A/N: So, I've started a new idea: I don't start posting a fan-fiction until I've finished it. So, actually, at the time I'm writing this story, I've already finished 'Where Is My Life Going?' and posted Chapter Two yesterday. So, from now on, I'm posting the dates at the start of my A/Ns, because (obviously) I could have written the chapter weeks before I posted it. XXDD I'll do it in 'Mark Documentary' style.
December 31st, 4:20 PM, Central Standard Time. I'm in my room, debating whether or not to go to go to the New Years Eve dance tonight. I can play sick if I don't want to. (Won't have to work hard, I feel like shit anyways.) My contacts were hurting my eyes yesterday, so I look like Mark today in my dorky glasses. XD
This is a continuation off of Mark's life series, which started with 'A Thing Like Life' and continued with 'Where Is My Life Going?'. So, if you haven't read those fics, both of them are only seven chapters long. I've had the idea for this continuation brewing ever since I wrote Chapter...Three of WIMLG. You'll see why eventually. –evil smile- I know something you don't know...
Part I of Mark's Life series, 'A Thing Like Life', and Part II, 'Where Is My Life Going?', can be foundin my profile.
Thisstory has been rated PG-13 for language, mild violence, and drug reference.
This chapter rated PG for mild language.
Figure Out My Life – Chapter One
I pull out my trusty camera from its bag, sitting on the couch, and flip it on, focusing the camera on Roger as he looks through the phone book and frantically calls yet another restaurant. I begin my commentary to let him know I'm filming. "February 17th, 3:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time. Roger's currently fussing over whether Mimi would like a fancy Italian restaurant or just a trip to Life." I look over my camera at him, one eyebrow raised. "You know, Rog, it would probably be easier to go to an Italian place. Life's gonna be so noisy. And you might run into some of the others."
Roger looks up at me, hanging up the phone in mid-dial. "You haven't told anybody, right?"
I pace my right hand (the one not holding my camera up) over my heart in a mocking fashion. "Of course not." I put my right hand back on the camera so as to steady it better, resuming my commentary. "He's begged me not to tell anybody, even though I'm really dying to let them in on the secret." I earn a nasty look from Roger as he turns the page of the phone book in his anger, accidentally ripping it halfway out of the book. He rolls his eyes as I laugh for a moment before resuming the commentary once again. "He wants to be able to break the news to Mimi first before anybody else knows." I look over the camera once again at him, smirking despite myself. "And I'm just a nifty exception, of course."
Roger doesn't even look up at me as he shouts across the room. "Just shove it. Oh, uh, no sir, I wasn't talking to you...I'm very sorry to have offended you..." I see him roll his eyes as whoever he's talking to goes into a tirade. "Look, man, I just want to see if I can hear what some of your prices are...OK, thank you." He puts his hand over the receiver, glaring up at me. "Mark, PLEASE. Can you do that somewhere else! I'm on the phone." He takes his hand off of the receiver. "Yes, I'm here...OK, what are a few of your prices? ...WHAT! For a lousy plate of pasta!"
Shaking my head and laughing, I stand up from the couch, walking into my room and shutting the door behind me. I sit on the bed, turning the camera around to face myself. "Speaking of Maureen and Joanne, Joanne might be able to buy a new apartment soon, a little bigger than the tiny one-room-one-bathroom thing Maureen and Joanne have been sharing. It might actually have two rooms now. Collins was able to return to NYU this morning, and I received an excited phone call from him to check the news. We're all impressed that his override of the computers made the mid-day news, and even more impressed that nobody has traced it back to him. As usual, or as usual as life is, everybody is doing wonderfully in the Alphabet City Avant-Garde."
I sigh, looking dead on at the camera as it continues to roll, filming me. "And I feel like I've got my life figured out. Not quite, but I'm getting there...I think."
I turn the camera back around, switching it off and setting it down on my bed. I hear Roger shout through my closed door. "You cheap skates! I'm trying to plan dinner for my girlfriend, hopefully my fiancéYes, I'm proposing...I don't care if you can arrange a special table, you're prices are rip offs!" I hear Roger slam the phone down, letting out a long, angry sound through his gritted teeth. I roll my eyes, walking back into the 'living room', even though it's never been that homely.
