A Room With A View


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A Room With A View

  1. 1. “No matter how unlucky you are in love, you still must look great.” A Room With A View Spring 2007 “I think I am in love. I want her to be real. I know she is real.”
  2. 2. A Room With A View Editor’s Note The Scenario . . . . . 3 Professor Luigi Manca A Room With A View is a creative writing publication published every spring at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. by Procopian Press. It was established by Take 1 our instructor, Luigi Manca, Ph. D., who taught us principles of writing, editing and Part 1 . . . . . . 5 page design in his advanced seminar class. Heather Nelson He provided us with the first story, Epi- sode I, and we each were assigned to cre- Part 2 . . . . . . 6 ate a different ending. After that, we paired up and continued each other’s endings in Cyntillia Eison the form of takes and parts. From there, two of us were responsible for making fi- nal decisions on the editing of the stories Take 2 and the style of layout to get published. Part 1 . . . . . . 9 I want to thank Dr. Manca, who has Suzy Bartoz given us excellent instruction and encour- aged us every step of the way to pursue Part 2 . . . . . . 11 a design concept or story direction until it was perfect. Credit must also go to Alyssa Kristen Salava Sullivan, who used her skills in layout and design to the fullest in making the over- all design flow well. I also would like to Take 3 thank Nicole Zermatten, Emily Taylor, Part 1 . . . . . . 15 Suzy Bartoz, Cyntillia Eison, Alyssa Sulli- van, Sean Strebing and Kristen Salava for Cyntillia Eison their hard work and creative flair as writ- ers in making these stories so suspenseful Part 2 . . . . . . 16 and captivating. Together, they all have Heather Nelson pieced together a colorful work of fiction that you won’t want to put down until you have finished reading the last chapter. Take 4 On behalf of everyone in COMM Part 1 . . . . . . 18 353, I hope you, the reader, thoroughly enjoys where this publication can take Kristen Salava your imagination. Part 2 . . . . . . 19 Suzy Bartoz Heather Nelson A Room With A View/2007 Issue -1-
  3. 3. Table of Contents Cont. Take 5 Part 1 . . . . . 21 Staff Sean Strebing Part 2 . . . . .22 Nicole Zermatten Advisor Luigi Manca Take 6 Part 1 . . . . .25 Editor Emily Taylor Heather Nelson Part 2 . . . . .26 Sean Strebing Layout & Design Editor Alyssa Sullivan Take 7 Part 1 . . . . 28 Nicole Zermatten Writers Part 2 . . . . 30 Suzy Bartoz Emily Taylor Cyntillia Eison Heather Nelson Kristen Salava Sean Strebing Final Take Alyssa Sullivan Part 1 . . . . 32 Emily Taylor Nicole Zermatten Alyssa Sullivan Part 2 . . . . 37 Alyssa Sullivan -2- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  4. 4. Episode One By Luigi Manca The moment I saw her I thought she was the perfect woman. I was standing in front of the newsstand just outside the Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo, selecting a fresh copy of the New York Times that had just been delivered from the airport bus. As I opened my Armani’s Men’s Handwallet™ to pay the man at the newsstand, she ran into me. Her briefcase fell on the sidewalk floor and my Armani’s Men’s Handwallet™ landed on top of it. We both went to pick up our things. Our eyes met. She had the most beautiful eyes. She handed me my Armani’s Men’s Handwallet™, picked up her briefcase, and ran away to chase her taxi. I saw my dreams run away with her. As despair started to sink in, I saw her business card. She had managed to stick it into my Armani’s Men’s Handwallet™ before running away. It read: “Prince Victor Matchabelli, female impersonator.” And then in a quick handwriting: “I am most impressed with your Armani’s Men’s Handwallet™. You carry the best. Let’s get together and have a few beers.” I then heard the announcer’s voice: “Armani’s Men’s Handwallet™... because no matter how unlucky you are in love, you still must look great.” Zap! It had happened again. One moment I was in Monte Carlo, impeccably dressed, the protagonist of another glamorous commercial and then, in a blink of the eye, I was back in my squalid room, wearing blue jeans and a stained t-shirt. There were also a few slices of a two-day old pizza in a plate by my bed and a can of cheap beer getting warm in my hands. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know where I am. All I know is that one moment I am in a commercial, living some dream¬like romantic adventure, and the next moment I am here in this awful room, afraid and alone. A couple of times, I tried to open my room door but I A Room With A View/2007 Issue -3-
  5. 5. all I could see was some empty gray light where the hallway should have been. There seems to be nothing outside the door, no way out. From my window, the neon lights of the fried chicken store pulsate into my room. I can see the street. It seems real. I watch an old man finally summoning his courage to get inside the porno video shop on the other side of the street. I hear the siren of a police car, I see two kids run away and quickly disappear into the darkness. I sit on my bed, hanging my head. Her eyes are still burned into my memory. I think I am in love. I want her to be real. I know she’s real. I must find the strength to get out of here, to go find her. -4- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  6. 6. Take 1 - Part 1 By Heather Nelson There is nothing special about this musty place in which I feel hopelessly trapped. I know not how I got here. My memory is like a void of vast and unchartered terrain, which only adds to the frustration of devising an escape plan. Oh, the things I would give to be on the other side of this window. “Knock!” Alerted by a sound that breaks the monotony of my circular thoughts, I scramble to see who is at the door. It takes forever to run there, despite my room being only 12’ x 12’. The hollow brown door creaks as I open it. In front of the gray light in the hallway stands an elderly maid with a kind voice distinguished by a French accent. As she tosses back her curly brown hair and twitches her nose, she gives me a delivery of clean towels and an envelope. “This was received at the front desk downstairs,” she said in reference to the piece of mail. “Thank you,” I replied. I look down at the envelope. The return address reads Victoria Bellisimmo, Arista Avenue, Las Vegas, Ne- vada. I ripped open the contents so quickly that before I could look up, I had not only accidentally ripped the blue stationery paper inside, but also looked up to find that the energetic maid and her red cleaning supply cart had vanished. My jaw dropped. Who was this lady that sent me mail? How does she know where I live? Why did I get a delivery of towels? Well, I probably should go take a shower anyway. The blue paper with a coarse texture read, “I know a real man when I see him, an Armani man.” Nothing more, nothing less was written. “Ring!” Startled by yet another noise, I run towards what feels like an eternity of getting to the phone. After four rings, the call is lost. I hang my head in disappointment and turn to look out the window. When I look long enough, I could swear that the Monte Carlo lies in the distance. Who am I kidding? It’s probably a mirage like the rest of my life. That was the second odd happening of what I think was a day despite having no sense of time in this room. I don’t remember calling anyone on the eclectic lava lamp phone that sits on the square bamboo table. Who would I call in this strange place anyway? Intrigued by this highlight of the day, my mood takes a positive turn after I grab a snack out of the silver re- frigerator that makes a grinding sound every so often. Unlike the experience to which I keep reminiscing, nothing A Room With A View/2007 Issue -5-
  7. 7. in this place is new, crisp or entirely clean. Even the clean towels are getting soiled on the floor towards which I tossed them. I lean back on the old sofa. After taking a few bites out of a not-so-new macaroni dinner, I begin to feel numb. I can no longer taste the food. Strange thoughts cloud my thinking and everything slows down. Could (Victor)ia (Belli)simmo = Victor Matchabelli? Suddenly, the light bulb in the antique teal ceiling fan flickers quickly and then burns out.The occurrence is happening again. A swift breeze comes in contact with my skin and the floral scent of her perfume alerts me to her imminent presence. My eyes close and for a brief moment, I am back. All I catch this time is a glimpse of her walking away from the newsstand and boarding a bus. She looks back as if she will remember me. Frustrated by my bad timing in catching up to her, I look on at the horizon and kick the brick sidewalk under my feet. It hurts. I return to the dingy and dark room. “That wasn’t long enough,” I thought to myself. I go back by the door and pick up one of the towels. I can only hope that a cold shower will wake me from this madness.Yet, for now, I wait. I wonder. One way or another, I believe that I can see her again. Take 1 - Part 2 By Cyntillia Eison After I stepped out of the grimy bathtub from my cold shower, my body matched the icy darkness I felt. I dried off and my body began to reach room temperature again. I walked over to the worn wooden dresser and pulled out a red shirt and a pair of jeans with holes at the knee. The lava lamp phone lit and rang loudly, adding a sense of life in the quiet and dark monotony of my thoughts. This time I made it to the phone in time. “Hello?” I answered as if the person on the other end held the answer to my thoughts. “I know a real man when I see him, an Armani man,” said the voice on the other end. “Who are you? Victoria? Victor Matchabelli?” I asked in a demanding voice. I grew weary of this sick game someone was playing. “Victor Matchabelli? Oh no, but I do know that you were the one who killed him. What’s the matter? Your conscious getting the best of you?” the voice questioned. How did this person know about an act committed three years ago that only I and one other person knew about? Who was this person? “Look, I know you’ve been trying to keep a low profile lately, but when the law clerk from the most presti- gious firm in New York disappears, he is not easily forgotten. Meet me at the warehouse on 106 & Lexington at 10 a.m., and don’t try anything funny.” -6- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  8. 