It was night. A soft breeze cooled the humid summer air. Lights around the city glowed softly on the roads. It seemed so peaceful, like there wasn’t a problem in the world. But of course, every human has their doubts and fears. Over the city, their worries floated above them behind their smiles. One boy, Kane, particularly troubled lives here, his worries growing the biggest over them all.
"I wish I could stop dreaming so big and think reasonably, I'm up in the clouds, when everyone's down on the ground, pull me down so that I think straight"
The lyrics of his music drowned out his thoughts while he walked quickly down the streets of the city.
"After all only pain comes from dreaming in the end, so how much pain am I in now, that I have so many wishes, tell me, because I can't feel the pain, tell me, because my feelings have numbed, why can't I just stop hoping?"
He turned down a dark alleyway, and entered a rusty abandoned building. He skipped steps up an old staircase, higher and higher up. Finally, he reached the top. The chilled air was even stronger up here, and it felt like the sky was just above your reach here. He set his backpack down and grabbed a chocolate bar. Standing on the edge of the roof, he let his music continue to play and he lifted his arms outwards. Everyday, he wondered if he should just turn around and let himself fall. After all, his life was pretty meaningless. But, something stopped him. Maybe he was too scared to die. Looking down on the cars below him, he smiled, thinking it would probably be an inconvenience for some boy to commit suicide in front of them. Sighing, he bit into his chocolate bar, and sat down.
"Everyday, is just another day, feeling like I'll never be enough my friends and family, they say things that I can't believe I'd rather have them say nothing"
He gazed up at the night sky, and the stars shone in front of him. He remembered a friend he used to have, and he said:
“Doesn’t that one look a lot brighter than the other ones?” and Kane responded with a simple shake of his head.
“They look all the same to me.” To this boy, every day was changeless. Meaningless. He didn’t believe that he could be happy. His life was messed up after all. While he continued to lose himself in his music, a text message popped up on his phone.
Mom What the hell are you doing still out??
He ignored her. He knew that she didn’t care where he was. She probably had friends over, and felt the need to ask where her son she didn’t care about was.
“Whatever.” He muttered to himself, and stood up. Shoving his wrapper in his pocket, he picked up his backpack and left the roof.
"What’s wrong with me (what’s wrong with me), I don’t have feelings anymore, What’s wrong with me (what’s wrong with me), The tears won’t flow"
He sneaked quietly past his mother's room and into his own. It was quite bare, only a bed, a desk and a small bookshelf that overflowed a long time ago. Locking the door, he sat on the wooden chair at his desk and frowned at the paper in the front of him. It was his last year of high school, and they had asked for every student to fill out the questionnaire. He stared at the first question, troubled as ever, and fiddled with a pencil.
What is your dream?
Now that was the problem. He didn’t have one. He had no passion, no motivation. He didn’t find himself necessarily good at anything, or bad at anything. Completely average. He thought of putting music, but he didn’t feel he was talented in it. He only liked listening to music. He thought of writing, but that was more of his mom’s dream, not his. He used to love drawing, but he fell out of that too. He had totally convinced himself there was nothing for him.
“Kane…” A voice began, pulling him out of his thoughts. “Kane!” It was his mother. His attitude changed immediately, and he glared through the door.
“What?!” He growled. He lowered the volume slightly on his phone.
“What the hell are you doing in there?! I swear to god if you’re listening to music right now and doing nothing, god damn, you’re so pathetic! I had a perfect career set up for you, and you had to ruin it...” Kane effortlessly tuned her out. He turned up the volume again, and scrunched up the questionnaire in his hands, then chucked it into the recycling. He heard his mother screaming beyond the door. Luckily, it was pretty quiet. He lay on his bed and closed his eyes, wishing he could go back to the rooftop again.
"I've always asked myself, why am I living, what's the purpose of my existence... I don't really know"
“... Hey.” Class time. Everyday school was a horror for almost everyone- including Kane. People surrounded him, talking over his music, asking him questions he didn’t want to answer. He wanted to tell them to go away, talk somewhere else, but nope. He just maxed out the volume on his phone, and wished he were somewhere else with no people.
