"Alex!" I heard a voice call my name. I turned to see Nathan running towards and into me. He's been trying to break my bones since primary but it doesn't mean I'm fragile if I'm skinny!
"Nathan.." I grunted. How can he be so energetic on a Monday morning is beyond me. "Can't breathe."
"Oh, sorry." He quickly let go of me, but still draped his arm around my neck. "Okay, about practice." I groaned.
Don't get me wrong, I like football, just that practices were a bit too much. We have a very, very strict gym teacher and he always pushes us to our limit. I mean, who would want to go home sweaty? I'm sure no one, but you get my point.
And we literally have practice everyday. Well, not exactly everyday, we had Wednesdays off, but every other day? Too much, just too much.
"Come on, dude. Ya know that NONE of us like practise, but that's why we have a few trophies and medals here and there." He nudged me, sporting a smirk. I just rolled my eyes. Trophies and medals are the least of my concern.
"At least let's finish class before we start talking about practice." I said and he rose his arms in surrender.
"Okay, okay." He smiled as he placed his hands down. "I'll see ya later." And he walked away.
I sighed. Thank God. Finally, some alone time.
"Hey, Alex!" Great...
The first two periods were over which means it's lunch time. As usual, I sit at the table with the students from my class. At least some of them. Now, don't get me wrong, they are fun to hang around with, but... it just feels off - you know?
Like, I like hanging out with them and talking to them but ever since high school, it feels as though... everything's changed. People started seeing my flaws for what they really are and they weren't afraid to comment on them - and trust me, that wasn't a great self esteem booster.
"Alex, where'd you run off to?" It was Nathan who brought me back to reality, his voice cutting through my thoughts.
"Probably in another one of his dream lands." Casey laughed, her lipstick shining brightly.
"Yeah, sorry." I laughed it off too, rubbing the back of my neck. In all honesty? - I was the least bit apologetic.
My face dropped immediately once they turned to each other, I tuning out their conversation. I could care less of what they talked about. I went back to picking at my food when I got this feeling that I was being watched.
I looked around but there was no one looking at our direction. Strange.
Lunch time ended and we went our separate ways to our class rooms. I liked this short break between the classes. It gave me time to just cool off and think. Think about what exactly? I don't know. About everything and nothing - everyone and no one.
I went and sat at my desk once I reached the class room. I usually sat in the middle, but I was always by the window. I like to stare at the clouds, just watch them as they slowly moved and reshaped.
Then I'd see the birds, flying freely through the sky. I always wanted to be a bird, to just fly away from my problems. But, one can only dream.
My head snapped back. I took a look around the room. I had the feeling I was watched again.
"Welcome home, sweetie."
"Hey mom." I greeted back.
I walked pass the kitchen, smelling the meat my mom was cooking. I knew dinner was almost ready but I went straight to my bedroom. I didn't feel like eating. At all.
I just left my bag by the door and slumped on my bed, my hands behind my head. I just stared at my ceiling. It was a deep blue color, dull in the dark. My room wasn't too big nor too small.
I had a bed in the middle, a closet in the corner, a window with a white windowsill by it and a desk at the opposite corner. Two bed tables were on each side of the bed, my phone on one of them. It was blowing up with messages from our group, probably talking about the big game coming up. I couldn't care less.
I turned to my side, staring at the night sky. How long have I been laying here? I wasn't surprised really, this happened a lot - me getting lost in my own thoughts.
Boy, I'd sure like to get lost out there. And by there I mean the great skies and mountains and forests. Just fly and feel the softness of the clouds, the cool breeze, hear the wind flow by my ears.
'Tomorrow.' I decided.
"Alex! Hey dude!" It was Nathan again, his arm was around my shoulder once more. I forced a smile.
Every day begins like this. Nathan being the first one I see, him engulfing me in a side hug. Now I liked the hugs, but it was getting old, honestly. Like, change it up a bit. Maybe a real hug?
