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Breend of Syracuse

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His name was Thomas Breend, and he wished that he had never been born.

He woke up every morning thinking 'Why?' knowing that he would never receive an answer if he had really asked someone. And why should he be so lucky to get one? What difference would it even make?

No one really knew, did they? Never really knew how Thomas felt. Never really cared enough to dig deep down and discover every nook and cranny of his lonely, silent soul. Maybe that's for the best, he thought, as he knelt down to kiss his mom on the cheek in the living room. She was passed out drunk, as always. He wondered what she would do, think, say, if she knew that this was her son's last day on earth. He then struggled to shake the thought away. He didn't want to hurt anyone by leaving. He didn't want her to feel the slightest bit of pain.

He turned away and walked out of the door, not even caring about his books for school. Wasn't there a chemistry test today? Doesn't matter anymore, does it? He stood at the bus stop, freezing cold rain hitting the top of his head. His mom's voice rang in his head. 'Wear your hood or you'll catch a cold.' Getting sick didn't really bother Thomas. He liked the rain. He liked feeling it hit his skin. It was rare of him to feel anything in general. It's okay if he gets sick. It doesn't matter anymore.

He heard the roar of the school bus driving up the street and turned to look. Why did he want to look? He knew what a school bus looked like. He turned because he felt a pair of eyes on him. It shocked him to see a girl staring at him from a few feet away, a girl he's never seen in his neighborhood before. He didn't want to stare but it was so hard to look away. He seemed to drown in those eyes of hers, the same color as the ocean. Seemed as if she could look right through him.

The honk of the bus snapped him out of whatever the hell just happened and he ran up the steps and sat down in a random seat.

"Who's that?" someone asked as the girl stepped onto the bus.

"Shh. She'll see us," someone else said to them.

The girl looked around for an available seat and caught Thomas's eye. She smiled and sat next to him. He was so caught off guard that he couldn't even smile back. He just stared at her, bewildered. He noticed his heartbeat for the first time in a long time. Noticed that it quickened as she reached over to grab his hand.

"Hi," she said, shaking his hand. Small, sweet voice. Thomas had wondered if his hand was too cold and stiff for her. He had wondered how long he would be able to touch her.

"Hi," he finally managed to say.

"How are you?" she asked.

"I'm fine," he replied. She smiled.

"Thomas...we both know that's not true," she said.

"What?" he asked. He knew that he never said his name.

"What's your favorite color?"

"Blue," he mumbled. Who was she?

"Hm. This is mine," she said, pointing to her shirt. "It's a certain type of orange."

"Do I...know you from somewhere?"

"No. But I know you, Thomas. You're ready for everything to end...but your life hasn't even really begun yet," she said, sadly. None of this made sense to him. He didn't really want it to.



"Please, stop."

"Thomas," she said once more. He looked into her eyes again. "Wake up," she mumbled. His heartbeat quickened as she leaned into him. "Please wake up."

He jolted awake from passing out on the bus. He looked to his left and saw that she was gone. He grabbed his chest and cried for as long as he could, feeling as if he had just lost a close friend.

"Beautiful, isn't she?" the bus driver said. "She told me that she used to have a name. She used to be human. Can you believe it? Someone as painfully beautiful as she? I have trouble believing it sometimes." Thomas stood up and walked to the front of the bus, wiping the tears from his eyes. The bus driver looked up at him and smiled as he opened the bus door. "She tells me that there's something after this life. Something worth all of the pain and sadness."

"Who is she?"

"She's you, she's me, she's the ocean, the sky, she's the feeling you get when you realize that everything that happens is supposed to happen."


"No, Thomas," the bus driver replied, laughing. "You'll see her again one day. Live your life for now."

"Is she waiting for me?" Thomas asked. The bus driver nodded.

"She's waiting for all of us. She came to give you hope."

"Where's everyone?"

"In school, where you should be. See you in the afternoon," the bus driver said. Thomas smiled. The hole in his heart had been filled, temporarily at least. He would live for her. "Hope you're ready for that chemistry test."

"Ready as I'll ever be."

He wondered how this girl could give him hope again, how she could virtually eliminate the deep sadness that grew within him year after year with just a smile and a few words. Then, he wondered why it even mattered. He was content now, and he knew that his questions would be answered when he saw her again. And he knew that he would see her again very soon.

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