“Yo! Kane! Kaneeeee,” a particular annoying boy yelled. He enjoyed talking to Kane thought Kane thought he made it obvious he didn’t like talking to him, or talking in general.
“Kannnnne!” He waved his hand in front of Kane’s face, and finally Kane snapped.
“What Aiden?! Holy hell are you annoying!” Kane burst out and yanked out his earbuds. His music slowly faded away. Aiden took a step back from Kane desk and put his hands up in surrender.
“Woah there, no need to be mad Kane! I just wanted to ask you something-”
“What?” Kane cut him off. Already, a headache was beginning to form. Aiden grinned, unaware of Kane’s death glare, and smoothed out a piece of paper in front of him.
“Just wondering what you wrote for the first question on the questionnaire the teacher gave us.” Kane stared at the paper, and once again, that question he didn’t have the answer to appeared mockingly in his face.
What is your dream? Kane paused, deciding if he should say something, but Aiden spoke up before him.
“I want to be a photographer! Travel the world and take the best photos anyone has ever seen!” He raised his hands in front of him and make a picture frame with his fingers. ‘Yeah right’, Kane couldn’t help but think.
“I wanna be a lawyer!” A girl named Jana sitting across from him shouted out. 'How will she do that? She's terrible at arguing'. He wondered.
“Ooh me too,” someone else agreed. Soon enough, the whole room was discussing their future plans and dreams. It made Kane sick. He put his earbuds back in, and began playing music. He pushed away the sheet he never wanted to see again, and left the classroom. Not a single person noticed him. Class was going to start in 5 minutes, but he stopped caring about going to class a long time ago. He stepped out of school grounds and began walking towards the city.
"Why is is that it's so easy to be alone? But I don't really want to be Even one person is enough for me"
The same routine, every single day. Wake up. Go to school. Realize that there’s no point in being there. Leave. Spend the rest of the day wandering the city streets. Go to work at the corner store. Go to the roof, where he can finally let go. Go home. Fall asleep. He knew that his life was like a broken record. Today was a replay of yesterday, tomorrow will be a rerun of today. It’s all the same.
“Hello,” he said, once he entered the corner store at 4. There was only one person buying some candy and the cashier.
“Kane! You’re here!” Akira, a girl out of the 3 workers who rotated working here smiled. “Early as always.” Kane hesitated to answer her, and opted to say nothing, but realized she was waiting for him to say something.
“I just get here as quickly as possible after school,” he muttered, and set his backpack down on the ground behind the counter.
“See you around!” She called. He didn’t say anything back.
Being at the corner store must be the most boring part of this loop he called his life. For 4 hours, he sat there, listening to music, sometimes getting up to restock shelves and tend to the random customer. ‘I think I’m gonna fall asleep,’ he thought to himself groggily. Every 5 minutes he eyed the clock on the wall, watched the red arrow slowly inch it’s way around every time. Everyday, it feels like he spends eternity here. How could time go so slowly sometimes? ‘Only half an hour to goooo’. Spinning around in his chair, his thoughts wandered back to the morning. He imagined Aiden and his other classmates animated faces and how their eyes lit up once they talked about their dreams. Would he ever feel that excitement they felt about something?
What is your dream?
The question asked itself in his mind. It can’t be all that hard can it? Kane pondered over it, even if there was no point in it. Was there something he truly enjoyed? Nope. Only music. But he hadn’t heard of one person who makes a living by listening to music. Sighing, he heard the door open and focused his attention on that instead.
“Jonah.” Kane recognized the person easily- the other worker of the 3. He was a bit different from Akira. She liked to talk, whereas Jonas spoke only when it was convenient for him. They were similar in a way, so together they had a silent understanding between them.
“Kane.” He too, was listening to music with headphones on. Jonah pulled them off and snatched a chocolate bar off the shelf. It was quiet while they made the exchange and Kane was ready to leave.
“Hey Kane, there’s a party at my place tomorrow night after my shift.” Jonah said suddenly when Kane pushed open the door. He scrolled through his phone, not giving even a glance to Kane.
“Oh?” Kane responded carelessly, also looking down at his phone to change the song.
“Yeah. Bring your friends or something.”
