The Literary Magazine of Westwood High School


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The Literary Magazine of Westwood High School


The Literary Magazine of Westwood High School


Pink Basket

  “Ding” the chime on the door rang, indicating that yet another restless Emerson student hadn’t gotten their laundry done on time. It was Chloe Stevens, with a bright pink laundry basket filled with dance costumes. She looked frantic. Her showcase was tomorrow and she probably forgot to wash her clothes. That would be the only reason for being in the laundromat at 2:13 in the morning. I watched as she chucked her clothes into the machine, scrambling to find quarters before she rushed out of the shop so fast it was as if she hadn’t even been there.

           Students hated the laundromat, no one was ever in there longer than they had to be. It was understandable; the constant whirling of clothes, the potent smell of soap and bleach, and the sounds of quarters being inserted and dropped inside clanky old dryers echoed throughout the mud room. But worst of all, the lights were blinding, and always on. This was all because Aiden Hensley tried sleeping on top of the dryers in order to get to class before everyone else. He got caught, and the owners took the switches off the walls and put his picture on every shop window.

           Other than that, it was alright. I liked to analyze every machine. Next to the dryer my clothes were occupying, was a washer filled with cheer uniforms, the dryer next to that was crowded with bedsheets and pillowcases, and on top of that dryer was a basket filled with dirty shoes. Although almost every machine was occupied, I was here alone. Which was not out of the ordinary, clothes get stolen here all the time, and unlike the rest of the student body, I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe on a whim. So I stay. I bring my headphones and sit on the cold tile floor, counting the black and white checkered pattern on the floor, and the amount of rotations my clothes might make in the wash. Fun stuff.

          “Ding” the chime on the door rang, I turned to look at who it might be, but there was no one. That couldn’t be right, I knew someone entered the shop. I shot up, dropping my phone and almost losing my balance. My eyes scanned over the sea of laundry machines, until our eyes met, there he was. A man, almost hidden on the opposite side of the laundromat. He stared at me as he towered over the soap dispensers. “Oh god, you scared me,” I said with a fake laugh only before used by TV hosts, and millennial women. Despite my obvious cheer and joy, I was met with nothing but a painful silence. He didn’t respond, he didn’t even move. I continued talking to break the piercing tension. “I’ve never seen you before, are you new? Maybe a freshman?” It was a dumb question, he was too big to be in college let alone be a freshman. On his side was a laundry basket.

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           “You know, for such a big scary guy I wouldn’t expect you to have such a bright pink laundry baske-” My heart dropped straight down to my stomach. Chloe’s laundry basket, I knew it was hers, why did he have it? Before I could get a better grasp of the situation, the lights shut off. The sound of the laundry whirling began drowning out under the weight of my heart screaming inside my chest. There was a stillness in the air, waiting to be broken, and hell knew it wasn’t going to be me to break it. The eariness felt never-ending, I was just waiting, for whatever this scumbag was planning to do.

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