I can’t take it. The yelling. The shouting. The arguing. The abuse. If I continue like this, I know it will only get worse. They don’t need me anyway. Why have I even bothered to stick around for this long anyway? It’s been in vain. Everything I’ve ever tried. They don’t care about what happens to me. I bet they won’t even notice if I’m gone.
Having made up my mind to leave, I now stand at the bus stop. I have a little money with me. It’s not much. It won’t last very long. But that’s all I need. I won’t be around for too much longer to need more anyway.
The bus ride is as to be expected. Long, tiring and annoying. The other passengers don’t even turn my way. My demeanor must be that convincing. Nothing’s wrong with me, my expressions says. What you see is exactly what I am feeling. I’m a happy dude! No need to pay too close attention.
Right, like anyone would pay any attention to me anyways. I’m nothing important. Nothing special. I’m below average, and even below that. Way below all of that. I had okay grades in high school. University was . . . okay. I graduated, to say the least. But there aren’t any jobs for engineers here. I know my parents are sick of supporting me. I don’t bring anything in for the family. I’m useless in their eyes. It’s probably one of the main reasons why I am always arguing with them.
My two brothers are still in university. Jordan and Carter, though three years younger than me, are well on their way to success. It’s no wonder my parents fawn over them. I’m not close to my brothers. We get along when needed, but nothing more. The won’t miss me. Just like my parents won’t miss me.
“End of the line!” the driver calls as he pulls into the bus station. I gather my pitiful bag into my hands, adjust my hood on my head, and slowly rise to my feet to get off the bus. I will need to catch another bus in the morning. I’m too tired to look at the schedule and all that crap right now. I’ll sleep on a bench in the station. Or better, I’ll find a motel. The quicker I get rid of my money, the faster I’ll be to leaving this wretched life. I have no reason to keep going anymore.
I can’t do this anymore. The pain has become unbearable. It makes me want to remain in a fetal position and never get up again. It stabs at my chest and makes my heart bleed. Not literally. Though that is how it feels sometimes. My friends have all left me. Either to get married and have kids, or travel the world. I’m all alone now. They don’t even acknowledge my existence, if I decide to grace the internet with my presence. Not even my best . . . My ex-best friend, and cousin, Charlotte, doesn’t even acknowledge me.
I’ve been sitting in this bus station for a good four hours now, contemplating where I will go from here. I have a little bit of money. It’s enough to get me . . . to wherever I decide to go. But not enough to live on.
It’s late, probably around ten at night. I can’t stay in the station all night. I don’t think I have enough money for a motel, but I can’t go home. If I do that, my aunt will want to throw me back into the psyche ward. I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy. Okay, so maybe the bruises on my wrists, strategically placed there by myself. Even now, I tug the several rubber bands and let them snap back harshly. It’s my way of coping. My way of escape. Sure, it is not ideal because I bruise so easily. But it’s better than remaining silent and letting the emotional pain consume me.
“Hun, we’re closing up now,” the woman at the ticket booth says, coming towards me. I look up at her and nod slowly, rising to my feet. I pull the strap of my messenger bag over my head and rest it on my shoulder. I start to walk towards the exit when I notice the strangest thing happening outside the building.
A young man is being tossed back and forth by two thug-like men. They leer at him, calling him names and beating him in every possible place. My heart calls out to his every grunt, to every silent cry of pain. Knowing how I might want someone to intervene, were it me in such position, I pull out my phone and dial 9-1-1, and start to make my way towards the bunch.
“Hey!” I say, stopping some feet away. “I’m calling the police! You have no right to hurt him!”
The thugs immediately release their captive, glance at each other and then make a run for it. With my phone squeezed between my neck and shoulder, I make my way over to see if the guy is alright. The light from the streetlamps is enough to let me examine the damaged given. His face is badly banged up. Broken, bloodied lip, black eye. He grunts as I hold up his head, quickly placing my bag beneath it, like a pillow.
“Emergency response,” comes a woman’s voice on the line.
“I’d like to report an attempted robbery and assault,” I say and rattle off my location. “Victim is badly beaten and the assailants ran off.”
“Please remain where you are miss. A squad car is en route.”
I end the call and immediately try to get a response from the nearly unconscious man in front of me. I touch his cheek and move his long, dark bangs away from his closed eyes. But before I can get a word out, the flashing of red and blue lights, and sirens blare in the distance. I look up for all but a second, when something cold touches my hand. I look down and see that this man . . . this boy is softly holding my hand to his cheek. His expression is peaceful, but for some reason . . . I see a reflection of the pain I was in just a short while ago. And from the look of his attire, he’s on the run. But from what?