Short Story – Aaron Hated His Life

Aaron hated his life

Aaron Taubenfeld hated his life. He was an accountant in a large firm. Aaron had rushed through his teens, focusing on his future. He never had a girlfriend, never attended a party, and never been to a school dance.

Every day he woke up and had a boring breakfast, and rode a cab to work. He worked nine to five, and rode a cab home to his lonely Chicago apartment. Aaron had nothing to pass the time. He tried watching T.V. but it just made him wish he had done more. He tried sleeping, but he would wake up in the middle of the night, and not be able to sleep more. After trying all kinds of things, nothing helped and he ended up working again.

Aaron’s boss, Frank Steward, noticed how severely depressed Aaron was, and grew concerned. He called Aaron in to his office one day. He said “Aaron, are you OK?”  Aaron was blind-sided from the question and stuttered for a moment before responding “Yes sir, why?” “Well, to be honest you seem kind of depressed.” Frank leaned back in his chair, in a failed attempt to make Aaron feel more relaxed. “I…I’m just tired… I’ll be fine.” “Well I’m worried about you. You’re my best worker, I can’t afford for you to fall into any bad habits. I want you to take a vacation, just have some fun OK.”

Aaron went home early angry and confused. He had no idea what to do. He hadn’t talked to his family in years, and didn’t have any one else to visit. Christian Mitchell, a Co-worker called him, two days into Aaron’s vacation. “Hey Aaron some of the people from the office and I are getting together tonight. Do you wanna come?” Aaron replied “Uh sure where are you going?” “We’re going to the Maroon Phil’s Sport’s Bar, have you been there?” “Uh no I haven’t.” “Well it’s great, so tomorrow at six?” “sure…” “Alright, see you then”

Aaron was both excited, and upset. He didn’t really know if he wanted to spend more time with other people.

When Aaron arrived at Maroon Phil’s he was over dressed, he was wearing slacks and a dress shirt. He went and sat down, and listened to the conversations while they ordered food. About the time that the food was arriving, Christian sucked him into the conversation. “So Aaron, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you outside of work.” “Well I don’t get out much.” “Alright, fair enough. So do you have any hobbies?” “Uh no not really.” “Well what do you do?” “Uh… I work a lot. Oh, that’s why your Frank’s favorite. Well I’m into rock climbing.” “Oh, uh i geuss that’s cool”

Christian went on bragging about himself for most of the meal, and Aaron sat back and listened. Before they got the checks Christian announced “Hey I’m going to climb after this, you should all come.” Aaron thought, “There’s no way I’m going there.” Right after he got his check, he paid in cash, and walked to the door as fast as he could. He hailed a cab, and started to climb in when he heard “Hey! Aaron! Can I get in?”  Aaron reluctantly scooted to the other side of the cab, and signaled Christian to get in. The cab driver looked over his shoulder and said “Eh, Wheres yous goin’?” Aaron started to say his address, When Christian cut in “Mt. Olympus Rock Climbing Gym”

Christian did most of the talking during the ride to the climbing gym, while Aaron thought of excuses to not go. When they got there Christian got out and said “Come on” “I’m not dressed, so I’m gonna go home…” “You can buy shorts in there, hurry!” Aaron sighed, paid, and got out of the cab.

When they got in Aaron was shocked. It had looked small from outside, but inside it was massive. There were manmade caves pillars, and other unique land formations, all spotted with different colored plastic holds, and covered with a coat of residual chalk from climbers repeating problems, and routes. He bought a pair of shorts, and rented shoes and a harness. Christian said he would go first, just to show him how. He went to a self-belayed wall, and began to climb. He made about a third of the way up, started shaking, while reaching for a hold, missed it and fell. When he landed he sat down and began panting. After his breathing slowed, He stood up and said, that’s the hardest wall here. Immediately a group standing behind them began to laugh. After several more tries, he said he was to tired and wouldn’t be able to do it until next time.

The rest of the group began to disperse, but Aaron stayed. He really loved to watch the others, then he tried, he did the same wall as Christian, and got to about the same height, but then was to exhausted to continue.  He went to the easier walls and made it all the way up a couple, then decided to leave. He walked to the locker where he had left his other clothes, and when he reached for the handle, his arm felt heavy, he barely got the rusty door to open.

  1. The next day he was sorer than he had ever been. He stretched repeatedly only to discover that he was even less flexible than before. He took several Tylenols, ate and went back to sleep.

After a few days of similar activities, he went back to the gym, and tried again. He got a little farther, but there wasn’t much of a difference, so he decided that he was too weak. He went home and started to work-out. He found it disappointing, because he could only do twenty sit-ups, ten pushups, and no pull-ups, but he didn’t give up.

Over the next few months he got better and better. He looked at his savings and realized he could quit his job,  and come back in two years without being financially harmed.

He called Frank and quit. He went home packed the camping and climbing equipment he had recently acquired, and got a plan ticket to New Zealand. He arrived in New Zealand twenty six hours later. He rented a car and drove to a village about an hour away from the airport where he rented out a small motel room. After he unpacked his few possessions and walked to the bar next door.

