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A young man struggles with finding meaning and purpose of it all, walking around in a seemingly empty existence.

Submitted:Aug 22, 2010    Reads: 795    Comments: 2    Likes: 13   

Action, reaction

He was leaning up against the counter, relaxed, with a sort calmness surrounding him. He was wearing black Fred Perry shoes, and when he talked everybody would listen. Not that he had classic good looks, though he was tall and his skin was flawless, but there was a certain way to his smiles and to the manner of his jokes that made him remarkable. He frequently quoted sophisticated books and movie lines, and there was no doubt he possessed what some people calls charm. Girls around him found him attractive, especially because he was different, and not like every other dumb guy, as they said. Seemingly, the non-mainstream indie rock-type music he listened to made him even more fascinating; yes, he sure was an interesting guy.
Although all of this made him very popular, he often found himself starring out the window and only finding blackness. The random observer seldom found that emptiness in his eyes, but some of his close friends sadly saw it recurrently. He walked around with shades under his eyes during daytime, because at night, he screamed through fast paced dreams. At one point he thought expressing this to a psychologist would made him feel better, but neither that nor getting drunk on school nights made him block out the feeling of pointless existing. He needed something more, action or whatever, in his life, to explore things. Religion didn't do the trick either, even though he liked sitting in the silent church, alone, feeling himself mature as his thoughts would systematize in his brain. He was a strange case.

That Monday, he bought a sandwich, and sat down with his friends around a grey table, although friends might be the wrong term to use. Kiki, the only blond girl in the group, touched his arm lightly and looked at him with eyes full of pity, giving her an almost apologetic look. When he met her two years ago, he found her quite attractive, with her wide, green eyes and petite body. However, now her facial expressions sort of irritated him, and her dumb questions in physics were rather annoying. But since the fatal mistake of a kiss almost a year ago, her affection for him had never died, and she saw right through him - or at least, that's what she liked to think. He turned away from her, and began taking to Alexander, the only obnoxious teenager around this table he would classify as a friend.

He was met with frosty cold air when classes were finally over and he stood in the school yard. The wind sent chills through his body. Pulling his jacket closer to his neck, he started walking, and soon found himself standing at the edge of the forest, starring at the dark, shady trees, stretching tall into the bright blue sky. He went through the forest, hoping to find it there, but as he pushed his way breathlessly through the branches, he only found the lake there, all blue and green and icy. Everything was crystal clear, the snow lying perfectly white on the ground and on the trees, the blue in the sky mirroring in the surface of the big lake which hadn't frozen yet. He found it almost sad, this idyllic picture, but he didn't know why.

Walking towards the bridge from where kids would jump on a hot, summer day, he thought of what he had read in his physics book. To every action, there's a reaction. He stared into the deep water, with dark thoughts circling his mind, debating whether to jump or not. The cold would be excruciating, his body would be numb from the cold, but would it make him feel better? Would it be the action he was looking for? He imagined what it would feel like, if he ran, jumped, fell, into the water, the cold surrounding him, capturing him. If he didn't do anything except sink.

But what would the reaction be to this action? If he jumped, would he die? Would people think it was suicide; would they care? He thought of his family: the warm hugs of his loving, slightly overweight mother. The dimples of his younger sister, only just beginning her teen years. The faint smell of bourbon in his father's office. They would care. Right? He noticed the sky changing colour, from a grey blue, to a red and deep purple, which made him wonder how long he had been there.

He turned around and walked away, making the rational decision which would harm the least people, heading home through the darkness. But as he sat on his bed later that night, getting reading to sleep, a familiar feeling crept through his bones.



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