“Sorry, I can’t,” Kane said. “Plus…” He added, “I have no friends.” Silence followed his answer, but Kane realized that Jonah wasn’t listening. His headphones were slid back on, and faintly you could hear the music playing in the silent store. Kane exhaled a somewhat relieved sigh, then found the strength in him to smile.
“Bye Jonas.” To Kane’s surprise, Jonas lifted his hand up in farewell. He left feeling a little bit happier than normal.
While Kane walked towards the abandoned building, it dawned on him Jonah could have heard what he had said after all.
"Sitting here I wonder, will tomorrow be the same as today? I wish that it won't be, even though I know it will be"
“Ah, so tiring.” He climbed up the steps again in the darkness of the building. When he hit the top, the moonlight hit his chestnut coloured hair like a spotlight. He finally smiled genuinely for the first time today, and like a little kid, he turned around in circles spreading his arms out like a bird. ‘I feel like I could fly,’ he thought to himself. Humming to his music, he spun to the edge of the roof but stopped abruptly. Surveying the traffic below him, he saw some of his classmates walk down the sidewalk. Aiden was there, along with some others he knew. They laughed giddily with each other, and Kane swiftly stepped away from the edge.
Down below, Aiden raised his head to the abandoned building beside him. He tilted his head to the side. He thought he had just seen somebody on the roof. He fixed his gaze on the spot he saw something vanish from, but nothing moved. He shrugged unconcernedly and turned back to his friends.
“Did they see me?” He whispered to himself, and peered over to see them. It seemed like they hadn't. ‘I’m worrying for nothing,’ he sighed and swung his legs over to sit on the edge. ‘Wonder what they were doing here anyways. I’ve never seen them come here before.’ He watched them disappear around the corner, and returned to his music.
"Don't tell me what to do," he sang softly. "I won't listen." Lately it seemed like his earbuds were always in now. He fiddled with the strings of his blue sweatshirt and thought. When was it when he started relying on music and this rooftop? It felt like such a long time ago. Maybe it only had been a year that he really began questioning his intentions. Ah, that’s right. Almost exactly a year ago. He had a fight with his mother, telling him he didn’t want to be an author. It was always his mother’s dream to become a writer. Not his. He left his house in the middle of the night disoriented from crying and ran. Ran and ran, as if he was running away from something other than his mother.
“Look at much of my life I wasted.” He stated out loud. Looking up, he heard his favourite song start to play. The sky was painted in pastel pinks and purples, while the sun slowly set under the tallest building in the city. At that moment, he wished he could just live here. How much life would be less worrisome if he didn’t have to deal with his mother, with his classmates, with toxic people he just wanted to avoid.
Just then, he heard a creak of the door open behind him. He whipped his head around to face it, and in front of him was... Akira.
“Akira?!” He blurted out shocked.
“Kane?!” She exclaimed just as stunned. “Wha-what are you doing here?”
“That’s the question I should be asking!” He responded. Panicked, questions floated around Kane's head a mile per minute. How was she here right now? How did she know about this place? 'Well,' he tried to be calm. It could be a dare. She had to come to the roof on top of an abandoned building. Rumors went around about this place all the time. They both stayed frozen in their spots, trying to process what just happened. Finally, Kane made a decision. Sighed, stood up and walked towards Akira. She lurched back, a bit scared, yet Kane reached beside her and grabbed his bag.
“Chocolate bar?” He offered, concluding in his mind that there was no point in continuing the awkward silence they had fallen into. No matter why she was here, she was here. Akira eyed him, and then the chocolate bar, then beamed.
“Sure!” Kane handed her the snack and walked back to the edge and stood with his toes just touching the end. Akira walked up to him and did the same.
“You’re not afraid of heights?” He asked questioningly. She stared aimlessly at the people on the sidewalks, just like he did. She had this aura around her that was scarily similar to Kane’s.
“I stopped being afraid a long time ago,” she whispered. Curiously, Kane wondered why that is.
“Then what are you scared of then?” He found himself asking. Her eyes widened again, and she gave him this sly smile.
“Why are you talking so much right now?” She giggled. Blushing slightly, it dawned on Kane that he had never really talked with Akira before… Or with anyone really.