When he walked inland sat down at the bar, a woman came and sat by a few stools down at the empty bar. He ordered, and as he spoke she looked at him with a confused stare. “I’m Tyra, You’re not from here are you?” she asked in an Australian accent. “Hi I’m Aaron. No, I came cause I heard that there was really good climbing here.” She asked “How have you been climbing” “a couple months, why” The woman started to chuckle, “A couple months? And you’re here to climb? Wow you must really think you’re good.”  “ No, I just enjoy it and I wanted to do it here…I wasn’t expecting to break records or anything.” “Well, I need a partner to climb mount Wherepa, the weather should be fine, and it won’t be hard, why don’t you come.” “Sure…Why me?” “All the other people that are good, well, they’re my competition. Here’s my phone number call me on Sunday, and I’ll tell you where to go.” She stood up put and left.

Aaron was confused, but happy. He thought he was just gonna be bouldering by himself, and before he had even climbed any, he found a partner, and a full expedition. Two days later he called her, and she said just to meet her at the same bar they had meet at before. He packed his things, and checked out. Once he got to the bar, the woman pulled up in a little green van. He approached her driver’s window. She rolled it down and told him to throw his stuff in the back, and hop in.

When he got in, she asked “So why exactly are you here?” “It’s a long story” he responded “Well we have a while, we’re going up to the northern part of new Zealand, mount Wherepa is the highest point in the country.” He explained how he had ended up in New Zealand, and asked her what she was doing there. “Well, I grew up in Australia on a ranch, but my parents kicked me out of their house when I turned 18. I went around having some low paying jobs now and then, until I found my boyfriend, I don’t like him that much, but he’s rich, and he really cares a lot about me. So after we became engaged he got a job over here, and asked me to come with him so I did. It’s been three years and we still aren’t married, but I don’t care.” She seemed like she really didn’t care, but she was sick of explaining their relationship to people, so he changed the subject. “So why Mt. Wherepa” “Well, like I said, It’s the Highest in New Zealand. It’s also the only place I’ve heard of any one being able to try ice climbing.” Aaron became a little nervous, thinking of the stories he had heard of Ice- climbs gone wrong, and there was a long silence.

It took them fifteen hours to drive their down the same highway for the majority of it, so Aaron drove some of the time. When they got there they were both stricken with excitement. They saw the mountain rising up from the horizon into the clouds. They couldn’t see very far because of the morning fog, but that made it seem taller. They pulled up as close as they could be while there was solid ground. They grabbed their bags, divided up the tent evenly, and began hiking.

For three days the weather was beautiful, warm and sunny. But on the fourth day, it became colder and windier. They became nervous and set up camp early. They were both very tired from the long days of climbing, so they went to sleep while the sun was still up. The next morning they were both awoken by a huge clap of thunder, and when they looked outside, the grounded was covered in two-foot thick snow that was still coming, hard. After some discussion, they decided that the best thing to do would be to would be to wait the blizzard out, and head back down when it was over.

Tyra’s fiancé, James Kirk, was growing nervous. The last he had heard from his betrothed was a note she left that said “I’m gonna go to mount Werepa with my new friend Aaron, he and I will be there for a few days. I lost my phone so don’t try to call me.” He was a paranoid man to begin with, and he was engaged to a loose woman that he was obsessed with. He decided he couldn’t trust this American. He got in grabbed a small bag he had laid out for a trip, took out the suits, and nice clothes, and left to find Tyra.

When he got to his destination, the weather didn’t deter him. He found a guide, and a snow mobile and took the long way up half way there, the guide told him that he was insane, and he was leaving.  After a freezing seven hour snow mobile ride, he passed what looked like a tent. He grabbed is phone and gun out of his pack, looking more insane than ever before.

 He walked up to the tent and called Tyra’s cell phone. It began ringing and he went ballistic. He found the zipper and forced his way into the tent, where he saw two sleeping bags lying asleep face to face, sharing warmth. He screamed “Tyra!” Aaron was the first to move, so he kicked the other sleeping bag in the face, mistakenly hitting Tyra. Aaron screamed “what are you doing?!” James looked at him, and glared for a moment until what had just happened sunk in; he had kicked his fiancé, not Aaron. “Are you insane!?” Aaron asked as he tackled James out of the tent. He punched him in the face, and pushed the intruder away, then ran back to Tyra’s silent body. He ripped open the sleeping bag and saw her lying there motion less, mouth and eyes open, one cheek bone caved in, and blood running from her mouth, nose, and ears.

James ran up screaming. He pushed Aaron out of the way, who grabbed James and threw him back out of the tent. They continued fighting until Aaron realized who James was, and it began haling. They took Tyra out of the tent, and buried her in the snow. Aaron went back to the tent and sat down. About an hour later James entered as well. He had bruises on his face from the hail. He said that he couldn’t find the snow mobile, and he couldn’t feel his feet or hands Aaron stood up and pushed him “We don’t even have enough food for another day; we were sleeping so we could leave today!” “Well lets go, it’s better to go with two people than one.” Aaron looked at James, amazed “not if that person’s insane!”

Aaron grabbed his bag and walked off, leaving the tent and sleeping bag behind. He started to head down the same cliff that James had come up. His feet were sinking into the snow up to his knee every step. He began running when he heard James coming behind him. After a few minutes of running, with the hale pelting his back he turned around and James was nowhere to be found he went to a fir tree. When he woke up, James was there. He said no-one calls me insane. And that was the last thing he ever heard.

Published on May 15, 2009 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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