To Nowhere

May 1, 2012
By M.L.E. BRONZE, Coral Springs, Florida
M.L.E. BRONZE, Coral Springs, Florida
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Alexander was a boy with too quiet movements and too serious eyes, and far too much freedom given to him by the false belief that no one gave a hoot as to what he decided to do with himself. Having taught himself to dwell in the periphery of people's awareness, Alexander slid in and out of places with, at least he told himself, the leisure to accomplish all his goals and aspirations at his own pace. On his return home after having done just these things, Alexander never failed to be utterly baffled by the fact that his family had been completely distraught upon his absence. They would coddle him fiercely and reprimand him gently for scaring them like that, and then Alexander would retire to him room to contemplate just why in the world they worried about him so much. The guilt would fade easily, though, once another goal lodged itself in his mind and demanded his attention. So he would tell himself he was not important, that he did not matter, and he was slinking out whilst bringing himself to nobody's attention but the rat's, and she was on his side anyways.
Only once had Alexander's skills failed him, while he was still making his way to his destination. A boy a bit bigger than him (it wasn't hard to be bigger than Alexander, truthfully, since he was very small) and with tousled hair the same dark shade as his, only Alexander's was shinier, had run up to Alexander to ask him just where he was going with such a determined look on his face. All streams of thought brought to a screeching halt by this boy's noticing him, Alexander only stared. The boy waited with his arms crossed. Alexander had only ever told the rat who lived in the unused billiard table's pockets where he planned to go and what he planned to do when he left home. This boy was nothing like the rat. Big, wide, clear blue eyes as apposed to her little, beady red ones, and a long smile filled with teeth much shorter and more crooked than hers. Alexander didn't think he could be trusted, but he found himself telling the boy anyways.
"I'm going Nowhere. It's a good deal further than Anywhere, but it's more fun." The boy called him a liar, and bristling at the false accusation, Alexander informed him that he was not, in fact, a liar, and that he could prove it to the boy. He grabbed the boy angrily by the wrist and dragged him a block and a half in silence. Alexander reminded himself that he was not important and the bigger boy followed quietly behind, and nobody looked in their direction as they made their way.
By the time they'd come to a stop in front of a brightly colored, busy, and easily recognized fast food chain, Alexander's grasp on the boy's wrist wasn't so angry as it was neutral and the boy was walking more to the side of Alexander than he was behind him.
Alexander gestured towards the establishment. "This is Anywhere", he said. Restaurants with the same name as this one could be found all over the world, the next never varying from the last, and that was no fun. Alexander began to fear he hadn't explained it properly, because the boy was giving him a funny look. Alexander didn't have much experience explaining things; he was much better at disappearing and leaving the job to those who were older and (supposedly) wiser. But after the boy had unfolded his face out of an expression that seemed to insinuate a great deal of deep thought had just happened, he looked at Alexander and told him he got it. He thought. Alexander nodded and as they picked up walking again, Alexander thought it had looked as if the boy's face wasn't so accustomed to the facial expression it had been forced to make just then. He was still holding the boy's wrist loosely. They walked one, two, three blocks and Alexander's pale cheeks were flushed with the exercise. The bigger boy wasn't quite so next to him anymore as he was somewhat southwest to him. They'd arrived, though.
They were in front of a nondescript, concrete grey warehouse that had cracks for veins and vines for arteries all along its tall walls. He'd let go of the boy's wrist and they walked to the opposite side of the building where a dark green door that was now more dark than green stood, hanging slightly ajar on only one of its hinges. Alexander slipped past without disrupting the door's balancing act, and so did the bigger boy, but with considerably less grace. He followed Alexander obediently to the center of the warehouse, footsteps bouncing off the walls with ten times more enthusiasm than Alexander's steps. Muted sunlight came through narrow slits of grimy windows close to the ceiling. Only the blue sky could be seen looking through them; there was no way to tell where exactly they were. Alexander had never taken anyone here before, not even the rat.
He spread his arms wide and look at the boy with a smirk and said, "This is Nowhere." The boy smiled back and looked like he understood.

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