Pec arose.

The burden of the blankets didn’t seem copious. Not enough for the movement of the blankets off of his body to cause his brain to respond in any significant way. Such a mundane task wouldn’t even inspire the brain to churn in the dimmest of people.

Pec wandered to the closet and donned the clothes laid out by his mother. Very thoughtful of her, he thought. She was always there to provide a little something. He descended the stairs to the kitchen, ate his breakfast, kissed his mother, and left the house. The bus arrived and he boarded, not struggling to find a seat. He read a book—fiction, probably—and enjoyed it.

When Pec arrived at school, he assumed his normal role as somewhat of a class clown. Seldom would you find him on task. Why would he be? He would much rather joke around with his friends. The teacher would call on him and he’d reply with a comical remark, though he’d always eventually answer seriously with a smile on his face. He had room to joke; his grades were passable, anyway.

He smiled on his way out of school and read his book again on the bus ride home.

Perhaps if you were to observe Pec on this particular day when he had come home, you’d find him reading, or watching TV, or maybe playing a computer game. Maybe you’d find him wrestling his brother over some childish dispute.

Or perhaps you may find him in a rare outburst, screaming at a parent or sibling. Something normal of a child, but something that may cause a slight twinge in a loving mother’s heart.

No. Not today. No outburst.

Pec rested.


Pec arose.

The blankets moved easily again and he leapt from his bed, ready for the day.

OOF! He flew face first into the floor, the blankets coming down on top of him. He was alright, though. He pulled his toe out of the loop in the blanket and got dressed.

He descended to the kitchen, ate his breakfast, kissed his mother, and left the house. On the bus, he found a seat, and he read his book.

He arrived at school and went to class. Normal.


The voice of his teacher pierced through the air, through the daydream that had consumed him. Something stirred in Pec, then went quiet.

“Yes?” Pec replied.

“If you’re gonna daydream about Annie in my class, then you may as well not come.”

Laughter erupted. Annie blushed and giggled to her friends. He must’ve been looking at her while his mind was drifting off. Something stirred in Pec.

Pec read on the ride home. Fiction, probably.

At home, he joked with his brothers. No outburst.

Pec rested.


Pec arose.

His mother was calling his name from downstairs. He had overslept. Something stirred in Pec.

He hefted the blankets off his body and forced his way up and out the door, kissed his mother, and caught the bus just in time. It was harder to find a seat on the bus that day.

Pec arrived at school. For a reason he can’t recall—perhaps it was the universe having a spontaneous moment of perfect organization, or perhaps it was dumb luck—he sat with Annie that day. Annie was a work of art to him. The look in her eyes entranced him. He wanted her.

Pec made sure all his jokes were extra funny that day. Annie giggled. A nice laugh, he thought.

They locked eyes briefly a couple times and he would give a slight smile. He liked the warmness that formed between their eyes when they would meet.

When class ended, he reluctantly said goodbye to Annie and walked out to the bus. A friend, Eric, strode beside him talking to Pec about something.

“You aren’t listening to me, Pec. Are you thinking about Annie?”

“What? No,” Pec replied to Eric, who had interrupted his thoughts.

“Awwww, Pec is in looooove,” Eric said in a teasing tone.

“Whatever, dude.”

They both laughed.

But Pec wasn’t lying. Annie was not on his mind. Something else was stirring in him. He didn’t know what it was that was stirring. He didn’t know it would change him forever. He was feeling a great wanting. A selfish wanting.

He liked that feeling he would get when Annie responded in a way that showed her interest in him. He liked the eagerness in her eyes. He felt, in those instances, that he stood over her. He liked that power that he felt.

Pec looked over at Eric and smashed his fist into his face.

What the…why did I…? He thought. These questions would remain unanswered, as he was entranced by the blood on his hand from Eric’s nose.

Teachers arrived almost immediately, screaming something at Pec. He didn’t hear. He glanced at the blood on his hand.

Pec’s mom picked him up that day; he thought she seemed worried, so he cried and so did she.

No outburst that night.

Pec rested with a racing mind.


Pec arose.

The blankets were light today. It was summer break, so all he needed was a sheet to keep him warm overnight.

Pec went downstairs and had his first cup of coffee for the day. He liked the feeling he got from it.

With the caffeine in him, he got in his car and rode to the gym. He was meeting Eric there to lift that morning. Typically they would go in the afternoon, but he had a date with Annie planned later in the day.