“S-sorry,” he said flustered. “I asked something weird.”
“No it’s okay,” Akira said. “I think it suits you better when you talk more anyways.” She looked away from him a bit embarrassed. Kane did the same, and covered his face with his hand. ‘Well that was unexpected,’ he thought.
“Can I replace my question with another question then?” He inquired.
“... Or like maybe 2 questions? 3? 4?” Akira smiled and hit him in the shoulder. It shocked him, and considered hitting her back. But, he realized that he didn't have great people skills at all.
“Just ask anything!” She said, and opened her chocolate bar.
“Okay…” Kane said the first thing he thought of. “How did you know about this place?” He thought it must have been a dare or something. There was a low chance she had come here willingly. Right?
“Um…” She began. Her gaze directed to the sky that was dark now. “My best friend showed it to me.”
“Oh?” Her eyes glistened, and Kane questioned why. Sensing her sadness, he lowered the volume on his phone and pulled the right side of his earbuds out. Akira noticed that and took it as a gesture that he was listening. She took a deep breath before continuing.
“He used to come here every morning to watch the sunrise. He dragged me here so many times to show me.” She laughed sadly. “But, he got into a car crash and died. It’s been a month since then.” Kane felt his heart break a little inside, and immediately wanted to take it back. ‘I don’t know this person, why do I care?’ Then again, it hit him how insensitive he was thinking.
“Oh,” is all he said.
“I come here whenever I need to think."
“Won’t you be with me today? Hold my hand and let’s try to smile I’m afraid you’re the only one I’ve got”
Kane mulled over what to say.
“This place does have that effect.” Akira looked at Kane and rubbed her eyes.
“Right!” She suddenly brightened up and stepped away from the edge. “Listen, I have to go, but I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah…” Kane watched as Akira dusted herself off and headed for the door. She didn't look back once she reached the door. Once she left, Kane inserted his earbud in again and began blasting his music. ‘What a weird girl.’ He thought. ‘One second she’s happy, and the next she’s crying.’ He glanced down at the sidewalk and saw Akira. Her eyes looked dead, unlike minutes ago, and she must have stopped somewhere down the building to get her phone out. She too was listening to something. She ran across the road and out of sight. Kane then asked himself if Akira and him were more alike than he thought.
"I’m fine, Don’t worry about me I’ll continue smiling as if nothing’s wrong I’m fine, You don’t need to know my real feelings"
“Yo Kane! Guess what I saw yesterday?” Aiden, popped his head in front of Kane’s.
“What?” He asked, not bothering with turning down his music.
“I was walking with Jana and the others near that old scary building yesterday, and I saw something disappear on the roof!” Kane eyes widened for a second, but composed himself. He saw him? This was an easy lie.
“Oh really?” He answered uninterested.
“I believe the place’s haunted,” Aiden whispered.
“You really think there’s a ghost living in there?” Jana slammed her hands on Kane’s desk.
“Could you not?” Kane glared, and Jana swiftly lifted her hands off his desk.
“Sorry,” she apologized quickly. ‘God, how far were they going to annoy me today?’ Kane whined in his head.
“Yeah, I think so!” Aiden nodded fervently. “I didn’t believe the rumors until now.”
“You swear you were not hallucinating Aiden?” Some guy yelled, and Aiden shook his head.
“I swear I saw it! It vanished when I looked at it!” Ha ha. Kane just wanted to laugh. It wasn’t a ghost. It was him. Never would they ever figure that out though. The chatter grew stronger as Aiden continued to protest, and even Kane’s music got harder to hear.
“God damn,’ he muttered, stood up and pushed the door open to leave the classroom. Even as Kane sped-walked down the hall to the side entrance, he could still hear Aiden’s irritating voice over everything else. He pressed the button on the side of his phone over and over again. ‘Why can’t it go up any higher?’ he sobbed. He stepped out the doors, and glanced towards the city, to where the rooftop was. He found himself asking if Akira would be there again.
“Do you believe in soulmates? It’s a fantasy, a reverie, a dream that doesn’t exist True love isn’t something that’s real Do you believe in me? It’s all a delusion”
After going to a cafe, and walking around a shopping district, he noticed it was way past school hours, and he needed to head to work. He was supposed to be there 2 hours ago.
