The monster was coming towards me rapidly. What do I do? How do I fight this thing? I barely know how to use my weapon! Shit shit shit shit- I froze up. I couldn't take my eyes off the monster that wanted to kill me. I don't think I could even run if I could. The sand around my feet stuck me to the ground. I couldn't die yet. There was so many places I haven't been. One more year and I could enter a strip club! I wasn't ready to die.
Out of the corner of my eye, something jumped out. The figure slammed into the monster's side and knocked him over. It pulled out two strange sticks and stabbed it into the beast swiftly before it could even get up. The movements were so fast, blood covered the ground before I could comprehend what had just happened. The monster seeped away and in it's place, giant Gushers © hovered in the air. I blinked, shaking away the terror I had just faced, and observed the stranger. It was a female, with long black hair. It looked soft and flared out towards the middle of her back. She turned her head, smiling towards me. Should I be scared? It wasn't any kind of girl I've ever seen before. Her skin gleamed a silver- or was it gray? She had green irises and the rest of her eye was orange. The girl wore a long white dress, draped in silver cloth and a golden necklace. Golden jewelry littered her arms and around her head was a crown I had heard of before, called Eye of Horus. An Egyptian crown that was rather beautiful. But the strangest thing was she had a pair of... Horns.
Her horns were long, one long spike on each part of the lowest part of them then a smaller one that led up to a round curve on the top that looked like the pinchers on an earwig. I had never seen anything like it. I know for sure it wasn't human but ally or enemy is the big question. She fought off the killer monster that wanted to devour my soul or however it kills I don't even know. But I'll have to find out. "Alttahia, friend!" She grinned widely, showing off two rows of very sharp teeth. I felt hesitant as I approached, stopping a couple feet away from her. It was silent. as neither of us spoke. What do I say to her? Do I.. Do I say a pick up line? She tilt her head, black hair fell over her cheeks. "I've never seen a human before. You look so strange." The girl whispered, laughing a little at the end. "Strange? If anyone's strange, it's you." I blurt out, realizing what I said, I bit my lip. Would she be upset? Instead, the girl nodded. "Yea I suppose I would look weird to you. I've seen paintings of humans in my castle. But they look a lot better in real life-"
"Did you say castle?"
She smiled again. "My name is Amiera Cicada. It means Princess and Loud Insect Of The Night. Nice to meet you..." Amiera trailed off so I finished. "Mike Kauffman. Just call me Mike, okay?" I offered my hand. She looked at the gesture, slightly confused, then took my hand. "Nice to meet you, Mike. You must be lost. Come to my home. I'll explain everything." Amiera gave a tug. I decided to follow, I mean, what's the worst that could happen? She seemed nice. And maybe I could get some answers.
I trudged through the hot sun and desert sand, her hand tightened on my arm with no sign of her letting go anytime soon. How could someone live here all by themselves? Especially a girl as young as her. I cleared my throat and she slowed a little, letting me catch a breath. "You have questions. Go ahead and ask. Sawf 'ujib."
Upon seeing my confusion, she spoke again. "It means 'I will answer'. It's Arabic." Amiera explained with a smile. Whatever. "So. What exactly are you? And how did you get here?" That would be first of... Many.
She released her hand, and I noticed as she pulled back, long nails that could have easily ripped into my skin. I hadn't even noticed them before. She must had been careful. "I'm called a troll. From a planet in another universe." Amiera looked up at the sky. "When I lived there, it was called Beforus. A simple world, led by a single ruler. But she was a horrible-" The troll cleared her throat and nodded for us to continue walking. "Anyway, a revolution started with some of the people. They wanted to overthrow her. It was a bloodbath. I was one of the peasants sentenced to death." The girl paused, lowering her head. "I wasn't part of the riot. But I was a low blood. And that was enough reason for me to die then."
