Chapter 7: Eternal Riddle
Sometimes in life, you come across a puzzle you are unable to figure out. You desperately try to put the right pieces together with everything you have, yet in the end your persistent attempts turn out to be futile. To Jasmine, Lucas was that enigma she was unable to solve. No matter how long she pondered about his behavior, she never seemed to magically figure him out. He was a mystery, dark and untouchable.
After the onerous occurrences of the previous day, Lucas had abruptly disappeared from the house. He left her another 'I'm sorry' note in her favorite box of cereal, but didn't face her to speak about what happened whatsoever. Her best guess was that he was cowardly avoiding her.
Nathan had come to her in the morning to question what happened. She simply told him Lucas and she got into a fight – no further explanation. It wasn't necessary. Nathan had nothing to do with whatever occurred between Lucas and her. It wasn't any of his business. She hated it when people tried to meddle, no matter how good their intentions.
Apparently Gabriella had told her son some details and asked Nathan to watch out for Jasmine. It pissed her off beyond measure. She didn't need protection, certainly not from Lucas. If she ever felt threatened she would find help.
Nathan had explained to her he knew Lucas had anger issues, but that he'd never touched a single girl in the past. He hadn't thought that would change. Lucas was very capricious, yet he usually stayed true to his principles. One of them was to never, ever hit a girl. It was a weak move, very low standard.
"I'm driving you to school," Nathan informed her strictly as he joined her at the breakfast table. Gabriella and Frank had already left for work earlier that morning. They both had a busy schedule ahead of them. With the warm and arid weather, people were out and about which meant lots of accidents and the hospital was filled.
"Could you drive me home as well? Lucy and I have a project we're going to work on tonight, but we don't have a ride," she asked him as she poured a glass of orange juice. She knew Gabriella had ordered her son to take her to school – she had eavesdropped on their conversation earlier that morning – but she honestly couldn't say she minded. Anything was better than a fifteen minute walk in this heat.
Nathan nodded in agreement as he put some cereal in a bowl. "The redhead, right?"
Jasmine nodded with a smile. "You know her?" she asked curiously. She needed to know Nathan's opinion on Lucy beforehand, maybe then she could figure out a plan to set them up. She usually wasn't the kind of girl that liked to play matchmaker but desperate times called for desperate measures. Lucy deserved to have a nice boyfriend.
"Yeah, I think she's in my Math class. We've never talked though. I usually only hang with the popular crowd," Nathan blatantly admitted. He didn't even seem to understand what a cruel remark he just made. Could the kid really be that dense?
"So you don't talk to outsiders?" Jasmine stated, raising an eyebrow. Her tone must have given her away, because Nathan suddenly looked taken aback.
"Hold on a minute, I didn't mean to insult your friend," he quickly interrupted, looking slightly guilty. "The fact that I don't talk to the outsiders, doesn't mean I've got a problem with them. I would never bully or exclude anyone. I'm not that kind of person, Jas. Despite being a jock I can be nice," he defended.
"I never said that. Your comment simply sounded a tad harsh. I mean, I'm an outsider too, yet you still talk to me," she explained, sighing. Deep down, she knew Nathan wasn't a bad guy. His explanation was entirely reasonable. She simply tended to feel insulted without a good reason. She had a habit of it really, first Gabby then Nathan and even Lucas. Life had made her that way, wary of others motives.
Nathan sighed, but nodded in understanding. "I can see where you're coming from," he stated. "I promise I don't have a problem with anyone. I'll even talk to your friend at school if that makes you happy." It probably would make Lucy very happy, but Jasmine didn't want to push Nathan into doing stuff he didn't want to do. It had never been her intention to send him on a guilt trip.
"Nah, that's okay. I just wanted to make sure you're not some jerk who thinks he's so much better than the rest of the kids at school," Jasmine clarified, playfully bumping him in the side. Nathan laughed and shook his head.
She really should start to relax a little and learn how to trust new people instead of going into a defensive mode every time her brain overreacted to life. She'd end up pushing all the good people away if she stayed a wary, stubborn bitch. Clearly not everyone was going to hurt her. She'd keep herself from being happy if she stayed so negative.
"You're something else, Jas," Nathan smiled before taking the car keys from the countertop. "You coming?" he called out as he noticed she stayed frozen to the ground, lost in thoughts for the umpteenth time. She was too easily distracted these days.
