All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
It was midmorning, the sky was blue, the streets busy, and the air filled with the lovely smells from the bakery to my left. I sat on a park bench, reading a book, ignoring them manic movement around me. “Hey Lulu, what are ya readin?” The voice regrettably dragged me from my own world and when I put the book down, I saw a boy standing in front of me. His hair looked like it had recently been chopped off, it was uneven and a dark chestnut. His eyes wide, were the same hue as his hair, and his thin frame was vibrating with excitement. “Hello, Billy.” I replied, not really wanting to very much get involved. He sat down without invitation and stared at me, a dopey grin forming across his face. “Wrinkle in Time?” He asked.
“You like it?”
“Yeah, it’s unusual…”
“No, you like readin?”
“yes, don’t you?” He shook his head, still with his dopey grin .
“I like talkin.” Right that’s why I dislike him. It’s not even like I dislike him either, he is just a perfect metaphor to a puppy. His unkempt hair, smile, and bubbly personality add to the image. I feel I should be playing catch with him rather then humoring him. “So ain’t ya supposed to be in school?”
“No, are you?” He shrugged.
“How the hell should I know?”
“I think you would,” I told him, refraining from rolling my eyes.
“Well I don’t like it, everyone’s so, I don’t know… mean.”
“Really?” I think I know why.
“Wanna go for a walk?”
“No.” But he smiles and tugs on my arm like a hungry child. His face is bright and happy while his eyes are pleading. I get up and allow him to lead me down the street. “How do ya feel ‘bout Mexico?” He asks me.
“It’s warm, I’m guessin a lot more open.”
“I wanna move there.” He says, glancing at the sun peeking feebly through a blanket of clouds.
“I don’t know, it seems different.”
“that’s cool.” Yeah. He is silent for another minute and allows me to pull him closer to the common. “Ever let anyone down?” He asks me, lower then a whisper.
“And your ok with that?”
“Yes, why wouldn’t I be?”
“I would. What about the people you hurt?”
“Their fault for trusting me in the first place.”
“I wish I was as smart as you.” Instead of accepting the compliment, ‘cause I’m not so good at that, I told him I wasn’t to smart, I just had a different mindset. “What do ya mean?” I don’t know what I mean, I finally realized. And this is just a conversation with Billy. “I don’t think about other people, they don’t interest me.”
“Oh. Well I saw Mac today, and he got this black eye. And he said you just went crazy and punched him. He said you just belted him right in the eye. Is it cause of your mindset? Is that why ya gave him the black eye?”
“Mac’s talkin s*** again. I didn’t just go crazy and belt him in his dam face. He kept flickin that stupid cigarette at me and pokin me, so I swatted in his direction. It was his own dam fault he got that black eye.”
“Well, the way he tells it…”
“To hell with what he says! Ya can’t trust a pathological liar!” He picked up on the social cue, for once, and stopped talking. “Why don’t you care bout them? ”
“I dunno, just doesn’t occur to me. Same reason why you care.”
“But I care cause I want to, you don’t care cause you don’t want to.” This made me think, not to change my ways or none of that, cause I wanted to think about it. Why? Why did I want to think about it? Billy stopped and bent down, there was a squirrel to his left, about five feet away. “Things are so friendly.” He said, holding out a hand. I rolled my eyes and allowed my eyes to graze the treetops, taking in the many shades of green. Branches thinning out as they reached the endless sky, brushing against the baby blue and fluffy gray clouds. The sun shone on the pond, glimmering and rippling on places were stout little ducks had dove under in pursuit for leftover bread thrown from children’s hands. The swan boats floated elegantly around the island filled with tourists and their cameras. My eyes came to rest on the stone bridge, an ancient structure. It made me wonder what had been happening in this very spot during the revolution, how this whole pretty green had been flecked with sheep and horses and was bare of all fountains and beds of flowers. Strange. Different. “Cute little thing, huh?” I realized the squirrel had inched up to Billy’s hand and allowed him to pat his sleek grayish brown head in exchange for a piece of popcorn. “Are you the squirrel whisperer or somethin?” I said trying to conceal my sarcasm. He smiled and gave the squirrel a final pat before standing up. The squirrel, surprised by his sudden movement and the looming shadow now above its head, scurried away, chattering angrily. “Cute, but dumbest thing alive.” I told him.
“I kinda think they’re like you a bit.”
“Well, they don’t care much about everyone else either.”
“Billy, it’s not that I don’t care bout everyone else. Hell, I don’t even care bout me that much.”
“What do you care about?”
“I’m not sure yet.”
“That sounds nice, not to have anything holding you back.”
“Your making me out to be a dam sociopath! I just don’t know, ok!”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know myself. Your different.” Was it a compliment or an insult? A statement. And for the first time, I saw behind those chestnut eyes. I saw that under his dopey grin and happiness, the shy and curious boy he really was. “It’s 12:30,” He said, pointing at my watch. “I’m gonna go and pick up my sister from school.”
“Ok,” Why would he do that for her? And then I realized I had said it out loud.
“I love her, I love hearing bout her day to. She’s cute and real smart. She’s my baby sister.”
“Oh.” And I smiled, I smiled at the little puppy. He only smiled back, even bigger. “Your different, but still human, don’t forget that.”
“Yeah, take care of yourself, Billy. Go to school.” He smiled and waved as he walked across the bridge. And I spent the rest of the day walking around, absorbing the natural beauty around me. Appreciating life and my surroundings. Because, after all, we’re all human.