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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also a film journalist/critic for Cocktails & Movies and CinemaBlend, as well as the author of several short stories such as "The Devil v. George W. Bush". Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: mikereyeswrites@gmail.com

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Wait Until Tomorrow

There seriously must be something in the water this week, because I seem to have been hitting on all cylinders in the creativity department. Again, here's a piece of short fiction I've cranked out for consumption and workshopping. (I rather like that term.) This will be part of my newly planned compilation, Speak of the Devil, which will also be the home for the final versions of The Devil's Comedian and The Devil v. George W. Bush. In any event, please enjoy Wait Until Tomorrow.

I woke up to a voice this morning. It wasn’t threatening, but it wasn’t exactly comforting either. I couldn’t see whose voice it was, but it sounded familiar. It said, “Wait until tomorrow”. I didn’t know what it meant by that, but right away I had the feeling it wouldn’t be the last time I heard that voice whisper to me.

On the way to work, traffic was horrendous. Cars backed up for miles on end, while I sat and waited for my turn at the light. The car in front of me was taking its sweet time accelerating through a yellow light, and as I hit the white line the light turned red. I beeped my horn and swore in frustration, and that was when the voice came back. Again it repeated, “Wait until tomorrow.” The voice sounded a little clearer this time around. I had the nagging suspicion I knew the owner of this voice, but I couldn’t place where or who it was. The light turned green, and I was on my way to work.

In the middle of a meeting, I was presenting some figures for our company’s surprisingly strong rise in the market. I’d just finished up and the boss came up to shake my hand, when I heard the voice once more. “Wait until tomorrow.” Whoever this voice belonged to, they clearly had a knack for bad timing. Here I was, enjoying a moment in the sun that I’d worked so hard to earn, and this voice comes back to mock me. I found it a bit annoying, but on the plus side I was starting to get a clearer picture of who it was that was speaking to me.

Later, at dinner time, the voice came back again just as I was about to start a conversation with my wife. I didn’t know what I was going to say, but I figured we’d figure it out between running through the kids schedules and our grocery list. Sure enough, as I was about to open my mouth, the voice returned. “Wait until tomorrow.” This time, I’d actually said it aloud after hearing it, which prompted my wife to ask, “You know what tomorrow is? Oh honey, I was afraid you forgot.” She was surprised I remembered our anniversary. I did, but I knew that wasn’t what the voice in my head was telling me to wait for.

Putting my kids to bed that night, I would once more here it echo in my ears. “Wait until tomorrow”. At this point, I was starting to become disturbed. What was this voice trying to tell me? Were my kids in danger? Was my wife? Was I? I gave my kids a hug, read them a story, and kissed them good night. I then went into my bedroom and gave my wife a long, loving kiss that sparked a night’s worth of passion.

As we collapsed in bed after making love, I heard the voice whisper yet again, “Wait until tomorrow.” The voice was so close, I could swear it was my wife talking to me. But it wasn’t, and this time I realized two things: that this was probably the last time I’d hear the mystery voice’s message, and that the mystery voice wasn’t a mystery anymore…the mystery voice was my own.

I lie awake, trying to figure out why this was happening to me, and what exactly was tomorrow supposed to bring. Was this a sign to become a more patient person and not to let the little things go by? Was it a warning that I’d spent too much time working and not enough time with my family? Could it be some sort of practical joke some cosmic force was playing on me? Whatever it was, it came back one last time and whispered its now hauntingly familiar message.

“Wait until tomorrow.”

I bolted up right in bed, and perched myself on the edge. I’d finally cracked. All day this voice followed me, repeating the same god damned message over and over again. “Wait for tomorrow…wait for tomorrow.” Ok, for WHAT?! You’d think it was perfectly common sense for someone to tell you what exactly they meant by such a cryptic saying. Not this time, nope. This time, I was supposed to figure it out myself. I’d been given a day to work the problem, and I couldn’t come up with anything. Now here I was, sitting in bed, close to the arbitrarily imposed deadline, wondering what it all meant.

Which brings us to now. It’s midnight. It’s tomorrow. What am I waiting for?

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