I raised a hand as if I were in a classroom. "What is a low-blood?" I quickly interrupted. Amiera let out a sigh. "Beforus was separated by two sides. The high-bloods, whose blood color was cold. Purple, blue, violet, they were our leader's associates if you could even say that. She worked alone. Low-bloods were forbidden from disobeying them. Whose color was warm. Orange, red-"
"Red? But everyone from earth has red blood." I didn't quite understand but I let her continue.
"And my color, gold. The revolution started when low-bloods wanted equality. They were led by a red blood. I tried to stay out of it but high-bloods started storming homes. Khalia. Khatf." Amiera clutched her arms, shaking her head. "It was horrible. They came to my place. I had been hiding my my closet. Two of them. The door was ripped off and I was dragged away. My manzil became my zinzana." I walked faster, trying to gaze over her face. Eyes closed, bright yellow tears trickling down her face. I felt a tug at my heart. What was this? Sympathy? I barely even knew this chick. Why would I feel sorry for her?
"I-It means 'My home became my prison." Amiera sniffed, wiping her eyes. "Sorry. Anyway, I was thrown into a box with other low-bloods. The high-bloods thought that destroying all of us before we joined the fight would make the battle fall in their favor. There was twelve of us in the box. We all knew each-other too. Such a small neighborhood." The troll shook her head. "We all tried yelling for help. That maybe, the rebellion would hear us and save us. They never did though. But since I was the smallest one there at the time, being so young, everyone was able to make a small hole by working together. They pushed me out and I started to run. I barely understood what I was doing and looking back on it, I should have gotten help. I should have stayed and maybe even died with them. But I took the first aircraft off the planet and ended up crash landing here." She looked towards the sky, "Sometimes I can still hear their voices. Whispering calming words to me." A small smile broke out onto her lips. What do I say in a situation like this? "I'm sure they'll love knowing you're safe." I awkwardly muttered out, trying to calm the saddened girl. Amiera sighed and nodded slowly, gazing down to her feet. I didn't mess that up, did I?
The troll forced a bright smile. "What about you? What's your story? How did you end up here?" She raised an eyebrow. That was a story I didn't like talking about. But... Ugh.. I guess I owed her since she said hers.
"My family was poor." I slowly started. "My mom and dad owned a small Mexican food place. 'Como Muchos Tacos' they called it." I wanted to roll my eyes saying the name. Ridiculous. "One day, the store was robbed and my dad was killed protecting us." I remember the day well, like it was yesterday. The man had worn a white mask, his voice was deep. My father had pushed me into the cupboards under the desk as the robber pulled out a gun. I had heard the whole scene from my spot. My mom had been there with him. The robber ordered money and my father spoke out. He was shot without a second thought. The crack of the bullet sound still echoed in my ears. My mother had screamed and I froze up. I couldn't move, like I had been glued down. Fear was dripping into my heart. I wanted to start crying, but nothing came out. My voice was stuck, my hands began to shake uncontrollably. I swallowed, trying to pull myself together. I couldn't stop the tears quietly streaming down my face, soaking my arms. The robber made his request again and my mother opened the register. The robber was gone quickly and my mother slowly opened the cabinet, so many emotions mixed in her eyes. I squeezed my eyes shut, seeing my dad lying motionless on the ground.
It wasn't long before my mother remarried. I had been so angry at her for replacing my dad, I ran away that night after the wedding.
