Tonight, tonight I’m sad. I run and wildly swing my arms around. My earphones are in my ears and the loud music hitting against my ear drums fills my soul and consciousness. I’m shouting out the lyrics on a desert road at 2 in the morning. The few around look at me as I go past. I’m drowning my pain and sadness in the lyrics of the songs. I’m feeling my head buzz. I jump over the gate into a children’s park and swing on the poles. I then collapse to the ground and stare up at the stars and sky.
In the skies, I see two eyes looking down at me, looking through me. I blow a raspberry at them. I feel someone collapse next to me.
“Who is that? Is that you, Walter?” I say, not bothering to turn my head to see.
“Walter? Who the fuck is that? No, it’s Ezra…”
“Oh, hey Ezra.”
“You okay kiddo?”
“Never been better.” My drunken fake happiness dissipates immediately. I feel a tear curl down the side of my face, on the side opposite to Ezra.
“Hey, is that really the case? Stop bullshitting me. I saw you earlier.”
“I’m fine, buddy.” I roll over and look at him. “I’m not shitting you.”
“Really?” He looks at me and raises an eyebrow. “You know, it may be dark and I may be drunk, but I do see that tear on the side of your face.”
“Aw shit, Ezra… My life is falling apart, you know? Well, no, actually, because in order for it to fall apart, it had to be together at some point. And I don’t think it ever was.” There is a pause.
“What’s wrong? Why do you never talk of this with us?”
“Meh, it’s unimportant really. Just a girl and a friend.”
“Who? What girl?”
I let out a little cry of anguish, “Iris.”
“Oh… You’re bothered by what’s happening between her and Luke?”
“Yeah… Feel kinda weird about it too, but so what?”
“Hey, it’s alright Hal, really, it’ll all be fine in the end-“
“You know, I had this dream a few days ago… I was in this valley, I was just standing there. A stream was flowing, I was standing, in front of someone else, I don’t recall who it was, I was just standing there. And then, I was pushed into the water, and my head was held underneath its surface… I was drowning, but I wasn’t really. I was looking, through the water, in a warped and distorted way, through the waves. Next to him, there she was, standing, looking down at me. Not moving. Not caring.”
“Who was she?”
“Who else? Iris.”
“You know, Hal, it’s complicated but… Things aren’t going great between Iris and Luke right now… Luke doesn’t really love her anymore…”
“Oh?” My mind was clear. Walter’s words were loud in my brain again. “What’s come up?”
“Well… He made moves on Amanda, and Iris learned about this… But shush, do not speak of this to a living soul.”
“Wait, so what Iris doing with Luke in the room then?”
Ezra vigorously rubbed his face, “I don’t know, they were arguing I think… Anyway, they aren’t together anymore.”
“Like 15 minutes ago… You left right before she stormed out.”
When I got home, I took my shirt off and bathed my face in cold water.
“You shouldn’t have told Ezra about that, Hal.” This was the first time Walter called me by my first name.
“Why? It helped me get information out of him, and very important information too at that. Plus, I like him, he’s nice.”
“Hal. Do not ever trust anyone but me and yourself. That information would have come out anyway, when you return to school on Monday, everyone will be talking about it. As for Amanda, you’re the one that gave him the idea in the first place!”
I stopped in my tracks and looked up into the mirror and at him.
“You know what Walter, please stop dictating to me what I should do. I appreciate all the advice you’ve given me, but you’re not me. In the end, I make the decisions.”
“Son, you are still young, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve lived through this, I know this’ll lead nowhere. Stop giving people information about your true self like this. It will not help you.”
“Okay, well, in the meantime, I’m taking a shower.”
I took my pants off and stepped into the shower. I wasn’t going to listen to what he had said. Walter is sometimes too full of himself to admit when he’s wrong. I watched my feet through the steam, carried up into some dream.