Pec and Eric enjoyed the time in the gym that they spent. They’d joke about kids they didn’t like, or lust over the girl in the squat rack. Neither of them seemed to remember what Pec had done to Eric in middle school. At least neither of them spoke about it.

When they finished, they said their goodbyes and went their separate ways. Pec was feeling good now. Lifting always cleared his mind, and he was on his way to see his beloved Annie. It seemed like only days since he had sat next to her in class for the first time. He heard her laugh in his head and he smiled.

Pec and Annie were a sight to behold. The way they talked to each other was often seen as strange. The would make rude, off-color comments to each other, followed by their signature look that they would share for a second: a slight smirk and mischievous eyes that meet only for a second before breaking. They liked the warmth they felt between their eyes when they met.

They got food from their favorite burger joint; it was a spot they discovered and didn’t share with anyone else.

Afterwards, they went to Annie’s house, and did what any young couple would do given a house to themselves.

After a nap, Annie lay there on her phone. He made some quip at her, probably calling her a name or teasing her about her looks, and he smiled.

“You’re a dick,” she replied and looked at him.

That was strange…it wasn’t warm. She didn’t smile. Why didn’t she smile?

When he got home that night, he had a fight with his mother. He told his mother he hated her.

Pec rested.


Pec arose.

It was the middle of the night. These blankets wouldn’t do. They couldn’t possibly make him comfortable. How had he even slept with them in the past? No, he needed something else for comfort. He needed Annie.

He grabbed his phone to text her, but then remembered something. She didn’t smile earlier. Why didn’t she smile?

He put his phone down.

Frustrated, Pec found rest again.


Pec arose.

The blankets came off quite easily.

He had his morning coffee and texted back and forth with Annie. She was out of town for the weekend. That was a shame, as he had wanted to hang out with her. Their relationship was going so great! Really great! But there was that one time she didn’t smile. Why was that?

Never mind. Pec pushed the thought out of his mind.

A notification appeared on his phone, a text from Eric telling him about a party later that night. This would be good, he thought, since he couldn’t hang with Annie.

Later in the day, Eric and Pec arrived at the party. It was a typical, run-of-the-mill high school party. Beer pong, loud music, lots of chatting and general fuckery. It was fun, and it gave them an excuse to drink.

Towards the end of the night, things were winding down. People had had begun to leave and Pec decided he would spend the night; he knew the kid who threw the party. He was sitting on a couch chatting with some friends and playing some dumb drinking game that involved a deck of cards. Through the thinning crowd of the party, he spotted someone familiar walking towards the group around the couch. It took him a second, but he recognized her as the girl from the squat rack that he and Eric would constantly ogle. Something stirred in Pec.

She appeared to be friends with some of the girls playing the drinking game and joined the group, sitting down on the couch next to him.

“Wait, don’t I know you? You’re the guy from the gym!” she said in that shrill excited voice that girls do over mundane things.

“You’re the squat rack girl,” Pec said, drunkenly. He immediately thought what a dumb thing to say that was.

She giggled, “My name is Kendra.” Something stirred in Pec.

“I’m Pec.”

By the end of the night, Kendra and Pec were sleeping in the same bed. Why not, right? Annie didn’t even fucking smile.

Pec rested.


Pec arose.

He reached for his phone to disable the alarm. Three texts from Annie. She wanted to talk.

He sat up in bed and struggled to untangle himself from his blankets for a few seconds. Shit.

He hurried to Annie’s house to find her crying. He cursed whoever couldn’t keep their mouth shut about Kendra. The look in Annie’s eyes was not warm. She yelled and she screamed and she poured her heart out and he yelled back, trying to calm her with smiles and jokes, but to no avail.

She hit him and he hit back. She fell to the ground and looked up with fear and hate.

The look in her eyes was cold. No smile.

Pec only had a look of disgust on his face.

And it was over. He went home.

Pec rested.


Pec arose.

He pulled the sheets off of himself with relative ease, but even this simple task seemed to require a lot of thought.

He walked to the window of his penthouse and looked out over the city. He made the girl who stayed the night leave and smiled at her when she left. She smiled back. It wasn’t warm, though.

He had everything he had set out to have. He had conquered the business world in the name of personal gain. He was everything he had set out to be, but his mind was consumed with racing thoughts and questions with no answers. He was missing a certain warmth. He had everything and yet nothing. He was aware of his passions, yet a slave to them.

He went to the bathroom and took some pills to ease his nerves. He took a couple more. He smiled at himself in the mirror, laughing to himself about how stupid it all seemed.

He laid back down in bed.

And Pec rested, this time unsure if he would rise again.