The wind brushed my face pale as I walked from the prison I went to everyday. I turned and headed for an alley I called the Dark Side, where I could practise guitar in peace.
The hard crunch of street against feet was unbearable. The noise was gravel crackling next to my ears and my feet slowly turned to mush.
I felt horrible when I finally got to the Dark Side, but I gave my feet a rest and lay there, propped up against a wall. The Dark Side was more of a home to me than my dorm room. There, the only ones who were comfortable were Bryan and Alex.
I didn't have anything against Alex; he was a reasonable guy. Bryan was a pot head. The only times I saw him was when he was high, mumbling about hallucinations. I didn't want them to hear me play guitar, so I just went to the alley and practised quietly.
My whole life's been like that. Ever since my mom died and my dad walked out on me, I'm the silent one in the corner. When I got home, I'd just play guitar. I was a freak. I was under the social radar. I started to like that when I got to Garrison Junior High. I had gotten into college on record test scores and that's it.
Plain and simple; I was boring. My only talent was guitar, and that was not natural. I wasn't even sure if I was any good.
The wind had died down now that I was in an alley blocked by dumpsters and trashcans. I liked living with garbage. I felt it appreciated me.
I picked up my guitar from behind the dumpster. It was a good guitar, one left over my uncle, who had raised me. He was always away, so I took to his guitars. Then, when I left for college, he gave me his Gibson Xplorer.
I'm not sure how many songs I could play. I heard lots of songs nowadays, but they weren't the music I liked. They were Disturbed and Slipknot; bands that I felt had no talent. They were boring to me. I preferred it when Bon Jovi was on the radio and Yellowcard were releasing hit albums. The only music I could get into now was Dragonforce, and they weren't very good, either.
My uncle had been quite a rocker, and had taken me to various Offspring and Sum41 concerts. We had similar taste in music, so we got each other albums all the time. Now, that's over.
I slipped away into a dream as my fingers danced easily across the fret board as I went into a 3 Doors Down hit. Playing guitar was my escape from reality, and I focused as I edged hard rhythms with metallic riffs. Before I was finished, I had started an improv solo that sounded more like Voodoo Child' than Kryptonite'.
I sighed and slid an outro. I started strumming an atmospheric, dreamy chord progression. Suddenly, I heard a loud noise from my left.
I turned and a chill down my back shook me awake. I had been shocked-by some lame dude who had Hollister disorder.
I got up to leave, but he quickly apologized.
Whereyou playing just now? He inquired. I nodded, in a no duh way. He turned and started nodding. That was really good, He remarked.
Thanks. I mumbled.
You play in a band? He asked.
Nope. I replied.
Huh. He turned, and started a slow trot. I got up, set my guitar down, and got up to walk back to the hot house. Bryan and Alex were already stoned, so I just slipped right by and dropped my binder on my bed.
The room was cramped, with three beds, a living area and kitchen serving as the main section. A closet-sized bathroom was the rest of it. It was a bad dorm, but it was my home for quite a while, so I could manage.
I'm not sure Bryan could though. He's the complete opposite of self-contained, responsible Alex. They were best friends though, and Alex was also very into their stuff. Thing is, though; I'm moving out soon. Alex and Bryan are having this to themselves and I'm so glad. The move should be permanent three days from now. Alex and I are buds, but no one here is the person you'd choose to live with unless you were threatened otherwise.
The move started today. At least, the packing did. I wanted to leave this hell as soon as possible. I saw the world through poetic ideas, Bryan saw it as a pre-apocalyptic party and Alex saw it as a way to expand his financial horizons.
We were all incompatible; I was the silent loner, Alex was the dealer, Bryan was the victim. As soon as I moved, it was over.
The next day, shadows faded into the light as morning flooded downtown with sunlight. The clouds eroded to make the sun shine brighter, as if it weren't already hot enough. I walked up the steps to class, when I saw Mr. Walking Hollister Endorsement again.
Popular people destined to be prom queens or less glamorous jobs like strippers surrounded him. He recognized me and excused himself from his teeming groupies.
Their eyes stung me as he walked over.
Hey, I met you yesterday. I didn't realize we went to the same school. How neat. Who're you? This dude was like a freaking Barney. I don't know how this guy climbed the ranks of the social ladder but every word was as nice as could possibly be. Although, it would be kind of awkward to not respond.
UmI'm Michael. I muttered. Despite my ice, he still brought his gigantic efforts to make intelligent conversation.
Michael? Cool! I'm Dan, nice to meet you.
Heh. I murmured, and smiled. Wow. Social blunder? It's been so long since I've had to talk to people that I think I forgot how to do it.
See you around, He smiled, and walked away. I thought of how stupid I was, and spent the rest of my day in agony.
This is why I hated the social ladder. You worry too much for your own good. When I got home, Alex's eyes were like flat-surfaced golf balls.
Bryan got in an accident, He whispered.
We had learned to communicate without talking, so I just whipped around and ran, him tailing my every step and explaining where and how.
Apparently, he had been high and he drove too fast out-of-control and he hit a tree. Hard. The hospital had said he had severe cases of whiplash and possibly a broken neck.
My feet were pounding into the same street I had mentally complained about the night before when suddenly I saw Dan running to the hospital as well.