I saw him once in the neighbourhood where I was residing for a moment. It was in the year 1954. I could still remember it clearly. He was sitting there, hands on his face, looking so sad. For some reason on that particular day, I decided not to go to my work. Instead, I approached the boy.
“What’s the matter?” I asked as I sat next to him on the porch. For a moment, I felt like a grown-up, a sister.
“Hmm. Nothing,” he shrugged. He did not even bother to look at me.
He continued sulking and sighing from time to time, while I sat there in silence. I remembered looking at the sky. It was clear blue, no signs of any clouds. Most people would be glad for this weather, but not for this boy. And I wondered why.
I didn’t have any idea on what to do at that moment. I’m not the talkative type of person, and I’ve been living alone most of my life after all my relatives and friends I know passed away one by one. And I felt that I’m just like this boy. Alone. No one to share stories with, to laugh or cry with, no one to be with.
So I just continued to sit there in silence. Besides, I’m good with silence. Silence is my territory. For the past decades that I existed on earth, I’ve noticed one human nature: Humans can’t stand pure silence for a long time.
Then he sighed again. Just about time, I thought.
“Why are you here?” he suddenly asked. I saw his eyes glancing briefly to me.
“Because you are here.”
“And?” he asked.
“And, period.” I said.
I smiled to him. For a moment, I thought I saw a smile crossed his lips too, but it was gone before I even fully know if it was a smile or just a trick played by my mind.
“Must be a big problem, huh?” I said.
“Yes. BIG. No solution,” the boy said.
I smiled to myself. I wondered what problem a boy could consider so big that merit a no solution category.
So I said, “Try me.”
He looked at me as if I was joking, then he sighed and said again, “NO SOLUTION” as if to emphasize that the case was closed. There were no negotiations needed to change his mind, or to solve whatever was bothering him.
So I tried again.
“What is the worst thing that could happen to you now?” I asked.
“This.” He said.
“This what?” I prompted. “You sitting here all day is the worst thing that could happen to you?”
“No, not that,” he said, frowning.
“So, what then?” I asked.
His response was just a loud sigh.
So I continued, “You know, you seemed to be really having a hard time there…” I pointed to his head.
“There inside your mind.”
“Yeah. I— I don’t really know why. But the more I think about my problem, which I know just started out small like this,” then he demonstrated by joining his two hands to make a small ball, “the more it gets bigger. Like, like—“
“Like a monster.” I concluded.
“Exactly!” He said beaming for the first time. “You understand! Whenever I told my problems to people, they would always device a solution for me. But it comes to a point that I just wanted someone to just be there to tell my feelings to, not to solve my problems.
“But then, when I tried to solve my own problems, like what I should do with the Reading Recitation tomorrow if I was called up, I can’t think of any. And the more I think of it, the worst it gets.” Then he let out a deep sigh.
“You know, too much thinking can be likened to a disease. It eats you up the whole day, and the next thing you know you haven’t really accomplish anything, not even think up of a solution.”
“Then what should I do?” He asked, expectantly.
“Nothing. Just…Don’t think of it.” Then, I stood up and went home.
This a 500 word writing challenge I saw on the site of Noobcake and later on found out on the post of Indigo Spider (Sunday Picture Press IV) . I decided to try it out myself. So here it is, it looks quite long for it is full of dialogues and I counted the words and it reached 680 all in all.
I didn’t really plan for that long.
At first, I really had a difficult time to even reached the 500 words but then as I continued writing whatever it is that comes up to my mind, I realized I had reached already the maximum numbers of words needed!