Winds of Fate
Strolling at a slow pace in honor of the perfect summer day, strangers passing over the wooden planks of the parks footbridge are unaware of Adam's growing feelings of distress. Glaring with jealousy at the lovers holding hands, the dad with his three kids and the photographer snapping pictures of an elderly woman, Adam shudders with want. His long blonde hair, free from its usual ponytail, cascades towards his hunched shoulders obscuring his face. He had stripped away the rubber band giving himself an extra layer of secrecy, preventing others from seeing the tears streaking silently down his cheeks.
The stone bench he sits on offers no heat today, and Adam shivers with the kind of chill that no blanket can warm. He had come to this spot, as was his habit, to write down the days events and center his storming thoughts. Words blur and ink streaks the page as another drop falls from tear brightened, grey eyes; eyes that reflect the cold emptiness that freezes his heart.
The view he normally found comforting does nothing to soothe the ache. Loneliness was eating Adam from the inside out and with his every quaking breath, he needed. Cold, lost eyes turn seeking comfort. The young man sitting beneath an old oak tree seemed like the last shining star in a storm darkened sky. Flaming red hair promising a warmth of personality that Adam desperately craved. Could his warmth fill the cold emptiness?
From the first time he saw the young man a week ago, Adam had longed to speak with him. In spite of his mind and heart pushing for him to make friends, Adam's body refused. His heart faltered and color drained from his face as it had that very first day.
The sun was warm against Adam's back as he leaned against the wood railing. The gentlest of breezes followed the path of the river below him, playfully tugging at Adam's dark gold ponytail. His eyes close as he relaxes into the quiet happiness of the day.
"Come on, this spot will be perfect," a shrill voice called.
Adam's shoulders tensed with annoyance as his eyes sought the source of the disturbance. His gut clinched as he watched three friends joking and jostling each other. A young man with hair so red it glowed like fire in the sun punched the shoulder of the brunette guy on his right, while a girl with long dark hair waved enthusiastically from under the old oak tree. The boys exchanged a look before rushing their protesting friend. Laughter filled the air as the group became a tangled mess of arms, legs and bodies. Slowly the group disentangled themselves and settled beneath the tree, breathless.
Adam's mind drifted as he daydreamed about joining in the trio. They were having so much fun and appeared to be completely comfortable with each other. Adam wanted to experience that kind of friendship, to feel accepted by those around him. He imagined the boy with the flaming hair throwing an arm around his shoulders as they talked. Adam's heart stopped as fear chilled him, his mind quickly producing an image of the three laughing at him for being fool enough to approach. No, no I couldn't join them; he thought color draining from his face.
With a quiet sigh he tore his thoughts from the camaraderie below. Turning he sat on the hard stone bench and pulled his notebook and pen from its bag preparing to start the ritual he'd made up as a kid, determined to forget the group below.
Saturday was the perfect day for people watching at the library and that was where he had spent the morning. He enjoyed watching people interact. Adam's pen danced across the page as he described the rather oily looking man that had tried to flirt with a petite young lady. He hadn't been close enough to hear what the man said but the leer on his face and the way he tried to touch the lady spoke volumes of his intentions. The man had received a stinging slap for his efforts before she stalked away tossing her hair indignantly.
When his last observation was recorded he carefully folded the page into a simple paper plane. A silly smile played on his lips as each step in the process reminded him of happy memories. Standing he stepped to the railing and flung the plane into the sky where the breeze caught and carried it. His heart leapt and flew with the plane. Closing his eyes he began the sing-song chant he'd made up as a kid.
Dear friend, hidden friend
I fly a letter to you
Take it now, read through
The message I send to you
He repeated this chant three times all the while thinking of his imaginary friend. Eyes slowly open scanning the intense blue sky. The plane was gone. As a child he believed that his imaginary friend had taken it. Now he knew the plane either met a watery death or was trampled by unsuspecting park visitors. Still his heart gave a little skip of excitement at the thought that the plane had magically disappeared, spirited away by the friend that never really existed.
Adam's eyes drifted back toward the oak tree where the group of friends seemed to be parting ways. Envy squeezed his gut as the raven haired girl hugged the redhead boy. He wanted real friends, people he could be close to who wouldn't judge him.
