The sky is a bright blue today. It contrasts well to the trees, which are just now changing color. Normally, this type of setting would make me feel happier, lighter. Instead, ever since I met that kid, I find myself thinking way too much. How's he feeling right now? I'll wonder. Or, 'I wonder if the sky is as blue there too.' Ridiculous! I was the one who broke it off. It wouldn't have worked out anyway. I mean, that kid's weird! And clingy and dopey and shrimpy and overly sensitive and also really cute… I stop in my steps. A person on a bike narrowly misses me.
"Hey!" he yells as he swings easily onto the next street. In a moment, I'm alone as you can be in a busy city. People pass by and press me all around. I used that word. I totally thought of that awful kid as… Cute.
I sigh and continue. There's no point fussing about it now anyway. At home I kick off my shoes and flop immediately onto the couch. My cat, Toes, licks my de-shoed and de-socked foot.
"Hey Toes," I say in my best kitty voice. I pet him behind the ears. He purrs. Come to think of it, he was a lot like my cat. I mean, the kid practically purred anytime I touched even just hair or a shoulder or something. I remember when he confessed love to me. I can almost hear it now.
"I'm so sorry to burden you with this, but I love you, Malachi."
I roll my eyes. Big, green-brown eyes bore into my mind's eye.
"I'm sorry. I don't feel the way you feel. It won't work between us."
I felt so nervous with that stupid brat just standing there.
"I just can't see myself with you."
Why did that stupid dork look so crestfallen anyway? I'm not that great.
"I don't think we could ever have that kind of love between us."
"Why?" the said dumbass asked me.
"Isn't it obvious?" I laughed.
Were those tears? I can't remember. Why would he have cried anyway?
"Look, it just… It wouldn't work out okay?"
Oh my God.
I have to snap out of it. I never really liked him like that way anyway. It was just that nobody had ever shown me that kind of attention before, that kind of unconditional love. I could've told him that I killed somebody or that I served time in prison and the idiot would've loved me anyway. But seriously! He didn't even know me! And all I knew was this spaced out, happy go lucky kid who had it too good. Yup, while I was suffering so badly on the inside, that imp was prancing about in the sunlight, so in love with me it was pathetic. Truly, completely, and embarrassingly pathetic.
I sit back down. I didn't mean to get so freaking excited over nothing. After all, the dumb brat is just some kid I knew who had a crush on me, who I indulged a little bit. Nothing more. I truly am sorry for leading him on like I did. And so now that I'm gone, he's somewhere getting over me. That's what I want. What we both want. Who am I kidding? I do miss the brat. I want to see his smiling happy face again. I want to see those green-brown eyes look over at me and see those lips bust into this huge smile and hear the shout,
I want to see the joy of just seeing me shine out from every pore of his body. Nobody has ever loved me like that before. But still, I can't believe I really want to see him again. I'll go. Sure, it was only a month ago that I snuck back, but I need this. I pick up the phone. I dial a number that seems familiar by now, even though I've punched it in all of four times now.
"Greyhound Bus may I help you?"
"I'd like to buy a ticket from Cincinnati, Ohio to Decatur, Illinois please."
When I step off the bus, it's already nightfall. I'll see the kid really quick, and then I'll go back home when the next bus comes. I know my way to the house so well. I barely even have to think about it as I go. Straight two blocks, left at Marimon… And on until I am before the large two story house that my brat is in, right now. I quietly sneak around the side, to the window that leads to the bedroom. I scale the wall easily, having done it plenty of times while we were still friends. I open the window quietly, so I don't wake anybody. I had taken my shoes off outside so my feet make no noise when I drop inside. Soft breathing interrupts the still quiet of the night. I pad over to the bed and kneel, so I can see more eye to eye. Golden hair falls over his forehead and his lips are parted and relaxed as he sleeps.
"Hey, Sammy," I whisper.
I hope he doesn't wake up. It would be just like him to open his eyes just when I'm here. It's like this kid has a sixth sense that detects when I'm around. Looking at his young face, I am again struck by how much I hate him. How could he do this to me? He came onto me when he knew I was a guy and he was a guy, so it couldn't work. I told him then, that it wouldn't work and what did he do? He kept pestering me about it. And so now I've got this brat on my back and in my mind. What an asshole. Then again, I'm the one who fell so much in love with him too. I led him on when I shouldn't have, encouraging his sick love for me. I reach over and feel a few strands of hair tickle my palm. I don't add any pressure for fear of him waking up and realizing that I'm here. The pain that this kid introduced to my life… I hate him for it. But it's the love he introduced into my life, that I can't really leave him for.
"Mal… Why? Why can't I remember you?" he murmurs in his sleep.
I watch as his face contorts from peace into agony.
"How am I supposed to believe in fragments?" He's always talked in his sleep.
I set my hand on his forehead and whisper, "It's okay, Sammy. Believe in me. Believe in the fragments."