In The Depths

Loneliness is like a deep dark void, with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. As much as I try, I just get deeper into the depths of loneliness, and into the depths of my soul. I just want to get out. I don't deserve this.

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4. Digital Failure

It’s finally the weekend, and finally the time to have sweet relief off of work. Harry invited me over to his house so his friend, he, and I could play FIFA. I don’t why, but I’m kind of nervous. I keep pacing my room, checking my watch, waiting for the time to change so I could leave to Harry’s (and most likely get lost along the way).

I walk into the bathroom, flicking the light on. My reflection stares back at me in the mirror. I decided to wear my Ramones shirt, jeans, and of course, my tan shoes, being they are the only shoes I have. My hair sits in a ridiculously large puff on my head, and my lip is lined with studs of facial hair, as is my chin.

“Maybe I should have shaved,” I whisper out loud, my finger traveling along my chin. I flick the light off and head to the car, muttering, “Why do I care what I look like to Harry anyway?” I get into my car, shutting the door. “He dresses like a farmer.”

Soon, I stand in front of Harry’s door. His house looks like the kind of houses that is one story, but have many rooms inside, looking bigger from the inside than outside. That’s what I infer about everything, really. Looks on the outside don’t influence the purities on the inside.

After a few short knocks, a tall woman answers the door. She has blackish brownish hair, with a skinny frame and a warming smile. “Hi!” She greets, extending her hand out to shake mine. I shake it with a sly smile. “You must be Louis.”

“Yeah. Are you Harry’s mom?”

“Yes. I’m Anne. Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, too.” She steps back, motioning for me to come in. As I walk in, the smell of vanilla hits me in the face, smelling wonderfully like winter.

“Harry’s upstairs in his room with Will.”

“Will?”

“Harry’s best friend.”

“Okay.” I half-jog, half-walk up the stairs, my shoes clacking against the wood. I follow the sound of shouts and the digital roar of the pixilated audience cheering. I see Harry’s room soon, with Harry and the Will dude sitting on the edge of the bed, fingers attacking the controllers. Harry’s room has posters of old bands sprawled across all of the walls, most of them plastered on crookedly. His bed is unmade, with a pizza box on it, wide open.

“Hi,” I say quietly, stepping in. Harry and Will both look at me, and Harry pauses the game, just as the football reaches the goal.

“Louis!” Harry says loudly, standing up. He sets out his fist for me to bump. I bump it. “Louis, Will. Will, Louis.”

“Hey man,” Will says. Will is blonde with light blue eyes and a thin pair of glasses resting on his nose. He wears a Mine Craft shirt with torn jeans. He looks like those kind of nerds that are nerdy but not too nerdy, but just nerdy enough to be rejected by the popular crowds. “How you doin’?”

A bit nervous, and a bit hungry, and a bit worried I won’t fit in with you guys, and a bit off-putted by Harry’s curly hair. “I’m chill.” I sit on the side of the bed, next to Harry.

“Cool. Me and Harry were just playing FIFA, and I was kicking his sorry ass.” He takes a swig of Mountain Dew, and swishes it in his mouth before swallowing.

“Hey!” Harry deadpans. “To be fair, I have no football skills whatsoever, under any circumstance on any given day.”

“Well, this isn’t the real world.” Will un-pauses the game and watches as the black and white football shoots straight into the goal, past the Harry’s goalie’s sorry digital ass. “This is the video game world, so you don’t really have to do any actual football playing.”

“Yeah,” I say awkwardly, just wanting to have a spot in this conversation. I watch the screen as Will trips one of Harry’s players. Harry curses.

“See? Lou believes me.” Wow, he already has a nickname for me.

“Maybe I just suck at video games.” Harry licks his pink lips.

Before Will can snap something back at Harry, I cut him off. “Harry, let me show you something. Pause the game, Will.”

Will pauses the game, and I bring my lips close to Harry’s ear. I could smell his shampoo; it smells like a sharp mint. “Try X X O,” I whisper in his ear, quiet enough so that Will won’t hear.

“Eh, okay.” Harry says, raising his eyebrows at me, as if to say: You better know what you’re talking about, cuz’ I’m already embarrassed as shit.

“Y’all done sharing secrets?” Will says.

“Yes,” Harry and I both say at the same time, my light voice blending in with his raspy one.

“Good, because I was about to kick Harry’s defense in the balls.” He turns on the game, just as Harry presses X X O with all his might. I watch as Harry’s kicker turns around, dribbling the ball in between his legs, and kicks it straight into Will’s goal.

“YEAH!” Harry jumps up, roaring with the audience on the screen. “Yeah, baby! Right over your head!”

Will smiles along with me, clapping his hands slowly. “One point Harry. Sixteen points me.” He stands up, gulping down the last of his mountain dew, and lets out a monstrous burp. “I’m tired of this game. Wanna do something?”

“You’re so specific,” I say, my lame attempt at a joke.

“I know,” he smiles.

“Let’s go to the lake,” Harry says, scratching his scalp. I can’t help but notice how long his fingers are. I look down at my stubby fingers, attached to my palms, attached to my arms, and so on.

“What, like on a date? Maybe look at the stars? Have a picnic?” Will throws his empty can into the trash bin, making it on the first try. “Yes!”

“I think the lake’s cool, but not swimming,” I say. “It’s cold.”

“Okay,” Harry says. “Let’s get out of this place. I think my mum’s been eavesdropping.” 

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