Entering the store, he saw Akira sitting behind the counter sulking.
“You’re late,” she growled.
“Ah sorry,” he said, not really giving a shit. Shaking off his coat, he walked over to the fridge to grab a drink. For some reason, he felt Akira’s eyes follow his every movement. He snatched a sports drink of the shelf and grabbed 2 chocolate bars too. Akira eyes still moved with him.
“What Akira?” He asked bluntly. Behind him, Akira jumped and her cheeks flushed red.
“Um! Just thinking!” She explained rushed. “Nothing important!”
“Okaay…” Kane answer, not thinking too much of it. He had thoughts of his own. He wanted to ask Akira if she wanted to come with him to the rooftop again, but then again… He was too awkward and he was extremely confused about what happened yesterday. She always seemed upbeat when he saw her, but last night, when she was sitting with him, and when she left, she seemed like a completely different person. He turned around to look at her, and she grinned sillily in return. See? Even now she looked so happy. ‘Interesting,’ he pondered, and without even knowing it, grew even more curious about Akira. Maybe she was putting up a front or something.
“Well! I gotta go!” Akira suddenly piped up, and literally ran to get her coat and to the door. “Bye Kane!” She was gone before Kane could even open his mouth. He shuffled behind the register and sighed. Maybe he would ask her tomorrow instead.
Mom You stupid child, where the hell are you again?
Shit, why are you always out doing other things than studying?
Come home now!
‘What about no.’ Kane thought once his mother texted him again. ‘I’d rather not go home.’ It was late thought. It was around 12:30 now, and he was usually home by now. A part of him stayed because he wanted to forcefully create a dip in his loop, and because he wondered if Akira would come again. But she never came. ‘Oh well.’ He stood up and brushed himself off. Maybe he’d go to a cafe to kill some time to piss his mother off before going home. Sounded good.
He crawled through the window of his room, and landed on the floor with a soft thud. Chances were his mother were waiting at the front door to chew him out, but he thought by now she would have figured out he found another way inside the house. It was around 3 now, and he finally pulled his earbuds out of his ears and plugged in his phone. Flopping onto his bed, he glanced out the window. ‘Just another day,’ he concluded and closed his eyes to sleep.
Another day had flown by, and it was again time to go to work. He promised himself that he would go early this time, and maybe ask Akira what he wanted this time. He felt a bit nervous as he approached the store, though he refused to admit it. It had been a while since he had felt the need to be nervous.
“Hey.” He entered the store. Nobody was around at the time.
“Yo.” For once, Akira didn’t look content today. She had dark bags under her eyes, and even when she tried to smile, it looked forced. His first instinct was to ask what was wrong, but he didn’t want to invade her privacy. He knew what that felt like for a fact. She had earbuds in, just like him. Curiously, he asked:
“What are you listening to?” And instead of saying anything, Akira flipped her phone into her hand and showed him the screen.
“‘Just Hoping’ by Something New?’ Kane asked, his eyes lighting up instantly. “That’s an awesome song.” All of sudden, Akira looked up and smiled genuinely for the first time.
“I know right?” She paused before adding “my best friend told me about him.”
“He had good taste.” Mentally, Kane made note that this guy was definitely respectable… Dead or not.
“Lose Myself is really great too,” he added, just because that’s what he was listening to right now.
“I could listen to that on repeat for days,” Akira agreed. Kane could tell her mood was lighting up already. “What about Better?” She asked. Kane pretended to reflect over it, then smirked.
“On my top 5.” Akira laughed.
“Better is basically my life story,” she sighed, a hint of defeat in her voice. Kane noticed it, but said something of his own.
“It’s Only A Dream is mine,’ he whispered. Akira met his eyes, and judging by her pained expression, she had listened to the lyrics too. Akira couldn’t figure out what to say, so they lapsed into an uncomfortable silence. No customers had come in for a while, so it was just them. Akira should have left a while ago. Kane impulsively decided that now was a good time to ask her.