"Yeah, I'll be right there," she told him as she finished her breakfast and put both their bowls in the dishwasher. You're something else, Jas. She most definitely was. He hit the nail on the head and probably didn't even realize how true that statement actually had been.
She quickly took the lunch bag Grace had prepared for her earlier that day and put it in her backpack. Inhaling deeply, she plastered another fake smile across her face and she was ready for another day of school. How she wished she could be herself for once. It probably wouldn't end well. Teenagers nowadays didn't like depressed little girls.
Jasmine was playing with the key shaped pedal between her breasts, when Lucy suddenly jumped her from behind. "I'm ready to leave if you are," the girl giggled as she took a step back. School had gone by without much trouble. Jasmine received an A in American History and a B+ in Math. At least Chemistry was the only subject she was failing so far. She even managed to get a B in Physics to her great surprise.
The red marks Lucas left were currently covered with a few layers of make-up. At first she tried to hide them with a scarf, but that soon turned out to be quite tricky. She always had to make sure it covered everything, plus even when she was hot she had to keep it on. Fortunately the marks were slowly fading. In a matter of days they would be gone.
"We've got to wait until football practice is over. Nathan is giving us a ride. He promised it wouldn't take long," she said as she took her bag from the floor and started walking towards the football field. Lucy followed her silently, a nervous smile playing at her lips. She seemed to be excited, though she tried to contain her enthusiasm.
"Where did you get the necklace you always wear? It's absolutely beautiful," Lucy suddenly complimented her on their walk as she noticed Jasmine playing with the lock. Just Jasmine's luck the girl needed to hit her most sore spot.
"My grandmother gave it to me," she confessed softly. It was the first time since she arrived in California she shared personal information with someone. Usually she deflected personal questions. The less people knew the less likely they were able to breech her walls. Avoiding touchy subjects had become an automatism.
Slowly, but surely, she was starting to grow attached to her new home. No matter how hard she had tried to fight the inventible, it didn't work. It would have been a lot easier if the kids at school kept ignoring her and the family she lived with had been irritating.
Instead, she had found a great friend that possibly could bring down her neatly built walls and a family that accepted her and welcomed her in their house. Jasmine could put up a tough charade, but she knew her heart had been melting from the moment she set foot in California.
She still felt lonely without her grandmother by her side, the feeling probably wouldn't change any time soon, but being around the Wood family and having Lucy by her side made everything more bearable. The hollow feeling in her chest had subdued and she had found a distraction for the pain.
"It's stunning. I wish my grandparents had left me something, but they both died before I was born. I grew up with my mother. She was a teen mom and her boyfriend abandoned her the very moment he found out she was pregnant. Her parents had died when she was twelve so we lived with her aunt the first few years after I was born. Aunt Leila is the best," Lucy smiled. She didn't seem to have any trouble sharing her life story. Jasmine admired people like her.
She didn't have the strength to be that forthcoming. It was clear Lucy didn't have an easy childhood, yet she still had this incredible bubbly personality, once you got past her shyness. She was probably the most positive and blissful person Jasmine knew. The girl didn't drown herself in self-pity or hold a grudge against life itself. She was truly a remarkable person. Any parent would be proud to have her as a daughter.
"That must have been hard," Jasmine replied with a small smile. She knew how awful it was when people started apologizing so she refrained from making the same mistake. She felt for her friend. She would have never guessed Lucy had such a difficult past with her positive attitude.
"It wasn't always easy, but hey, we managed. Look where we are today. I'm in high school, graduating in a few months. My mom has a permanent job that pays the bills and we live in a small two-bedroom apartment of our own. It's more than I could ever have wished for," Lucy smiled, not looking sad in the least. Not many people would be that grateful.
They sat down on a small bench at the side when they finally arrived at the football field. Practice hadn't finished yet. The coach was currently talking to the team's quarterback while the rest of the team was running laps. It was a nice sight, very nice indeed. Jasmine couldn't help but watch the muscles of the guys flex as they ran across the field. It was definitely a mouthwatering view.
Lucy sighed deeply beside her. "Damn, look at that," she muttered dreamily, practically purring as she watched Nathan run across the field. Jasmine had to admit, his ass looked pretty nice in those tight pants. "I totally understand why Kelsey doesn't mind waiting for practice to be over," she added as an afterthought.
