One Last Note

02: Jump the Bridge

Nick stood with his back to the wall, his eyes searching for anything, anyone, that could come to his rescue right now. Sadly, like all the other times, no one followed them. The Four crept closer, sick, jack o' lantern grins plastered on their faces.

His heart beat rapidly in his chest, like a drum stringing out its last few thumps. His rusty hair, slick with sweat, lay tousled atop his head, his breaths long and drawn out from running through twisted streets. The likely leader took a step towards the trapped boy, his beastly teeth exposed and slightly sticking out, like those of a donkey. In his left hand was a small pocket knife, the shiny blade reflecting the rare lick of sun streaming down on the dank, dark alleyway.

"White trash." He spat. Bits of spittle collided with Nick's face, and he clutched at the moist brick wall behind him, nails digging deep into the softer corners.

"We don't like your kind here." He brings the tip of blade to Nick's neck. The boy with chocolate eyes gasped, and tried to pull back. He was rewarded with a kick in the stomach.

"Did I say you can move?" A whimper.

"There, there." Cruel, hoarse laughter. "We can make it better." Nick's eyes flashed and he desperately tried to break loose of the rough grip on his arm. He got another fist to the side. The glimmer of metal was truly eye catching.

"Just close your eyes." He turned away. A rough hand tugged at his hair, until he could have swore some clumps fell out. He obeyed…

…And the knife kissed his skin.

"Hey! What's going on here?"

Immediately, the attackers fled the scene, leaving the pitiful excuse of a knife on the ground. The boy staggered to his feet, more shocked than hurt. A small trickle of red seeped out of the small cut wound.

"Are you okay?" He looked up and saw an older, kind looking man by his side. His verdant eyes were doused with worry, and his lips drawn tightly in a straight line. Upset.

/He looked like his father./

Nick shook his head and nodded yes.

"Y-yeah." His heart still screamed the intense rhythm from before, but he paid it no heed. "I'm…better now." The man helped him to his feet. He took out a cell phone from an inner pocket, and his fingers traced the slight buttons.

"Do you want me to call the cops?"

"No!" Widened, confused eyes.

"I mean…it's only a small cut. And they're probably scared silly to try it again anyway." Man brought a hand to his well defined chin. He clearly didn't buy the story.

"You sure about that…"

"Yes! I mean, yea…" Nick paused, as if contemplating something. And he pursed his lips to form words. "Thank you." The man smiled.

"You're welcome son." He turned to leave, heel of shoes meeting hard concrete before stopping in his tracks. A soft, cool breeze swept past them. "And I hope for you to call me Sam, if we ever meet again. In better circumstances, of course." The boy with the auburn locks nods, watching as the man who resembled his father smiled and walked into the lighted street. Something lurched in his chest, and for a moment he couldn't breathe.

He picked up his nearly forgotten bag and went to find his bike for school.

-

Even with all the distractions, he still managed to get to first period on time.

The smell of burning dough and fried batter choked the room. Through the horrid odors circulating the home economics class danced a sweet, vanilla scent. It started from the back, winding and twisting through the currents until finally meeting the tip of Nick's nose. He faced the direction of the smell. He found himself staring at Dave's corner.

"Hey."

"Hi." Dave brushed dabs of flour off his apron.

"Am I late?" A raised brow.

"No, not at all. Not like yesterday." He grinned. Nick started to open the flour container. His hand stopped at the lid.

"Then, why is everyone baking?"

"Ah." Replied the blond. "Guess they wanted a head start."

"Your's is nearly finished." Another grin.

"Guess I wanted a head start." For some reason, he found himself smiling at the blonde's words.

A mixed group of kids sitting near the door shot dirty glances at the two. One of the boys rolled a piece of loose leaf in a ball and aimed for Nick's head. It bounced off the side of his scalp but he said nothing, a tight line drawn across his dace. Then, a rustling of cloth.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Dave approached the boy who threw the infernal ball, a dangerous look flashing across his face. His usual curly locks were in disarray, the sky in his eyes darkened and enshrouded with stormy clouds, giving him the appearance of a feral creature. He picked up a pot from the counter, still pacing closer to the other.

"You think it's funny? You think is fucking funny to make someone else feel like shit?" The group of kids seemed to realize the imminent danger and started looking around for the teacher.

"Hey!"

"What?" growled the Boy. Dave sneered. It was almost like he wasn't even talking about Nick anymore.

"Look at me – look at me when I'm fucking talking to you." The boy obeyed. Smart move. Dave pointed the pot at him.

"Hey man, calm down." Nick broke out of his stupor and rushed to his friend's side. He lightly tugged at his sweater.

"Hey, just let it go. It was just a stupid prank." The blond scowled, but placed the heavy metal pot down.

"Whatever." He said, under his breath. He doesn't break eye contact with the Boy until the other looked away in a flash of panic.

He doesn't speak for the remaining of the period.

-

It was lunch time again, and Nick crept up into the rooftop.

This time he remembered to bring lunch, and quietly munched away at his tuna fish sandwich while staring at red bricks in front of him. There was a crack of sky but it wasn't nearly enough to make him feel less like he was in a prison and more like he was at a balcony.

As he bit into the bread, he took out his notebook, flipping through the used pages to a clean sheet. He took a pen and started to dream.