"Come to the rooftop with me after my shift." As soon as the words left his mouth, he felt like smacking his head against the counter top. 'You dumbass, you didn't even ask, you just said it!' Kane lowered his head so he couldn't see Akira's expression. 'I messed things up again,' he thought. When Kane lifted his head, he waited for Akira to give him a look of disgust or something, but she just... Burst into laughter? He watched her laugh uncontrollably with confusion, and it wasn't until a few minutes later that she calmed herself down.
"M-my stomach hurts," she gasps, clutching her stomach. Tears brimmed her eyes from giggling so much. Kane frowned.
"Stop making fun of me."
"Sorry. Can't. You're so awkward Kane." Akira smirked and at last answered his 'question'.
"Sure. Why not?" In awe, Kane couldn’t help but be shocked. ‘I did it?’ He asked himself. ‘I actually did it?’
“Cool.” Kane managed to say. “We can talk about Something New.”
“Sure.” Just then, Jonah walked into the store, tapping at his phone with his headphones on, not even sparing a glance at the 2.
“Hey Jonah,” Kane said. Jonah went straight for the ice cream freezer, and pulled out a bar before looking at Kane.
“Hey.” He nodded his head towards Akira, who looked slightly amazed at Jonah’s I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude.
“Come on.” Kane beckoned Akira. “Let’s go.” Obediently, Akira followed Kane out into the streets without saying anything else to Jonah. She followed up the streets and down the alley. Up the stairs and through the door. They both dropped their stuff on the ground and went to sit down. Kane swung his legs back and forth, happier than usual since Akira was here. Akira saw Kane and started kicking her legs too in sync. Watching her eyes glow like the stars in the sky gave Kane this weird bubbly feeling in his stomach. ‘Woah.’ Kane stopped swinging and adjusted his earbuds. He hadn’t felt that way since a ridiculous amount of time ago. Maybe it was because of Akira? He snuck a glance towards her, and she looked so different to when he walked in the store earlier. She looked brighter.
“What are you listening to?” Akira asked him, catching him off guard.
“Oh, um, I’m listening to Maybe Later.” Akira gave him this playful grin, and nodded.
“Yep.” Kane, unsure what to do now, turned his attention to the night sky. It was cloudy today, and only a few stars were visible. It wasn’t the best day to be here, but to be honest, he was here no matter what the weather was like.
“You know Kane,” Akira began suddenly again.
“It’s so weird. It feels in like the course of only 2 days now, I feel like I know you a lot better than before.”
“Yeah. You talk more now.”
“I feel the same,” Kane added before he could stop himself. “I feel like I know you better too.”
“Oh really?” Akira raised an eyebrow.
“Uh huh. You act like an upbeat person when you’re really like me. You also like Something New.” Akira only nodded to this fact. So much questions floated about for both of them, but if they were more alike than they knew, they probably would just want to keep to themselves. They sat in silence for another 10 minutes before Akira got up from the ledge.
“It’s late, I should go.”
“Okay. Same time tomorrow?” Kane heard himself ask.
“Sure.” Akira left pretty quietly to keep the atmosphere of the rooftop. Kane guessed he should get home too. He let the last lyrics of his song play before closing the door behind him.
“Maybe things aren’t as bad I thought There’s more to life than just pain I’m sure Find the light that you’re looking for Nobody’s ever truly alone”
For the next 2 weeks, Akira and Kane met every night at the rooftop. Kane’s mood became so much more brighter, and Akira felt more light on her feet all the time, both of them working harder and looking forward to later. Kane had started staying in class all day. He had the random conversations with Aiden too, even if he still thought he was annoying as hell. Akira and him talked for hours at the store, then on the roof. They talked about the random things sometimes, or about deeper things that they kept from most people. Kane had found out aside from the heartbreaking death of her best friend, her parents were a bit of a bother too. Her mother and her father were both over-achievers, and expected Akira to be the same. She gave up a long time ago to try and impress them. Then, Kane found himself telling her things he’s never told anyone before. About his parents, about his music and thoughts on death. Kane was right to assume they were similar in many ways. He felt his life begin to change with every day he lived further. He felt himself break free from the loop he was tangled up in. Amazing, what one person can do for you. Life was no longer the same.
