leaf landed on the ground softly. Only the slightest pinch and tap
could be heard. It was delicate and fragile. The smallest wind could
take it on a long and treacherous journey. Fall was beginning to
settle in for the next few months. Although it was still technically
summer, the world would soon experience the change. The one leaf had
a new beginning. After it fell it was gone. In the springtime it
would rise again. The endless cycle of life and the repetition of the
pattern that would happen over and over again. Leaves were a sign of
both life and death. It proves how precious life is and how peaceful
death is. Life is gentle and fragile, easily broken but its can
always be mended, grown. Sometimes forgotten but never lost, the
memory of pain in the past is always there but the joy in the present
will always overcome it.
was the end of August, the weather was still warm and the sun was
still radiant, gleaming in the sky. The sunset was at five forty five
every day. Steve had looked forward toward it all day. He felt at
peace but tomorrow his life would change. No more Long Island
sunsets. No more small towns. No more peace and quiet. Tomorrow was
a date he feared for a while. It was moving in day. He had lived in
the suburbs for his whole entire life. Moving to a new place would
be, especially a big city like Boston.
was where he was going; Boston College had accepted him for his
academics, mainly English. It had been his strongest subject and had
obtained a 95 GPA all throughout his high school career. On his SAT's
he got a 2130 out of 2400. Steve was obviously a very intelligent kid
and he knew it. Even when he was a little kid at the age of eight, he
had outsmarted his uncle while watching Jeopardy. His family said he
was "gifted". Steve's great Aunt Myrtle said it was God's
gift to him and she had gone on this five minute rant about how Jesus
Christ lives through me. She was always a little loony but everyone
has a family member who is.
lived with his aunt and uncle. Aunt Deb had been his godparent and
then became his guardian when both of his parents died. He had taken
it terribly and at eight years old, he couldn't function. The worse
part of it all was he witnessed the whole thing. The horror of the
crash, it took a toll on him, one that he would never recover from.
Who expected him too? He was in the car when it happened.
now, he had moved on. The images were still there and he was reminded
every night before he went to bed. Even when they started to fade
away, they would come back. He couldn't escape it. Steve had even
tried writing about it. He felt warm and peaceful when he wrote. A
certain euphoria that came through from writing, but how could he
write about the worst thing that has ever happened to him? He got
three words on the page before he broke down crying. Those three
words would still affect him this today. . They weren't negative or
positive but they were calming and he didn't want a sense of
calming to the beginning of the story. It was the complete opposite
and it wouldn't make sense to him. Steve was twelve when he tried
to write about it. It was four years ago but it felt like yesterday
had made the decision to forget about yesterday and think about
tomorrow. He was going to college. Finally he was out. Out of his
stupid town, where he never even fit in. Where he watched his parents
die. Where his world closed in and he was alone, isolated in his own
little world. Steve did not have any friends. When his parents died,
he was blamed for the accident. It wasn't his fault but other
people thought differently. Parents didn't let their kids play with
him because he was "dangerous". Kids stayed away from him because
he was a "freak". He had one person, his aunt who loved him. Aunt
Deb had always been there for him unlike her ex-husband Uncle Jerry.
Jerry was his Mom's brother. He too blamed Steve for his sister's
death and he reminded him every day that he was a bad kid and brought
nothing kid. He died a few years later giving Aunt Deb full custody.
Uncle Jerry had died of a heart attack at the age of fifty one. When
he was on his deathbed, Steve visited him because his uncle wanted to
talk to him before he was gone. He made his speech short but enough
for him to haunt his nephew for the rest of his life. It rang in his
ears from time to time.
you protect her forever or I swear to god, I will come down on you
and show you heaven's wrath. More importantly I want you to
remember this. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. You
are an abomination." Within
five minutes later he died.
didn't shed a tear. He didn't even tear up for that matter. He
hated hospitals. He wanted him to just die already so he could leave.