It was cold that night, street lights flickered on and off. Graffiti lined the brick walls over business and tall apartments. I had stopped, almost passing one of the portraits. made with spray paint. I shoved my hands in my hoodie pockets, the chill having bitten at my fingers. An orange scarf covered my neck, keeping it warm from the cold. It used to be my father's. The ragged cloth was falling apart, the colors growing dull. But it worked as well as any other scarf. I took a step closer to the art. My foot had hit something on the ground. A surprise washed over me and I had looked down. The artist had left behind a can of paint. I pulled out my left hand to pick up the bottle. The metal of the can was cold. I looked back to the drawing. A tall willow tree. It's tendrils home to all kinds of life. Children slept against the trunk, shaded from the sun. Their faces smudged out, but their hands together, the picture was nice. I looked down to the can in my hand, and let out a long sigh before shaking it up. What was I doing? I would get in huge trouble if I were caught. What more could the world do to me anyway? I aimed the can at the wall beside the tree and hit the nozzle. Red spray began to cover the wall. I twisted my arm around, turning the can to the side, letting the drawing flow out. It was done in a matter of minutes in the perfect time as the spray ran dry. I tossed away the can and observed my work. "Love." I muttered aloud, reading the word I spelled out. The long Old English letters weren't half bad. I returned my hand to my pocket. Perhaps I should return home. I closed my eyes, taking in a long breath. I've calmed and my mom must be wondering where I was. Just then, someone nearly knocked me over, pushing themselves right past me. The stranger kept walking, though I called out. "Hey!"
The hooded stranger didn't even slow down to my voice. I burst into a run, catching up with them. Short, the stranger looked like a young kid. Younger than me. I set a hand on their shoulder, and the kid whipped around quickly, pushing my hand off. Their hood fell, revealing pure white locks. Their hair looked shaggy, falling over their face. Eyes, shining red behind a pair of rectangular glasses. It was hard to see at night, but the flickering street lamps aided me in catching their porcelain white skin. "Why don't you bother someone else, you moronic Raven!" He spat, taking a step back.
What does that even mean? Should I bother asking? The boy sighed, crossing his arms. Did he see my confusion? He shook his head and nodded towards me. "Your hair. It's black. Like a raven's." He explained, annoyed. Upon observing the stranger's hair, I smiled. "Then does makes you a dove?" His white strands glowed, even in the dark. I ignored the comment about my intelligence. In fact, the boy fascinated me. He huffed, looking to his feet. "What do you even want?" He muttered quietly. I shrugged, letting my gaze fall to the empty streets. "I don't know. I was going to tell you off but you seem chill. What are you doing out here?"
The boy shook his head hesitantly, sliding his hands into his long sleeves and letting his arms fall to his sides. "I was running away, I guess." He admitted. I gave the boy a smile. "I'm Mike. Honestly, I was doing the same thing. What's your name?" I offered my hand. He looked at it suspiciously then took it in his. "Alex."
"We're bros' now, okay?"
"This is it." A final beat, and the inner walls of the beast exploded out, letting the vibrations of music spill into the outside world. I was flooded with light and had to look away, letting myself adjust to the sun, then looked outside. The beast suddenly rumbled, a weak roar curdled out, and the beast fell. I held myself down until the movement stopped, and carefully stepped out. Guitar around my chest, I looked around. This... Wasn't the beach. What was this? The ground was covered in soft soil instead of warm beach sand. I couldn't see past tall trees ahead of me. And behind me. Surrounding me around trees. I didn't need a sign to know where I was. "The Amazon." I breathed out, looking back to the beast. It's red eyes were dulled, and it lay unmoving. Perhaps a blast like that could kill something. I mean, maybe. It didn't bleed though, its insides spilled out. Did the beast walk here? Or was in something else?
Anything could happen in a glitched session. So, am I closer to finding my friends? Or further? I couldn't tell anymore. I pulled out my cellphone. A long crack ran down the screen but when I pressed the button, it still seemed to work.
-trigunTrooper began pestering greatGaspian-
TT: Alex. I haven't heard from you in a while.
TT: Are you okay?
TT: I hope you're okay.
TT: Mike told me he's in a forest. Maybe i'm in the same one now.
TT: We'll find you. I promise.
With no luck on Alex, I dialed Mike.
-trigunTrooper has begun pestering grainTrain-
TT: Mike are you here?
TT: Are you okay?
TT: Are you here?
TT: Are you okay?
GT: Duuuuuuude chill holy fuck ಠ_ಠ
TT: Mike! Thank god. You almost gave my a heart attack.
GT: Are you okay?
TT: Yea. A monster tried to attack me but I got away.