8. The other end went dead and all that was left was fear and a dial tone. It had to be a plan to get the money I stole when I killed Victor, but the $800,000 was not in his posses- sion—it was in mine—the woman from my dream, Angela. My dream had not been a dream at all, it was a memory of how they had met. The lawyer he worked for had just won a major case for the firm and when he bumped into her, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. She had given him Victor’s card with her number on the back—he had to see her again. And he did. They went out for those beers and six months later he was in love with her. He loved her smile, her giggle, the lavender smell of her curly hair and he loved how spontaneous she was all the time. Little did he know, her spontaneous ways would trap him with a lifetime of guilt. One night she entered my condo with tears in her eyes and bruises on her body. “It was Victor, he went crazy and beat me.” She fell in my arms, and I was furious. She begged me not to call the police, but I knew something had to be done. After I had put her to bed, I dressed in dark clothing and paid Victor a visit. I only intended to hurt him, not kill him. As we scrambled on the floor, Victor pulled out a gun. Using quick reflections, I knocked the gun out of Victor’s hand and it flew across the room. We both scram- bled for it and he reached it first. Hearing Victor coming closer, I had turned to face him as he rushed toward me, and before I knew it, I had fired the gun. Victor’s body fell lifeless to the floor and I died subconsciously with him. I left the apartment, running as fast as my feet would take me to my car and called Angela as I sped home. “You did what?,” she exclaimed as he walked in the door. “I didn’t mean to, it was an accident.” I sat on his Italian leather couch. Angela sat next to me. “Someone had to hear you two fighting and the gun shot. We better get out of New York. We will need some money first,” she said. “I have some money, but its not enough. Living in this condo is not cheap,” I answered. “Victor has a safe in his house with $800,000 dollars in it. We can take that and start a new life some- where—maybe in Chicago—I’ve always wanted to go there,” Angela smiled. “Are you crazy?” he replied. “I’m not going back there.” “We have no other choice,” she replied. She was right. We had to leave town and start a new life and we couldn’t do that with the $2, 000 he had saved in the bank. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -7-
  9. 9. So we went back to the apartment where the door was unlocked when Angela turned the knob. We entered the apartment and Victor’s body was where I left it. A small pool of blood had developed. Angela went straight to the safe behind a picture in his bedroom. She was his accountant so she knew the location and combination. We stuffed our backpacks with the heavy stacks and went back to his place to pack. They would leave the next morning. I couldn’t sleep that night but it managed to find me. When my alarm went off at 6 a.m., I awoke to a note and an empty bed. Sorry baby, I had to do what I had to do Please don’t try to contact me -Angela My woman and my money were gone. Three years later I felt the same way I did that morning after Vic- tor’s death. I arrived at the warehouse at 10 a.m. sharp. There was only one way to enter. I opened the creaky, rusted door and saw nothing but darkness and the shadows of boxes inside. I had nothing to lose; I had already lost everything so I walked inside. Suddenly the warehouse lit up, flashlights aimed at my eyes and blinded me as the warehouse echoed with shouts for me to “freeze” and “put your hands on your head.” When everything came into focus, guns were aimed toward me and I dropped to my knees in surrender to the police demands. I had nothing to lose, I had lost everything and now I had to pay for it. -8- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  10. 10. Take 2 - Part 1 By Suzy Bartoz “It’s not strength that you need my friend—it’s persistence.” I picked up my head and turned my face toward the direction of the voice. Standing in the corner of my room was a middle-aged man with blonde hair dressed entirely in white. “How did you get in here? Who…who are you?” I stammered. “The real question is: Who are you?” replied the man as he pointed his index finger in my direction. “What are you talking about? You’re the one who broke into my apartment!” I fumed. “Oh, is this your apartment? What’s your address? What city is this?” he persisted. “It’s the city of…of…I don’t know,” I replied. My own answer surprised me. How could I not remember my own address? “It makes sense that you’d forget some things, after the day you’ve had,” the man quipped. “Do you re- member what you were doing earlier today?” he inquired. I shook my head. “Well, maybe I can help jog your memory,” he said. The man walked over to the television set and picked up the remote. As he pressed a button, the picture on screen transformed from static into a man who looked just like me! I got up and squatted in front of the set to take a closer look. It WAS me! “So you’re not only a cat burglar, but a Peeping Tom, too!” I yelled angrily at the man. “How did you get this tape?!?” “Watch and see for yourself,” said the man as he gestured toward the television set. There I was, sitting on the bus, just like I do every morning. And then a beautiful woman passed me in the aisle. It was her! Looking at her again, I marveled at her beauty. I watched myself sitting on that bus for the duration of a few stops, until the mystery woman got up to leave. I saw myself visibly upset and wrestling with the decision about whether or not I should get up and follow her. Apparently, I did just that. I saw myself step- ping out of the bus’ front door and looking around frantically for my dream girl. Suddenly I heard myself scream. In my love-induced stupor, I had stepped in front of the bus. As I watched the bus’ wheels thump over my broken body, I could clearly discern one of the ads on the side of the bus. I hadn’t noticed it before. It was for Armani’s Men’s Handwallet TM . A Room With A View/2007 Issue -9-
  11. 11. “Am I dead?” I asked aloud, turning away from the screen. “Not exactly,” replied the blond man. “Limbo, to be more precise.” He pressed another button on the remote and there I was again, lying in a hospital bed, in a coma. My parents and some friends were sitting around my bed crying. “Why am I here?” I asked the blonde man. “What’s going on?” “Let me answer your first question regarding my identity,” began the blonde man. “My name is Gabe.” “Gabe…as in the angel Gabriel?” I asked incredulously. “The very same,” Gabe said with a slight bow. “So where am I, then? It looks just like my apartment, but when I try to open the door to leave, all is see is a hazy gray light,” I questioned. “A side effect of Limbo, my friend,” Gabe replied. “You’re not really in your apartment. This place is an exact replica of your apartment, created to provide you with a sense of security.” “Why couldn’t my Limbo be in Florida? I’d feel plenty secure there,” I muttered under my breath. “What was that?” asked Gabe. “Nothing,” I said quickly. “Who am I, Gabe? I can’t even remember my own name.” “You’ll remember…in time,” said Gabe. “Meanwhile, I have an assignment for you. Actually, it comes from the Man Upstairs.” In the apartment above this one?” I asked. “Oh…no, wait, I get it,” I said sheepishly. “This could be harder than I thought,” sighed Gabe. “I fought hard for you to have this opportunity—don’t make a fool out of me.” “What opportunity?” I asked. “You were called before your time, so I told the Big Guy that you deserved another chance,” said Gabe as he flopped down on the sofa. “Do you remember the ad for the Armani Men’s HandwalletTM that was on the side of the bus that hit you?” questioned Gabe. “I saw it on the television just now. It was a little hard to notice it before, with the bus rolling over me and -10- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  12. 