Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"The Lonely Crowd"

I stared at the car as long as I could as it drove away. Unfortunately, it turned after only a few seconds, drifting out of sight without leaving so much as a skid mark behind. I was alone. My best friend and roommate had left for a better life, and I was stuck here. Going to work in an cold office cubicle, surrounded by apathy, staring at the door, hoping someone will care enough to visit me. My apartment is surrounded by so many others that are filled with people. Yet no one cares.

One day, someone did. It was a little boy. He seemed underdressed for the cold weather, so I invited him in and offered him some hot chocolate to warm him up. He didn't say very much. He didn't reply when I asked if he was lost or if he wanted me to call his parents.

He looked up and asked me if I wanted to be his friend. I said yes without hesitating. Something about him made me want to know him more. I wanted him as a companion. He said I had to do something for him first. He gave me an insulated box. It was about the size of my head and wrapped up tight. He gave me an address to deliver it to. He told me not to open it.

I did as he said. I didn't even think of opening it. I knew he would know, and I couldn't risk him leaving. I couldn't handle being alone anymore. I needed him.

I walked through the cold streets. Everyone in the neighborhood was locked up safe with their families in their warm houses. They got to enjoy each other’s company and revel in companionship.

I dropped the package off on the front step of the house he told me, rang the doorbell and quickly moved away. They opened the door and took the package. The wind screamed past the rooftops and warmly lit windows as I walked away.

After that the boy stayed with me. Sometimes he would ask me to do other things for him. I delivered more packages. I sent messages. I did all manner of things. I did it all gladly. I didn’t want to make him angry. That might make him leave. I wasn't so lonely anymore. I had a friend who helped the apartment feel more full. I did everything he said.

But today. Today he walked up to me while I was making us dinner. He looked up at me with cold eyes and said, "You're a bad person. You hurt people's feelings. You make them cry. I don't want to be your friend anymore."

He left. He left without saying anything else. I ran after him, but I couldn’t even see him turn out of sight. He didn’t leave so much as a footprint behind.

I can't handle being alone again. He left the window open, despite it being such a cold day.

But it is so nice outside. I think I’ll go out. It’s so cold inside.

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