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But He Didn't
He felt another kick - this time to his stomach. He had the sudden urge to throw up. He coughed out blood instead, his straggly blond hair in a messy heap on the floor. He clutched his entire body, writhing in pain. He closed his eyes.
He wanted the pain to stop. He wanted them to stop. He wanted to get up and fight back. He wanted to silence their taunts. He wanted to spit straight onto their stupid smirking faces. But he didn't.
He heard a voice - high-pitched and pleading yet firm. He heard some more jeers and laughs. He heard the sickening crack of a bone breaking, some hurried footsteps, and the quiet sigh of someone in front of his pain-ridden body. He heard incoming footsteps, and immediately wrapped himself in a defensive curl, the warm blood on his face pressed against the cold tiles. He heard some reassurances and felt the individual treat his wounds.
He wanted to open his eyes and thank the person for saving him. He wanted to see the face of his savior. He wanted to ask them why they helped him when they knew he was a complete loser. But he didn't.
"Here, let me help you."
He knew then and there that it was the voice of an angel - an angel sent from above to grace him with her presence only to be called back again. He knew he shouldn't care. He knew he shouldn't get attached. He knew he shouldn't let himself fall when so many have dropped him before.
"Can you stand?"
"I’ll take you to the nurse."
He should think nothing of her. He should ignore her worried looks and comforting speeches. He shouldn’t dwell on the fact that her soft fingers brushing and cleaning his bloodied hair was the most soothing lullaby he had ever experienced. He should leave her. But he didn't.
"So hey, as long as you're here, can we hang out?"
He saw her the next day, and the next, and all next week. He walked with her to classes even though his legs were sore. He smiled at her jokes even if they weren't funny. He waited for her after school even if it meant being late after his curfew.
"Those bullies won't bother you anymore. I made sure of that."
He wanted to ask if they could be friends - if they could be more than just classmates. He wanted to see more of her - hear more of her jokes and laughter. He wanted to spend more time with her. He wanted to ask her so badly.
“Hey! So I was thinking, can we be friends?"
He knew then and there that she had the ability of a fairy - a fairy that would grant the wishes of a select few. He felt like the fairy had just carried him to cloud nine. He gave her the widest grin he had ever shown. He nodded.
“Great! I was thinking we could meet at the park tomorrow. Is that ok?”
He wanted to throw his arms around her and carry her off like they would do in the movies. He wanted to cry, "Yes, of course we could be friends. We could meet at the park everyday." He would even suggest they go to the cafe across the street and enjoy a nice session of tea and sweets. He wanted to keep her on cloud nine. But he didn't.
He wasn't smiling the next day. He didn't see her at school. He was lost, his dark brown eyes wandering around the room looking for a figure that wasn't there. He kept his mouth shut the entire day, saving his smiles for her.
He went to the park after school. Perhaps she'll show up and apologize for not being at school. Perhaps she'll be sitting on that bench under the shade of his favorite willow tree, admiring its droopy branches that surround her in a protective embrace. Perhaps she'll make him smile. But she didn't.
He found her battered and bruised near the park dumpster. He stooped down and brushed some hair from her face and froze. He felt the tears coming and blurring his vision, threatening to fall once again. He knew exactly who did this to her. He will make them pay.
He carried her all the way to the school nurse. He caught the nurse right when she was leaving. He showed her whom he was carrying, and soon, he wasn't carrying her anymore. He rushed into the nurse’s office behind her. He ignored her urgent questions and distressed complexion. He sat and waited as she was treated. He never left her side.
He wanted for them to pay. He wanted them to suffer. He wanted them to suffer in the deepest depths of hell. He wanted to string up their pitiable beings and punch them until every fiber of him couldn't go on. He wanted to make them hurt. How dare they even lay a finger on his girl!
He clutched his worn-out jacket and realized something he should have never done. He was getting attached. He was caring for her. He was falling in love.
No! A idiotic freak like him doesn't deserve love!
He wanted to love her. He wanted to enjoy that feeling of ecstasy when she smiled at him. He wanted to fly up to the clouds with her. He wanted her to love him.
He wanted for her to leave. He wanted her to act as if they never knew each other - yes they would be better off this way. He wanted for them to be strangers again. He wanted his normal life back - no matter how painful it had been. It surely was less painful than now.