The words spilled out like water from a faucet, the scrawled magic kissing the page. They were beautiful, like lines to a poem. He smiled, and began to spin out a beat.

He was at peace with the world at the moment, and he felt like everything was alright. Yes, everything was alright. He didn't live in a metal shoebox. His mom wasn't broke and his parents never split. His dad never…he never…he…

He crumpled the page, ripping it out and throwing it on the floor. The mood was gone, and so was the feeling. There was nothing, he decided. There was nothing anymore. He picked up his bag and ran down the stairs, leaving the roof.

He didn't see the pair of sky looking at him from the opposite stairway.

-

"Did you hear about that kid?"

"What? What kid?"

He was in a school restroom, sitting in one of the many stalls. He picked up his legs, straining his ears to catch the rest of the conversation.

"They said he shot himself!"

"Why?"

Nick blinked, bringing a hand to his nose. By gods, the place stunk!

"His parents found out he was a fag." Breathed the first speaker, like he was so happy he had something to talk about. Forget what they say about girls being the only ones who loved a good dose of gossip. Guys do too!

"Yuck, that's disgusting."

"I know man. I mean, if I was homo, which I'm not, I wouldn't ever give in to it. It's so unnatural." A faucet runs. One of them started washing his hands.

"Yea, and his dad kicked him out. He had like perfect grades, going to Harvard or something. And they said he wasn't bad looking. The 'perfect' son." A loud cackle of laughter. "No wonder his dad was pissed."

Nick felt something hot burn within, a small ember eating away at his heart. Whatever it was, he felt like taping the boys' mouth close.

"The other one's alive. You know, fagboy's boyfriend." It was said with such disgust, the repulsion practically oozing out of the words. Nick struggled not to burst the stall's door open. He heard the door open and close, and finally stepped out of the stall.

He stared at his reflection in the mirror. He decided he wouldn't care either way.

-

Music class. One of the highlights of his day.

Nick sat himself at the middle left of the room, facing the half open window. There were no clouds today, and instead a bright blue graced his sight. It lingered across the above, like a stretched balloon.

Sky.

He decided he liked the color. The other students began to arrive, the scuffling of metal seats singing throughout the room. Almost instantly, a low rumbling of discord rang in the space until slowly transforming to a light dose of euphony. It was nice, he realized. They sounded nice.

In here, no one cared if you were poor. No one gave a rat's ass even if you had one leg and a glass eye. No. This was Acceptance. Nick felt at home here.

He walked over to one of the many pianos stationed in the room. He sat on the player's seat and placed his thin fingers on the keys. F G A B C D E. He found root C.

And he played. Softly, because everyone else was playing as well. The hushed melody waltzed around him, surrounding the corner in a happy state of pleasure. His fingers danced across the keys, and he lightly closed his eyes, drunk in the notes.

"You're very talented." A chord of dissonance. Nick opens his eyes and looks up at the owner of the voice, chocolate brown meeting dark onyx.

"Ms. Taylor." She smiled, pushing a chair next to him and sitting on it. He blinked, confusion swirling across his features.

"Have you ever had proper training?" He shook his head.

"No Miss. Not after I was nine."

"Impressive." Her light voice chimed like a bell. "What is it that you want to be when you grow up?" The answer was obvious.

"A songwriter." There was a thoughtful silence, and then words. Words of great encouragement.

"Well, keep this up Nick, and you might just get a scholarship." With a smile she was on her way.

He stayed in the cushioned seat, his eyes wide and mouth agape. The good news hit him like a ton of bricks. A scholarship? It was a way out, he realized. A way out of his pitiful excuse of a life. He thanked his god, and took in deep breaths of air to calm himself. Finally, he thought. Finally, after seven long years, something was finally coming alright.

-

He rode his bike as quickly as he could back home, almost getting hit by cars and trucks in the process. But he didn't care, no. Nothing could crush his good mood at the moment.

Nick took out his key and unlocked the door to his mobile home. A smile stretched across his face, almost enough to light up the dark living space. His hand searched for a switch. Click. And the room was doused in light.

The living space was surprisingly clean and did not stink of old, unwashed dishes for once. Nick sat himself down on the small chair in the 'kitchen' and leaned slightly back. His eyes caught the shadow of a small piece of paper on the kitchen counter.

He picked it up and started reading it, eyes darting from left to write. Suddenly, his stomach went cold.

Nick.

I know I've been a horrible mother. I know I have. I'm sorry for all the pain I caused you and your father. I realize now, even though it's a little too late for him.

He felt bile rise up his throat.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm just not fit to be a mother. Not fit to be a person. Remember, the night before I filed for the divorce, your father told me to go jump off a bridge?

He crumpled the piece of paper and rushed out of the trailer, not even bothering to lock the door. It wasn't as if they had anything valuable anyway. The sudden gust of air picked the paper into flight, whirling and twirling it through the air. He never read the last words, but he knew them all the same. He'd seen it too many times.

Well, now I think it's a good idea.

-

Okay, tell me what you think of it and if I need to fix anything. I hope it was enjoyable, at least to some extent. –crosses fingers-. Reviews would be nice, and might result in some better writing. Yes, you heard me! (L: