The kid was young, maybe twelve or thirteen. He was scrawny and tall for his age, with dark brown hair. His clothes were kind of tattered, with holes torn in it and dirt ground into it in large ugly stains. I didn’t understand then. I couldn’t understand. He was a kid, what was I supposed to do?
The kid was crying, and as I put my hand over his shoulder to comfort him, wondering how dirty my chair was getting. As long as he was crying, he was the center of his world, and he didn’t need anything from me but comfort. He relied on me. He was vulnerable, but he was a kid. He didn’t understand either. Innocence leaves us, and we stop trusting. We learn to hate people. We learn to hate everything and everyone. But kids are innocent. Innocence is beautiful.
He leaned forward and put his face in his hands. I looked at the back of my chair. It had dirt on it from where he had leaned against the back for support. I’d have to clean that out. The little bugger didn’t understand that, but it was ok. He was just a kid, after all.
His crying grew slowly quieter, and I became uncomfortable. Did he want something from me? Was I supposed to say something?
“What happened?” I asked quietly. I didn’t care. I cared about how he needed to get the hell out of my chair before he ruined it. There were droplets of blood on his arm, and all I could think was he’d better not get that on the armrest. My chair would be ruined by the end of the night.
The kid let out a heavy sob. Now that he knew I was paying attention, he was willing to make an effort to get attention. Little shit. Just like the rest of them. A copy. A phony. A faker.
You know all of our body cells die and get replaced? All of them. This little shit wasn’t using the same body he was born with, you know that? He was leaving skin cells all over the place. My house. My floor. My chair. This kid was everywhere, trying to leave part of him behind, immortalize himself. Selfish.
“My dad,” the kid choked out around tears. “He fell asleep like always. But when he fell asleep, a man came in—” the kid sobbed again, a sickening choking sound, “—he came in through the front door. We never lock it. We never had to. The man killed Dad. And he came at me. He cut me. And he hit me. And he told me he was gonna—” he stopped and just started to cry again.
I wondered if the man followed the boy. I didn’t want another person here, leaving themselves all over the place.
I’m not cruel. Don’t make that mistake. I just observe. I’m not sick. I just watch and I think. I won’t be persecuted for that.
“Kid, how did you get here?” I asked. I lived several miles from anywhere. I didn’t like to be around people when I could avoid it.
“I ran!” he exclaimed. “The man looked away from me, so I pushed him and ran. It took an hour before I found you.”
The kid sat his back against the chair. He sat his arm on the rest. He smeared his dirt and blood on my things. The little fuck. He didn’t deserve his innocence. He didn’t deserve his beauty. If he did he wouldn’t have fucking ruined my chair. He was just like the other kid. He didn’t deserve the kindness I’d shown him. Did he realize I could’ve left him out there? He was just a fake. A copy.
“Get out of my chair,” I snapped. “You’re getting it dirty.”
The kid looked up and tears welled in his eyes. “B-but muh-mister—” he stammered. Selfish shit. Sure you can cry when someone’s watching. When you’re the center of the universe. This kid was a monster. He wasn’t beautiful. He didn’t deserve to even be called a child! No! He was just like the others!
I grabbed him by the arm and yanked him out of the chair. “You listen to me you little shit!” I shouted. He screamed and cried. I dragged him to the basement door. “You’re just like the others! You’re a monster! A fake! You feign innocence so you can invade my home and ruin everything I’ve worked for!” I opened the door to the basement and threw him down into the darkness. He screamed. I shut the door. These fakes couldn’t fool me. I’m no fool. He deserved it.
So did the rest.
...Kids these days.
Written By: Banker