TT: Well it ate me
TT: But I totally broke out. You should've seen how rad I was!
TT: But that's not right.
TT: I haven't heard from Rose yet. But monsters shouldn't be here. They're too strong for the beginning of the game.
TT: There's supposed to be small things. Imps and stuff.
GT: I don't know what you're talking about but i'm assuming you're right.
TT: Killing enemies gets us grist, or money.
TT: We use that to buy things online.
TT: More specifically right now, a way to enter Skaia.
TT: Our houses didn't come with us like they were supposed too. So I'm assuming we're all on the same level. Maybe another planet I dunno.
GT: What ಠ_ಠ
GT: What's Skaia?
TT: Well, Rose, the girl who wrote the walk-through, she sent me a link to her page. It seems to be the only page my internet will connect too. Okay, i'll explain.
GT: Please do madam
TT: Eww I don't being called that. It sounds weird.
GT: Just explain the goddamn game.
TT: Okay you listeniong>?
GT: YES! ಠ_ಠ
TT: In the normal game, there's supposed to be a medium for each player. They all fight simple monsters to build a ladder and find each other in their own medium.
TT: They're also supposed to get a sprite. And when a sprite is prototyped, Skaia's space increases. It's kinda like a huge chessboard. When we get to Skaia, we beat the game.
TT: Got it?
TT: There's also the two moons around Skaia named Derse and Prospit. Which are the dark and light who fight on the planet.
TT: Okay it's super confusing but I promise, you'll understand. I hear something coming.
-trigunTrooper has ceased pestering grainTrain-
After speaking to Mike, I felt my nerves calm a little. But my worry was growing more and more for Alex. What happened to him? Please tell me he's alright.
Well, there was no point in staying here any longer. I should find a clue on how to get out of here. Maybe not even that. I needed something to do next.
The game is really messed up, isn't it?
I started walking, my heeled boots digging into the wet mud. It was pulling me down, making it hard to do anything. "Damn." I muttered to myself, pulling myself forward for another step. At that moment, I couldn't move. It was like my feet were glued to the ground. My heart skipped a beat, I had to swallow a lump on my throat. "No no no-" The words hissed from my lips.
I looked around, trying to find something that could possibly help me out of this situation but everything that was even possible was out of reach. Was this... Quicksand!? Right. I just had to stay calm. Struggling would drag me down. I took a deep breath, trying to calm my nerves. I escaped death once but who knows how lucky i'll be the next time. What was I supposed to do!?
As I began to feel hopeless, something flashed in my eyes and a strange object was before me. When I gazed down, atop the sand was a thick rope, a knot tied at the end. "Well what are you waiting for!" A voice called out from the trees. "Grab on!"
Without hesitation, I gripped onto the knot and let the stranger pull. I felt the grip on my body shake and within moments, the suction dispersed and the rough ground was below me again. My chest felt tight and I couldn't hold back a cough, letting my lungs clear. That was a horrifying experience I never wanted to go through again. Yet somehow, I seem to have a recent problem of getting trapped in things. First the beast, now the sand. What's next? A cave? Wait. I won't jinx it. I pulled myself up to sit on my knees and rubbed my head slowly, feeling the fear subside for now. "T-Thanks." I looked up to a figure stepping out of the trees. He reeled in the rope and slung it over his shoulder. "Glad I caught you in time!" He smiled brightly. It was a boy, looking no older than me. With black hair, small framed glasses, and bright green eyes. "When I came over, I expected to find a wicked beast to challenge. I saw you jump out though like some kind of nutter!" He laughed quietly, then held his hand out. "What are you even doing all the way out here?" I accepted the boy's offer and let him pull me to my feet. "I'm not sure." I admitted slowly. "This day has been crazy. I was on some kind of beach but when the beast tried to eat me, I found myself here.... Which is..." I looked around, only seeing trees around. "Where exactly?"
The boy smiled again, then rubbed his chin. "Ehh... Pretty dodgy story but whatever. You must be in the game too, right?"