"Roger, you've got to relax. Mimi isn't going to say yes if you yell at her all night." I sit down on the couch again, watching as Roger angrily runs his finger down the page, looking for another restaurant to call. "Just calm down. You think she's gonna say 'no'?"
Roger looks up at me, and I can swear I do see a small amount of fear in his eyes. "It's damned stressful, Mark! You've never proposed, so you don't get how it feels."
"Actually, I did propose to somebody once." I look away, smirking at the memory.
Roger freezes, and I know he hadn't been suspecting my answer. "...Not Maureen!"
"No, no..." I laugh slightly. "I was a little kid, and I had this 'girlfriend' in elementary school, Barbara Tugger. She was Nanette's best friend in middle school. I asked if she would marry me, and we got married on the playground during recess."
This causes Roger to crack up hilariously, and I laugh with him, the memory of me kissing the small fourth grader on the cheeks almost too much to handle. He looks back up at me, his face tinted purple from laughing. "You had a wedding in elementary school? Who was the minister, hmm? The class nerd? Or was that you?"
I laugh, cupping my hand over my mouth to suppress the laughs. "Nah, I was actually quite the popular one in elementary school, if that's hard to believe."
"It is." Roger laughs softly for a moment before picking the phone back up and dialing a number from the phone book. A pause. "Hey, can you tell me some of the prices for your restaurant? ...What's that? Some kind of pasta plate? ...Oh..." Roger nose scrunches up slightly. "Erm...no, I don't want to place a reservation. Not hungry." He hangs up the phone as quickly as possible, looking at me with a stunned look on his face. "Who in the WORLD would eat frog's legs!" This sets me off once again, and I have to leave the room to finish laughing so that Roger can call another restaurant.
I'm walking along the streets, since Roger eventually told me that he would rip the works out of my camera and burn it if I didn't leave the house. Even though I knew it was a shallow threat, I left anyways, a bit of fresh air sounding like a good idea.
I find myself pulling my camera out again, filming passerby and bums on the street corners. Do I feel disconnected doing this? It's a muted connection, and one-way connection...and Roger doesn't like it when I do it. Deep down, I tell myself that I should stop doing it, give up. It's one thing stopping me from getting my life together.
Maybe there's a way to break the circular motion.
My heart leaps a mile as I hear a voice shouting behind me. Immediately suspecting the worst, I break into a run, running as fast as I can down the streets of New York, wishing I had taken my bike...
"Hey, wait! Wait! Aren't you...Mike?" I realize that it is a man's voice I'm hearing, and I slow down, finally coming to a complete stop. I feel a hand on my shoulder and I'm turned around (a little roughly) by a man with a face I only vaguely remember. He looks at me with a dazed expression. "Mike the filmmaker?"
I blink, suddenly remembering him in his entirety. "You a filmmaker or something?" "...Gruff, isn't it?"
The man nods. "That's me." He looks over his shoulder, yelling off. "HEY! RUBE! CUM'ERE!"
A moment later, a woman I remember meeting with Gruff rushing up. Her eyes look at me for a second with a cloudy gaze, and then clear up in understanding. "Mark. The filmmaker."
I nod, slightly dazed. The last time I had seen them, I was thinking of taking the next train out of New York, no matter where it was going. "Yeah."
"Guess you came back, 'eh?" The woman had that smirk, but it wasn't quite as sauntering as I remembered it from a few nights ago.
I shrug. "Suppose so. Ended up leaving and coming back." I wasn't about to tell them my story. Even if they had helped me a bit when I collapsed in the streets of New York without even stealing anything of mine, I hardly knew them.
"You look better." The guy says this without any hesitation, but he doesn't say it with any sincerity either. "Better than that night."
I shrug again. "Yeah, I guess. I gotta go." I turn around, for some reason very uncomfortable around them. I think it's a combination of the fact that they're junkies and that they are from a time in my life I wanted to leave behind.
But I haven't walked three steps when the woman's voice speaks out. "You guess?"
I pause, turning back to face 'Rube'. "Yeah." Why does she care at all? I hardly know her.
I saw the same smirk that I remember Rube having the night I saw her first, and it immediately makes me feel uncomfortable. "You look like you could use an escape."
I blink, confused. "Excuse me?"
"When life's tough, you just gotta fly a little bit." She stretches her eyes out to her sides, resembling an airplane.
