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Thoughts

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NC: Nobody cares.
RJ: I do.

I am not lying. I care. I know. I understand. But I am one of the few that do.

I know what he’s thinking. I can see his thoughts clearly in my mind.

His first thought: his mom.
NC: She hates me.

No, she doesn’t. She wants what’s best for him. Or, at least, what she thinks is best. That’s what we all tell him. Does he believe us? No. All he sees are the facts, the straightforward, undeniable, cold, hard facts. She beats him. I will never understand that kind of pain, but I try anyways. The scars do not show on his body, but I know they remain deep within his heart, unyielding.

What comes next is no surprise, really: his peers.
NC: They all think I’m not good enough.

No, they don’t. And if they do, they’re wrong. I’ve heard the racist comments, flung with no regret. I’ve seen the harsh glares and pitiful eye rolls. I’ve felt the distaste as they look down on the boy who was never given a chance. Then, there come the apologies. Sometimes. In my opinion, that’s the worst part. Why? Because they mean nothing. They flow out from the mouth without difficulty, without the slightest hint of realism or authenticity. It’s like water. It hurts to watch. It hurts to watch his features fall and his shoulders slump. It hurts to watch as he tries to put on a passive face and act like he doesn’t care. It hurts… because I know he does.

Finally, his thoughts wander to what most of us consider the most important part of our lives: his friends.
NC: I don’t have any.

Yes, he does. They may not be the supportive, loving, cry-on-my-shoulder type of guys you tend to imagine. They may tease him, and they may put him down, but I know that if anything happened to him, they’d blame themselves. All the laughs they’ve had, all the places they’d gone, all the memories they’d shared: doesn’t he remember any of that?

These thoughts run through my mind… and his. Their powerful claws take hold of his body, his brain, and his heart, haunting him. He is afraid. No matter how much he denies it, he cannot fool me. He is afraid that he can’t live up to his mother’s high expectations. He is afraid of the final blow from his peers that will strike him down once and for all. And his greatest fear? He is afraid that he will be left alone, forgotten by his friends and ignored by his family, as if he were only a miniscule pinpoint that can only be seen in their peripheral vision. I will not let that happen. I’ll be there. No matter what, I’ll be there. I’ll be there because I know that no matter how unbearable life is, all he needs is a simple comfort: someone to listen, someone to accept, and someone to understand his thoughts…





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