It wasn't for me. I wasn't supposed to pick it up; I wasn't supposed to read it. But I did. I picked up the folded, pink paper that lay on the sidewalk. I pulled my sweatshirt on tighter around my body as I read the note. I was going to read it, there was going to be nothing to stop me.
I shouldn't have cared, I should have thrown it to the ground and continued walking into the brisk January night, I should've continued walking to that sad stone, but I didn't.
Instead, I read the note with a horrified expression, and I dropped it as I ran. I shouldn't have dropped it…someone else could have found it. I should have held on to it, like a child holds on to their dreams.
I knew exactly where I was running. I had to make it there on time. This needed to be one of those rare moments when my life wasn't a complete screw up. So I ran as fast as my two legs in skinny jeans would allow.
When I finally got to the bridge, I flew strait to the railing and I looked over it to the icy water below. "Shit." I muttered thinking I was too late, and as I turned around, I saw her…she was alive—for now.
Chapter 1 ~Be Proud of Me Heavy Heart~
Even till this day, if you asked me what the hardest part of my life was; I could easily tell you the story of my high school years. That was some adventure, let me tell you. When one wrong thing led to another…it seemed like it would never stop; just a continuum of hardship after hardship.
It wasn't all completely dreadful…there were many moments I was as happy as could be, but than others when I thought it couldn't possibly get worse—and it did, it always managed to get worse.
I'm just the typical guy—average, fun, everything anyone could possibly want. But my story is the farthest thing from that. Fate and luck were definitely working against me in my struggle to become an adult. And struggle it was; there were many times I never thought I'd get to the point of becoming a 'grown-up'… and I think that there was a time when no one thought I would get to that point, everyone—even those that I was close too, didn't think I would be able to achieve. They all just watched me as I experienced fail, after fail. They looked on but never reached out a hand to help me.
It all began that one night—seems simple. But oh no, it's far from.
"Ah, it's just a little kiss." I whined as Kaylee began to get up off the couch.
"Way to be mature, Logan," she teased sticking her tongue out at me. Me? Not be mature? Seth and Jeff began to make gagging noises from the couch they were sitting on. "Seriously? If you ask me, you two are the nastiest couple I've ever seen." Jeff said rolling his eyes at Kaylee, "Would've been easier if you two just stayed friends."
"Shut up." Kaylee replied, smacking him on the back of the head as she left the living room. I laughed as the memory of the four of us playing on the swing set in preschool made its way into my mind. I had known Seth, Jeff, and Kaylee for as long as I could remember; and I was lucky enough to remain friends with them—and even luckier to be dating Kaylee for almost a year now (officially). It seemed as though nothing would ever tear us apart, we would always be friends forever. We would always be together.
"See she even acts like my mother…" Jeff muttered as he stood up to play the next song.
"Only Mom hits harder…"Seth snorted.
"Where are you going?" I called after her as I watched Jeff and Seth play guitar hero on the Xbox.
"Getting a snack." She replied as I heard her open a few cabinets before moving on the fridge, "What time are your parents getting home?"
"I don't know? Seven-ish." I replied with a shrug that no one was paying any attention to; I smiled to myself as I noted how comfortable my friends were in my house, it was so…normal, they didn't care what they did or said—they acted as if it were their house. "Oh, and good luck finding food…my mom has to go grocery shopping." I quickly added remembering how I had settled for a breakfast of stale potato chips.
"They won't be mad that we're here will they?" Seth asked glancing away from the game.
"My parents? They won't even notice…the house is way too big. And they're too busy with Stephanie." I practically shouted causing my words to echo throughout the house; proving my point.
"True." Jeff chided smiling.
"Is this all you guys do?" Kaylee said looking at the game as she sat down on my lap.
"Pretty much." Jeff, Seth, and I complied at the same time.
"How do you play?" she asked turning around to look at me.
"You've never played? Holy flippen' dolphin." Seth asked his mouth opening to form a big 'O'. I laughed at his dolphin statement as Kaylee defended her honor.
"You always hog it." She snapped back, flipping her brown hair over her shoulder, causing it to smack me in the face.
"She is right…" I said moving my finger tips up and down her back, making small invisible patterns.
"Of course she is." Jeff said in his fake, over-dramatic tone.
"Shut up." I said pulling her closer to me.
"Here…take my place. I'm being creamed," Seth said handing the guitar over to Kaylee. Jeff smiled as he told her he would go easy on her, just as Kaylee hit him again.
7:00 had come and gone by fairly quickly…in fact too quickly. Kaylee and Seth were still playing the game, and I was sure my parents should have been home by now. My sister should have come up and told me about her day and how Mom and Dad were so proud of her. They were always so proud.