Speaking of the slut, Jasmine didn't see her anywhere around. Kelsey usually hung around the school until one of the guys offered her a ride home. It wasn't like the girl didn't have a car of her own, but she'd rather spend time with football players than driving home. She was a first class hoe, her short skirts and tiny shirts leaving nothing to the imagination.
"Don't worry, Luce, I'll get you your man," Jasmine quipped, smiling at her friend. She wasn't going to let Kelsey ruin Lucy's hope of getting Nathan. The redhead blushed ten different shades of pink and quickly hid her face. Her pale skin only elucidated the now mild blush.
"Jas, please," she begged, poking her in the ribs. Jasmine shrieked before laughing loudly. Lucy was so extremely naïve and shy, it was cute. Her clamorous laughter caught the attention of a few football players. They started to whistle loudly at them when they noticed two girls sitting on the benches.
"You're causing a scene!" Lucy hissed embarrassed, her cheeks once again flushing bright red. It took all of Jasmine's willpower to contain her laughter when Lucy was looking all cute like that. She didn't feel self-conscious in the least with dozens of eyes watching them. It wasn't like Jasmine ever had been a shy girl. She liked to stay invisible in crowds, but not because it made her uncomfortable. She just wasn't an attention seeker.
"Don't be such a baby, a little male attention is never a bad thing," she replied, giving Lucy an intent look. It would be a nice boost for Lucy's self-esteem. It was quite obvious Lucy had never had a boyfriend. Every time a guy only tried to speak to her, she started to stutter and her cheeks turned beet red.
Nathan suddenly came running towards them when he noticed the two of them sitting near the field. Jasmine felt Lucy tense beside her when he came closer. She reassuringly patted her back before standing up and walking to the sideline. "Hey, you," Jasmine smiled when he halted in front of her.
"Hey, I just wanted to tell you that practice will be over in half an hour. You don't have to wait outside if you don't want to. I can come and get you in the cafeteria," he explained, before looking over her shoulder and giving Lucy a short greeting. The redhead smiled shyly and whispered a soft 'hi'. It was the most adorable interaction Jasmine had seen in a long time.
"That's okay. We don't mind waiting," Jasmine assured him, turning her head and giving Lucy a coy look. Little miss perfect flipped her the bird, but not before making sure Nathan wasn't watching her.
"Well then, see you after practice," Nathan smiled at Jasmine before turning his head towards the nervous girl behind her. "Bye Lucy," he added. Once he ran off, Jasmine had difficulties containing the rumble of laughter that erupted in her belly when she noticed Lucy's awestruck face.
"He knows my name," she whispered in shock, clearly awed, when Jasmine sat down beside her. The girl looked so happy, Jasmine didn't dare to burst her bubble by telling her he only knew because she had mentioned Lucy earlier that day in a conversation.
"See, maybe you do have a chance with him," Jasmine winked, playfully hitting Lucy's arm. The redhead didn't reply, but kept staring at the empty space in front of her like it was the most beautiful sight in the world. Lucy was such a goner, she was already head over heels and she didn't even know the guy.
Football practice ended ten minutes late, not that Jasmine minded all that much. It had been way too funny to watch Lucy shamelessly ogling Nathan from a distance. If it hadn't been plainly obvious Lucy had a soft spot for Nathan before, it certainly was now. She couldn't keep her eyes from him for a minute.
"Aww, look at you. Head over heels," Jasmine cooed playfully as she watched her friend smile shyly when Nathan exited the locker room and made his way towards them. In return for her comment, she received a quick punch in the gut from a innocently smiling Lucy, her eyes wide with amusement.
"Damn," Jasmine muttered under her breath. Apparently the sweet little kitten had claws. For someone so tiny, Lucy sure had a lot of strength. Jasmine quickly put on her mask of indifference when Nathan halted at their side, his football bag casually swung over his shoulder.
"Ready to leave, my ladies?" he grinned, giving Lucy a flirty wink. Her cheeks immediately reddened as she brushed a loosened strand of hair back behind her ear and nervously smiled at him. Ugh. Jasmine wasn't sure how much longer she could stand Lucy's extremely girly behavior. The poor girl started to squirm every time Nathan said a single word.
