That's what it was, all it was. A fresh, new blank document.
A blank document that was causing him quite a bit of pain. Not to mention frustration. Oh, and a little anger. And confusion. And maybe just a smidge of exhaustion.
But, let's backtrack for a moment.
He, as he was very much male, just so happens to be Gerard Benevolio Altamont the Sixth. Teenage boy extraordinaire. Or so he liked to think. Not that he was a terrible arrogant boy. No, not really. He just liked to think he was.. different. Special. Better. More creative. More intelligent. More anything and most everything he could come up with.
Besides, you know, the things that didn't matter so much.
Sports, predominantly, was his main issue; what with asthma, and a lack of caring, it was one of his only failing grades.
Besides, his mind was most often elsewhere. Lost among thought of dinosaurs and zombies and the macabre. He wrapped himself up with Lenore, and Jack and Sally, and filled those boring little empty spaces with ideas and feelings and emotions that he hadn't quite felt, but hadn't quite given up on.
Yes, his mind was elsewhere. Far, far away in a place he couldn't quite.. well, place.
And now here he was.
And through all of his thoughts of creepy little gothic nurse-types, and vicious alien robots, he really
Couldn't think or anything to write.
Not one bloody thing.
And so he cursed himself. He cursed his mind and his inability to properly think. He cursed his teacher. He cursed this project and he cursed the whole damn world.
It was all his stupid history teachers fault. Write anything you want about a war. Any war you like.
And this would have been simple. But Gerard was a pacifist.
And hated history.
Sure, he was a smart boy. But he was a slacker, as lazy as they come. And so, he sat at his computer and stared and stared and stared at the screen as the blank document burned it's image into his retinas, mocking him with ever flash of that little tiny line that the letters come from.
And it struck him that this just didn't matter to him.
Wars didn't matter to him.
History didn't matter to him.
His teacher didn't particularly matter to him at all, either.
And so he considered what did matter.
That was a good thing. Loving each other, all that 'People all around the world join hands, start a love train' feel good stuff.
Standing alone, being yourself in a world that generally tried to mold you into something you really shouldn't want to be.
That things really aren't as bad as they seem and telling those whiney 'emo' kids where they should stick their bottles of crappy black hair dye if they don't know how to shut up.
And so, he planned, and he thought, and he started to type. And words just kind of poured onto the not-so-blank document.
He thought from another point of view.
He thought of a somewhat unspoken war.
Something with hope.
History Gerard Altamont
This is our lives.
We're fighting this war every day.
War for love
War for peace.
War for freedom to be yourself.
Armed with words and fueled by prejudice, we soldier on. An everlasting struggle we often don't even understand.
We hate the different.
We hate the same.
But what are they?
Why fight? Who are they so different?
Why are they worse?
Why are they wrong?
Do we condemn them for their birth? Belief?
To they have less right to life than us?
Do we fight our fathers' wars because we believe we are right, or because we believe they are wrong?
We fight with words and thoughts, and teach our children the same. Generation after generation, the war continues.
Some take it a step further.
Not only with their words of previous generations, but with violence and guns and knives and brutality. They make their point with blood and pain and scars.
And though we ourselves fight with our words and hate and prejudice, we dare not praise those who physically harm.
The pain we inflict does not show on the bodies or our enemies. And that makes us better, we think.
And on and on we'll continue.
Lives lost, dreams crushed, freedom and love and peace put on hold by those to afraid to embrace them.
This is war.
And this is life.
And the next day, he handed in this essay full of fragments and improper English and everything teachers pretty much hate. But it made his point.
And he failed.
And on the top of his paper in red ink he teacher has written " F. Off topic, poorly written. I expect better from you." And she'd then put a tiny frowning face beside that F.
Not that Gerard particularly cared.
Because sure, it was poorly written. And maybe it wasn't about WW1 or 2 or the Battle of the Bulge, which his friend happened to think was a hilarious title, but it was about something that was definitely important. It was really, in its own way, history.
Though that idea didn't stop his average from plummeting, and didn't stop his parents from grounding him when they'd discovered his 'poor judgment'.
But that week of no television and no internet got him to thinking of more important things.
Like spreading peace.
And teaching freedom.
… And maybe giving up this slacker bit for a while, just to help a couple of people.
Because whether it's realized or not, this world needs a lot of help learning to love again. And every little bit counts.
Next week he was starting a revolution.