I have never written stories, I could always start but never complete any. For a while I started believing that story and novel writing just wasn’t my writing style until a few nights back when I could finally come up with something. This is a first attempt so reviews and critiques will be appreciated but I’d still request any reader to not be too harsh. Carry on…
It was dark, hours after sundown. The sky had an odd gleam to it. Cloudy yet starlit, a magical charm, as if something magical was about to happen but He knew magic wasn’t something that belonged to this cursed world for over the course of his 19 years, he had only seen decrease in his belief, a constant decrease. An average young adult, stubble on his face wore a faded grey hoodie which shone in the pale moonlight.
“Who is there?!” he rushed toward the nearby alley where he saw something he had always heard stories of, a young woman, probably as old as he was, stood there, terrified, her hands high in the air, all of her physique overcast by a shadow, it looked like a man. It definitely was, he wasn’t an ordinary man though, he was a molester. An evil he had come to disgust as he grew up in the-rape stricken streets of his country where rape was as common as the flu.
“Hey, you!” he deepened his voice, successfully hiding his young demeanour in the shadows and under the more heavy voice, “get away from there, let her go!”
It wasn’t surprising that the man ran away before both he and the girl blinked eyes. The bigger they were, the faster they ran. The world had become a menace because of them but most of these guys were weaklings and losers inside. “You alright?” he asked as he walked toward her. “I think so” she said, grabbing for her voice behind the fear and tears, “thank you.” She didn’t look so weak to him, at least her appearance looked convincing enough but he knew that the stark fear would make anyone, strong or weak, petrified.
“Who are you?” she wiped her face with her handkerchief which had those little, flowery patterns on each corner.
“It’s better you don’t know me but it seems I’ve done you a favour and it’s only right if I ask for one in return.” He said smiling; his teeth sparkled as he spoke.
She was shocked, heartbroken; it seems she was out of the frying pan and into the fire. His sparkling teeth were the last thing she would’ve noticed.
Noticing this sudden change in her body language, he said, “Oh no,” and burst into laughter, “You think I’m going to do what he was trying to do,” and then he laughed some more. “Don’t worry, I may not be a boy scout but I’m not a rapist.”
She certainly wasn’t a fan of the hysterical laughing but in the end, it was funny and she started laughing too. “Elle,” she took her hand out, “Elle Reed”.
He took a deep breath and released it softly almost correctly acing the middle zone of breathing and sighing. “I don’t think we should exchange names, I’m David though. David Quinn.”
They shook hands and started walking toward the busy part of town, where there’d be light and people, tons of them, shops, traffic and everything else.
“What was your favour?” Elle asked him, curiosity flowing over her face like water from a broken faucet.
“Well, I need someone to talk to, to tell them how I feel, how it is inside me and all that stuff but to talk to someone whom I know is like sitting in front of a jury, I would be judged, misunderstood and I won’t open up. I have never opened up completely to anyone, I’m afraid it might push people away so someone like you, someone I don’t know seems a perfect option.” He explained.
“So, you want a real conversation? Done! Let’s do it.” Her excitement indicated, very strongly, that she really liked talking to people.
“Okay, where do I start, I am David Quinn, 19-years old but I’m not the man everyone thinks I am because each person only gets to see a part of me but no one ever sees the true me.” He said, his tone getting more serious.
“I’ll ask you to picture it, imagine a boy, scared, sitting under a tree and imagine people standing in front of him, you could call them his friends. This boy, he doesn’t talk to anyone, hasn’t done that for years. His friends are his own creations, each one of them fulfilling a specific role. One is his voice, one his muscle, one his talent, one his anger, one his softer side and so on, but none of them is him. He’s just too scared. This boy doesn’t grow up, doesn’t get up, even if it snows, even if it rains, just sits there, under the shade, hidden from everyone’s eyes because no one can see him behind his friends.” he looks at her for a minute and continues, “This boy picks up stories, characters, qualities from TV Shows, Movies, Books, Cartoons and makes a friend now and then. Each person he knows is only acquainted with one side of him or in other words, one friend or one character from the wall he sits behind. Some know him as the brainiac, some know him for the jerk he is, some know him for his sarcasm, some just know him as a normal, troubled guy with the usual hobbies, some see hope and change, some see the funny guy, some know him for his great writing skills but no one knows that he’s afraid, behind those people, he’s sitting below that tree, silent, since years. Seasons pass but he continues to sit there, adding more friends to the roster yet never getting up and coming out of that crowd.”
She looks at him, sad, realizing that the little boy is metaphorically, David himself. She becomes intrigued and asks, “Why is he weak and frail and afraid?” to which he says, “He’s been hurt, physically and mentally and over the years, he just stopped growing up. He was sensitive, he always had been but the world doesn’t realize that. He isn’t weak and frail, he’s just afraid because he knows he won’t be accepted, he is somehow quite certain of it. The real him would never be what people would like about him. So he sits there, fitting his personality to each person’s type and making everyone happy but then there’s the catch.”
“What?” she asks in a curious tone.
“He cannot stop one part of him coming out of those friends; he cannot see people in trouble, so he helps them, all of them. He doesn’t get angry if he isn’t repaid for the favours he puts on people nor does he care but when he does that, he becomes even more withdrawn from them.”
“Because he thinks they’ll find out that he’s not any of those things, at least not on the inside, on the inside he’s just the puppet-master controlling all of those parts of him. He’s afraid they’ll realize that it’s really this average person inside, someone who is afraid of people, connections, afraid of standing up for what’s right because he was punched in the face every time he did. Someone who just doesn’t talk any more, yet he can’t stop himself from helping them. They even take advantage of the fact that he won’t turn them down.”
He took a pause.
“To some he’s the emergency helper, to some he’s the best friend they’ve had, to some he’s the guy who gives the best advice, some he taught how to stand up for themselves, some he taught not giving a damn about opinions, to some he showed that humility was a thing, some he saved, some he helped in their battles against others, some he changed but whatever happened he touched everyone’s life. He has been this force that has pushed people back on track or did a small favour but as soon as he did that, as soon as his mission was complete, afraid that they’ll realize that he isn’t as great as they think he is, he disappeared into the crowd…”
She hears sounds, traffic and looks up to see a busy street, people, lights, cars whooshing past her. David wasn’t there. She looked around, checked all directions. He wasn’t there. He just disappeared…
If you really liked it and/or want a copy for some reason, here it is as a PDF file. Nothing much, just a little gimmick I did in my free time.