High heels clicked on the pavement outside, penetrating Jared’s room and rising over the somber songs of Radiohead. Here, Jared sweltered. Sweat moistened his mammoth t-shirt and the waistband of his unbuttoned shorts. Piles of sci-fi books and graphic novels littered every corner.
The car horn had beeped once, but many minutes passed before the heels hit the pavement. Some nights, the waiting cars would beep impatiently, but the same amount of time always passed before the clicking. Next came the slamming of the car door and the engine roaring up the street.
Jared lost his place in his book and left his room for a can of soda, a bag of chips, and a bathroom run, his usual dinner routine. Then he read until his eyes blurred with sleep.
The car returned later that night, idling on the street. Some nights, the cars rumbled and hummed for half an hour before the sound of heels returned. Other nights, the car turned off and two pairs of shoes click-clacked outside Jared’s window.
Once there was an argument: “Because I don’t want you in my house!”
And there were those times the shoes did not return until the next morning, when Jared was getting ready for his summer job at the supermarket.
On those days, his mother called in sick to her day job and went straight to her bedroom to kick off her high heels.