He is about sixty percent dead. Maybe seventy percent, it’s hard to tell.
His long arms hang loosely on his shoulders and his lips are cracked, chewed. His damaged blue eyes lifelessly scan the book that lies on the table in front of him. Even though so numb and cold, his eyes don’t fail to amaze the people that stare at him curiously. They have a fascinating sparkle and are filled with wonders, but it’s easy to see that soon the power will fade. With time he collects scars. And with those scars, his life begins to leak and disappear down the rusted drain.
His handsome face is hidden underneath dark shadows, gaunt cheekbones, and much too pale skin. His callused hands have scars across the knuckles and bruises line the side of his neck. He taps his foot, tap, tap, tap. Pause. He looks up for a second and the girl across the room catches his eyes. He averts her gaze and turns back to his book anxiously. Tap, tap, tap.
Study his long dark lashes, the effort he takes to inhale and exhale, the purple scar that scales from his left eyebrow to the top of his hairline. Where have you been? Everywhere; nowhere. Silently loud, struggling to hide beneath the pages.
The way home is treacherous and terrifying, leaving him shaking and heaving. Foggy smoke drifts around his figure, enwrapping him with warm arms. Unwinding and unraveling, nothing is like the feeling… oh the feeling he could get. He can remember that one day at school, in the bathroom in the stall all the way in the back he tried it. Not so bad he thought. But his pockets are empty and a wallet nonexistent. So he continues home, the rain filling his sick lungs and the sun dropping silently.
When he gets home he doesn’t talk and only dares to breathe. But only once, maybe twice. Because in truth, it’s not home. It’s his worst version of hell. Feel the hand mark his face; hear the plate shattering behind his head, the shards flying like sparks of a plug. Listen as the yelling rings and the siren’s blare. Watch as he sits in front of the officers, telling the vile lies once again. Habits. It’s just old habits.
Rinse and repeat.
Rinse and repeat.
His mother brings him home in that tarnished car they bought from that shady dealer down the road seventeen years ago, the year he was born and the year it all started. You can tell because it has almost as many scars as he does. “Worth nothing,” she spits out as she comes to a jolting stop in the driveway. She slams the car door, dust flying into the cold night air and she points to the house. “just go to your goddamn room.”
He doesn’t feel the welt rising on his cheek or remember how the glass got lodged into his arms. He doesn’t question the burning in his eyes as he lies on his creaking bed. Nothing is like the searing in his chest, the aching pain. The lurching agony deep inside of him that enwraps his whole being so tightly, so angrily.
The next day, hiding behind the pages. Of course, again. The newfound marks and bruises go for the most part unnoticed as he hazily tries to concentrate on the words printed in front of him. But you notice the marks. His lips slight more chapped and torn, dried blood layering the surface. His eyes glassy, pale. Quivering hands and his breath quiet, broken, and uneven.
Hm. Upon observation, you realize. Maybe he’s about ninety percent dead.