12. all,” I snapped. “Well, it was there, along with about a dozen others. I’ve arranged for you and the girl of your dreams to star in a commercial for each of the products that were advertised on the bus that hit you. If you can get the girl to fall for you in any one of those dozen ads, you get your life back,” explained Gabe. “What are you saying?” I asked. “Heaven can get pretty boring sometimes with all that perpetual bliss, so sometimes we have to break up the monotony. It just goes to show that God has a sense of humor,” Gabe shrugged. “But look on the bright side—I’m giving you another shot at life. Don’t blow it!” And in a flash of light, Gabe had vanished. Zap! Take 2 - Part 2 By Kristen Salava What a pathetic excuse for a human being I am! How stupid can I be? I mean, seriously, my life cannot get any worse than it is right now. I am a failure in every sense of the word. Twelve chances, twelve chances I yell into the cracked mirror that sits upon my bathroom sink. I was given twelve chances and I blew eleven of them. I just absolutely hate myself right now. I mean, come on. There is no way that I can make that gorgeous woman fall in love with me. I mean I thought that I was pitiful, but to this extent was even shocking to me. I really don’t know what I can do anymore. If I don’t make her fall in love with me by the end of the day tomor- row, my life will be over – literally. Wait a minute, maybe it is not me. What is wrong with her? Why doesn’t she like me? I have done noth- ing to her. I am always extremely nice her; giving her compliments left and right. Why doesn’t she like me? I don’t know. I am so lost right now. Gabe must be furious with me. He went out on a limb for me and this is how I repay him. “So what are you going to do,” Gabe said sarcastically. “Holy geeze, where did-did you come from?” I said startled. “Well, I thought you could use a pep talk before you got started today,” said Gabe. “How’d you know? Maybe I should just give up now; I mean seriously I have made a horrible fool out of myself. I bet the whole clan upstairs has gotten a huge laugh out of me the last few weeks,” I said discouraged. “Yeah, you really haven’t done that great. But cheer up kid; you still have one more chance. One more chance to change the rest of your life, you should consider yourself fortunate to have given so many chances,” A Room With A View/2007 Issue -11-
  13. 13. said Gabe. “I know and this is how I repay you, by making a complete fool out of myself time and time again. I have one more chance and I have no idea how I am going to make her fall in love with me,” I sighed. “You are so naïve. It is actually kind of cute. Have you considered using that as your angle? I’m just kid- ding. Anyways, you have been going at this the whole wrong way. Have you ever picked up a girl before? Sorry, still kidding,” Gabe said jokingly. “If this is your way of helping, no thanks.” Don’t you think that I feel awful as it is? I don’t need you com- ing in here and reminding me that I am a failure at life,” I said angrily. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. A little heaven humor, I told you we get bored sometimes. Anyways, you have been going about this the complete wrong way. I can’t give you too much advice because you are supposed to do this on your own, but I can give you a few suggestions,” said Gabe. “Alright, I’m listening,” I snapped. “When you are around her, do you act this way?” asked Gabe. “No! I try to impress her in anyway I can,” I said. “Girls hate it when you try and impress them. Be yourself, show her the real you. That will impress her more than anything and that will make her fall in love with you,” Gabe advised. “But the real me is-is worthless. If I let her see the real me, she will see that I am not worth being loved,” I said in a panic. “That’s another problem. No one will ever love you, if you do not love yourself first. You have to be okay with just you, before you can be okay with anyone else. That’s it, I said enough. Good luck! Make us proud!” Gabe said as he vanished. “Gabe! Wait, wait I need your help,” I screamed. It was too late, he was gone. What does he know anyways? He’s just an angel? Maybe what he said is true. She will not love me if I do not love myself. But what is there to love about me, I mean...really...I don’t have that much going for me. I don’t know, maybe I am not that bad. I have a few good friends, a pretty good family. I have not had that much success in my life but I am trying to change that. I don’t know, I guess I am not horrible. I don’t really deserve her, but if I had her she would be my goddess. I would treat her better than any other guy would treat her. “Oh man! It’s time to go, I am going to be late,” I said in a hurry. ****************** -12- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  14. 14. “Kyle Nero, Kyle Nero, are you here?” said the director. Oh wait, that’s me. I finally remembered my name. “I’m here, sorry I am late. There was traffic!” I said frantically. “Oh whatever, let’s begin. You and Lindsey start from the top,” said the director. “Hello Lindsey, you are looking very nice today. I got you some flowers,” I said nervously. “Thanks Kyle. Candy, cards and now flowers. You are just too nice to me. We have been doing a lot of commercials together lately. It’s been kind of nice,” she said sheepishly. Oh my god, I didn’t know what to do. I think the flowers may have worked. She seems to be excited to see me. Why is she being nice to me today? What is different? I don’t know. I guess I will just keep talking. “I know it’s kind of crazy, almost like fate,” I said. Fate. Fate, why did I say fate? She is going to think I am some weirdo creep. She laughed. “You’re so funny, I have never realized how funny you are,” she said. Why is she being so nice to me? It is almost as if she likes me. Could this be my day? Am I going to live? “Back to work,” screamed the director. As we continued to rehearse the commercial, I began to get more frantic on what I should do. “So what do you like to do for fun? Do you have any hobbies?” I inquired. “I love spending time outside. I like to ride bikes, yeah basically anything outside,” she said puzzled. “Why do you ask?” “I was wondering if after work today, would want to get a bite to eat? That is, if you are not too busy and as long as it is not an inconvenience.” “Oh Kyle, I don’t know,” she said confused. “Oh, I understand. Don’t worry about it, no big deal,” I said. “You know what, let’s do it. Let’s go out,” she said convincingly. “Really! Fantastic!” I said excitedly. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -13-
  15. 15. “Yes, it sounds good,” she said. “Come on, let’s get back to work,” snapped the director. As I looked up at the sky, Gabe appeared. I knew that this was my deciding moment. “That will do, she’s not in love but there is potential. God said that you’re on the right track. Good bye and good luck. Remember, no one will love you, if you do not love yourself,” said Gabe. I knew at that point, today was the beginning of the rest of my life. -14- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  16. 16. Take 3 - Part 1 By Cyntillia Eison Eventually my body grew weary enough to allow my mind to cease its battle for the little pride I had left. Sleep clung to me like lint on a black sweater; I woke up the next day fully persuaded to stop living life as a spec- tator and become a main attraction. After staring at specific holes I had memorized in my ceiling, I rose from my squeaky mattress, made a few short strides to my window and lifted the blinds. Sunlight rushed into the room like a powerful river freed after being confined by a dam. It gave me this eerie hope and security, until I turned around and looked at my squalid room. Who was I kidding? I hadn’t had a job for three weeks now. Could things get any worse? As if fate were the director of my inner thoughts, the image of the woman in my dream flashed quickly across my memory. Her eyes, she had the most beautiful eyes. A rapid knock interrupted my thoughts. I headed down the hallway that was as gray this morning as it was the night before and stopped at the splintered door that gave access to my apartment. There was a woman there who was a good friend of mine. I opened the door and let her in. “You’re not dressed yet?” she asked as she came in. “Dressed? What do I need to be dressed for?” I asked. “See this is what I am talking about, you always do this to me,” she said while walking past me and going into my closet. “Well, not today, you are not backing out on me this time. You said you would come with me for the consultation,” she added. I was still confused, and followed her into the room. I looked at the clothes on my bed and recognized the outfit as the same as the woman’s from the dream. I walked slowly to the bed and reached out to slowly touch the black skirt. “What are you doing?” my friend asked. “You need to hurry and take a shower so we can go. My appointment is in an hour.” I went to my bathroom and studied my face in the mirror—I understood the dream. I had been that guy with the Armani hand wallet all my life, attempting to shadow what I felt inside because of society’s opinions. The woman in the dream was who I chose to be, who I wanted to be—the woman was me. I looked at those eyes I had fallen in love with—my eyes—I had finally found her. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -15-