"Yup," she stated rather loudly, interrupting their little moment of eye-fucking. How she hadn't realized sooner that her best friend was attracted to Nathan was a mystery. But now, Jasmine was thinking the feeling may be mutual. The way Nathan's eyes kept lingering on Lucy's body for a few seconds too long and his eyes lit up when he saw her, pretty much said it all. Too bad the only thing Nathan was interested in these days was fucking. He surely liked Lucy's appearance and would gladly take her to his room, but everything would probably end at his doorpost.
Why again did she want to play matchmaker? If her plan failed, she didn't just break Lucy's trust, but she would shatter her heart along the way.
Lucy wasn't that kind of girl. Jasmine could only hope he'd realize that in time and didn't end up breaking her heart. It would be painful to see even more setbacks crossing Lucy's path. From the little information she had gathered about the girl, Jasmine knew her friend had been through more than enough already. She still needed to graduate high school for the love of God and she had already seen more misfortune in her life than the average adult.
"Then what are we waiting for?" Nathan laughed, throwing another secret yet charming smile at Lucy before making his way towards his car. Jasmine rolled her eyes and internally groaned before following behind him.
"What's your project about?" Nathan asked curiously as he turned on the engine of his sleek silver Lamborghini and put the car into first gear. Jasmine buckled her seatbelt and watched in the rear view mirror as Lucy did the same. Her friend looked in awe of the expensive vehicle, but didn't dare utter a word.
"Chemistry. The Carbon Cycle," Jasmine groaned as she rested her head against the headrest of the seat. Nathan chuckled beside her and gave her an apologetic smile before returning his gaze to the road and driving off. He handled the car with precision and power. It was quite a sight to be honest. There was nothing more attractive than a man who knew how to drive his car, at least in Jasmine's opinion. She loved fast cars and wouldn't mind sitting behind the wheel herself.
"Your favorite subject," Nathan teased, grinning like the fool he was. Jasmine grinned and rolled her eyes.
"Yay!" Jasmine stated, feigning enthusiasm as she pumped her fist in the air. Nathan laughed and shook his head while Lucy curiously watched them interact from the back seat of the car.
"You don't like Chemistry?" she asked confused, frowning her eyebrows.
"That's the understatement of the year," Nathan intervened, shaking his head in amusement as he slowed the car when they arrived at a traffic light. "She absolutely despises Chemistry," he informed Lucy, catching her eye in the rear view mirror once the Lamborghini came to a halt.
"She does?" Lucy asked out loud. "You never told me," she accused, focusing her attention back to Jasmine. She didn't look mad, simply bewildered by the new information she had discovered. Even that fact had been too personal for Jasmine to share with Lucy.
"I don't like to complain, I'm not a baby," Jasmine replied evenly. What did it matter what her favorite and least favorite subject was? She could understand Lucy wanted to get to know her better, but Jasmine still wasn't ready to open up. Talking about her grandmother had been the first step in the right direction. She admitted she was still pretty closed off. It was something she simply couldn't help.
"Just watch her during class," Nathan advised, retrieving Lucy's full attention. "She's always drawing doodles on the side of her textbook or sighing heavily while she rests her head on one arm and practically lies on top of her desk. It's hilarious if you ask me."
"Am not!" Jasmine fired back, poking him in the ribs. Nathan squealed in his seat before giving her a warning glare. She giggled slightly, but didn't provoke him any further. She wanted to get home safe, thank you very much.
A few minutes and meaningless discussions later, they finally arrived at the mansion. As Nathan parked the car in the garage, Jasmine immediately noticed Lucas' Harley was still absent. He hadn't returned home. A slight pang of disappointment shot through her, but she quickly dismissed the feeling and concentrated on the flirty couple in front of her.
Nathan had helped Lucy out of the car and was currently holding her bag in his arms. "I can carry it," she stubbornly insisted, but Nathan shook his head and kept a firm grip on the satchel. He smirked when Lucy sighed in defeat and happily carried her stuff to the living room.
"You still sure he isn't interested?" Jasmine taunted, holding Lucy back so she could whisper the words in her ear while Nathan disappeared in the hallway. The soft blush and nervous look in the girl's eyes gave the answer away.
"Shush," Lucy whispered, her eyes widened, afraid that Nathan might have heard them. Jasmine laughed in delight at the girl's obvious horror and quickly made her way towards the living room where Nathan was waiting for them.