No! He couldn't do this to her! She had seemed so happy that he wanted to be friends with her. Did she see something in him he hadn't seen before? Did she actually have hopes for him?
A wave of euphoria washed over him. Chuckling, he gripped at the supposed place where his heart is. He was a human, and humans do whatever their heart desires - no matter how hard they resist that temptation. They would always do it. They would always - what was that phrase? - follow their dreams.
He found them in an alley near the school, an easy accomplishment considering the amount of noise they were making. He hid behind a dumpster - one he planned to stuff their unconscious bodies into - and peered at the small knife he had quickly snatched from his parents’ home. His parents were obviously not there, so he made it out with no problems. He slowly stepped out behind his hiding spot. He faced the boys, putting on the most intimidating expression he could.
They didn't notice him - or at least, they pretended to not notice him.
He felt his fists clench and his body tremble. He felt the waterworks in his eyes again. He should shout at them - to get their attention -, but that would mean acknowledging that he hadn't been a large enough threat for them to notice. To them, he was simply another c***roach to squash on as soon as he got up. To them, he was nothing more than an it.
He wanted to turn back. He wanted to run back to the nurse’s office. He wanted to see if she had woken up. He didn't want to give them the satisfaction that she had gotten to him - that she had made him feel. He didn't want this dilemma to end in violence.
Yes, he should go back. He should walk away from this problem silently. Let the issue resolve itself. Silence was always the answer he chose, and he will choose it now. He will turn away from them. He will.
“Hey look dudes! It's our favorite little punching bag! You like our new one? We gave her a little test, and she passed with flying colors!”
He wanted for them to see flying colors.
No, he should stop.
Yes, just take a deep breath and walk away. He was above them. He shouldn't care. He shouldn't talk. He should resist.
“I’ve got an idea! How about we bring both of them to the den and give them something they'll never forget? You know, as presents for bringing us such a delightful time?”
He was being used.
And now she was being dragged down by him.
He gripped the knife in his hand tighter.
He wanted to strike so badly.
No! He should ignore them. He will ignore them. He will keep quiet. He will pretend they never existed in his life. He will do this for her sake. He will walk away.
Follow your dreams.
Did he not just promised himself that minutes ago?
He felt himself being shoved into the alleyway.
He took his knife and struck.
He stood on roof of the school, legs dangling over the edge of the railing. He looked at the concrete pavement below. He tilted his head as tears trickled down his cheek, mixing with the rain. He’ll get a cold being outside in the rain. He didn't care though.
He was to end it all right now.
The nurse said she was fine. She will wake up soon. And when she wakes up, he’ll be long gone. She won't care of course. The bullies would be gone. That's all she'll care about.
He was reassuring himself. He should do this. After all, no one cared about him. That much was obvious.
Was it enough to make him do this though?
Maybe he should wait for her to wake up. Maybe he should ask her what she really thinks about him. Maybe he should stop.
He grabbed his hair and let out a frustrated cry.
He shouldn't hesitate. He shouldn't think twice.
He wished he never lost control. If he hadn't, he might have had a chance with her. But he was a murderer now.
He hadn't meant to. The rage simply overtook him. It was the rage’s fault. But it was his rage. They had angered him. He had lost control of that fury. And now he had to face it in the only way his cowardly self can think of.
He looked up at the stormy clouds above, the raindrops stinging his tears.
Is heaven really up there?
He looked back on the sidewalk again.
Was he really going to erase his own existence?
He paused at this, reflecting back on every memory he made on Earth.
He started to lean forward, ready to face his demise straight in the face.
Follow your dreams.
He gritted his teeth. So this was his last obstacle before achieving death.
His dreams. He dreamt of a world with just her and him and endless smiles. There would be no bullies, no violence, no neglectful parents, no bloodshed necessary. He allowed this final feeling of bliss to spread to every inch of his frail body.
He scoffed. If those dreams were the comets and shooting stars he used to wish upon, they were too far to reach now. To hell with those dreams.
He wanted happiness. He wanted to spend more time with her. But the world just didn't seem to like him.
He leaned forward again and felt his grip on the railings loosen. He fixated his gaze on his target - the curb. For the first and final time in his life, he felt like he was flying. He heard the door to the roof open, but continued focusing downward - towards hell. He won’t regret this. He will welcome death.
But he didn't.