The Empathy Abusers

"Just another tasteless meal," I said it to myself with a sigh of frustration. "If I don't hurry up, I'll be late for my schedule." I rushed out the door and to my room I went. I logged myself onto MSN Messenger and a few chat windows popped out within a fraction of a second.

The first message was send by Tom, who said "Hey hey Cliffy, wanna lend me your coconut hw tomolo?"

"Y dun u do it yourself for once?" I replied in a hesitating tone.

"I'm busy man! U now how much time ma gurl cost me??? She's literally clutching on to me every single second!"

"Alright then, tomolo, lunch, old place."

"Thx man, I owe u big."

I felt so sorry for Tom. He'd just gotten a new girlfriend, you see. Apparently, that girl occupies most of his time. If I imagine myself being with the same person everyday, every second and every minute, and let me tell you something, I'd go nuts before you could even say the word "nuts."

Soon after this incident happened, I opened the second window with an air of pessimism. It was Robert.

"Wazzup yo, how's it been?"

"Nothing much, nothing much other than that truckload of work thanks to school." I said it obliquely.

"Man, that gotta suck," Robert said, as though it wasn't all that all big of a deal. "Hey listen kiddo, tell Mr. Stingy that I'm on my death bed alright???"

"But we have a test tomolo…"

"That's y I need you to get the answers,"

"Will u take a no as an answer?" I said it as I took a sip of my lemonade.

"No."

"Alright then, no more next time."

"Good boy, now if u'll excuse me I gotta go back to my game. I'm lv 79 now man, I'll tank for u if u ever get your butt online again."

"No problem, I'll be on, soon." I replied, as if I would. The thing about Robert and I is that we both know that I'll never play that game anymore, and that it's not going to be the last time that he ask for answers off of a test. It's not easy being Robert though, you know. His dad had just died of lung cancer, and because of that, I think playing the game was his way of keeping a place for himself, to be a tranquilizer for the pain.

All of a sudden, my computer screen went wild. It shivered as if it had caught a cold and sneezed, but I knew it hadn't of course, since it was only a nudge.

"WHERE THE FXXX HAVE U BEEN?!?!" Bill typed with rage.

"I was a little busy, but I'm all yours now. So wats da matter?" I said it calmly.

"Well I need u right now, now if u mind, u guyz are marking the accounting test tomolo right???"

"I think so, but I am not even sure if I'm gonna get yours or not thou,"

"I dun care, just trade it off someone and get the business done ok??"

"…………….."

"Alright I'm sorry that I was a little out of control, but would u plz do so, just for the sake of our friendship??"

"U noe my answer"

"Thank u Cliffy!"

"Np"

That's the same old Bill that I've always known. Choleric is his middle name, and never would it change. He lived in a family where his mom and dad were such typical Asians that they expected all of their offspring have to be either lawyers or doctors in the future. I was really glad that I live in a good family, compared to that. Nevertheless, my pity for him and his particular predicament suppressed my conscience, so I guess I would do anything for him.

"That's enough for me tonight." I said to myself with a yawn, and off to sleep I went.

The very next day, I lent Tom my homework, got the answers off the test and corrected Bill's test paper. I was exhausted, but I felt that I had done the right thing. All for one and one for all, that's why you need friends.

I went to Kenny's house after school. We are partners for our English project, and since he's not very strong at English, I guessed that I'd have to do all the work instead.

As I entered Kenny's house, I found him watching TV, just as he always is. If you asked him what kind of person he would marry, he would be sure say something like "someone who loves to watch TV with me." Anyway, he's still a nice guy in essence, despite this habit.

"The computer is there, type whatever you want, and help yourself with the drinks." Kenny said distantly, as if it wasn't worth his time to look away from whatever was on the TV in front of him for the sake of our project.

"Thanks." I said it with an impatient and annoyed tone of voice; sometimes it was hard to ignore the coolness of his speech and demeanour. It seemed like it was none of his business, no matter what he happened to be talking about at the time.

I ignored his speech just to make myself not all that nostalgic of how he usually behaved, and tried not to take it personally. As I approached the computer, his MSN Messenger popped out all of a sudden on the monitor, which enticed me to do something sinister.

I've always wondered what he was like on msn, so I went on to view his message history.

2005/10/11 11:05 Tom: hey u guyz wanna go net café on Saturday??

2005/10/11 11:05 Robert: sure, since I got cliff to do my project anyway.

2005/10/11 11:06 Bill: oh yeah, I forgot to tell him to do that for me too, dam.

2005/10/11 11:07 Tom: just tell him 2night gosh, he'll always do it for u even it's at last minute.

2005/10/11 11:07 Bill: good thinking, anyway, so who else is going?

2005/10/11 11:08 Robert: not cliff definitely.

2005/10/11 11:08 Tom: I noe, he's so nerdy and all that, he can't even play games properly.

2005/10/11 11:08 Kenny: I noe, all he's good for is do our stuff for us anyway.

2005/10/11 11:09 Tom: no duh! He's so stupid.

2005/10/11 11:10 Robert: I noe, all u need to do is go like "oh I'm in an agony right now" and he'll do almost anything for u.

2005/10/11 11:10 Kenny: dats right.

I closed the history and got back to the work that I was suppose to do. I felt that my throat had become dry all of a sudden, and I told Kenny that I didn't feel all that well so I'd procrastinate on the project till to tomorrow. He didn't seem to care anyway. The minute I went home, I drank a big gulp of water. The water tasted a little weird however, since when did my mom put salt in our water?