.... He's a player!?
"You're in Sburb too? This server? How did you get here?"
"Blimey!" He suddenly interrupted. "I'll explain what I can. But first, check out this wicked thing I found." The boy started away and I had to run to catch up. "Alright let's go slow then. I'm Zara." I pointed to myself.
"Name's Jake." The boy nodded. "Jake English."
How is this possible? I was holding the stars. I could SEE the stars! They looked so small in the palm of my hand. Each one sparkled peacefully. In the darkness, it was almost like looking at the sky again. "Trust your heart." The woman whispered again. My heart? What was I supposed to do now? What kind of power was this? I used to be an ordinary girl before this all happened. I wasn't ready for this power.
I was scared.
I didn't know the first thing to do. I felt my heart thumping in my chest. I couldn't back down now. I had a real friend and they needed my help. I could see Dave's blade sticking up in the ground, too far for him to grab with beasts surrounding him. Actually, it was more difficult to focus with my vision back. I had to squint. The small light in my hand glared everything else.
One of the beasts lunged, and I felt my heart jump. Dave slipped to the side and the monster's jaws snapped together. Then another slashed its paw. What do I do?!
In a sudden impulse, I thrust my hand out. Without warning, my whole body was burning. I couldn't cry out though. It didn't hurt. From the tips of my fingers, the heat traveled up my arms, then spread out over the rest of my body. I couldn't move, because I was watching in bewilderment. The stars on my hands flew off. In a spiral tunnel, then spun towards the beasts. The light attracted their attention from Dave and they were now charging at me. The stars clung to their fur and as they came closer, I felt a panic rising in my gut. As the beasts reached me, I could finally move again. And I jumped back, tightening my hold on my spear. Then there was a blinding light. The beasts roared out, then the stars exploded. The beasts vanished and what was left of them transformed into strange objects. Was this grist?
Before I had time to figure it out, the small stars flung at me, and it went dark again before I had a chance to move. Was this the power my mom gave me? While I was busy trying to understand what just happened, there was a voice. "I didn't need help." Dave muttered, sounding close by. "But thanks I guess. Pretty wicked power you have. Is that a god tier?"
What's a god tier? I wasn't sure if I could explain what it was myself. Honestly, I was scared. Those weren't animals I had ever seen before, or ever wanted to see again. They were just like the imps when I first met John. Speaking of which... I shook my head and hurried back towards Rose's house without answering Dave.
A gentle snow twinkled down from the sky above. The flakes fell in a synchronized cluster, piling up in the earth below. A watchful pair of eyes narrowed against the cold air. The figure crouched down and set a hand against the cold pavement. "Winter is finally here." He muttered. A pair of sliding doors from behind made a creek as they opened and another being exit. "What are you doing out here?" A woman's soft voice asked. The male let out a sigh and stood back up, not looking back. "Praying. You heard what the doctor said, didn't you?" He crossed his arms and rested on the gate of the tall balcony. The woman stepped up beside him. "Yes. I don't understand how this could be an issue though. It's just a little problem. Easily fixable." She tilt her head and smiled, attempting to reassure the man.
But he shook his head. "Not this time. We own the largest company in the world. We are the face of it." He paused and clenched his fists. "If this child is how the doctor claimed he will be, then he have no choice but to try again."
The woman let out a quiet gasp. "Are you really considering leaving our first born?" Her voice grew louder with anger. The man whipped around and glared into her eyes. "We cannot have him own the cooperation one day if that's how he is! What other choice do we have!?"
The couple fell silent then the woman looked away, down into the city below. "What's so bad about a few different looks? Who says it'll be bad for the company?" The woman whispered after a few minutes. Her husband raised a hand to his head and plucked a single strand of hair. He held it up to his wife. "Itś not just his looks. Do you see this?"
The woman looked down to the strand of hair yet didn't speak, her husband continued. "Our genes IS who we are. This red has been the face of the company for generations. This color is why we got married, so we can continue the gene that makes this family who we are. We may have been an arranged, but, I love you. We have to do what's best. This child will be weak, blind, unfit to uphold a company."
