By: Harrison Chiu
“Honey, would you mind coming down for dinner? I’ve made your favorite, spaghetti!” mom called from the kitchen.
“Coming Mom, just give me a second!” I replied. I paused my Spotify playlist before sliding down the bannister, nearly avoiding my little brother, Allie.
“Watch out, Allie!” I called, laughing a little bit as I bounded down the remaining steps.
“You watch out,” he muttered “you got in my way.”
“Come on, Allie. Cheer up!” I smiled and tousled his hair as we walked into the dining room. My dad sat at the table dressed in a collared shirt, his stern expression offset by the crinkle besides his mouth struggling not to break into a smile.
“Now, now, Elizabeth, don’t pick on your brother too much,” he chided. Meanwhile, mom set the table, heaping generous helpings of pasta onto each of our plates. As we all settled down, my brother spoke again.
“These meatballs look like eyeballs,” Allie remarked as he meticulously cut the sauce-stained meatballs into small pieces. Mom and dad glanced up, slightly concerned. Allie always had been a little… off. He tended to keep to himself, not playing with other kids his age. All he did was look at old dad’s old medical books. Though, to be fully truthful, he had always wanted to be an ophthalmologist. Although his anti-social and quiet nature had caused concern for my parents, other parents had called him “gifted” and “focused,” remarking on his incredible academics and drive to succeed. It was almost as if he could separate himself from the world into his own thoughts, disregarding all else.
“Alan dear, don’t say stuff like that at the dinner table,” mom frowned.
“Yeah, that’s gross.” I added on, smiling a bit. My little brother was a little strange, but he joked around in his own way.
“Elizabeth, you have such lovely hazel eyes,” he remarked as he turned towards me, his dark eyes curiously vacant, giving the sensation of a deep hole.
“Um… thanks?” I laughed.
“Your brother is right, though,” mother added on, “it’s such a shame that no boys have appreciated those eyes yet.”
Blushing furiously, I stared down at my food. Mom always gave small insinuating hints about getting a boyfriend. So what if I wanted to focus on my academics and sports more? Well, it wasn’t just that, I suppose… Despite my typically confident and optimistic demeanor, I became a nervous wreck around guys that I liked: blushing, stuttering, shaking, you know… Bolting down my food, I put my plate in the dishwasher before scurrying up the stairs. I swung my door open, before collapsing on my bed. Ten o’clock already... maybe I’ll take a nap before working…
A sudden crash awakened me. Glancing at my alarm clock, I sighed. Who in the world was awake at 4:44 AM? Sweeping aside the covers, I sat up and opened the door.
“Um… is everything alright?” I whispered to the hallway. I heard nothing in response… except… what was that? Padding gently down the hall, I looked around. A faint glow emanated from Allie’s room. “Allie, are you alright? Why are you still up playing games? You have school tomorrow.” I hissed towards his room. Hearing no response, I gently pushed open the door.
Allie sat rocking back and forth on the floor, sobbing silently.
“Allie, what’s wrong?” I asked. His head swiveled towards me, as if just noticing my presence. Upon seeing me, he brightened up. “Allie, what’s wrong?” I repeated.
“Something broke, but it is okay. I can replace it.”
“What broke?” Glancing behind him, I saw wet remains of… something that used to be alive, glistening in the light of the crescent moon. A small puddle surrounded the… thing, while a shattered glass jar lay next to it. “Allie, what is that…?” I slowly read out the label.
Mr. Robert Hoover. Deceased: 21 January 2015. Right eye and optical nerve.
Property of Robert Wood Johnson University.
“Allie, what are you doing with that…?” I remarked.
His eyes glittered darkly, twin pieces of obsidian.
“Elizabeth, you have such beautiful eyes.”