does that.” “It’s okay.” the anxiety told him, building again -as it had every time Mother spoke. “It’s okay. It’s okay.” the sound of his own panting, would usually scar him deeper than the coldness of his forced family. But this wall. It had his attention – few things could earn that right, to him. So he sat. He stared. He listened.
“What is that?” he says, curious of a misplaced creek. His head dips slightly to the left as he tries to isolate the sound. “There it is again. Stop speaking to yourself. Jeremy stop.” He eyes the anti-depressants on his nightstand. Jeremy knew it would be right to take them. “I didn’t need them, when dad was here. Stop talking to yourself, Jeremy. Stop!” he exclaims. He focuses back on the wall.
Slapping his head, he thinks what if just once I. Jeremy stands and -with caution- walks toward the wall. Fearful , he stops – and again stares at his medication. “Mother wouldn’t like it. Mother wouldn’t like it!” He stomps and screams “Mother wouldn’t like it!”. His hands thrust down to his side – his eyes close. “Mother wouldn’t like it” he says again -in a whisper- yet still faces, the wall.
“Jeremy! You’d better be getting dressed up there!” Mother says. He drops to the floor, and drags himself closer to the wall. Maybe just a touch. He looks around the room, to ensure he isn’t being spied on (Mother often spied at the worst time). His medication grabs his attention again. He retrieves it.
“Okay. If this doesn’t work, I’ll get dressed.” He plops back down, a foot away from the wall, and unscrews the cap on his pill bottle. “Please work. Please work. Please work.” He begs to no one, grasping a handful of the candy. Shutting his eyes he calls to his deceased father “Dad. This. I need this.” Pleading, to his dead father, with a fist balled up, full of Xanex. “Please this. Please this. Please this.”
“Jeremy! I’m counting to three!” his mother’s impatience drove him mad- Jeremy opens his eyes, than his hand. The anxiety overwhelms him. He looks at the pills in his hand. He’s tempted to take them – maybe even too many. “Dad! Please!” tears fall down his face, neck, and shirt. He wipes them from his eyes, and screams again “Dad! Please!”.
“Jeremy! One!” Mother’s coming! His heavy breathing scares him more than, Mother’s imminent threat. Jeremy can’t control it. He looks at the pills and thinks just once. “Jeremy! Two!” Jeremy jumps and goes to lock his door. Either way she was coming, he knew this. Again, he whispered ” Dad. Please.” The wall began to ripple.
“Is that? What?” he questioned, letting go of the knob, he returns to his seat -facing the wall. The ripples increase. The wall reaches out to Jeremy. He extends his arm, to greet the stretching wall. “Dad”, the wall recedes for a moment then extends to him, stopping just in front of his eyes. Jeremy places the pills on the wooden limb -it spits them out and retracts. “Don’t be scared” Jeremy assures.
“Jeremy! Three!” A shiver runs through his spine. He returns to his spot -in front of the wall- it’s ripples grow. “She’s coming. She’ll be worried.” The ripples, slow. “No, No, No. Don’t go!” Mother’s heavy footsteps, pound up the stairs. In a panic, Jeremy asks “Where will you take me?” A voice bellows from the wall, “Far away!”. Jeremy looks to the door – Mother’s knocking. “Jeremy! You open this door. Right now!” Jeremy responds to the wall “You promise?” The ripples grow larger.
The wall opens. First, showing the street -where two children jump rope. Then showing the lake – that Jeremy frequented, with his father. Then to a field, filled with dandelions (his favorite flower). “Look close.” the wall whispered. Jeremy brought himself as close to the wall as he could get, without touching it. “Wow.” he said amazed as he watches the petals dance. Actual lions. Small lions , he thought. “Look up.” the wall said, Jeremy saw -himself with his father- frolicking in the fields.
“Jeremy! Open this door!” Mother, bangs on the door and pulls the knob in a rage. This time, Jeremy is still -enamored with what the wall has shown him. The picture fades – returning to wooden ripples. “No!” Jeremy yells. “No! Don’t go!” the ripples surround him. The voice returns “Do you want this Jeremy?”. He’s certain, “Yes. Please.” Jeremy is swallowed by the wall. There are no screams.
Mother manages to force the door open. She surveys the empty room -punishment on her mind “Jeremy!” she screams angrily, she searches the closets, and under the bed. “Jeremy.” shaken, she tears. “Jeremy?” she whimpers, and curls down, in his spot. Facing the solid wall.