And just like that, while Nathan was talking about some nonsense as usual, I felt a prickling feeling go up my back. I turned sharply this time, seeing only a crowd of people moving to get to class. But... there was one student just standing there in the middle, their head down. I could see their black locks.
I couldn't tell if it was a boy or a girl but judging by their form it might have been a boy.
"Yoooo! Alex!" I blinked when I saw Nathan's hand in front of my face. "You blacked out for a sec, what happened?" He asked, brow raised.
"Nothing, I'm fine." He looked a little skeptical but shrugged it off.
"Anyway, as I was saying..." He continued on walking, not bothering to drag me along. I smiled sadly - better enjoy it while I still can.
The first two periods ended quicker than I thought. Way too quickly. Lunch rolled by and everyone was getting up and piling out of the classrooms. I stayed still - I was the last person to get out.
Instead of going straight to the cafeteria, I took a right and went to the stairs. I walked up and unlocked the door to the roof. When you live in a neighborhood with a lot of young relatives, you pick up a thing of two.
I breathed in the air and sighed of relief. It felt good to be outside. And the sky was clear, the sun shining brightly, the clouds miles and miles away. But no worries, I'll reach them soon.
I closed the door behind me and dropped my bag, taking in the view in front of me. This is it. Nothing can stop me now.
I'll finally be able to fly with the birds.
I smiled softly. This can't go wrong. Not like the other times.
I chuckled at my failed attempts at suicide. It was funny, really. I tried with pills, I tried with knives, I even got a rope too. But my parents, or some other relative, got home before I could do any of it. I thought about going to therapy but I don't think it'll work.
You see, since this is my last time among the living, I might as well let it out.
I've always felt like a pillar. Like my emotions were restricted to only smiles and happiness and joy and all the good stuff. I could never show my bad emotions, my anger, my sadness, my anxiety. It was forbidden as my purpose in life was to be a pillar for people to lean on.
Whenever someone would feel down or sad I'd be the one to help them out. I heard them say it a few times too: "Alex is the best friend anyone could have!"
I smiled slightly at that. I never meant to become what I am today. I never meant to become 'the best friend anyone could have'. But, somehow it happened. The problem is, I don't know how.
Either way, it doesn't matter. They'll just have to find another best friend, another pillar to lean on. I'm done with this.
I went to the edge. I looked down to see students. An audience. Too bad I won't be alive to see their reactions. It would have been funny.
I took a deep breath.
I felt arms wrap around my waist, stopping me from taking another step.
I heard a voice say. I felt them bury their head into my neck.
"Why shouldn't I?"
I placed my hands on theirs.
It was quiet for a while. We didn't say anything. I felt their breathe on my shoulder and neck. It was labored, like they were running. Or frightened.
"Cause I'd miss you." They whispered. I snorted.
"I don't even know you."
"Would you like to?" They asked.
That made me pause. Would I? Am I just going to be a pillar again? Would it be worth it? I didn't notice that I was far from the edge till me feet touched the ground. They had moved me away. Why?
"Why are you doing this?" I asked them, trying to turn around.
They kept quiet. What were they thinking?
I didn't expect it, but when they let go of me, when their grip loosened, shivers ran down my spine. I felt cold and alone again. 'They're leaving,' I thought. They always do.
But then, I was being turned around, a soft hand gripping mine. I saw the eyes of the one that kept me from falling. What a shade - what a color. They lifted their other hand and placed it on my cheek. It was warm - or was I freezing?
They took me into their arms, holding me tight, cradling my head like they were trying to shield me from the world. I felt tears drop down, creating a wet spot in their sweater. Why was I crying? I had no reason to.
And yet, there I was. Sobbing silently into a strangers embrace, holding tight onto their sweater. I felt peace all of a sudden. Like a boulder was lifted off my shoulders. I realized how huge it was - the boulder. I felt like I was flying - I felt so weightless.
Is this how the birds feel up in the sky?..
.. It was nice.