Chapter 2 - Part 1
The 1993 Ford Falcon his mum bought him for his eighteenth birthday was still running quite well despite its age. Noah had spent the best part of six months fixing it up. Getting it spray painted a true black with dark grey decal along the side. Dark enough to coincide and compliment the black, but light enough to stand out when focused on.
Cars were Noah’s hobby for those six months. Never settling on one thing, he was always changing leisurely activities to keep himself interested or excited. First it was karate back in year seven. His parents always pushed him to do something structured. But he soon grew out of that phase and moved onto painting a little while later. Never imaginative things though, only still lives, realism, and black and whites. Noah never appeared connected to anything he painted or created. He would spend hours upon hours on a single painting, fixated and unmoveable. He would finish the artwork, take a step back. Stare for a moment then come back in close. Look at it, tilt his head to the left, grin, and proceed to scrunch it up and throw it out without any sign of remorse.
This continued until his dad introduced him to his first guitar in year nine. It was a fifteenth birthday present. James had been playing for years, roughly twenty in fact, and had become quite talented for his age of forty five. Noah was hesitant at first and chose to continue painting. His dad kept pushing gently, trying to convince Noah that music was an art, just like painting, and that it had a sort of ‘audio science’ to it. This slowly drew Noah nearer the guitar and away from the canvas.
After several weeks of persisting and prying, Noah had finally picked up the guitar. From that moment, Noah spent precisely one hour each day learning the chord or note his father had taught him the previous day. Once Noah had learnt that note or chord to a satisfactory level, his dad would teach him a new one. James found that Noah learnt best and participated most when in a structured learning environment.
Noah had reached the bank and pulled up out the front. This was the first time in several months that he would have accessed this account.
“HOW MUCH WOULD YOU LIKE TO WITHDRAW?” the screen read.
‘How much will you actually let me take out?’ he thought to the machine. He entered the numbers 5, 0, 0, hopefully. To his surprise the ATM accepted the requested transaction. “WOULD YOU LIKE A RECEIPT?”
Noah repeated this cycle once more to make sure he had enough money to purchase all the required equipment in one go. First stop, the aquarium.
Noah parked on the far side of the car park, rather than going through the hassle of multiple attempts at parking in a narrow, confined spot nearer the front entrance. He felt like he was being watched and judged when he actually tried the manoeuvre, even though he knew that people weren’t actually watching him. He still couldn’t shake that feeling though. And it was such an uncomfortable feeling. Not worth the annoyance.
The automatic doors of the aquarium opened in front of him, and stepping inside, he immediately felt the change in climate. It rose significantly in comparison to the temperature set outside from the Autumn breeze. It was a lot darker inside. The altered light source was coming from hundreds of fish tanks and their florescent light bulbs.
“Noah!” A directed shout came from across the room towards him and instantly gained his attention. He recognised the voice and immediately placed a face to the auditory stimuli.
“Oh shit!” he said under his breath, panicing. He couldn’t escape now. He had been sighted by his ex. She was headed in his direction. Noah got nervous. The past was flashing before his eyes. Their past, shared. A year that brought everything from across the emotional spectrum.