"We're going to take a dip in the swimming pool after we're done with our project. Could you make sure the water is clean?" Jasmine asked with a pout, knowing that Nathan wasn't unaffected by her puppy dog stare. The gardener usually made sure there was no dirt in the pool, but it had been a windy day and lots of leaves had fallen into the water.
Nathan sighed, clearly unhappy about the prospect of cleaning, but nodded anyway. No warm blooded male could resist Jasmine's puppy dog look. "Thank you, Nate. You're the best," she winked playfully. Nathan smiled softly, but didn't comment before leaving the two girls alone in the room and disappearing upstairs.
"He's such a gentleman," Lucy sighed dreamily. Jasmine laughed and shook her head. Who would have thought she would be having a girly conversation so soon after she arrived in California? She certainly hadn't. If it had been up to her, she would still be sulking like a spoiled child because she had to move across the country.
"They say love makes you blind," she retorted as she let herself fall backward onto the couch with a loud thud. She comfortably nestled herself against the soft cushion and took a notebook out of her schoolbag.
"Seriously Jas, you can't deny Nathan is one hell of a guy. He's one of the popular jocks yet he's sensitive and friendly. You don't find many guys like him," Lucy argued as she plopped down beside her friend and searched for her own textbook.
"Maybe," she replied unconvinced as she wrote down the title of their project on top of the paper. Nathan did seem like a decent guy. She couldn't deny that he had been nothing but welcoming and friendly to her. Still, she only had been living with his family for a little over a week and a half. It was too soon to make up her mind about him. "You can never be sure, though."
"You are such a pessimistic person. Are you ever going to tell me what exactly happened to you before you moved to California for whatever reason?" the redhead sighed, clearly annoyed by Jasmine's foul mood.
"Probably not," she admitted. A hint of sadness overtook her when she took notice of Lucy's somber face. For once in her life, she wanted to be that normal bubbly teenage girl, the kind of blissful girl she usually despised because of their nativity and cluelessness of what the real world entailed.
If there was one thing she absolutely hated, it was disappointing other people. She truly wished she could be the best friend Lucy wanted her to be, but deep down she knew she never would be that girl. There were too many demons looming around the corner that had filled her heart with darkness. Her grandmother used to tell her to shine her light to the world, but Jasmine was afraid the flame inside of her had extinguished.
Jasmine walked outside the mansion towards the swimming pool with drinks in her hands, when she suddenly noticed Lucy and Nathan sitting at the edge of the water. Lucy was laughing rather loudly at something Nathan said while their feet dangled in the pool.
A smile crept across her lips as she watched the duo interact. Half an hour ago Lucy and she had decided to quit school work for the day and relax at the pool. The sun was still shining brightly, heating the water to an enjoyable temperature.
As she walked closer, she noticed Nathan's hand was covering Lucy's upper leg intimately while they talked to each other as if they had been friends for years. She still wasn't sure what Nathan's intentions were, but so far he hadn't done anything inappropriate. He seemed to know that Lucy had very different standards about her love life than he did and accepted the boundaries she set.
"I see the bikini fits you," Jasmine said as she came to stand next to them, interrupting their little heart to heart moment. She put the drinks down on the small coffee table. After finishing the Chemistry project, they looked for a decent attire for Lucy to wear. Eventually they'd picked a green set that went perfectly with her untamed red curly hair.
"It fits her beautifully," Nathan complimented in appreciation as he shamelessly eyed Lucy from head to toe. The redhead blushed adorably and quickly hid her face by looking in the other direction.
"It does, doesn't it?" Jasmine smirked, winking at Lucy before gracefully diving into the pool. The water undulated as she hit the surface and splashed to the side, soaking both Nathan and Lucy. They squealed loudly, giving Jasmine an angry stare. She smiled innocently before swimming to the other side of the pool.
"Jasmine Price!" Nathan screamed at the top of his lungs, his voice an octave lower than usual. She laughed loudly, holding her belly as a painful rumble of laughter went through her, the sound quickly fading once she noticed a sudden movement from behind Nathan. A tall figure came into sight, making her gasp inaudibly as she realized who it was.
"Lucas," she whimpered shocked, her gaze focused on his. He rapidly turned around when their eyes met and started walking towards the entrance of the house at a fast pace. As fast as her feet would carry her, she jumped out of the water and ran after him.
