We all have that one friend who brings bad luck. They always seem to carry an air of darkness wherever they go.
They seemingly have no choice but to fall victim to fate, while you stand there holding your head high, safe amongst the chaos. Mine was Adeht.
People would always be afraid of this friend. Sometimes people would only stare, sometimes people would scream, sometimes people would cry.
The worst was when someone told my friend that he had killed his wife and attacked my friend. My friend escaped the confrontation unharmed to my surprise, and never seemed to look back on it.
I would ask him why things would happen to him that seemingly happened to no one else. He just said it was fate and shook them off. I was always amazed by him, his ability to overcome such ill fate. If I were to be in his shoes, I would be scared for my life.
I don’t even know if I would be able to go outside. I would just be filled with fear, day in and day out.
He never seemed to have too many friends other than me. He would occasionally mingle with others but never found anyone that he was very close to.
Over the years his occasional friends would dwindle. This never seemed to trouble him either. To my surprise, he was never bullied, despite his lack of friends. Even my friends who were close to me always said that he was bad news, and that he just had an air about him.
Growing up we went to the same schools, took many of the same classes.
I would always ask to meet his parents and he would ignore me when posed with such a question. It was amazing to me that I had been to his house several times, yet I had never seen his parents. I would ask him for information, ask to see photos of his parents but he would ignore me again.
Over the years, as I became more aware, I had to wonder. Where were his parents? Who were his parents? Why had I never seen them before in all these years? He had never uttered a single word.
Sometimes it would come up in other conversations with other people, on the scarce occasions we went to social events together.
He would just smile and people would look at him oddly.
I remember one time asking him after such an uncomfortable encounter, “Why did you just smile? I know you don’t like to talk but-“
“Oh. They know where my parents are.”
I was confused.
“How? Where?” Then as usual he ignored me, and looked off into the distance. I began to shake him, and he seemed to pay me no heed.
Years went by, and he still never mentioned his parents. By the time we were toward the end of high school, people had begun to fear him even more. I would ask them why and I would get the same response from them. He has a strange air about him. I would ask what they meant and they said they simply could not explain it.
“Adeht, do you know why people avoid you?” He raised an eyebrow. “People say you have a weird air around you. Did you ever do anything… bad?”
“Bad is such a broad term.”
“Okay. Something that is harmful to others.”
“Yes. I’m sure I have. You have asked me this many times but why? Do people fear me?”
“Surely you knew.”
“Oh I do. But I fear them back.”
“What do you mean?"
“Fear is in the eyes of the beholder.” He curled his lips and walked upon his merry way down the hallway to his next class.
What did he mean by that?
Nonetheless he knew it mattered for something. Maybe I could attempt to get him more out there. I could potentially attempt to integrate him amongst my friends, as I have tried before without success. They were afraid of him, though nobody ever said anything bad about him to his face.
Another year went by. We were posed to graduate. He never seemed to radiate too much enthusiasm around me, though this was an exception. He looked at me wide-eyed, a deep smile across his face.
“Why are you so happy?” I asked him, my voice trembling from fear. It was strange seeming him like this. It was unnerving, to put it lightly.
“Oh. Because we are together at Hell’s Gate.” I looked down at the floor and realized that the floor was sinking in beneath me. I looked at him and then it all seemed to flash right in front of me. All the answers.
“People have always feared Death. That’s why people fear me.”