  17. 17. Take 3 - Part 2 By Heather Nelson Yet, so many questions were left unanswered. Why did my friend have an appointment somewhere and what exactly was its reason? I am not a woman but I have her eyes etched into my vision. I also could not remember how I lost my job. Clearly, I was having an identity crisis. What happened next could only create more ques- tions. “Honk!” This was a sound that came not from the driveway but from the mail carrier’s rusty truck with the dirty exhaust pipe. As he shoved his burly hand into the mailbox and puffed on his cigar, he saw me come to look out my window. “You’re going to have to come out here and retrieve these envelopes. Otherwise, I cannot shut the lid,” he hollered impatiently. I threw on the rest of my clothes and placed the Armani hand wallet in my pocket. As I headed out to the curb I saw something familiar: a ripped envelope with blue stationery paper inside. Then I got distracted. On the back of the mail truck was a picture of a newspaper stand; not just any newspaper stand, but it looked identical to the one in my dream. My heart rate climbed as if I were running from a pack of wolves. Of course I was not. I was standing on the edge of my street staring at the truck receding on the horizon. “Honk!” “Will you get in this car already!” yelled my friend. I do, then feel the spell of sleep coming over my concerned eyes. Yet I am restless. I feel drained but cannot rest now, especially when my grip begins to slip from the envelope I am clenching against my chest. I am shaking as I look down at the piece of mail. Hoping that my friend won’t notice my nervousness, my hand reaches toward the radio to turn on some music in the hope of breaking an awkward silence. As the reggae tune plays on the station, my friend makes a left turn down the street. Then we pull into a parking lot and find a pretty good space right in front of the three-story brick building. I still don’t know why we are here, but I cooperate so I don’t get nagged at again. The waiting room is not busy. There are, believe it or not, three lava lamps dispersed across the space. That’s funny. No sooner than I have this thought, a nurse calls my name, “Victoria Matchabelli, the doctor will see you now.” “Wait, I thought my friend had the appointment,” I exclaimed. “Do you want this appointment or not maam?” the nurse says. Curious as to what lay behind the doors, I tiptoe behind the nurse with caution. She leads me into a room -16- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  18. 18. with a mahogany desk and shelves of numerous books. A comfy chair behind the desk starts to rock back and forth and smoke rises over it. Then an old man appears as the chair swivels in my direction. He looks an awful lot like that mailman who I saw less than 30 minutes earlier. “I have a visitor for you,” he says with his hands clasped together below his face. Puzzled, I look around. A man enters the room and sits in the chair beside me. Although I do not recognize him, he seems like one of those people I feel like I’ve know forever. You know, the random stranger you can con- nect with in the grocery store, or even the old lady on the bus who starts chatting with you. As his voice trembles, he looks over at me. “Did you get my letter?” the man says. I put two plus two together and figure that my piece of mail has to be from him. “I believe I have it with me actually.” Thinking that this chain of events can’t get any more bizarre, it does. The letter reads: Dear Victoria, I don’t know where to begin and you may think I am crazy. So let me just flat out say this: I am your husband. You were in a bad place at the wrong time in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some men slipped a capsule in your drink that would cause up to three months loss of your memory. They did so because you overhead one of their conversations that involved the plot to rob a bank. Feeling threatened, they did what they did. When you did not answer your phone that night and eventually never came home from your conference at the casino, I panicked and called the police. According to an officer, who also worked part-time at a newspaper stand, you could not remember your name, or where you were or me. Dr. Markski here, came to my aid, as I was completely crushed. He planned to place you in a room where you could clear your head. It had a nice view, a phone, and a bed. After three months time, he insisted that you would slowly regain thoughts of the past. Once this time was up, his secretary would drive you to his office. So here we are at the moment of truth. I love you Victoria. I know you do too, deep down, but I can only cling to a remainder of hope that you remember me, how we met and will give us a chance to pick up where we left off. And so the mystery had been solved. Victor Matchabelli was my husband. He still is my husband. We both shed many tears in front of the window as we saw each other’s reflections in our eyes. In the face of confusion and loss, we were reunited once again through fate in the form of a hand wallet and people who care. It was all com- ing back to me now. The Armani men’s hand wallet was a gift I gave my husband for Christmas. The lava lamp was an item I purchased at a garage sale the day before I went to the conference. All of this, though frustrating and mind-boggling, was for the best. And none of it would have been possible if I had never experienced being in a room with a view. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -17-
  19. 19. Take 4 - Part 1 By Kristen Salava Pulling myself up off of the lumpy mattress that is laughingly referred to as a bed, I stumble with clumsy feet towards the bathroom. I think a cold shower will take these thoughts back to the empty void where they belong. Well, at least that’s the way it has always worked before. But tonight, all it does is make the memories more vivid. The commercial was dumb. We both agreed upon that as we sat beside the bar at some crowded smoke-filled restaurant. The horrific Top 40 music was blaring way too loud over this supposed state-of-the-art stereo system. Anyways, both of our agents insisted that we take these roles. It was either that or playing a corpse on one of those crime shows. Emily (that was her name) was even more beautiful once the harsh lighting and heavy makeup was removed. Her hair was this really rich shade of red and her eyes were this impossible blue. And when she laughed, god when she laughed, her nose would crinkle up like a bunny and she’d cover her face with her hand to hide the slight blush that tinted her cheeks. She had a killer personality. She was smart and funny and all of those other clichés that people use to de- scribe some girl that was totally out of their league. But Emily was all those things and more, a true beauty in a town full of tramps and whores. I slammed my hand against the faucet and the torrent of ice cold water sputters to a halt. I toss the dollar store shower curtain aside and step down onto the dirty tile floor. Picking up the towel from the crumpled heap on the floor, I rub it over my hair for all the good it will do. I wrap the towel loosely around my waist and brush the condensation off the mirror and begin to laugh at the pa- thetic excuse for a human staring back at me. I am not sure that I am the Hollywood wonder boy that I was when I gave Emily my last name. And she would surely kick my ass if she saw what a mess I’ve become. Walking back into the bedroom/living room, I walk over to the dresser to try and find some half way decent clothes to wear. And that’s when it all becomes clear again. There’s only a trace of the powder left on the tabletop but every last crystal feels like tiny shards of glass ripping into my heart. “I’m just going to run out to the store. I’ll just be a few minutes,” she said. With one clean sweep of my arm, the contents of the table are scattered onto the ground. She wasn’t gone for just a few minutes, she was gone forever. -18- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  20. 20. I guess I thought we were invincible. We were stars. We were never going to burn out or fade away. As I grab my leather jacket, I throw it over my shoulder and run out the door. I have to clear my head. I have to get these thoughts out of my head. I run down the metal steps to the parking lot below, I hop onto my Harley and kick back the stand. Riding will clear my head, get me thinking straight again. As I pull out into the street and the cold night air blows the strands of hair off my face, I know. I’m riding to my death. Take 4 - Part 2 By Suzy Bartoz The starless night envelops me as I speed along the Interstate. A steady rain begins to fall, but it doesn’t matter. I know not even the heavens above would shed a tear for such a miserable excuse for a human being like me. I drive for a few more miles until I come to the scene of a car wreck. Twisted metal has wrapped itself around a telephone pole. “At least there’s one poor sap in this world worse off than me,” I laughed. There wasn’t a soul around for miles so I went over to take a look. Maybe I’d find a watch or some cash that the guy was definitely not going to need anymore. I kick the stand down on my bike and saunter over to the carnage. As I peer inside, I see red. But not the blood-red color I was expecting. This was rich copper-colored red. In an instant, it hit me. “Emily!” I screamed. I practically tore the driver’s side door off of its hinges to get to the love of my life. I could barely find her pulse as I carried her body in my arms and out of the wreckage. As I bent over her beautiful face to begin CPR, I felt the softness of her lips against mine. God, how I’d missed kissing those lips. I found myself suddenly wishing that she were mine again. What were those damn CPR instructions? Breath! Chest compressions! Then what? She was still so beautiful. Even though the wreck was hideous, there wasn’t a single scratch on her. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -19-