"Ha! Beat you again!" Kaylee gloated as she began doing her victory dance that she had recently fabricated from nothing.
"So? Beginner's luck…"Seth implied changing the song.
"Luck my ass," Jeff snorted, "She's whopping your butt."
"I'm done." Kaylee announced placing the guitar on the ground in front of the television before climbing back onto my lap. "What time is it?" she asked leaning back.
"Almost nine." Jeff shrugged shoving his cell phone back into his pocket.
"And your parents aren't home?" Seth asked pulling his shoes on, not bothering to untie his shoe laces.
"I guess not…" I answered slowly watching Jeff pull on his sweatshirt, messing up his shoulder length red curly hair.
"Well we're gonna get home." Seth chided as he searched his pockets for the car keys. "Mom will kill us when we tell her we still have homework."
"Or that huge project." Jeff snickered, as he snatched the keys from his brother, "It's my turn to drive."
"Whoa, it is not!" Seth asked running after Jeff who had already sprinted out of the house and was making his way down the driveway.
Kaylee and I watched as Seth lunged after Jeff as Jeff tripped over a stump and went flying in the air. We watched for a few minutes as they fought for the keys. Until we got bored, and Jeff was the vicarious winner.
"Could they be any different?" Kaylee asked running her fingers through her hair.
"For twins? I don't think so." I sighed leaning my head back against the armchair, as I let my eyes close. I felt her move around on my lap, and when I squinted one of my eyes open she was turned around so that she was facing me, and straddling me at the same time.
"Do you want me to go home?" she asked stroking my black hair out of my face as I smiled with calmness. She then muttered something about me needing a haircut as she cocked her head to the side as she waited for an answer.
"Not yet," I said resting my hands on her thighs.
"Aren't you worried about your parents?" she asked. I didn't answer at first, and we sat in silence, not even the dog made any noise.
"Nah, they probably just went to another dinner they didn't want me at. They have this thing where they think I'm just embarrassing… so whatever." I said looking at her brown eyes.
"That's so stupid." She muttered, looking down at her hands that were clasped in her lap, "They are so stupid!" she repeated.
"Ah, baby, I've gotten over it; it's just the way things have been ever since my sister was born." I whispered as she stirred to get off of me.
"It doesn't make any sense to me…" she sighed rubbing her temples slowly, "not one bit at all."
"And you think I understand it? I have no idea why they can't stand me, or why I'm a 'disgrace' to them." I replied softly leaning back in the chair, doing my best not to knock Kaylee off of me.
"I should get going, okay?" she asked moving my hair off my forehead and kissing it. "My mom didn't want me staying out too late."
"You just said-"
"Logan." She said, warning in her voice.
"Okay," I said as I stood up to walk her to the door. As she bent down to pull her shoes on I pulled her waist so that she was closer to me, "Drive safely." I said helping her put her coat on.
"I will," she said before giving me one more wave before walking out the door. I stood in the door, letting the cool December air drift into the house, I watched as she got into the driver's seat of an ancient Volvo that my father's oversized hummer could probably crush with it's two front wheels. Actually, that's probably something he'd really do, if given the chance. And then I watched as she drove down the street. I tugged at the zipper of my sweatshirt, which just so happened to get stuck for the millionth time, and I remembered one of the comments Kaylee made about how I needed a new one. I had to argue that, because I'd finally grown into the damn thing, and it was basically what a child's blanket is for them; a comfort, something you feel safe in—and I felt safe in my sweatshirt, it was as easy as that.
I shut the door and looked into the house. I was alone in this huge mansion. I was always alone, with no one home to keep me company. The dog didn't even want to be near me, he would rather be licking himself than playing fetch.
I walked into the kitchen and opened the huge—and when I say huge, I mean like big…big enough to fit four bodies—refrigerator. And when I opened the doors, and let the bright light shine. I saw nothing. No food nor anything to drink.
So I was alone, and I was very much hungry, not to mention bored. There really wasn't anything else for me to do, so I choose the very creative option of going to bed, at the very sad hour of 10 o'clock. I didn't even bother taking my clothes off, as I entered my bedroom—which contained a mattress on the floor and piles of clothes and other odds and ends that my parents bought me to keep me busy—I kicked off my shoes and fell down onto the mattress.
It seemed like I was lying in my bed for hours…waiting to hear the sound of the garage door opening, or the sound of my mother's high heels on the aluminum kitchen floor. But I never did; instead I feel asleep to the sound of silence. The house felt like a giant tomb, and it was slowly becoming my grave.
The next morning when I woke up, it seemed that my parents and sister still hadn't come home the previous night. It didn't really bother me, they had taken many vacations without telling me, and they would eventually return, all tan and happy. And school was going to be an epic adventure today, seeing none of my homework was done, the teachers were sure to be proud of me. Everyone was sure to be proud of me…maybe not today, but someday.
