Oh man, I wish life had a reset button, Rich thought with sinking despair, I wish high school had a reset button so I could escape from this silent hell. Black clouds darkened the already dusk twilight of Rich’s mind, a twilight caused by this “silent hell” he had subjected himself to. He felt for his backpack full of books and assorted metal objects, a testament to his loneliness.
He had been alone for so long that it had ceased to cause him noticeable pain. His agony was buried deep beneath the surface; a roaring, furious monster caged only by the barest of means, the bonds weakening further each day and threatening to free it to wage it’s terrible destruction. The unseen black clouds covering Rich’s mind seemed to flash with dark lightning to the beating of his heart and the roar of his agony.
Rich felt his chin musingly, fingers brushing against dark stubble, and wondered. When did it all go wrong? When did I turn my life to shit? He had thought high school was going to be so great, an exciting change of pace from the shitheap of a middle school he had attended. It had been great at first actually, it had been exactly what he had imagined it to be; new people, new subjects, new teachers and a girl who loved him and him, her.
The blissful feeling of these days was now like a newborn pup, full of love and joy at first, then locked in a crypt and left to die; a puppy that, before starving to death, was torn and mangled by the dark, hellish things lurking in the crypt. The feelings, like the puppy, had died after a while from the assault of the twisted creatures in Rich’s mind and the memories of that joy and love had fled; leaving only the dismal silence broken by the sound of hulking, monstrous things shuffling in the shadows.
Back in the days when that figurative puppy was still alive and joy and love frolicked through Rich’s mind, there had been no need for a reset button. Rich had thought of a reset button and shivered with fear at the thought of losing what he had. Before total despair consumes, love must flee first Rich thought with a certain sadness of the soul that infected his whole person with its creeping tendrils. He often read in books about characters who “cried until they couldn’t cry anymore, then cried some more.” Rich knew what that meant now, he felt like an empty, dry husk and his eyes like twin barren, burning deserts, void of all moisture and tears.
He longed to press a reset button and feel those deserts fill up with water so emotion would flood back into his body. He longed to start over, to not screw up, to cradle his girl like the queen she is and keep her safe. He longed to have kept those demons bound up inside of him instead of letting them escape and wreak havoc and horror.
Books had provided him temporary solace. The written word, the rustle of pages and the sweet, dry smell of an old book all granted him a safe haven. It did not last though as his protectors discovered the devils he was hiding and summarily kicked him out. He had wandered the wastelands stretched before him, every step feeling like another turn of a shovel digging up his grave. His soul and mind were tortured by restless dreams and he felt reality begin to slip away. None of that mattered anymore, if reality had dissipated he would have been fine, as all he longed for was new life and a chance to go back and do it all over again and get it right this time.
A faint jubilation, the most he could feel empty as he was, overcame Rich as he remembered his backpack and the contents within. At long last his search had ended and The Reset Button now lay safely nestled in the container on his back. He noticed that his feet had unconsciously brought him to a bathroom door. He casually stuck his arm out, the door flew open and once inside Rich ducked into a stall.
A terrible glee overcame him, the manic glee of a man who knew not what he was doing but did it nonetheless. He slung his backpack on a nearby hook and rummaged through it for what he was looking for. His hand closed over the smooth, cold metal of The Reset Button and he pulled it out, his jubilation growing greater and his glee more terrible. It gleamed dully in the fluorescent lighting, a specter that stared at Richie through its dark, abyss-like eye. He placed that eye to his temple, his hand closing around its base and his finger fitting into its trigger.
Rich felt an ecstasy overcome him and he beamed brightly, the first real smile he had had in months. Finally, a second chance his mind sighed happily.
He slammed his finger down on the trigger with a ‘bang!’ that echoed off the walls and scared the people outside into investigating. Rich’s body, which had already begun to shut down, jumped back in a convulsive shudder. A…second…chance was the last thought he had before darkness took him.
The gun lay smoking on the floor next to him..
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