This is a particular story, about a particular boy. A boy who was a boy for far too long; born with too much empathy, too much self-pity. He was blind to his own wrongdoing; he was never alone, but he never was man enough to notice. This boy was okay, and this is how.
A boy sat alone on a bus of about 60 students. He sat at the back in a row of five with two people on either side of him, and he was alone. A boy thought about being in his lover’s arms once he got off the bus. He thought about the sofa he sat on with about twelve people, a red sofa with two people either side of him, and he was alone. A boy sat in class typing away for an assessment he did not care for. He was told that this year was the only year that mattered, but the words were empty and cold. He sat there. Two people either side of him, and he was alone. A boy sat at home, a family of six, he sat alone, no one either side of him. He sat there looking at the blog of the person who meant the world to him, and he didn't feel alone. But he knew he was. How did the boy come to be like this?
At fourteen he gave her a gun and pointed it at his heart; the bullet inside was not made of lead; it was made of the truth, and the truth was he was never meant to love. He showed her love, but she showed him how. They didn't kiss for months; her hands would sweat with tears of joy when they were safe in his. Neither had ever loved before, but no “IPhone app or Google map” is needed to know that you’re in love. He put all into her. And then she pulled the trigger, but he didn't bleed. At fifteen, the wounds had healed; he approached her with a noose around his neck and handed her the other end. The rope was woven together by a plethora of broken ideas. These ideas led the two into a spiral of opening each other's skin to feel something deeper than the flesh wound of life. And the boy went too deep. And broke himself. She tightened the noose, but his neck did not snap.
At sixteen, the fractures had repaired, and he approached her with a knife. He put the blade to his throat and the handle in her palm. The blade was welded together by the fire of her forgiving heart. She loved him and he thought he loved her, but he didn't. He felt numb. And his numbness grasped on to any emotion it could replicate as to not reveal itself to the boy. The numbness replicated all of her good, but also replicated all of the poison that had been planted in her mind. She saw this. She slit his throat, but the blood still ran through his unbroken skin. At seventeen, a ghost appeared to him in his troubled sleep. The boy could not rest, for he was perplexed at the absence of scars she should have left, the absence of bullet holes, the absence of a broken neck, the absence of a scar circling his throat.
The ghost took his unharmed hand and dragged him through the years, and this is what he saw: the gun was in his hand, and when she was unprepared, and calm in his 'love', he shot her. She stood in the gallows, a hessian sack over her head. She was blind to his betrayal. And he pulled the lever. She fell. She did not hit the ground because the rope he had tightened broke her fall. They first made love by a river, and it only made sense that it would end in a river. The blood rushed down her ruined and poisoned body, down to the boy’s feet, and red mud stained his footprints; they followed him to bed. And this is how the
Ghost found him. And the ghost killed him, but let him live.
The boy died.
In his four-wall coffin with perfect Wi-Fi, the boy felt sorry for himself. He ate Spaghetti Bolognese, and the over sized tomato slices disagreed with his particular tongue. His coffin was messy. With his laptop providing the only light, the screen appeared as a soulless lantern, immune to the extinguishing zephyr that invaded his coffin. The unsympathetic, chilling breeze took hold of the boy’s body and curled him up until his ear met his heart. He heard a calling. An echo of a boy, desperately breaching the cocoon that the boy had so tightly wrapped around himself. The echo walked hand in hand with the boy, the boy opened the coffin door, and out walked a man.