  21. 21. She looks just like Sleeping Beauty, I mused. And she was my Beauty once, and I was determined to be the one to wake her with the kiss of life. So I continued CPR. Did her finger just move? I could have sworn I saw it twitch a second ago. I got up, stood dejectedly over her body, bowed my head and offered up a silent prayer. Lord, I know I haven’t done this in awhile, and I know I don’t deserve any favors—but don’t let me lose Emily again. Not like this. I was about to give up on her when her eyelids fluttered open, revealing her deep cobalt blue eyes. “You saved me,” she whispered. “No…you saved me,” I replied. The irony was that Emily was the one who saved me that night. My life didn’t come to an end; instead, I became a hero, reborn in Emily’s eyes. -20- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  22. 22. Take 5 - Part 1 By Sean Strebing Running my face with cold sink water, taking a deep breath, I notice my reflection in the dirty bathroom mir- ror. In the background I hear the train passing, shaking the apartment building. I stumble over to the table, grabbing a piece of gum to relieve my morning breath. I can still taste the pizza and beer from last night. In the background I hear a commercial for an “Armani’s Men’s Handwallet.” Immedi- ately, my eyes widen. “No!” I say to myself out loud. With my memory finally jogged I sprint to my wobbly coffee table, grabbing my wallet. I fumble around trying to find the business card; the smoke from my cigarette clouds my vision. Then I find it, shaking my head in amazement. It just doesn’t make sense. I would like to think that my eyes and instincts wouldn’t betray me. However, while a blank stare comes over me I begin to replay the meeting in my conscious- ness. “VROOM!” I recall a plane engine echoing in my ears and the smell of newspaper ink on my hands. It was at this time that I was bumped into by the female impersonator. Of course, she ran into me when I was buying the newspaper. I throw on a hooded jacket, bracing myself for the cold as I shoot out the door. Arriving at the newsstand I notice the same man working as yesterday. Catching my breath, I inquire as to whether he remembers me from yesterday. “How could I forget,” he says with a half smile. Anxiously, I ask if he remembers the woman, hoping for the same answer. His vague response left me little to no hope. In frustration, I slam my hand wallet onto the counter of the newspaper stand. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch the man staring dead at the hand wallet. “So what will it be this time?” I request the usual newspaper with a giant sigh, then the man happily asks if there’s anything else. “No, that will do it.” As he turns around to grab a newspaper, my eyes are drawn to a stack of business cards tucked away by the cash register. I squint to try to read them, but while bending over the counter a little I notice the name…gasping unassumingly, I’m shocked at what I’m reading. Victor Matchabelli, newsstand owner. Confusion becomes the only emotion in my universe for the moment. This can’t be! How did he get the card in my hand wallet? Retracing my thoughts for a moment I remember picking up her briefcase and then just staring at her as she bent over and grabbed my wallet. There was no time for her to put a card in because I was trapped in her eyes from the time she bent over to the time she stood up and returned my bag. I tried to muster something to say to her but her beauty overcame me. I was speechless. So, after being handed my bag, what did I do with it? Looking up in the sky and racking my brain, it comes to me…my bag was A Room With A View/2007 Issue -21-
  23. 23. placed on the newspaper stand when I bent over to help the woman. Uncomfortably and awkwardly, I slowly turn away from newsstand owner. I now know for sure that I am in love and I knew she is real. However, now I don’t know her name or where to find her. The only thing I know about her is how she looks; but beauty like hers is rare and it’s hard to forget a face that you love. Take 5 - Part 2 By Nicole Zermatten I recall a small detail that I had forgotten before. Her briefcase had shown the label “Nine to Five Ac- cessories”. Maybe if I go to the store, they can tell me who she is and that can lead me to her. I walk down the street, lighting a cigarette along the way. I think to myself what other ways I can find her but I come up with nothing. I blow out a puff of smoke and watch it slowly rise and disappear. I look at the sky and it appears dismal but in the distance there is a small patch of cerulean moving closer. While I am staring off, I continue walking. I come across a pay phone and put the phone up to my ear trying to juggle that and trying to put my hand wallet away. I dial zero and listen for the operator. “Operator. How can I help you?” a voice asks. “I would like the address for ‘Nine to Five Accessories,” I reply. “One moment.” I fiddle with the business card from the newsstand owner. What a fool I am to think that I thought it was from her. The voice interrupts my thoughts. “It is 32 Broad St. Is that all I can help you with?” “Yes that is all. Thanks.” I hang up the phone and look at the street signs. I realize that I am only two blocks away from the store, so I start to walk faster. I can feel the excitement building up in me. I hope I won’t be disappointed with what I find. I notice the store and reach for the handle of the glass door. Just as I am about to open it, a woman pushes against it and almost slams it in my face. She immediately looks at me and covers her mouth in shock. “Oh, so sorry! I wasn’t paying attention,” she says sympathetically. I rub my nose to try and soothe the pain coming from it. I look at her and am transfixed by the resem- blance of the woman to that of my love. -22- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  24. 24. “It’s alright,” I said. She turns toward the door and starts fiddling around in her purse looking for something. She finally pulls out a large set of keys and starts to lock the door. “Are you the owner of this store?” I ask. “Yes, I am. I was actually just closing it because I was going out to lunch. I should be back in an hour to reopen though,” she cheerfully says. “Can I ask you a quick question before you leave?” “Sure, but please do make it quick. I am meeting someone for lunch,” she says. I look towards her and think about how exactly I would describe the woman I love. “I was wondering if you knew a woman with bright blue eyes and brown hair. I think she has a briefcase that she bought from here,” I said. She looks up as if she is thinking for a moment. Suddenly it looks as if a light bulb has turned on. “Oh! Are you talking about my sister?” Oh I hope it is her sister. I really want to be with her. I want to just hold her in my arms and never let go. I snap back to reality. “I hope I am. Do you have a picture of her?” “I don’t think I have one on me. Let me check.” She rummages through her purse looking for a picture. After a few minutes of looking she closes it. “I don’t have one. Sorry!” she said. I look despairingly at her. I had really wished that I could see the photo to see if her sister was the same person I was looking for. “Oh wait! I do actually.” She opens up her purse, pulls out her digital camera and turns it on. “I was just going to get these developed today,” she turns the screen toward me. The woman is her sister. I need to get in contact with her. “What is her name?” I ask. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -23-
  25. 25. “Melissa. How do you know her?” she asks inquisitively. “It’s a long story. Can you give me her number?” “No, I don’t give her number out,” she shoves her camera back into her purse and starts to walk quickly down the street. I look in the window of the store to find out her last name. It’s Smith. I hurry back to my apartment to search her name on my computer. I get to my door and push it open. I move through my pile of clothes and plop down on my chair. I search her name and her number comes up. I shuffle through the papers on my desk and find my cordless phone. I look at it for a second contemplating what I am going to say. I take a few deep breaths and begin to dial the number. I hit the last digit and set the phone against my ear. I hear a ring. Every second that goes by is agonizing. I get up from my chair and start to pace the floor. It rings again. “Hello?” I heard her voice and realized my search is over. My breathing starts to speed up. I swallow and answer. “Hi, this is Michael. We bumped into each other a few days ago but we didn’t get to exchange numbers. Can you talk for a minute?” -24- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  26. 26. Take 6 - Part 1 By Emily Taylor The sun peeped in through the blinds as I slipped my cold feet into the moccasin slippers that I placed by my bedside the night before. I scanned the floor for the closest pair of semi-clean pants. I noticed a pair of slacks which were not mine. I got out of bed to examine the pants. They were a charcoal gray with a slight burgundy pinstripe. It then registerd to me that they were the same pants I wore in my dream. “Wait, was it a dream?” I asked myself aloud. Either way, I didn’t care. All I wanted to know was who that woman was and if I would ever see her again. Just to be sure, I checked the size of the slacks. “Yup, 34-34. That’s my size,” I assured myself. Just then, my Armani’s Men’s Hand Wallet TM fell out. I remembered that the woman left her business card in my wallet. I frantically searched every fold of my wallet. “Is it here? Is it here?” I yelled. “Ah ha! Here it is!” I yelled. I observed the front and back of the card—however, it was blank, there was nothing on it. “How could this be?” I asked. Just then, the phone rang. I was hesitant. I let the phone ring three times. I really didn’t want to be bothered by the bill collectors that kept calling day in and day out. The phone kept ringing and ringing. “What do you want?” I roared into the phone. I heard no voice, only static. I stayed on the call for no more than five seconds before I slammed the phone back onto its base. I began to question my sanity. There is no way that any of this could logically happen. But wait, how can I explain the pants and blank business card? Again, the phone rang. I was a little more sincere with my greeting this time. “Hello?” I asked. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -25-