“Do you have a dream?” Kane asked Akira while they lay side by side in the middle of the roof with a bag of chips between them. Akira had brought a speaker today, and Something New’s voice played softly creating a mood.
“Hm… You mean work wise? Can’t say I do.”
"But otherwise, I'd say my dream is to find peace."
"I don't think I have a dream," Kane groaned. That questionnaire question was still stuck at the back of his mind. It was constantly growing more irritating with each day.
"Sure you do." Akira argued. "Everyone has a dream, whether they know it or not," she grinned, quoting a lyric from a Something New song called Dreaming.
“Everyone has a dream, whether they know it or not, wouldn’t it be nice thought to know what it is?” She sang again. Sitting up, she reached for her phone and changed the song to Dreaming. Akira and Kane listened to the song in silence until Akira spoke up.
“Kane, it’s okay not to have a dream you know?”
“I guess,” Kane muttered, but still it gave him an uneasy feeling he shouldn't be having, and Akira must have sensed it, for she said something else.
“It can be something simple right? You don’t have to be all detailed and be like “Oh, I want to be doctor, who graduates top of my class, and can perform almost every surgery perfectly”. It doesn’t have to be that.”
“Right.” Kane repeated. Akira gave out a huge yawn and laid back down.
“Wouldn’t it be nice, to have no worries at all?” She whispered while they stared up at the moon and the twinkling stars around it.
“It definitely would be.”
What is your dream?
Once Akira wanted to leave, Kane left minutes later, going home with a sense of need.
What is your dream?
The question repeated itself, over and over, conquering Kane’s powerful music. In his room, he paced, replaying Akira and his conversation in his head multiple times. Was his dream to be free? Not really. He felt pretty free already. Shit, was this frustrating already. ‘Sleep on it,’ he decided, and crawled into bed with his music still playing.
In his sleep, he had a dream. It was completely dark, and standing in front of him was him, expect younger. Younger him’s hair was messed up, and a scowl formed his face 24/7. His earbuds were in, and for some reason Something New’s song What’s Wrong With Me, echoed forcefully through the dark.
“I’m numb, Where’s the pain I felt yesterday? I feel nothing, Why aren’t I crying? To die, I’m not scared anymore To live, I don’t want to anymore”
Kane surveyed this one year younger self and began to flashback to some of the thoughts he had.
“I hate myself. What did I do to deserve this shit? I don’t need anyone to help me. Everything is so pointless. Who gives a shit anyways. Maybe I should just die…”
“Stop.” Kane said out loud.
“Why am I so alone? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t mom just believe in me? I have nothing left. Only music. How is this living?” The music played even stronger in his ears. Kane’s fists clenched together and he gritted his teeth.
“STOP!” He yelled, and this time, only his voice sounded around the darkness. Younger Kane’s face was expressionless now, and just like he thought, it didn’t look like he gave a shit about anything.
“Disappear.” Kane ordered himself. “I’ve moved passed you. I’m better now. You’re better now. Just go to rest.” With those words, the black began to crumble, leaving white walls this time. A single tear ran down younger Kane’s face before disappearing as well as the dream.
“What the hell was that?” Was Kane’s first words once he opened his eyes. That must of been the most messed up thing he’s ever dreamed. He sleepily propped himself up and reflected on his past year. All he could think about during that time was if he should kill himself, and- the fact that he didn’t feel like he was living. But then, Akira came into the picture. And maybe Aiden and Jonah too. They slowly turned his life around without him noticing. Instantly, Kane knew what to write. He slid out of bed, grabbed the crumpled up paper from the recycling and smoothed out on his desk. Finally, he knew. It wasn’t too much of a long shot, he was almost there after all. Taking a pencil, he read the question again.
What is your dream?
He scrawled neatly under the print 2 words- To live.
It was night. A soft breeze cooled the humid summer air. Lights around the city glowed softly on the roads. It seemed so peaceful, like there wasn’t a problem in the world. But of course, every human has their doubts and fears. The only thing was if they're strong enough to fight them. One boy, particularly troubled, with many fears and doubts, found his source of strength- through others.
"Not everything is pointless, you've got it. Life's got you down, stay strong, you'll get through it. You're not alone in the darkness"