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A Happy Story About a Boy
There was a city full of losers and bums and violent gangster wannabes. In that city was a beautiful park with gates that kept all the filth out and the clean in. In that park there was a bench and on that bench was a girl. The girl was sitting there with eyes that liked words and had no use for anything else. She was thumbing through a book with a blank cover and she had an even blanker expression. She was cute. Or maybe she was ugly. I haven’t decided yet. It seems that too many stories have cute girls in them. It doesn’t really matter though because the story isn’t about her, no matter how much she wants it to be. The story is never about her and that’s why she killed herself three weeks after this took place.
A boy walked up to the bench and sat on it. The boy was frail with a sharp nose and big green eyes that were always rolling around in his big head and he was definitely ugly. Black tangles from his head fell in his face but he didn’t brush them away. The girl did not look at him. They went on sitting like that, her with her book and him with his sky. The boy was waiting for the girl to start. Finally the girl spoke.
“So you’re here.”
“Yeah I am.”
“How was your week?”
“I don’t know. I think I’m alive again.”
“So then you made it another week,” her tone was bored.
“Yeah I guess so,” his tone was stupid.
“Well I might have died. I don’t know.”
“You know you say this every week, don’t you?” This was the first time she had ever asked this question. He was confused by the loss of repetition and tried to ignore it.
“Yes, it is a nice day. It is always a nice day here.”
“Are you crazy?”
He blinked. He was forced to address this new conversation. He did not like it as much as the old one.
“No,” he muttered slowly, “No I don’t think so. I’m just always maybe dying.”
“Well if you’re here then you’re not dead, yes?” She talked as though to a child.
“Well how do I know that death is not exactly like life? Or that you’re even real?” He talked as though to a child. She shrugged because she did not know and she did not care. It got her wondering about death though and she told herself to check out a book on the topic later. There was a long silence.
“I hope you’re real, if that makes any difference,” he said. She didn’t say anything because she wasn’t sure if it did or not. In fact, she didn’t even really know what that meant. There was more silence.
“Okay, I think I’m going to leave now,” he declared. He paused to see if there would be any objection. There wasn’t. He stood up. Still no objection.
“Bye,” he said and began walking away.
“Bye,” she muttered without enthusiasm.
The next week the girl was at the bench again and so was the boy. The boy didn’t wait for her to start the conversation that week. He blurted out something about going away for a long time so that he could get better. The girl wanted to go with him because she wanted to get better, too, but she didn’t ask to go. She only sat there and said good-bye. The next week the girl went back to the bench again but the boy did not. The girl had half expected the boy to be lying but he hadn’t been. He was getting better while she was getting worse. The next week the girl was not at the bench and neither was the boy. The girl was dead while the boy was getting better.
A year later the boy was all better and he went back to the bench because he couldn’t remember if the girl was real or not. He went back every day for two weeks before he decided that she hadn’t been real. He moved on. The boy did not live happily ever after but this is a happy ending.