A Good Person
"I'm not a good person. I've done so many terrible things in my life, kiddo, I don't know why you're still around."
I remember the moment he told me that, crouching on the side of the road, drawing circles in the dirt. He was hunched over, his legs close to his chest, and one shaking hand held the stick between his feet. The other would alternate between covering his mouth and rubbing the back of his neck. He was wearing the same clothes as yesterday, since his dad didn't give him a chance to change before starting the fight. The bruises on his face stood out in the sunlight, purple and yellow patterns forming a mask of sorts. His half healed knuckles stretched painfully every time he clenched his fists, and I remember hoping that he had done some damage as well.
I recall being unable to say anything, my thoughts refusing to form in my mouth. His words kept ringing in my head, no matter how hard I tried to block them out. He was partly right, you see. He had done a lot of bad things, most of which he still wont tell me about. But that didn't matter to me, none of it did. He truly believed that he was a bad person, and it was breaking my heart. I wish I had been brave enough to tell him to ask the people who worked with him at the fire station what they thought. To go ask our history teacher, who used to talk with him for hours about their opinions of current events. I wish I could have told him to ask my sister, who would laugh her head off when ever he would turn her upside down, threatening to throw her in the pool. But most of all, I wish that I had been able to tell him that at that moment, with his scarred hands and bruised face, underneath the tears that started to roll down his cheeks, he was the most beautiful person I had ever met.