A girl sits on a cement stairway, looking with tired eyes at the world that surrounds her. She has a love-hate relationship with it (mostly hate).
A boy lies on the ground, letting the pulsing pain in his stomach rage because he likes the feeling, but mostly because he knows he deserves it.
She has dyed red hair (done with Kool-Aid and it drips onto her gray hoodie) with tanned skin from sitting out in the sun too long.
He has curly brown hair or had that hair before he shaved it off with a razor. Whatever, it was just a reminder of everything he hated.
Her hoodie is baggy and bought at the dollar store. She also has a pair of faded red corduroys with a rip in both knees. She wants to escape.
He wears a white shirt, holey and smeared with dirt. If he lifts it up there would be a bruise on his stomach given to him by his father. He wants to escape.
Don't judge this girl too closely. She may have a glare that could be compared to a viper and a tendency to run away when things get hard but all she wants to do is talk to someone.
Don't judge this boy too closely. He may have a mouth that is curled into a perpetual snarl and only be able to speak with his fists when he is afraid, but he just wants a hand to pull him up and tell him that everything is all right.
People give her suspicious glances like she's just another runaway teenager that might grab their purses and make a dash for it. What they don't know is that she doesn't even have enough energy to do that even though she needs the money.
Strangers walking by him in the park think about offering their help to him but decide against it because of his unruly looks. What they don't know is that he desperately needs their help.
Kicked out of her house because she was caught stealing money from her mother so she could buy a plane ticket (one-way), she feels that the world is like one of those Whack-A-Mole games in her local arcade. Whenever she thinks that she had finally found a way to be happy (or at least survive), reality slams into her place. Now, she has given up trying to get back up.
Abused by his father, a drunk, since his mother left for another man, he feels like the world is an ocean. Some people are born with life jackets and some without. He feels like he was born with an anchor tied to his feet and it is pulling him down, down into the water and he is drowning. Now, he has given up trying to swim back up to the surface.
She knows that something has to change. Her gusty sigh almost drowns out the sound of a passing metro (at least in her mind). She brushes off the dust on her pants and gets up. Meandering through the crowding streets gives her a sense of peace, a sort of accepting of this fate (runaway rebel teen that actual is not a rebel at all). The thought makes her laugh at the absurdity (although it was true) and gets a few strange glances from strangers. She continues on.
He knows that something has to change. His pockets are empty and he dropped out of school last year. The reality (absurdity) of the situation makes him laugh, but in his mind he is hanging by a thread. He lies back down.
As she walks she turns into the entrance of the public park, she keeps her head up and defiantly glares at anybody that will give her a second glance (her heart is thumping) She is following a group of overly excited college students talking about their shiny futures waiting for them in a present (tied with a bright big ribbon). Their happiness reminds her of everything she doesn't have (couldn't have) and it makes her head heat up at the thought of it.
As he looks around the park, he sees a group of college students and behind them a figure. He narrows his eyes to get a better view.
Her squinted eyes take in the rest of the park. A boy with a shaved head is lying on the grass, his head turned in her direction.
After thirty seconds of trying to see who it is, he realizes that she is looking at him (straight at him).
The boy's eyes are staring into her own. He seems to carry the weight of the world in his gaze. They are dark brown and one has a black bruise surrounding it. It is beautiful, mysterious and so full of pain that it stuns her to a stop.
The girl's eyes are like two knives pinning me down. They are squinting but he can still make out the hurt and frusteration pouring out of like a cup overflowing with water. She is beautiful like a mirror, her gaze sharp like a sharp of glass, reflecting back everything he is feeling and been through.
She is wondering if everyone's gazes are so poignant, so colorful, so bursting with life (reality) and she had just missed it.
He is wondering if she is going to turn away (she just might) and he is afraid. Afraid of losing a connection he had made just a few minutes ago. It almost breaks his heart.
She knows she has to break the connection, everything had to end sometimes anyways. Just like everything else is her life. Quickly, she takes her mind and piles up everything she just gave this boy (stranger) and wrenchs it away. She feels satisfied (it was the right thing to do) but angry (does she have to push everyone away?)
She is looking at him and then she isn't. It's like she took a vacuum and sucked up all the air between them. Suddenly he finds it hard to breath. He knows he cannot let her go.
She quickly walks in the opposite direction (that was too close of a call).
He scrambles up to his feet, feeling like his lifeline is in the balance (it gives him a sense of adrenaline to know this). Sprinting over, it's all he can do not to shout at her (he doesn't want to scare her off). He is not entirely sure why he is doing this, she's just a stranger.
She hears a noise like a pair of running feet but doesn't want to hope (please don't be him please be him please don't be him). Then she feels a hand, steady, on her shoulder. It takes everything in her not to bolt.
He places a hand on her shoulder (he hopes it is not quivering too much) and she stands still.
They stand like that for a while, until she slowly turns around.
She turns around and he lets his hand slip away from her shoulder. She is looking at him expectantly.
What is he going to say?
He doesn't know what to say.
And that's just the beginning.