"Why do you hide?" asked the girl.

The boy gleamed solemnly. The boy did not want to answer.

Like the beautiful orange glimmer of the sunset, his emotions would never last. Nothing ever lasted in his world. Same result, same ripping sensation in his heart. So he learned from God never to give anything.

What good did that do anyway?

"You look so lonely."

"Humph." The boy darted his eyes in the other direction. He cursed himself for ever meeting the female's eyes. Now he was stuck with her.

The girl twirled in her sun dress, her curious irises trying to pry information out of him. He was sitting in this alleyway, all alone. She knew of his kind: abandoned, forgotten, and colorless. It was her duty to help. Though she was of shockingly young age, her destiny had already been burdened upon her. She would comply with her gift.

Her attention drifted to the stuffed bear at his side, battered and with no color, just as the boy.

"Is that your teddy bear?" she questioned sweetly, kneeling to cradle it. "It's so cute. May I hold it?"

"NO!" the young boy shouted, swiping it out of her petite hands, his face flushed red with contempt. He instinctively curled himself into a ball, hunching over the bear as if it were his life source.

Tears dripped onto the tarmac, but they could never be seen. No one could hear the whimpering.

"That's the most worsest part, no one never hears you when you cry." he whispered inaudibly, indirectly addressing the girl.

She remained kneeled, her kindness still firm, despite the boy's outrage. "I know." She stroked his hair in the most motherly fashion she could. "You shouldn't hide."

"Go away." he grunted as he rocked back and forth.

Her smile faltered at his stubbornness, only giving her more determination.

"Do you wanna hear a song?" she cooed.


"My mommy used to sing me to sleep with it. It's a really pretty ballad."

His response did not vary. "Go away."

So she began to sing anyway.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow..."

The child slowly lifted his head at her voice.

"...I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain..."

He lifted it a little more, wiping the moisture from his cheeks.

"...When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am that swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night..."

Now he was listening intently. He felt his pain dwindle, so much so that he could bring a toothless grin upon his soot-covered face.

"...Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die."

When she had finished, she simply hummed the calm tune, realizing she had accomplished what she had intended.

There, for an hour it seemed, the female ran her fingers through his stringy hair. He had given in now, softly resting his head in her lap. The bear hung limp in his grip.

He rubbed his bloodshot eyes, feeling different. He was suddenly overwhelmed with an urgency, a great need to depart. He felt his body lighten, and he was enthralled to be able to stand from where he had sat for so long. The boy ecstatically ran out of the alleyway and into the street, where the open world could be seen once again.

The chain had been severed. The happiness the girl had endowed upon him had completed his regrets.

He was free.

The girl laughed brightly, relieved to have helped yet another.

The boy outstretched his arms, giggling madly as cars seemed to skewer his fragile body, passing through and leaving no harm.

"No more hiding." the boy breathed.

"Yes." the girl replied as she raised from the ground, straightening the ruffles in her dress.

The urgency, the need, the was growing stronger.

As if to confirm his feelings, a bright light appeared behind him, pulling him back as a magnet would to metal. His being in this realm was vanishing. As he glanced at his appendages, he discovered with amazement to see that he was vanishing.

At first, he resisted, in an almost frantic movement, but the girl approached closer, her sweet smile unchanged.

His resistance ceased at her warm composure.

"Go now." the girl ushered. "Go now, okay?"

His expression changed-almost saddened. "Are you coming, too?"

She gingerly shook he head in response.

He continued his silence for a moment. "...But I don't want to be alone again."

"You won't be." she promised. "Ever."

He turned to the light, and the pulling grew even stronger. He tightened the hold on his stuffed animal, the one thing that had tied him to this reality. He could not go with it, he realized.

So he dropped it on the sidewalk.

And he disappeared, with a joy brought onto his face, a joy unknown to this world.

The light disappeared.

The female hurriedly crossed the street, staring down the boy's remnant. It materialized before her, its color flooding her eyesight. It was his tie to this realm. It did not belong where he was going.

Her smile remained, unaltered, unchanged.

She picked it up, and walked down the walkway contentedly.

The poem is credited to Mary Frye.