four

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Glittering sparkles dotted the night sky. Cars zoomed passed one another in a blur. Owls hooted their tunes, the sounds were muffled against the voices on the road. Nicholas could hear the drunken howls of men on his street.

The air was warm against his skin, a gentle breeze whistling past. The silver from the moonlight touched the small shadows on the road, bathing them, illuminating them. The fluorescent light caught Nicholas's eyes.

He sighed as he looked away, idly sitting at the bench. Couples walked passed him, holding hands and sharing their ardor with each other. Nicholas tore his eyes away from them. His ears listened to the sweet words they whispered. He squeezed his eyes shut, willing their voices to go away.

Some of his classmates were laughing as they passed him, chuckling about a girl. They bragged about demeaning tasks, their lips uttered words that spewed evil wherever they went. As they passed, Nicholas caught the foul scent of weed.

He scrunched his nose in disgust and stood up, deciding it was time to find a new place to sit. The group of boys stumbled as they walked, holding onto each other before erupting into deep laughter. This was their alternate reality, a drug designed to wash their worries away. That was their relief.

If only Nicholas could say the same. The emptiness Nicholas felt never left him. The monster inside him never rested. It created an empty shell of himself.

Nicholas could no longer find joy in life. He felt alone in his pit of despair. He didn't know how it happened or why, but one day the darkness came and found him.

Perhaps, it was because his parents were always too busy for him. Perhaps, he was so alone because his heart had continuously been shattered and stomped on.

Girls used to mock him for his love of literature. They teased him for his inability to kiss them. They destroyed him for his glasses and the braces he used to wear. The memories of jocks torturing him every day of their lives continued to haunt him.

Nicholas shook his head. He had to let that go. He kept walking, pulling his hood up, and slipping his fingers into his pockets. He kicked a pebble down as he walked. The burning gaze of those around him made him walk faster.

He felt his anxiety rise up as memories became clearer. Nicholas slowed down, stopping near a tree. He put his hand on the trunk, feeling the sharp edges dig into his palm.

His breathing wavered, memories consuming him. He remembered his parents arguing late at night, screaming and shouting at each other. He could still hear the vases breaking, the fragments digging into his foot as he cried silently.

Nicholas remembered his friends dying in that car accident, their faces bloody while Nicholas kept pushing at their chests. He screamed and begged, wet tears streaming down his face as he desperately searched for pulses.

His legs gave out and Nicholas fell, his back against the trunk. He brought his legs to his chest, allowing his emotions to run freely.

He allowed his mind to continue the torture. He watched his friends die, he listened to his parents leave, he saw the cruel smiles of his bullies, he felt his heartbreak as girls took advantage of him. Never did Nicholas feel so lost.

Nicholas was alone.

No one understood him. No one cared. No one loved him. He was a freak, a statistic of the failed marriages and depression rates in America. That was all Nicholas was.

His friends were gone, buried deep into the soils. His parents sent him off to college away from their venom. Love didn't exist in Nicholas's world. Everything he touched just disappeared.

With a heavy heart, Nicholas sat under the shade of the tree, wallowing in his self pity. He was nothing.

"Nemo?" asked a sweet voice.

Nicholas jolted in surprise. Only one person called him that. "Dina?" he squinted his eyes at the Muslim girl.

"The one and only," she grinned.

Nicholas felt heat rise to his cheeks as she gazed down at him. She was wearing her lavender scarf again, her sweater hung at her hips loosely. Her legs were covered by sweatpants that also hugged her bottom. With the moonlight kissing the soft ridges of her lips and face, she looked breathtakingly beautiful. Nicholas felt a bit embarrassed for her finding him in such a state.

"So," she trailed off as she sat in front of him. "Why are you here and all alone?"

Nicholas looked away, digging his fingers into his blonde hair. "Just wasn't feeling well."

"Are you alright?" she questioned as she glanced all over his body making sure he wasn't hurt.

He wanted to lie like he always did when people asked him that question. He didn't want pity, he wanted comfort, yet as he tried to open his mouth to tell her he was fine, he couldn't. The words caught in his throat as her brown eyes stared at him in concern.

"No."

She tilted her head at him. "Why's that?"

Nicholas didn't say anything as he hugged his legs closer to his chest. He wanted to run away and end his misery once and for all, but something always stopped him. Dina caught onto his silence.

"Nemo," she said softly.

The name didn't even bother him. Nicholas felt his body shudder and his eyesight became blurry. His fingers went under his glasses to wipe the small teardrops away. He inhaled a shaky breath, knowing that he couldn't tell her about his depressive state. His heart was squeezing painfully in his chest.

Dina sighed and opened her backpack. She pulled out a book, sliding it to Nicholas's side. Nicholas curiously glanced at her, wondering why she was giving him a book. She gently smiled as she hesitantly put her hand on the book.

"I could read it to you," she said. "I promise it will make you feel better."

"Nothing can," he whispered into the darkness.

She rolled her eyes, "Not with that attitude."

Nicholas knew that she was being serious about reading to him. It made him feel childish, but he knew that he wanted her to stay. Having Dina near him was in some way calming his nerves.

He slowly nodded his head at her. Nicholas was rewarded with one of her bright smiles.

She opened the book, her fingers touched the pages like it was fragile glass. "Chapter one," she read. "Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood. If you're reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life."

----

This chapter was one of the most depressing chapters I've written. Poor Nemo. Anyway, VOTE IN THE FICTION AWARDS! We're like in second place right now with 7.02k votes for ADII.

By the way anyone know the book she's reading?

Don't forget to vote, comment, and follow me!

Don't forget to vote, comment, and follow me!

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