His last words to him didn't offend him. In fact, Steve felt the
same way to him but he couldn't say that. He loved his aunt and she
was mourning. He had to be there for her. It was hard though, to
pretend to love someone when you despised them. To be honest, Steve
wanted him to die. He never admitted it to himself but he sure felt
he was focusing on the past. It was time to stop worrying about
everything that has happened. He wasn't able to change it, he just
never accepted it. Steve still had hope, but how long would it last.
It would eventually run out and he would lose it. No matter how many
times he told himself that his parents were waiting for him but they
weren't. They were gone forever.
Steve packed his things, he went through his closet. On the top a
shelf was a cardboard box. It was dusty and had an old smell, like a
nursing home bed. The box felt empty but there were many things
inside. It was like Steve himself, empty but full. He still had a
heart, two lungs, a stomach, and other organs needed for survival. He
knew his heart was empty though. He felt his heart shrink as the
years went by. It was still there though. It was still functioning
fine but how much heartbreak could it take. He observed one of the
most horrifying things anyone could see, both of his parents, dead
within seconds. He placed the object nicely on his bed. He wasn't
going to open it. He wasn't ready too.
packed quietly for another four hours without even giving any
attention to the box. By the time it was now eight at night, Steve
decided to take a break. His aunt wasn't going to be home for a few
hours and he had the house to himself without his nasty uncle. He
liked being alone, it gave him time to think. The stairs creaked as
he walked downstairs to the fridge. He looked inside and found two
beers. They were basically calling his name. His aunt didn't really
care if he drank, as long as he was responsible. She never said
anything but he knew she let him to drink because of everything he
went through. He cracked open both of them and sat on the couch. On
the coffee table in front of him was the pile of paperbacks. Books
took him away from all of his problems. He loved mysteries. They gave
him some sort of comfort because at the end, they were always
resolved. Unlike his life, it was always an enigma and it had never
resolved. He never obtained closure. He never felt at peace, rested.
Soon he would and he would not expect it.
began to drink his first beer which was a Heineken, his favorite. It
was a simple beer, old fashioned and it only consisted of three
ingredients. These ingredients were all he needed. He didn't get
drunk too often mostly because it was hard for him to do so. First of
all he was under twenty one but he could still easily get it. The
real trouble was the amount of beer he needed. He never liked any
other alcoholic drinks, just beer. It took him at least four beers to
get him even the slightest buzz. Buying four beers was ten dollars to
buy it from random classmates and he had no intention of paying that
much. It wasn't even worth it. Beer to him was just another excuse
to escape his problems. Every time his uncle would scream at him or
people would say things about him in school, he would drink. It
wasn't an alcoholic like action but a protective action. It was his
way of shielding himself from the world. When his uncle died, his
words had made Steve feel terrible so he drank. But still he doesn't
know if he drank because he was upset or because he was celebrating.
he took a sip of his Heineken, he took a deep breath. Actually a
couple of deep breathes to calm his nerves. He picked up a random
paperback on his table. It was the Hobbit. His Dad used to read it to
him when he was younger. Unfortunately, they never finished it. He
thought, "Why would they have this still?" Immediately he threw
down the book and picked up another one. It was a book by one of his
favorite authors, "Carrie" by Stephen King. His aunt had bought
him this book a few years ago.
remembered she said, "Sometimes there is such a powerful feeling
inside of a person, they can't control it." He had read the first
chapter but never went on with it. He was reading another book called
"The Stand" which was also by Stephen King. That was a fourteen
hundred page book about an apocalyptic world. He had spent so much
time reading it, he forgot about every other book. So he decided to
read it for about an hour. He had actually gotten through a good
chunk of it.
was about a young girl with the ability of telekinesis or to move
objects with her mind. He had once watched the movie but the book was
better. In the end, her gift would be her greatest curse. He had
learned that she was in an innocent world, corrupted by the society.
It had changed her and made her into a monster. Steve never thought
how much pain someone could have that would cause them to do
something like that, with or without paranormal powers, it was
possible. He wished he would never lose control like that. He
believed he was okay but deep down, he knew he wasn't. That was why
he was going to Boston for college. He didn't want to deal with the
same bullshit. He wanted a completely different life, a fresh start.
