I rode my bike down the sidewalk, going against the traffic of my own free will, observing my surroundings. Ciaran rode swiftly behind me, and I became aware of the fact that the air did not smell of decaying animal corpses as it normally did. I smiled for the first time that day, as I rode to Walmart with my friend. I felt I had been given a small piece of joy. The wind caressed my hair, and I felt as if I had grow wings and would fly off into a distant realm. I was drawn back, however, to the smell of gas and the irritating noise of a car horn blaring angrily at me. I flicked off the driver and continued on my way. Ciaran tsked behind me. I glanced awkwardly to the sky to see the patterns the clouds formed. Like riples in the snad of a beach, they were wavy and free: More so than I could ever be. I dismounted my bike, and proceeded to lock our bikes together. Ciaran said nothing, and I didn't expect her to. She figeted, drawing her hands into her sweatshirt sleeves, picking at the skin on her thumb. She did this often, but today it bothered me. Maybe I was just going crazy, or maybe she was excited to be out of the house. I wasn't sure then, and I'm not sure now. We walked through the sliding doors to the consumer's paradise. Walmart had everything, including music, and that was what we sought. We edged suspiciously to the department, and meandered to the CD racks, both picking throught the unorganized catergories, in search of our favorite bands. Ciaran picked out a Jet CD, while I still searched for Bright Eyes. Something about his sound seemed like he was on the edge. I couldn't tell if he was going to break or not, and it drew me in with its lyrics that wrapped aound me and smothered my feelings until I became numb with the words, and they carved a new path throughout my mind. It was in those times, when I began to ponder the meaning of being who I was, and what I was here for. I caught Ciaran out of the corner of my eye as she listened to her CD, and I melded with my drug. This music was my excstacy, my heroine. I grabbed the CD, intending to purchase, but wandereed off to the video games. I browsed lazily at all the titles. They were all the same. I looked sadly at the six selections for the original Playstaion and felt disgusted. I had thrived on Playstation as a child, and now, when I was sixteen, it was still my console of choice. I pitied the fools who paid good money to buy games they would never finish. It was like a book you get half way done with, and then toss it away. Just wasted and lost. I walked away. That familiar feeling of dismal thoughts crept over me yet again, and I passed back and forth until Ciaran was done. She approached me, bag in hand, and gave me her cynical look. I shot an angry look her way. "What?" I pestered. She seemed startled, but replied in the same voice that seemed to rise above everything else. It was strange, but I always felt she was trying to smother me into silence with her voice, and her manner of speech. "You're being retarded again." She replied in her overlord voice. "How troublesome." I replied. I didn't have time to get into trifles with her or anyone else. "It's getting darker outside, and your mum shall be furious if you get home late." Ciaran stated bluntly. I stared at the white lynolium and gave a small angry sigh. "What do I care? I can never please mum anyways. Nor can I please father, I shall never be good enough." I stated in an old time snooty voice. Ciaran laughed.

I grabbed a magazine and walked to the register. The lady looked at me as if I was a dirty insect. It aggrivated me. I was used to this, but it still caught me off guard sometimes. "What are you glaring at?" I asked menacingly. The lady snorted an looked away, as if I was so vile she could not stand the sight of me. I grabbed my mag. and walked to where Ciaran stood. "Lets go..." We rode the rest of the way home in silence. I parted ways with my friend, and headed down my own street. It was twilight, and I could see one visible star off to the west. The trees dropped their leaves as the wind picked up, and I was aware for the first time, that autumn had long since arrived. How could I have ignored my favorite season? The air smelled of old pumpkins, as it was early November, and nobody had the sense to throw them out after Halloween. I breathed in the air, as my bike picked up speed and I sped down the rode. I opened the door to my house, and stepped quietly inside. My father was gone on a hunting trip, and he would remain gone for the remainder of the next two days. Mom was on the phone with yet another relative, and I walked quickly past her room where she sat on her cellphone, making meaningful conversation. I stole away to my room for a place to hide. I had never felt comfortable coming home. It always seemed as if an fight lurked there beyond the threshold, waiting for me. I threw my purchase onto my bed and searched for sme leftover sustinace. I sighed when I found nothing edible in my room. This meant I had to go to the kitchen and face possibly seeing my mum. I felt ready for a challenge:a fight. I get into those moods sometimes, where I just want to fight. Some higher power seemed to have mercy on me today, and I grabbed some poptarts and a bottled water and went to the computer room to watch T.V. I flipped to Comedy Central, and watched stand up comedy until nine o'clock when the phone rang. "Hey Ciaran." I drawled into the phone. "How'd you know it was me?" She asked suspiciously. "Caller ID you fool." I muttered through my poptart. "Oh yea, anyway....I wanted to know if you wanted to go for a walk." I turned to look at the clock. "Isn't it kinda late?" I asked. "Nah.." I told her to hold on and went in search of my mother. "Mum! I'm going for a walk with Ciaran." There was a muffed response that I took for a yes, even though it sounded like a no. "I'll see ya at the end of the street in two minutes". And I hung up.

