Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Unloved-

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A/Nah I don't even know what to say about this chapter tbh. I just finished reading John Green's Paper Towns. I feel like I channelled a bit of John Green at some point, you'll probably know what I mean if you've read a few of his books. It was subconscious, sorry :o

    When I was twelve years old, I fell in love with this boy in school that I barely ever talked to which was strange, because how could you fall for someone that you'd never really met? But he was this kid that everyone adored in class. He made people laugh and he had this adorable smile and I loved him despite not knowing him.

    He was all I used to think about at twelve. I don't really think about him any more. At least, not his face. Just, sort of, the memory of him. The echo. The feelings. How strange it was. And then I think about Tyler and compare the two of them. I loved the boy in school because others loved him; I love Tyler because he can't love himself.

    I stubbed the cigarette out on the pavement and fell back against the wall with a sigh. It had been two days since the fire, and I now stood outside the apartment in the cold chill of the air, thinking it all over.

    It was just gone 3 a.m and I could hear a dog barking in the distance, it made the city feel a lot crueller. There was something about 3 a.m air that felt calm, and you weren't supposed to disturb that calm. The dog was disturbing it. Eventually it quietened down.

    “Mitch,” I heard on my left, from the doorway of the flat. I knew it was Tyler, although I didn't look at him. I stared ahead at the wall and buried my hands in my pockets. From the corner of my eye, I saw him hop down from the step and prop himself beside me against the wall.

    “Do you remember school?” I asked. I heard the flick of a lighter as Tyler lit up a cigarette. “You know, do you remember anyone specifically that you miss or something?”

    “Tha' kid tha' got run over,” Tyler said, “dunno if ye saw it in th' newspapers? He wa' funny. Then he got run o'er down on south-side by some supermarket van,”

    “Shit,” I said, nodding, “I remember that. You knew him?” Tyler nodded. “That's so fucked up.”

    “Th' world's so fucked up,”

    Four years on, and we were talking about that kid's death. I wondered if any of his friends from school still thought about him, or if they'd completely moved on and forgotten about it all, now. It was just a cycle. You're born, you're known, you die, you're forgotten and maybe, if you're lucky, you're occasionally remembered in the 3 a.m recollections of sad minds.

    But I didn't think I could ever forget Tyler. It seemed impossible. And it felt like I could never die, because if I did, who would remember him? Who would fill up their entire days and nights thinking of him? Sometimes I liked to think that Tyler and I were eternal. We weren't.

     “Do you think we'd have been friends if we knew each other in school?”

    Tyler scoffed, “No,”

    “Why?” I shot back, only now deciding to look at him, with a face of offended interest.

    He smirked around his cigarette. “ 'Cause yer a bit of a geek, Mitch. An', well, am not,”

    I rolled my eyes, “You think too much of yourself, you know that?” that was a lie. He didn't think enough of himself, but in moments like these it was best to leave that opinion in the dark and replace it with banter.

    “I got excluded fo' smokin' weed on-site,” he grinned, proud of himself. I hated the fact that I grinned right back at him, thinking about him in a school uniform––shirt untucked and his tie askew––getting high behind buildings. The young Tyler in my mind was a lot happier than the one standing beside me. But then again, the Tyler in my mind wasn't yet a whore.

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