Boston would provide that for him, it was a city full of
possibilities. He had visited it a couple of times last spring and
once during the summer. It was so peaceful there. Steve needed
that...that state of calmness. He didn't want to worry about his
parents, his aunt and uncle, his town. Everything about it was
terrible. He had waited for college ever since the terrible accident.
hoped he would meet new people, people that didn't care about his
past. People that didn't remind him of things he didn't want to
be reminded of. What he really craved was a girlfriend. Of course at
eighteen he had made out with girls and done some other things that
he usually bragged about but he wanted a committed relationship. He
wanted someone who would always be there for him when he needed it.
He loved his aunt but she was family. She had to love him, she didn't
choose. One day he was just given to her and by law she had to keep
him, along with his asshole of an uncle.
putting down his new book, he sat around on the couch for a while. He
finished both of his beers and was ready to go to sleep. Just as he
closed his eyes his aunt walked in the front door carrying a few
packages. "Hey Steve sweetie?" She asked.
groaned, "Yeah?" showing no enthusiasm at all. He feared the
you give me a hand with the packages?" Her voice was calm. She
wasn't snotty about it but very sweet when she asked him. He
couldn't just say no even though he had almost no energy left in
him. Tomorrow was one of the biggest days of his life. The last thing
he wanted to do to spend his last night at home carrying groceries
inside. He did it anyway and included a nice smile as he put them on
night he went to sleep around nine, he wanted to get a quick and
early start tomorrow. He almost finished packing except for a few
clothes and some other things including "Carrie". He was really
hooked on it. He had thought it would be hard for him to fall asleep
because of anxiety, joy, excitement, and a bunch of other emotions
that were flowing through his body.
he had crawled into bed, it was warm. Not only temperature but also
sense wise. No matter how much he would try and deny it, he loved
this place. He felt at home even though he knew he wasn't. Home was
with his parents and his dad reading "The Hobbit" to him before
he went to bed while his mom was watching one of her home improvement
shows. He had never felt at rest here, physically yes but mentally it
didn't feel right. Nothing could replace his real home.
he visited his first house two years ago. No one wanted it because
people believed it was cursed ever since the accident. It was
abandoned but still intact. The only difference was the emptiness of
it. There was not only no furniture or appliances but nothing in it.
Not even one bug on the cherry hard wood floors. It was like a newly
built house. He looked around and saw nothing except memories.
Memories that were a powerful vision but vague at the same time.
stepped in his kitchen, remembering his mom making him sandwiches for
lunch at the hard granite counter, although he couldn't remember
any of the items on the counter. Nothing else came to mind but he
knew from the way her hands were moving that she was making
sandwiches. She had a very meticulous way of making them.
of a sudden, he heard a crash from upstairs. He sprinted up the
stairs and saw three large rocks on the floor of his bedroom. Then he
looked outside the window as he saw two kids on their bikes getting
ready to run. The rage he felt was like none other. Their eyes met
then Steve basically flew down the stairs and out the door. The kids
looked only a year or two younger. They looked scared, almost the
same look on his face when he witnessed the accident. He could almost
smell the fear coming off the kids. Without even thinking, he ran
chased them for a good three minutes, in the middle of the street,
but he was no match for their bikes until one of the kids stopped
short and fell on his face. He caught up to him and grabbed kid by
the collar. "Let go of me you freak!" the boy yelled. Steve said
nothing. He stared into the kids eyes. He wanted to hit him. In fact
he wanted to kill him. It took everything in his body to hold back
his anger, his hate. Then he was hit hard from the other kid's
front tire. He crashed on the floor in pain from his left leg and
watched the two kids laugh as they rode away. It wasn't a ha-ha
laugh but a nervous, horrified laugh. That was all he needed to make
him feel a little better, fear.
got up and took a big deep breath. To think he was going to actually
kill that kid to get back at him for what he did. He was only a
little kid who was up to no good but it was his house. His last real
memory of his parents and he wouldn't let anyone tear that apart.
