What is Existence?

Click. Click. Click.

The sound of the computer was driving Matthew crazy. Everyday he went to the library. Everyday he heard the sound of people clicking through webpages. Everyday he wasn't so bothered by the sounds of the library. So why was this day any different? Matthew had no idea.. but the noise was giving him a headache. It was a library, for Christ's sake! Matthew didn't know why it had to be so damn noisy.

Sighing in frustration, and adding to the noise that annoyed him so much, Matthew picked up his books and ventured to the other side of the library. This area was rarely used, seeing as how it did not feature the same modern renovations as the other sections in the library. Basically, it was a dimly lit corner, hidden away from civilization by the towering bookcases, and it made Matthew feel uncomfortable. The dim lighting made the place feel eerie, and the thick layer of dust covering the books wasn't helping much either.

Unfortunately, Matthew found that the solitary table in this solitary area was already occupied. Seemingly, someone else had searched out this haven of silence before Matthew. Of course, there were two chairs at the table, but Matthew didn't want to bother the other boy. Matthew could tell that this other person was at least a few years older than himself, and experience had told him that the older 'young adults' didn't want 'twerps' like him around. Besides, he looks really busy... Matthew reassured himself.

Not wanting to impose, and feeling that he had stared long past the amount of time that could go unnoticed, Matthew quickly began his attempt to make the impression that he was in search of a book. It did not matter that most of the books in this section had probably never been-- nor ever would be-- checked out. Matthew began running his fingers across the spines, collecting dust, and examining them as though he truly expected one of them to catch his eye.

"I don't mind," the boy said softly, causing Matthew to realize just how silent this part of the library really was. Even the sound of the other boys voice, barely above a hushed-whisper, had been enough of a contrast to startle him. "Really..." he gazed at Matthew, and even though Matthew didn't want to be rude, he had to glance downward and keep his eyes from meeting the scrutinizing, grey ones of the stranger.

"Thank you," he mumbled a few moments afterward, defeating the inability to find his voice.

"Now sit down..." The boy scowled, causing Matthew to obey. Quickly. Matthew didn't bother wondering why this guy was so bitter; he was just glad to be away from all of that noise. He felt weird, just sitting there silently and watching the guy. Not very interested in his textbook, he decided that he could at least make some sort of successful small talk. It's raining... We could talk about that, he thought before the boy interrupted him by speaking. "Don't even... Just do your homework and be quiet," he said, glowering at Matthew.

Matthew tried to put on his best, 'I don't know what you're talking about' expression, but it failed horrendously. The boy, seeing right through Matthew, rolled his eyes. "Don't you like how nice and quiet it is back here?" he asked. Matthew considered answering, but then realized that it was a rhetorical question. "If you're talking, it's not silent anymore."

"S-sorry," Matthew stuttered, to which the boy replied with a shake of his head, before giving his complete attention back to the book that was laying open. It's yellowing pages were bright against the dark mahogany table.

For awhile, Matthew just watched the young man. He had no interest in his homework, even though it was a Sunday, and figured that if he wasn't saying anything about it, the strange boy must not be bothered by him. Matthew found that every time he reached the end of the page, the boy's face would scrunch up in concentration and he would play with the corner of the page with his pale fingers before actually turning it.

While watching the boy, who seemed oblivious to Matthew, Matthew became oblivious to the rest of the world. The soft sounds of breathing and the turning of pages had lulled him into a daydream, only to be awakened at the sudden beeping of his alarm. Six-thirty.

The sudden noise seemed to have no effect on the other, but Matthew was quite taken aback by the sharp sound. He took a moment to steady his heartbeat before moving to collect his things. Once all of his books were neatly slid into his bag, Matthew turned back to say goodbye, only to find that the boy was gone.

Astounded, Matthew glanced around, but the boy must have already turned around a corner or disappeared in the stacks. With a sigh, Matthew straightened his hair, readjusted his messenger bag, and prepared himself for the venture home. His mother not arriving before six-thirty to drive him home meant that it was up to him to get home on his own. This particular day, it also meant for him to get drenched by the rain.

"I'm home," Matt's mother called from the hall. It was nearly ten o'clock, and Matthew was already tucked away warmly in his bed, fighting off the chill that had been with him since being in the rain.

She slid off her boots and hung her coat on the rack before taking soft steps down the hall to his door. she stood outside of his room silently for a few minutes, listening for sounds of his presence, before she slid it open. She pushed it gently, just enough that she could glimpse inside. The glow of the streetlights filtered in through his curtains, casting shadows across his walls and floor. A sudden movement in the corner of the room caused her heart to speed up, but almost immediately, she realized it must have just been the cat. She lifted her hand to her chest and felt as her heartbeat returned to it's normal pace. "I'm sorry," she whispered gently, knowing that she should have been able to pick him up at the library so he wouldn't have had to walk in the rain.

He moved in his sleep, pulling the blankets around himself more tightly and fluttering his eyelids, causing her to smile lightly as she closed the door. She pulled it slowly, turning the knob, so that the only sound was a soft click as it went back into place. His mother worried that the noise might disturb him, but it really didn't matter. Matthew was deep inside a dream, and not a very nice dream, to say the least.

After assuring herself that Matthew was safe and sound, warm in his blankets and resting peacefully, his mother continued on her way down the hall to her bedroom. She stopped briefly at the bathroom to brush her teeth and then silently made her way to her own door. She flicked on the light and began rummaging through the doors for her nightgown. With a frustrated exhale of breath, she remembered that it was in a load of laundry which she had yet to do.

Annoyed with herself, she found a simple t-shirt and a pair of sweats that would suffice, and vowed to the cat that she would definitely remember to do the laundry in the morning. The cat, being as cats are, just stared at her from his place on the bed with a quizzical expression that she took to be doubt. Sighing once more, she turned off the light before pushing the cat off the pillow where he had become comfortable and crawling underneath the covers.

AN: I've sort of forgotten where I wanted to go with this story, but I hope that reading over the files will refresh my memory and I'll be able to write chapter two again soon. So, thank you to anyone who sees this and reads it. The first bit is a bit slow, but it's not something that is meant to be long, and speeds up rather quickly (according to my notes...)