  27. 27. I heard the same static as before. However, this time, I could faintly make out music in the background. I re- ally couldn’t pinpoint what I was hearing. To me, it was just a bunch of musical notes. The sound was comforting. It had been days since I had a full night of sleep. The longer I stayed on the phone, the more clearer and louder the music became. I felt all of my nerves ease and slowly, I slipped out of consciousness. It had to be no more than a couple of seconds later when I came to my senses. I shook my head in alertness and put the phone down. “Oh my god!” I yelped. The phone I was holding was not a phone—it was a revolver. “Gentleman, at high noon tomorrow you will meet in this very town square. You will take twenty paces apart and on that twenty, you will fire. May the quick hand win and may God have mercy on your souls,” pro- claimed a man. My eyes were stinging so I wiped my face. I looked at my hands and they were covered in reddish brown dirt. I looked down and I noticed that I was wearing an outfit that I can recall from old Western movies. I slowly came to my feet. There was a crowd surrounding me. I observed a break in the crowd. Through the break, I saw a large man in black leather strutting away from me. “That must be the man I meet at noon,” I said. I walked up to the man who announced my duel and asked him what I did wrong. “Why, you did nothing wrong. That man in the black leather was the one who stole your wife’s jewels.” “My wife?” I asked. “Well, yes, your wife, she is right over there,” explained the man. Take 6 - Part 2 By Sean Strebing Taking a deep breath to brace myself, I slowly turn around. My head pivots as my eyes focus on the finger of the man, as it extends to point to out my wife. It’s hard to see with all the reddish brown dirt thrusting around me as the wind picks up. After an eerie calm breaks the powerful wind, I’m able to get a clear view. “It’s her!” My lower lip instinctively drops; and my eyes, despite being engulfed with dirt, remain in a dead stare for what felt like an eternity. “That’s the woman who has plagued my every thought during every waking moment.” I grab my revolver and hold it in my hand turning it around and examining it. I look into the barrel of the gun to see if it’s loaded. As I click the barrel of the gun back into place, it sounds as if the noise echoed…as if it was the only sound that could be heard at that time. At this point, I start to grow impatient. I’ve been here all day trying to get this taken care of and I am tired of waiting. Finally, he graces my presence. We both raise our guns…I can hear a squeaking noise from my hands gripping the tight gun, anxiously waiting. “Twenty paces gentlemen,” bellows the announcer as we -26- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  28. 28. begin to separate ourselves. I can feel anticipation and angst throughout my body… “ready, turn, fire!” I pivot around and BOOM! My arms shake uncontrollably as I fire off another gun shot, BOOM! I watch as the man’s chest absorbs the two rounds. Reaching towards the wound, he applies pressure to try to stop the flow of blood. Not showing any emotion; I keep my eyes focused on him as his knees buckle and he falls to the floor. It is almost as if I am witnessing the life being sucked out of him second by second; as his eyes lose movement and his mouth drops open. “That’s what you get,” I say standing over his dead body. Before I turn my head to walk away, I decide to spit on the man and kick him in disgust. As I’m walking away, I begin to hear footsteps behind me. I start to breathe a little faster as I brace myself for what I’m about to face. I notice that several people witnessing this event are beginning to get up and leave. Groups of people start to walk away from me and are shaking their heads. “What the hell was that?” I turn my face down to the ground in anticipation of what is coming to me. “Would you really do that in front of your wife? Kick and spit on a dead man after you shot him?” “No sir. Sorry, I just got caught up in the moment,” I say while looking away. “Well we aren’t paying you to get caught up in the moment. We are paying you to act; to act based off what your role is in the script, not to make your own character up.” Silently, I stare at the man waiting for his next direction. “Take five,” he says as he motions for me to follow him. I follow behind him. With each step taken, the knot in my stomach grows larger. “This is an off-Broadway production son, the big leagues, not one of your auditions for pilot shows,” says the director. From that day forward, I started a new chapter in my life. I realized that if I want to make this my living, then I have to learn to follow directions and take criticism, in all its forms. Acting is such a physically and mentally draining process as I have learned over the past few days. Trying to become someone else and see things through someone else’s eyes is all-consuming and a departure from the mundane everyday life. This whole process has led me to view my career similarly to how my character should have viewed his wife. It takes patience and self control to be successful; you have to be able to persevere in order to go from pizza and beer to wine and caviar. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -27-
  29. 29. Take 7 - Part 1 By Nicole Zermatten I lay in my bed thinking with despair about the future. My life feels like it is over yet I have hardly lived. Tomorrow I will try to start fresh and hope for a meeting with the girl with the haunting blue eyes. Tomorrow will bring answers. I reach over to my dingy alarm clock and set the alarm for 8 a.m. As my hand comes back, I see a picture of me as a young boy with my family at a picnic. We all looked so happy then. I don’t even bother to change my clothes because I am suddenly feeling very tired. I pull the covers up and close my eyes hoping to drown out the noises of the city. My alarm beeps angrily at me to wake up. I try to hit the snooze, hoping to suppress the day ahead. I’m not ready to change my life. My attempts to soothe the alarm fail and I finally open my eyes. The sun reflects off my mirror on to the ceiling like a kaleidoscope. I slowly stretch out my body and plant my feet on the floor. I walk through the mess of garbage on my floor to my closet to pick out a fresh set of clothes. I pick out my best outfit; a light blue long-sleeved shirt that I am told brings out my blue eyes, and a pair of black slacks. I quickly change and look into my full-length mirror. Everything looks pretty good except for my hair. I run my fingers through the mess of curls. Time for another change. I grab my wallet and keys off of the floor and walk through my door into the hallway. The window shade is open and illuminates the once dark and bleak hallway. I hike through the hallway to the front door and grip the handle. There is no turning back now. I just have to walk through the door to start a better phase of my life. I turn the knob and walk into the sunlight. I walk down the dirtied street looking for a place to cut my unruly hair. I finally come across one a few blocks down and open the door. A small bell rings to announce my entry. “Can I help ya?” an older man behind a small counter asks. “Yeah. I have decided that I need a haircut. Do you have any time for one?” I said. “Yeah, sure. I have some time. Just give me a second.” The man gets up from his stool and walks over to a swivel chair and wipes it down. He picks up a cloth and calls me over. I walk over to the chair and sit down. He shakes out the cloth and places it on me. “What ya want done?” he asks while looking at my hair. “Just shave it off. I’m looking for a change.” “Ya sure?” he asks disbelievingly. “Yeah. Just shave it off.” He walks over to the counter and starts to search for the shaver in a drawer. He starts to make some small -28- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  30. 30. talk to break up the silence in the room. “So why do ya feel ya need a change?” he says looking over at me. “I’m trying to impress someone.” I said not wanting to reveal my life story to this guy. “Oh I see.” He finds the shaver and walks back to my chair. He looks at me in the mirror and then starts to go to work. I look to the floor and see small pieces of my hair starting to cover it. A few minutes later, I look up and see the new me. Not too shabby. He takes the cloth off me and shakes off the last bits of my curly hair. I pay him and open the door. The little bell sounds again and I disappear into the bussling crowd. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -29-
  31. 31. Take 7 - Part 2 By Emily Taylor By now, the cafes are preparing for the lunch rush. The streets are filled with the robust smell of herb soups and rustic breads. The aromas seem to be competing with one another as I take each step. I do not know where I am going; all I can do is let my senses lead the way. A zesty breeze blew in from the Southwest. I could smell the damp earthiness mixed in with the sweet perfume of the summer sea. A shudder came upon me. The nerves of my newly hairless head tingled and sent an instant chill through my spine. I wrapped my arms around my torso and continued my path. I couldn’t help but duck into a small café. I was seated outside just along the sidewalk. The sun was high and just as the rays of light reached each table; the shined utensils beamed it back up in every direction. I ordered an espresso and sat back to enjoy the people walking by. The flow of the crowed was soothing. I hadn’t been out to enjoy a day in a long time. When I was done casually sipping my caffeine, I entered back into the swarming mass. I noticed in my step, I was walking a little more briskly, my shoulders were back more and I had a min- ute strut to my walk. This didn’t last long because after a while, I caught a man in the corner of my eye. He was scrawny with dark hair. I didn’t particularly like his choice in wardrobe because I was never a fan of the gothic look. The sun was hiding behind the clouds that billowed in from the West. The man was still behind me. Slowly, the crowd started to dissipate as each headed back to work. It was about time for me to go home. To be honest, I had been wandering around aimlessly for the first half of the afternoon. Plus, the anxiety from the re- sult of my daring shave took a lot of energy out of me. I pivoted around to aim back home. Just then, I ran right into the gothic man. “Excuse me,” he said slyly. “Watch where you are going – creep!” I yelled. I shook it off and we parted in opposite directions. However, something wasn’t right. I felt my body starting at my chest, and as I reached lower, I realized he had stolen my wallet. I swung around and started run- ning in his direction. He couldn’t have gone far. My heart raced and my breathing deepened. I was excited to catch him and heroically retrieve my wallet. Although, I was scared because I didn’t know what I would do to him once I trapped him. -30- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  32. 32. Finally I reached the park and came to a stop. He was gone. What was I going to do now? “Sir, excuse me, is this yours?” I heard in the distance. I looked and saw a petite woman running up to me. “I saw this man toss this into the alley back there,” she yelled as she approached. As we got within arms distance, we stopped. It was her. It was the woman who was in my dream. I no- ticed her examining my wallet. She carefully ran her fingers over the leather. “I didn’t recognize you,” she said. “Recognize me from where?” I said. “This is going to sound silly, but my dream,” she said. I explained to her that I had the same dream. I told her I wanted to shave my head to start anew. “I think you look really good,” she said. “So what do you think this all means?” I asked her hesitantly. She replied, “I think it is destiny.” “Good enough for me, how about a drink?” I asked. She said yes. A Room With A View/2007 Issue -31-
  33. 33. Final Take By Alyssa Sullivan Beep! Beep! Beep! I groaned as I rolled over and slapped my hand down atop my alarm clock. I swear some mornings the thing just enjoyed tormenting me. It was too early to get up; I didn’t have to look at the alarm clock to know that. With a yawn, I dragged my tired body out of bed and headed for the shower in hopes that it would wake me up enough. Once again, my thoughts were about her. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get that woman out of my head. Whether I was asleep or awake, she was there. It’s like she’s haunting me, taunting me that I will never be able to find her. Such cruelty should be punished for what it does to poor men like me. Riiiing! Thankfully I was dressed, but whoever it was had horrible timing. I was almost about to get in the shower before heading out to waste another day trying to find that woman. I snatched the phone off the hook. “Hello?” “Ian! Thank god I caught you!” the voice said in relief. I sighed heavily. “What do you want, Michael?” “Well if you’re going to talk to me like that, I won’t tell you the good news,” Michael replied like a 6-year- old child. “I was just about to get in the shower and you interrupted me so either spit it out or I’m hanging up,” I said through grit teeth. “I’m in no mood to deal with your juvenile attitude today.” “Fine, be that way.” Michael muttered unhappily. “It’s about the woman you’re so obsessed with. I managed to locate her.” He began calmly and in a more mature tone. I nearly dropped the phone. “Her name is Chelsea Groven and she works as a secretary at J & H Imports down on Masquerade Drive. But there is something else you should know about her, Ian. …Ian? Ian, are you there?” I didn’t bother hanging up the phone. I grabbed my coat and my gun and wrenched the front door open. My keys were still lying on the coffee table but I didn’t care even as I heard my front door lock behind me. I ran as fast as I could in the direction of Masquerade Drive. If I hurried I could get there before lunch, maybe ask her to get something to eat. I rounded a corner and skidded to a halt. There in the middle of the block was J & H Imports. With a renewed sense of energy I rushed to the doors and shoved it open, nearly sending the door against the wall. I stopped dead in my tracks. There she was! Right in front of me, she was sitting at a desk with a black phone cradled between -32- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  34. 34. her ear and her shoulder. She looked even more beautiful than I remembered. I adjusted my tie and straightened myself out, I had forgotten to change out of my suit from last night, and slowly, I walked up to the desk she sat at. Just as I was about to open my mouth to speak, her eyes met mine and she smiled. “Agent Mangers, it’s good to see you again,” she greeted warmly. “Likewise,” I answered automatically. Wait, did she just call me Agent Mangers? She must have seen the confusion on my face because she continued to answer my unasked question. “Mr. Penslo called your boss to set up an emergency meeting.” Mr. Penslo called my boss to set up a meeting but failed to tell me about it? That didn’t sound like him. He never forgot to tell me about anything he needed me to do. It was why we were always so successful in our line of work. Something felt wrong. The only way to find out what was going on was to play along. I closed my eyes and gathered my thoughts. “Uh…yes. The meeting. Is he ready or am I early?” Chelsea smiled and stood up. “You’re just in time. Follow me please.” I did as I was told. I followed her down a long hall, past the elevators and through two tall glass doors. We walked past a bunch of people dressed in black suits who all seemed to stare at me with cold eyes. I was starting to get a bad feeling about this supposed meeting I was headed to. She stopped outside a wooden door and turned to me. “Just a moment. I will see if he is ready to see you.” I nodded as she disappeared into the room. The feeling doubled the moment she did. I could feel numerous pairs of eyes burning holes into my back. I didn’t dare look behind me at the others around me. I thought I would be jumped and beaten if I did. Thankfully, Chelsea didn’t take long. “You can go in,” she said sweetly as she held the door open for me. I paused just in front of her. It was now or never. “I know this is a little forward but, would you like to get something to eat after my meeting? I’d love to get to know you better.” A small blush crept to her cheeks but she met my gaze. “Sure. I’d like that.” Now I smiled. I completely forgot that the meeting felt wrong to me. I almost always trusted my instincts but for some reason I ignored them and walked right in. It wasn’t until I heard the door close that I realized what happened. “Welcome, Ian.” A big voice spoke from the other side of one of those huge office chairs. “Please, take a A Room With A View/2007 Issue -33-