No one would ruin what he had left because there wasn't much let to
ruin. He stumbled off the road and limped back to his old home to
have his aunt pick him up. After he called, he remembered he skipped
school that day to go there. His aunt didn't mind.
night he had the one of the craziest dreams he ever experienced. He
was standing on a circle grey shaped patio. He knew he was there and
felt it too. It was past midnight where he was because of the
position of the moon which was close to the center. There was an
inner circle with a statue. It was a statue of an eagle. Not an eagle
which represented the United States but one was a predator, one that
cared about one thing, the feast. It was bronze and had a little
glimmer on it. He stared at it blankly for a few minutes. He studied
it as if he was at zoo, observing it. He thought at any moment it
could attack. It would rip off his face and eat its liver like in the
Greek myths that he was so interested in. It was about the titan
Prometheus. Zeus had him chained up to a rock for giving humanity the
gift of fire. Everyday an eagle would come down to eat his liver and
everyday it would grow back.
statue's eyes turned quickly and kept its gaze on Steve, watching
his every move. He thought he was crazy but he wasn't. The eyes
didn't even blink or twitch. It stood with a frozen stare at him. A
stare that he had felt look through his soul. The eagle would know
everything about him, the accident, his thoughts, his memories, and
even his feelings. He was vulnerable, almost naked in a sense.
with the eagle's stare, he didn't move his eyes either. He kept
them locked to show he was in control too. To show that the eagle was
not a scary thing at all but somehow equal to Steve. He didn't get
anything from the eagle. He couldn't see its history or anything
but he tried harder and harder to see past his gaze but it was too
much. He was weakening and the eagle was still, motionless and
powerful. Not even showing a sign of fear, pain, nor unconformity.
The eagle was stronger than him and Steve finally blinked. Letting go
of all the tension and letting the eagle fully inside of him,
shutting nothing out, leaving him hopeless but worst of all scared.
The Eagle had won. The dream washed away like Windex on a dirty glass
screen door, dissolved and spotless. But he knew he would back, back
for more but he didn't know what else he could take from him. He
would soon dread the Eagle because it was slowly eating his liver,
piece by piece just like Prometheus. Although in Steve's story, his
liver would not grow back.
woke up, sweating and hot with his heart almost beating out of his
chest. His room felt like a sauna so he ripped off his shirt then got
up from his bed and pushed open the window, letting the cool summer
air in. He took a long deep breath and felt his insides fill up with
oxygen, then creating carbon dioxide which he let out with a large
exhale. His heartbeat slowed down to calming tone, a peaceful one.
Steve looked at his clock on his bedside, 3:37 a.m. The next time he
would see that time would be in his dorm. It was hard to think he was
leaving so soon. It was only about four hours away instead of going
south to the Carolinas or Florida. He liked the cold, it was numb and
quiet. Quiet was exactly what he needed. At least when he left, he
wouldn't really leave too many things behind. Steve would really
only miss his aunt, and he had a few friends, but once he said
goodbye, they would just be a memory. Like his parents, soon enough,
everyone would fade away. He decided he would go back to sleep, he
would need it. It was his last time sleeping in his bed. Though he
wouldn't miss that either.
he went to bed, he thought about his legacy. Steve never really
thought about it until right then and there. What would he leave
behind? Not a lot of kids knew him other than the few that remember
the accident. Once he went to Boston, they wouldn't remember him.
He would even be a memory
for them. He started to feel down like his life was a waste. It could
have been just a thought or something more serious but even he didn't
know. Whatever the feeling was, he didn't like it at all. He closed
his eyes and once again drifted back to sleep. The only thing that
was heard was the low whistling of the leaves on the tree. Shaking
slowly like a warning that something was coming. They stirred hard
and loud gaining bass as the wind slapped them. Then all of a sudden
they stopped and not a single sound could be heard under the dark
crescent moon that night.