The woman watched as the strand slipped from his fingers and was carried away.
"I... Understand." She looked down.
Since before the company was created, the family always had fiery red hair and deep sea green eyes. According to the doctor, the newest baby wouldn't have neither, in fact, it wouldn't have anything. The genes were recorded and after a long test, been confirmed the child would be born albino. Snow white hair and ruby red eyes. The woman placed a hand to her stomach and leaned on the railing. Without a word, the couple observed the snowfall in silence.
But that was a long time ago. Ten years ago. A young boy rolled over in bed, the sunlight shone through the small window. A few moments passed and he finally pushed himself up. "It's too early to be up." The boy muttered, rubbing an eye and letting out a yawn. He finished completely waking up and examined his room. There was his dresser, tidy with a table lamp and a laptop. Beside it was a dresser that belonged to his roommate. It was littered with notebook paper from last night, still not yet cleaned. It was hard to believe his roommate actually worked hard on school. The boy pulled his legs over the bed and stood up completely, stretching one last time and approaching his dresser. "What time is it?" A voice yawned from the top bunk. The boy looked back to his sleepy roommate and frowned. He didn't want them up yet. "Go back to sleep."
His roommate huffed and rolled over. "Quit being your bitchy self, Alex. Nobody likes that. That's why you haven't been adopted." The second boy trailed off as he slipped back into the dream world. Alex froze for a mere moment before yanking clothes out of his dresser. "You're so nice, tell me why you haven't been adopted either." Alex spoke low enough so the boy couldn't hear. He grabbed his glasses off the dresser and slipped them on his face. Of course, nobody would come to visit Alex today. All the adopters are warned against choosing him, so he was free to do whatever he chose today. Of course, he would be alone again. Alex slipped out of his room and started down the hallway. The window at the end of the hall allowed the orphanage to light up and not seem as gloomy as it really was. Even still, he couldn't stand being in it's walls, trapped with so many other people around. He didn't stop in the lunchroom for a quick breakfast like most kids did when they woke up, making his way hastily out the doors before the receptionist noticed. She was too busy on the phone to watch the doors. Once outside, Alex looked both ways, deciding where to go that day. Both sides didn't seem very interesting to go down but anywhere was better than here.
With a quick decision, he swerved right.
So many happy people were out today, dressed nicely, with their families or on their phones. Alex had a hand-me-down donated laptop at least. It didn't work well but he was able to access the internet. Before he received it, he had barely known what music was. And now it was all he was thinking about as he was walking. Imagining the beats and lyrics in his mind, he completely tuned out. When he blinked, remembering the real world, Alex realized fast that he had no idea where he was going. Normally, he would have been scared but for some reason, today, now, the boy smiled. This was his chance to be free. Nobody would ever adopt him, nobody even wanted him before he was born, so now he had his chance to find his own way. He sucked in a deep breath and ran. As fast as he could, he made sure not to stop as long as he had the energy to move. His heart pounded faster, his lungs screamed, but he didn't plan on stopping. Nobody would ever find him! But finally, he had to stop for a breath. Alex began to feel thirsty as his throat was dry and his body was tired. He didn't know how far away he ran or where to go now, so a break would be ideal. He sighed and swallowed, trying to compensate for the lack of water around. He didn't have to go much farther to find a sidewalk bench beside a cafe'. His eyelids felt heavy but he couldn't stop now. He threw his hood over his head and after a short break, stood up again. It was sundown already. How long had he been out? Were people looking for him? Probably not. He didn't intend to go back. Not ever. With a small groan, he shook his head and kept going. Maybe he would find somewhere to sleep soon. The boy pushed his glasses up his face, closing his eyes as he walked. Suddenly someone called out to him. "Hey!"