I met Seth, Jeff, and Kaylee at my locker like I did every morning, then we would all go to class. After class we would meet at someone's locker, and repeat. It was the same way every day and nothing ever changed. Day in, day out, from class to class…same old routine—a constant, the only constant in my life.
And then school would end, and that one constant would end, and I would be forced to face the world alone, and unprepared. Always so unprepared for everything life threw at me.
"How was your day?" Kaylee asked as we walked down the sidewalk towards my house.
"It was okay, just like it is every day…nothing new…just the same ole' pattern." I said as my hand searched for hers to hold.
"Good." She sighed as her cold hand, found my semi-warm one.
"You're freezing." I cooed as I held her hand tighter as we quickened our pace as my house came into view. Kaylee smiled as she leaned her body closer to mine, now I wasn't a giant, height wise, but compared to Kaylee's diminutive height of 5'2, I was huge.
"I know." She laughed as she let go of my hand and ran to the front door. She pulled on the door knob, before turning to me, "Come on and hurry. Unlock the door."
My brow furrowed as I replayed the morning in my head slowly remembering everything I had done that morning before I ran out to Seth's car, "Uh, I didn't lock it this morning, and my parents weren't home. And they have the keys…" I trailed off.
As I came up next to her, I saw that there was an envelope that had been tucked chaotically in the mailbox. I looked to the mailbox, to Kaylee, and then back to the mailbox; what else was I supposed to do? I pulled it out.
"Whose it from?" she asked doing her best to look over my shoulder.
"My mom?" I whispered as I looked at the familiar-only not so familiar handwriting. I then began to pull and shake at the door knob.
"What does it say?" she asked as I skimmed the letter.
"Fuck." I muttered reading the few words that were there. I moved over to the window, and threw the paper on the ground and ran around the house. And sure enough everything was right there.
"Logan, what the hell is going on?" Kaylee asked running up next to me, and she stopped as she saw the boxes among boxes of shit sitting in the yard.
"I've been evicted." I muttered, confused as the words came out of my mouth.
"What?" she asked looking just as confused as I felt.
"My parents left me a letter saying it was just too hard living with me, so they packed up and left. They put all my stuff in boxes and dumped it in the yard. And in one of my boxes they left me money—so I could get an apartment and take care of myself." I turned away to face the house, "the stupid bastards held enough compassion towards me to 'leave money so I could take care of myself'! They're only 16 years too late for that."
"You're joking…" she muttered as her eyes grazed over each and every box, "Please tell me that you are joking. This is just a huge prank on Kaylee." She trailed off suddenly becoming nervous.
"Does it look like I'm joking?" I moaned as I sat down on the cold earth and looked at everything. "What am I going to do?"
"Logan, I swear to God…" she said kneeling down next to me.
"Kaylee, I'm not lying." I said quietly looking at my hands resting on my knees.
"I don't know about you…but this is sorta sketchy." She said as she sat down next to me, "I mean they just left?"
"It's screwed up." I said nodding, "But it's true. They would do this."
Kaylee began to tuck a strand of hair behind her hair repeatedly—it's what she would always do when she was stressed out, "Do you want to crash at my place? I'm sure my mom wouldn't mind…she does like you." She implied with a simple, nervous smile.
"It's fine, I'll just call Seth and Jeff." I said as I dug through my backpack looking for my cell phone. I quietly dialed the number, to receive only a dial tone, and then the Verizon lady talking to me.
"Are you serious?" I asked shouting at the phone in my hand—as if the object would respond to my pleading and frustration.
"Cut the phone?" she asked with a sad smile before she began to bite her nails, another wonderful habit of hers.
"Yeah," I answered chucking the phone across the yard. It landed near the dog house in a pile of poop.
"Just come to my house." She repeated pulling at my arm, "We'll come back and get your stuff, I promise."
"Fine." I said as I let her pull me up and drag me nearly all the way to her house.
"Everything is gonna be okay Logan, we'll figure something out." Kaylee said holding onto my arm as she muttered something about never leaving me. But I just starred straight ahead, my parents weren't ever home—but a small part of me still loved them, and now…I knew for sure that they never loved me.
I walked slowly next to her, I didn't completely realize that I was moving, that I was walking away from my home—the only home I had every had, until the next thing I knew; I was standing in front of the picture perfect house with a picket fence; and Kaylee's mom standing with open arms.
So that was how it was all beginning. Sounds nice doesn't it? My parents, sister, and dog just ditching me like that. Once again, I was all alone. Only this time I didn't have only the house to myself; only an empty refrigerator to keep me company…I had the whole world to myself, and suddenly the whole world was beginning to seem even bigger than it did before.