I walked outside into the cool night air and looked up at the sky for what seemed like the millionth time that day. Only a few stars were visible due to the cloud coverage, so I started down my street on foot, feeling the night wash over me. Ciaran and myself met at the exact same time at the end of the street, as was our way, and we proceeded to walk to the neighborhood park. This particular place always seemed more inviting to me in the dark, than during daylight hours while children infested the equipment, and the landscape. Not even the woods provided a safe haven from all the wretched noise. We walked across the open grassy field, which was surrounded by a forest on one side, a playground and rec center on another, and a street made up the other boundaries. "Where are we going?" I asked, suddenly enthralled to be outside during the night, with no limits to where I could go. "I was thinking we could head out of the subdivision..." Ciaran said thoughtfully. She hated being confined to small areas, much like I hated being confined to any amount of area with my addict parents who dared to call themselves my guardians. I nodded my head in agreement and we continued on our way. We found ourselves on a backstreet that led to a busy street, our means of escape lay here. Next to the curb, I turned around to look at the road, back the way we had come. "Raziel, why are you stopping?" Ciaran asked, annoyed. I blinked hard and turned around. "No reason.." I stated, blatantly. We continued on, and Ciaran began to hum a song I knew well. I joined her, and we created a nice melody that echoed throughout the street. I sang some of my favorite lines as I walked. "And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad, the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.." I sang sadly. These words rang true for me. I glanced at my watch, it was past ten o'clock. I grinned stupidly. It occured to me how caged I had felt within the last few months. Living with my parents was no cup of tea, and school was as boring as ever. Its been a while, since I could say I loved myself as well. We walked in a giant circle, and after another hour we ended up back in front of Ciaran's street. I bid her be safe on her small tred home, and she did the same. I walked sowly the rest of the way home. When I opened the door, mum was asleep on the couch, a beer can hanging loosley in her hands. I slipped past her, knowing I would catch hell for being out so late the next morning. I grinned knowing I could bear it for now at least.

I woke up late the next morning, to the sun shining through my construction paper barricade. I grumbled, annoyed, and rolled lazily out of bed. I fed my beta fish, and gave my cats their food, as they clawed at my heals, meowing incessantly. I walked to the kitchen and viewed an odd scene. Leftover pancakes and bacon lay on a plate near the microwave. A note lay beside the unexpected package of food. I picked it up, examining the signature. It was left by my mom, and it read: "Raz I've gone to the store, be back in an hour. Mum"

I read it over twice, knowing by "store" she meant the liquor store, and by hour, she meant 3. I left the pancakes on the counter. I was too suspicious of their contents to actually be able to eat them in peace. I grabbed a muffin and went in search of the newspaper. When I passed my parent's room I caught sight of an intruder lurking under the sheets. I walked closer, besides my better judgement. I nearly dropped my muffin when the trespasser poked his head above the covers. It was my father, looking groggy and tired. I wondered curiously why he was home from his trip so soon. Surely he couldn't have killed something already, that was unthinkable. A gurgly sound eminated from the sheets, and I walked away. I had no desire to converse with him at such an early hour.