"Lucas," she repeated, louder this time. Her voice sounded slightly hoarse, but a lot stronger than a few seconds before. He didn't slow down his pace, however, and went even faster if possible. He tried to ignore her all together as he quickly ascended the stairs and fled to his room.
"Lucas Wood! Don't you dare walk away from me!" she cried out, her voice high pitched. He seemed to halt for a nanosecond before he restarted his long, fast strides. Just before he could disappear into his room, she was able to pull him to a stop by gripping the back of his shirt tightly in her hands, nearly tearing it in two.
His movements ceased as he stood still as a statue, his back turned towards her. She slowly stepped around his frame, a soft gasp leaving her lips as she saw him up close. His upper lip was cut, a deep slash covering the pink flesh. The usual cockiness in his eyes had turned dull, the life seemingly seeping out of his body. He looked like he hadn't slept a wink and the faint purple gleam under his left eye told her exactly what he'd done all night. Even if she wanted to be mad or yell at him, seeing him flooded her with concern and compassion.
"Are you okay?" she asked worriedly, outstretching her arm and softly touching the purple flesh. Lucas withdrew from her touch as if he'd been electrified and quickly adverted his eyes, his gaze focused on the wooden floor. He'd taken a few steps back until he was out of her reach.
"Lucas," she said softly, her voice barely louder than a pin dropping on the floor. He completely ignored her presence. His eyes remained glued to the floor as he waited for her to step away from him and return downstairs to her friends.
"Would you look at me?" she asked, getting slightly impatient. The relief that swept through her body when she finally saw him back was slowly turning into annoyance. Why wouldn't he talk to her? "Please," she added softly.
They both stayed silent. Minutes passed by without a word being exchanged until Lucas finally gave in to her stubbornness. "Why are you running after me? Why aren't you running as far away as you possibly can? Why aren't you mad or scared even?" he exclaimed, his voice wavering. His usual proud posture had slumped down. He looked like a shell of himself at the moment.
She realized that even after what had happened between the two of them the day before, she wasn't scared of Lucas. Not in the slightest. He'd caught her off guard by what he did, had taken her by surprise, but she wasn't frightened to be around him. In the end, she kept coming to the same conclusion, what he did was wrong, but she could have fought him. Yet she decided against the idea.
Part of her was still furious that Lucas had been mad enough to nearly strangle her. He had some serious anger issues, that's for sure. She wasn't planning on holding his behavior against him though. He'd showed her he was sorry. It was clear as day. Jasmine wasn't one to hold a grudge. She wasn't ready to forgive him yet, but she could act like there was nothing wrong. The ignorance mask was one of her favorites.
It was the mask she used to hide her pain, to hide disappointment in other people, to hide the hurt she felt when someone backstabbed her, or to simply hide. Over the years, Jasmine had learned to wear many masks. It was something Lucas and she seemed to have in common. To other people they were a mystery, a puzzle of thousands of different faces. No one but them knew which one was real and which one was fake.
"I could have fought you, but I didn't," she answered in a monotone voice. Who knows, maybe it would give Lucas the relief he desperately craved. He had committed a serious crime, but she hadn't stopped him when she could have.
Part of her still didn't understand what on earth had inspired her to stand motionlessly in place. Hours and hours of self-defense classes had taught her more than enough moves to free her from his deadly grip. She didn't even try. Maybe she was sicker in the head than she previously reckoned. She had been through a lot. It was possible she had some kind of depression. After Theresa's death, she'd mostly tried to ignore the dark thoughts that crossed her mind.
"What are you saying?" Lucas suddenly questioned, his eyes wide as saucers at her confession. He looked beyond confused.
"I'm not a poor defenseless, little girl. I could have easily blocked your move, but I didn't. Part of me enjoyed being that close to dying. If you think about it, I didn't even try to fight when you wrapped your fingers around my throat," she stated evenly.
Lucas seemed to be lost in his thoughts before his rigid posture finally calmed and he looked her in the eye. "You have a death wish?" he asked quietly, a puzzled look crossing his features.
"I'm not afraid to die is more like it," she replied just as softly with a shrug. Lucas exhaled deeply and nodded. Understanding appeared in his eyes before he adverted his gaze. Jasmine swallowed thickly, a lump forming in her throat. She had clearly seen the look of comprehension. No one could have possibly understood, no one except a kindred spirit that felt the exact same way about life.