  35. 35. seat.” Cautiously, I sat down in the chair in front of the desk. This really didn’t feel right. I knew something was terribly wrong but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to leave. I couldn’t leave Chelsea. I shook my head. I have no time to think about her. I need to focus on what is going on right now. “I, uh, I was kinda surprised that you wanted to see me, Mr. Penslo.” “Yes,” he drawled lazily. “It was quite important that I spoke to you as soon as possible. There is something I need to take care of im- mediately.” I swallowed the lump that had suddenly formed in my throat. “Yes, sir?” Mr. Penslo stood and slowly turned around. Instinctively, I leapt up and reached for my gun, but felt noth- ing. Where’d it go? Mr. Penslo laughed. “You let your guard down at the wrong time, Mangers. It cost you your weapon and maybe even your life, depending on how good of a mood I’m in.” I cursed inwardly and cursed again at the sick smile he had on his face. I should have figured it out sooner. Charles Penslo was really Arthur Almack, a local mob boss who was wanted for smuggling guns into the States. The fact that he owned and ran J & H Imports should have sent up a red flag in my head, but it didn’t. I was in serious trouble. “Now,” Arthur began as he walked around his desk towards me. “I will give you one chance, and only one chance, to answer this question. Get it wrong, you die. Understand?” I didn’t trust my voice, so I nodded. Yup. I’m definitely done. “You recall doing a commercial about an Armani hand wallet for men, right?” he asked. I nodded. “And do you remember working with a woman, Chelsea, more specifically?” Again I nodded. “Now comes the hard question. Did you kill my men that night?” “What men?” I said firmly, looking him dead in the eye. My face rocketed to the side as my cheek throbbed in pain. Slowly, I straightened up and noticed the pistol in his hand. He hit me in the face with his pistol! “I told you to answer me,” he growled. “There were four men there that night, watching Chelsea, and you shot them! Tell me why!” He hit me across the face again in anger. -34- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  36. 36. I should have been worried about the blood that now ran down my cheek, but I was more focused on what he had just said. Why would four of his men be watching Chelsea? He started to laugh. “You mean you had no idea?” he asked me, enjoying my confusion. He took a step closer to me. “Chelsea is my daughter.” I froze. Now it was all coming back to me. Chelsea Groven. She changed her name so nobody would associate her with Arthur. That must have been what Michael was trying to tell me before I rushed out! I suddenly felt sick. I had almost forgotten the reason why I was at the commercial shoot to begin with. Chelsea had been my target. I was supposed to kill her for all the people she murdered in her father’s name but I got distracted by her beauty. She had gotten away! Arthur laughed again. “So you’re remembering now, huh? I will ask you again. Why did you shoot my men?” With a deep breath I faced Arthur. “To kill Chelsea.” His enjoyment instantly disappeared. “What?” he growled out. Obviously he wasn’t expecting that answer. I didn’t say another word. I had cooper- ated but after his reaction, I somehow knew I wasn’t going to be getting out of here alive. Arthur hit a button on the COM link on his desk. “Chelsea, come in here please.” A few minutes passed before I heard the door open and close. I was expecting her to play innocent and say something, but I was wrong. Instead, I heard the cocking of a gun. Slowly, I turned around only to be staring down the barrel of my very own gun. I couldn’t help but smirk. So she was the one who took it. “You really messed up this time, Ian,” she said lowly with a smug smile on her face. “For once, I agree with you.” I replied. “I really did want to have lunch with you, but I guess you shouldn’t have told my father that you were trying to kill me.” I shrugged. “S*** happens.” She lowered the gun and took a step towards me, our faces only centimeters apart. “Too bad. I could have made you happy.” A Room With A View/2007 Issue -35-
  37. 37. I snorted. “Yeah, in hell.” Her smile disappeared. “Goodbye, Ian.” I opened my mouth to make another smart comment but found her lips to be on mine. My first reaction was to push her away, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me, but I found myself closing my eyes and kissing her back. My hand came up and cupped her cheek as I leaned in a bit further. It was almost like I was in heaven. Warmth flooded my entire body as my stomach began to churn in anticipation. My body went completely numb as I felt tiny sparks erupting within me. The feeling was incredible, almost indescribable. It was the most incredible thing I had ever felt since… BANG! I couldn’t breathe.I couldn’t think.I felt cold. The only thing I saw was Chelsea smiling down at me. My eyes rolled into the back of my head and everything went black. Final Take - Part 2 By Alyssa Sullivan I bolted up in bed, sweat lining my face. My breathing was rapid and I was incredibly tense. My eyes scanned the empty apartment quickly before I could allow myself to calm down. It had been a dream. Finding Chelsea, getting shot, it had all been a bad dream. I sighed heavily and rubbed my temples. It seems life just loves to torture me like this. “DING DONG!” I stared at the clock on my nightstand. Who in the world could possibly be at my door at ten in the morn- ing? I climbed out of bed and dragged my feet to the door. Michael stood there dressed in a fancy black suit with his hair combed. I raised an eyebrow. “Is there a reason you’re showing up at my apartment looking like that?” “You forgot about Charlie’s anniversary party?” Michael asked in shock. I slapped my forehead. “S***.” “Ian, you’re his best friend and you forgot?! You better get your ass in gear, we have to be there in a little less than an hour,” he told me, glancing at his watch. “Thanks, Dad, I had no idea.” I called over my shoulder sarcastically as I bolted to my room and ran about trying to get dressed. I must -36- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  38. 38. have done it in record time cause thirty minutes later I was ready to go. We jumped into Michael’s car and we were off. Of course when it came to driving, it was never the bright- est idea to get into a car with Michael driving, especially if there is a threat of being late. We arrived at the party in one piece, but I’m not completely sure I didn’t soil myself along the way. “Michael! Ian! You guys made it!” Charlie called as he saw us get out of the car. We greeted each other briefly. “I was beginning to wonder if you guys were going to come.” “Well you know me, always like to make an entrance,” I joked. Michael scuffed. “Yeah, exits included. Remember that one time you got a bullet in the head? Hell, we didn’t know if you were ever going to wake up. We thought you were dead. Then one night, bam, he’s awake and demanding to be released when he has a bandaged head and a broken leg.” I stiffened. Had my dream been real? I looked at Michael curiously. “What?” “Yeah.” Michael nodded, slightly confused that I didn’t seem to remember. “You chased Austin into an al- ley where he had a handful of his men and he popped you one in the side of the head. You don’t remember?” I shook my head. “No, that’s not it. I was thinking of something else. Never mind.” “Hey Charlie,” a soft feminine voice interrupted us. We all turned to see a petite woman standing behind Charlie. My eyes widened. “My little cousin spilled the wine all over the kitchen. I’m making him clean it up but I think he might have ruined the rug.” “That’s alright, Chels. That rug was ugly anyway.” Charlie chuckled. “Oh hey, guys, I want you to meet one of my mother’s friend’s daughters, Chelsea Groven.” “Hi.” She smiled sweetly, giving a small wave with her fingers. I couldn’t move. Chelsea Groven. The same girl from my dream. Same looks, same voice and same name! I swear I must be hallucinating. This cannot be happening. It was only then that I noticed them giving me strange looks. I blinked. “What?” Michael hit me in the chest. “Dude, don’t be rude to the girl. Say hi.” I shook my head. “I’m sorry. Hi, I’m Ian,” I said as I held out my hand. Chelsea smiled and shook it. “It’s very nice to meet you,” she replied. “Sorry to leave you two alone, but I need to introduce Mike to someone.” Charlie cut in. “Will you two be A Room With A View/2007 Issue -37-
  39. 39. okay by yourselves?” I rolled my eyes. “Yes, Charlie. We are adults.” He laughed as him and Michael walked away. I turned to Chelsea and smiled faintly. “So what do you do for a living?” I asked, trying to break the ice. “I work as an insurance broker downtown.” She replied as we started to walk down a grassy path away from the party. She looked at me. “What about you?” “I work for the government,” I replied easily. I didn’t want to say too much. It wasn’t safe, especially with someone like her. She stopped walking. I turned to face her. “What?” “You’re Ian Mangers!” she said, as if it took rocket science to figure it out. “You’re the guy who took out the mob boss Arthur Almack a week ago!” I blinked. I took Arthur Almack out? Okay, now I’m really confused. When the hell did that happen? I smirked and rubbed the back of my neck, going along with her. “Heh, yeah I did. It really wasn’t easy though. I barely survived myself.” I suddenly found myself with a gun pointed at my head. Now what was going on? “I finally found you, you little worm,” he growled angrily. “You killed my father!” See! I knew there was something really wrong with this! But now was not the time. I had to think fast. There had to be a way to distract her so I could get the gun. If I didn’t do it right, she could blow my head open. “Look, Chelsea-“ “SHUT UP!” she screamed, the barrel of the gun now pressed against my forehead. “You’re going to pay for killing him!” I stared at her hard. “He deserved it.” I said firmly. Her eyes widened at my forwardness. “He killed thousands of people and yet you still want to stand up for him? It makes me wonder if daughter didn’t take after father.” Her lip curled. That was the last thing I remembered before… BANG! Here we go again. -38- A Room With A View/2007 Issue
  40. 40. A Student Publication of Benedictine University