What if he just walked up and said hi? Adam flinched from this idea with fear. No that would never work the guy would probably look at him like he was a freak. Everyone else had.
Tall evergreen trees stood sentinel around a grassy clearing their forms blurred by a fog so thick the branches seemed to catch and tear it. The mist moved sluggishly pulling its way through the trunks, rolling slowly across the ground. The scene was peaceful, almost surreal; looking like it belonged in a fairytale. The quiet stretched broken only by the quiet sobbing of a young boy no older then eight who sat in the middle of the clearing knees hugged to his chest as he cried face buried in his arms.
"Adam? What's wrong?" Another boy about a year or two older seemed to materialize out of the surrounding forest. His copper brown hair fell well past his shoulders blending into the downy feathers of his wings, with wispy bangs that fell into honey brown eyes that were so warm they almost glowed in the dim light. He moved till he was kneeling in front of the younger boy.
"Griffin!" the blond wailed raising his head huge tears rolling down his plump cheeks. With another choked wail Adam through himself into the other's arms. "Mom and Dad said we have to move and you can't come with us," he sobbed against his friends shoulder.
With a soft sound Griffin wrapped both arms and warm brown wings around his young friend. Holding Adam within this warmth he murmured comforting words until the blond boy calmed.
"I was afraid this would happen one day," Griffin said sadly fingers twined in Adam's blonde hair pushing tear dampened bangs away from the boys steel blue eyes.
"You're my only bestest friend. I don't want to move." Adam clung to Griffin his small form shaking with the intensity of his emotions. "I don't want you to forget about me," he whispered looking into the brunettes warm eyes.
"I'll never forget you Adam," Griffin vowed. "I love you and I'll teach you a way to tell me everything. That way you'll know that I'm always thinking of you."
With a wave of one hand he produced a piece of paper causing Adam to gasp then giggle. Holding Adam's hand he led the way to a tree stump that had a level top making a natural table. "On any paper you can write anything you want to tell me. Then fold the paper like this," Griffin instructed slowly folding the paper into a plane. "When you're done throw it into the air like this," Griffin instructed throwing the plane and watching as it glides across the clearing for a moment before disappearing only to reappear in Griffin's hand as Adam gave a squeak of surprise. "See it came strait to me."
Nodding vigorously in his excitement Adam clapped his hands. "Let me try!"
Griffin smiled warmly pulling a second sheet of paper out of thin air and handing it to Adam. With a look of intense concentration Adam began to fold the paper into a plane but before he could finish he was interrupted by an all too familiar voice.
"Adam! Time to go sweetie!" Adam's mother called.
Tears were once again falling from his eyes as he shook his head in denial of the inevitable. Griffin took his small hands and kissed each one. "Goodbye Adam. I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you too. I promise I'll write every day so don't forget me," Adam cried clinging to Griffin's hands. His mother walked into the clearing and picked up her protesting child. "No Mama! I don't wanna go! Griffin! Griiiiffiiin!" the little boy screamed as he was carried from the clearing.
Griffin watched helplessly as his friend was taken away. "I'll never forget you Adam. But someday I fear you will forget me," he said sadly and faded into the forest mist.
"Griffin!!" Adam screamed sitting up in his bed blinking at his night darkened room. A dream, it was just a dream, he told himself bringing still shaking hands to his face. Sweat and tears mingled on his cheeks and he hastily wiped them both away.
The dream had been so vivid almost like a memory instead of a dream. That was ridiculous of course. Griffin never really existed he was nothing more then the product of Adam's youthful imagination, a figment to soothe a boy's loneliness.
After he had moved with his family he had had more and more difficulty making friends. None of them seemed to understand him and most made fun of him. Especially if they discovered he was writing everyday to an imaginary friend. When he was little the taunting had hurt causing him to withdraw from his piers, now he preferred to observe people rather then interact with them. It was safer that way, safer but so very lonely.
AN: Sorry it took me forever to write this chapter. No gaurantees that the next chapter won't take forever as well. It's kind of taking off in a different direction then I'd originally planned. I hope you all still like it. Thanks for reading and if you feel like it please review.