Lewis was that kind of kid. The strange, mute, special kid. The kind of kid his classmates avoided for the sole reason that they thought he wanted it that way.
Which he did.
He sat farthest from them all. The window seat, on the farthest left of the classroom. Another universe entirely. The edge of existence itself. His own, singular world. The world away from the world, his universe within a universe. A place where he, and he alone, could retreat, could escape from the brutally dull reality he was forced to live in day after day. He hardly paid any attention during lessons. All he ever did was stare out that window of his. Head in his arms, low on the desk, his eyes throwing out that blissfully yet utterly bored gaze into the world beyond the brick and stone hovel in which he resided at the present time. Like God looking back at the universe he sculpted with his own hands much later on in his life and lot, and mumbling to himself, "Should have added that so-and-so when I had the chance."
Lewis had no friends. At twelve years old, he was already infamous for being that reclusive, creepy kid that everyone thought held within him a great rage just waiting to rise to the surface and wreak havoc upon society. But, seeing him there, at a lunch table all his own, an island that was being buffeted by a storm of chatter, Annali couldn't see any way quiet little Lewis could harm anyone.
She often wondered, whenever she threw that passing, seemingly random glance at his hunched form, what he was thinking about all the time? What was his universe like? What could be dwelling in that stagnant, bored, shifting mind of his? What ideas, what adventures, could he be having on that personal island of his very own making?
"You want the last of the applesauce?"
Came a voice that brought Annali back out of her own musing and to reality.
"Sure," she said, flashing a half-smile at Alice, "Thanks."
Thankfully, she reached up and took the last cup of applesauce, placed it on her tray, and broke off the line to allow the other kids the slim pickings that made up today's lunch.
Together, she and Alice passed by the destitute table/island where Lewis sat, he oblivious to their existence, focused completely on the world outside, in that signature gaze that made it seem like he was wishing for something.
Alice sat at one end, and Annali at the other. The table was round, and three other chairs remained empty, while the fourth accommodated Alice's book bag.
She was the only person in the entire school allowed to carry her book bag around with her, and Annali, even though the reason was because she was deathly sick with diabetes, always envied her for it. Carrying your books was tiring, but at least Alice was always happy to share her privilege with her one and only friend, even though it meant more of a payload. Annali would always protest, she had enough luggage to carry around, what with all her medication and that pesky insulin pump. But, despite this, Alice was an overly caring soul, and went lengths to see to the comfort of her friend, Something that always made Annali slightly woozy with guilt.
Alice wasn't tall. She and Annali were about the same height. While Alice had a pale complexion, it was complimented by her wavy, orange/red hair that ended just below her shoulders. Today, she wore a very crimson colored hoodie, all the way zipped up, despite that it was seventy-five degrees inside the school building. She was always very partial about people seeing her insulin pump, almost as if she were covering a private part. But, though she looked very plain, and despite the fact that she was a diabetic, Annali knew that she was the most beautiful and most desired girl in the whole school. All the boys threw those kind of longing glances at her, even some of those who were up in the high school next door. At thirteen, she was blossoming into a most beautiful kind of flower, though the kind of flower everyone admired from a distance, because it was considered deadly and inhospitable for one's social health.
Annali envied her best friend for many things, but never long for them herself. She was happy the way she was. black, shoulder length hair, brown eyes, and an average complexion. They were both the same age, shared the same interests, and complimented each other's personality. Though she herself was hardly desirable, Annali was wanted in a different sort of way. She shared Lewis's sentiments, they were kindered spirits when it came to the universe and it's aspects. But Annali had a different approach to it all. Rather than isolate herself, an island among the sea of normalcy, she became one of the waves. A large, ever-changing wave, that grew bigger and bigger with each new rise. She was a social butterfly free and floating where ever the wind currents of life and the sweet flowers of humanity took her. And she didn't give a hootenanny what anyone thought of her and Alice. She wanted to make the world a more interesting place, one wave at a time.
Annali and Alice were, despite all mentioned above, not popular. In fact, most would consider them "bottom of the barrel." But that was fine with the two girls, the personal status and opinions of others were frivolous things in their eyes. Aside from each other, they both considered everyone else around them as "Background noise."
But that was just how they worked. That was how they lived, day in and day out. Annali knew this, wished to know something else. But what about Lewis? Wouldn't it be something about what the boy was thinking? He was probably in his own world right now, staring through that window, watching the imaginary sky and sea and gulls in his own, private island.
What a world, he must live in.