No. Whatever they wanted, they're going to bring him back there if they found out. And who knows, they probably weren't calling for ME anyway. Or so I thought until a hand was on my shoulder, gripping tightly. I pulled away and turned back, seeing the stranger behind me. My hood fell but I didn't care. Let them see who I was. I gazed up to them, seeing long, smooth hair fall over their shoulders. I couldn't help but stare. Black hair, contrary to my white strands. And darkened skin that looked well with their emerald eyes. Unlike me, this guy had color. He probably had a family and a home, with people who loved him. My own family thought I was weak, and I would be blind. Unfit to survive under the sun. But him... I spat the first thing that came to mind.
"Why don't you bother someone else, you moronic Raven!" I stepped backwards. He just stood there, staring at me. Did he think the same as those other people too? I huffed and crossed my arms. Obviously, he didn't understand what I meant. "Your hair. It's black. Like a raven's." I pointed to his own black hair.
"Then does that makes you a dove?"
A.. What? I felt my cheeks get warm. I was not a dove! I lowered my gaze before he saw how I was getting flustered. "What do you even want?" Just who was this guy?
"I don't know. I was going to tell you off but you seem chill. What are you doing out here?"
I shook my head at his question, pulling my arms into my sleeves and holding my hands to my chest under my shirt. "I was running away, I guess." I admitted.
The boy lightly smiled. "I'm Mike. Honestly, I was doing the same thing. What's your name?" He offered his hand for me to take. I gazed down at his palm. He didn't judge me. I don't understand. Did he really want me around? "Alex." I muttered, reaching out to grip it.
"We're bros' now, okay?" Mike tilt his head, letting his long hair flow with.
I had a friend now. A real friend that I could call my own. Mike suddenly gave a light tug, pulling me with. "Come with me. If we're both running away, let's go together. Do you have a place to sleep?"
With my other hand, I pushed up my glasses and shook my head. "N-No. And let go!" I pulled back and ripped my hand from his hold only to fall back and hit the ground. My glasses fell off my face and I heard a shatter right beside my head. My body hurt but I forced myself up anyway, pulling up to a sit, and rubbing my eyes. Everything was a blur now. All the colors just merged into one painting. I felt Mike's hand on mine again as he helped me to my feet then he chuckled. What was there to laugh about!? "Man you're stubborn." He voice was behind me then I felt him move. His shape picked up my glasses and offered them back. "I don't have any money to fix them for you. But my mom does. Let's stop at my home. We'll get you fixed up." His voice sounded so nice, the feeling in my chest told me to trust him. I nodded and forced a smile. He began to lead me in the opposite direction, and I followed. As we walked, Mike began to make conversation. "So what's your story?" He wondered.
"I'm not really sure." I shrugged. "All I got when I was dumped at an orphanage was a dumb note from my parents. Apparently they owned a huge company and couldn't keep me." I closed my eyes, remembering the day I was told about the note. I couldn't believe my ears. My own parents couldn't keep me because I was a liability to the company. After all, if I couldn't even handle sunlight, how could I handle a job like that? Would the people really accept a new face for the company when I came of age to take over? I didn't even look like the people there. Unless I told you, you wouldn't even know I was from India. They even went as far as to sail me over-sea so I couldn't come back. When I explained it to Mike, he huffed, sounding annoyed. "Bull. You look pretty fucking cool if I say so."
Cool? I couldn't help the smile growing on my face. "You think so?"
"Yea. It's not everyday you see a kid with snow hair like yours. So what if you can't be in the sun or you can't see well? There's such thing as glasses and sunblock. You're parents must have been pretty low. Maybe it's a good thing you're not there now, don't you say?"