I back away immediately, my eyes wide. "Woah, no. You can 'fly' as much as you want. I'm never touching that stuff."
Suddenly the man talks, a slightly misted voice, almost softer around the edges than the rough one he usually speaks with. "Man, you need a trip. Your feet may be on the ground, but your soul wants to fly. I see a trapped soul when I know one."
Rube smiles at me, and I hate the smile she has. "Gruff here showed me how to escape. I was like you, Mark. I didn't know what to do with my life."
Turn around and walk away, you idiot. Before you try to do something you'll regret. "How do you know I don't know what to do with my life, hmm? I'm actually...quite happy with how I'm living." I can't help the hesitation. It's there.
Her smirk widens. "Of course you are. Just come for a day, Mark. Fly with us. It doesn't matter if you're smart or dumb. Everybody can fly the same with us..."
"NO." I turn around immediately. "I'm not...I won't...Sorry." I literally run as fast as I can away from them, as if they had just threatened to kill me. I was never going to go down that path, no matter how hard my own was. I wouldn't make a stupid mistake like that. Never.
Or would I? You've done some stupid stuff in the past, Mark. Nothing like that. If I was to try to use smack, or coke, or any of that stuff...that would be the dumbest of dumb. But you'd do it, wouldn't you? If it got hard enough, you might try it...NO! I pull out my camera, as if to hide from the evil voice in the back of my head that constantly taunts me, haunting me. I wouldn't. I would never do that to Roger and Mimi and Collins and everybody. Never...right?
"Hey, Mark." I say nothing to Roger, tossing my camera bag on the couch. "...Mark?"
"I'll be in my room." I walk into my room, shutting the door behind me, falling backwards onto my bed and exhaling loudly. Why the hell would I ever try something like that?
I'm trying to get my life together. I mean, I started yesterday, doing the whole scavenger hunt trick with Roger. That had been such a relief to finally make up. It had been harder without him. But it was still hard.
"Mark?" I look up, seeing Roger peek through the now half open door, concern etched all over his face. "What's up?"
I exhale once again, sitting up on the edge of my bed. "Thinking."
Roger shrugs. "Know what you mean."
I look up at him. "You're not second-guessing tonight, are you?"
Roger walks into my room, sitting down next to me on the bed. "Well, I dunno. Just thinking...how the hell I can express to Mimi in a minute what she means to me to make her say 'yes'."
"Rog, you're thinking this over too much." I look at him, but he's looking straight ahead, consumed in his thoughts and worries. "You just do it."
Roger looks up at me, smiling weakly. "Just do it, hmm? Works for me." He laughs lightly, and I laugh with him, to make him think that I'm feeling fine. The mask doesn't work. "OK, now you get to spill."
I sigh, looking away from him. "It's just...I ran into these two people just now. They woke me up when I first...left." Roger says nothing, and I know his brow must have furrowed at this point. The scars of our fight have still not healed completely with us. "And...they told me I should try and find another way to leave my life behind." I look up at him, and I see the concern in his eyes. "They asked me if I wanted some smack."
Roger stared at me with wide eyes. "Y-you refused, right?"
I blinked, amazed. "Of-of course, Roger! What, you think I might actually try using to get away?" Roger says nothing, but I can tell by the concerned look in his eyes that he does. I stand up, walking away from him. "Forget I even said it." Silence. Roger didn't move to do anything, didn't make as if to say something. "You should start getting ready for tonight. It's already five."
Silently, Roger stood up from the bed, heading for the door. He paused in the doorway. "Don't shut us out, Mark. We're your family, remember?" With that, I hear him walk away and the sound of the door closing behind him.
"I know," I say softly, even though I know he can't hear me. That's what I have to tell myself. They're my family. And they won't leave me if they can help it. Unless...I turn the dark thought away before it can even completely formulate in my mind. No. Don't think about that. That's what gets you started. Break the circle...
A/N: January 1st, 7:00 PM. So it took me a day to write this. I ended up going to the dance last night. I had a little red blow horn, and a party hat. And when midnight came, I just popped my popper while my best friend kissed her boyfriend next to her on the cheek. I was a little jealous at first that I didn't have anybody to kiss last night, and never have. Yes, I've always been single. I'm a sophomore in high school, and I've never had a boyfriend. –sigh- But I don't let it get to me. I just write, and my characters get to have all the romance and stuff. XD