What Mike said... It made me think. Was it true? Was I really better off? Even still, I wish I had met my family. They gave birth to me. I needed to know, even if I didn't stay. "Do you have a family?" I suddenly asked. Mike hesitated a moment before replying. "Sort of. My dad was killed not long ago. My mom hurried to remarry before our restaurant went out of business. But my step-dad is an ass. That's why I was running away. She didn't even consider how I felt and just married for the money. It doesn't feel like much of a family now. All she cares about is pleasing him so he can stay, regardless of what I say." I felt Mike's arms draped over my shoulder. "We're close now. So here's what i'll do. I'll just quickly slip inside and grab a few bucks then rush out before i'm caught. You just wait here, okay?" Before I could reply, he vanished and I was left alone in the darkness of the streets. What could I do now? I suppose I should just listen and wait. I couldn't seem to focus though. Even when I thought about music, his story kept replaying in my head. It felt like forever before I heard the doors creak open and Mike returned, waving a credit card around. "We'll get around with this. There should still be some money left so let's get you some new glasses before we find a place to sleep tonight."
"Here. Try these." My new friend adjusted another pair of frames on my face. I blinked and tried to focus but it was still blurry. "I can't see." I pulled them off and handed them back. Someone else suddenly approached. "Are you looking for glasses?" An older man asked. He must have been an employee. "Yea. What of it?" I quickly blurted, trying to get him away. The man didn't though, and instead chuckled. "Well, if you feel up to it, we put out contacts for sale. Colored ones as well, if you're interested."
"Colored ones?" Mike turned to me. "How 'bout it? An eye color change might help you feel better."
"Well.." If Mike was suggesting it, maybe it wasn't all bad. "Fine. Let's see them."
The clerk led us to a table and waved his hands to the merchandise on it. "Pick your color. Pink, grey, purple is very popular right now."
I turned to my friend, letting him choose. I felt so attached already. He didn't judge me at all, and was so nice to me. He didn't even speak about my mean words when they came out. Was this a real friend? A boy I met on the streets at night was so nice. "How about this?" Mike picked up a box. "Here hermano. It's blue."
"Hermano?" I moved closer so he could help me put them on.
"It means brother in Spanish." I twitched a little when the first one was in but the second one didn't feel to bad. I blinked, making it comfortable, then looked around. I saw better than I ever had in glasses. Everything was clear, without a smudge at all! "Check it." My friend picked up a mirror and held it to my face. The boy that looked back at me had bright blue eyes. I gave it a grin and nodded. "I like it!"
"Aw I knew you looked nice with a smile." Mike suddenly ruffled my hair. I shook him off and looked away. "I wasn't smiling." I wouldn't let him tease me like that.
"If only you were a girl." He sighed. "Oh well. Who says I can't." Mike suddenly smirked. Before I could ask, he leaned close and gave a small kiss on my forehead. I felt my cheeks burn bright, jumping away and narrowing my eyes. "What was t-that for!?" I spat. "Don't think you can touch me whenever you want!"
He rolled his eyes, fixing an orange scarf around his neck. "Relax. I was being nice. I don't swing that way."
What did that mean? I didn't care enough to ask. "Just don't do it again without asking at least." I let my guard down again. I wasn't used to such affections from someone else and I wasn't going to let them happen that easily.
It didn't take long... Only a few nights with Mike on the streets before I was caught by the police and taken back to the orphanage. Mike managed to escape and I felt the worst pain in my heart I had felt in a long time, thinking i'd never see him again. Until one day, it was late at night. I heard the laptop ding quietly. I rolled out of bed and opened Brainpad, the only social media I used. How...
Mike: bro. are you okay?
Alex: How did you find me?
Mike: pretty easy. your profile picture and matching area. but that's not important.
Mike: this girls tits were huge. you should have seen them.
Mike: oh right.
Mike: i should tell you.
Mike: i got a job. when i'm 18, i'll get you out of there.
Alex: Huh? Why would you do that for me?
Mike: because we're friends.
Mike: do I need another reason?
Mike: anyway, until I see you again, remember to smile, just how I like it.
Mike: try to be happy, even if it's fake, pretend for a little bit, and maybe your life won't be so hard.
Mike: i think they're going to keep close watch on you now. my parents aren't looking for me so i'll be okay.
Mike: just promise me, okay?
Alex: Until we meet again