the dark recesses of my mind...this empty feeling inside of me had taken over, and my thoughts of suicide were
now a reality. It was about 3 AM, and even though Navy Pier was closed at midnight, getting out there was no
problem at that time of morning. It was so quiet, so peaceful. I believe that 3 AM is the darkest time of night by far,
the perfect balancing point between sunset and sunrise. Not too many people roaming the streets, not too many
cars passing by, just uninterrupted silence. The ultimate perfection in the darkness of night. I had walked along
this dock many times before at night, letting the icy cold waves of Lake Michigan call out to me. Asking me to
finally have the guts to jump in. To finally throw myself over the edge an let the dark hypnotic waves embrace me,
drowning out my sorrows for the last time. I walked in silence, tears rolling down my cheeks non stop. But I wasn't
crying, The tears were there, but the emotion was all but gone. The very act of crying was a waste to me at this
point, because all the tears my body could ever produce could in no way justify the life that I've lived, or the things
I've been asked to endure. Death was my only escape. At 14 years old there wasn't much else I could do. I
couldn't move away, I couldn't start my life over again someplace else, I couldn't plead my case to anyone without
them treating me like just a kid...the whole uphill battle would be in vain. I was four years from even having a
'Justin's just a dork' they all said. 'Justin's just a kid, what he says doesn't matter.' they said. The kids in school
teased me, I didn't have a friend in the world. I used to be labeled as a pretty boy. The blue eyed, sandy blond
show off who was too wrapped up in his looks to care about anybody else. Which was totally untrue, but I
suppose they needed to have SOME reason to hate me. That was one of them. By the time I got to the 7th or 8th
grade, they stopped labelling me at all. The hatred had just refined itself somehow, and became more general,
they didn't even need a reason anymore. No parties, no after school hang outs, nothing. Actually, I did have one
friend, one close friend who I loved dearly. His name was Richie, he was my age, and one of the sweetest most
adorable people to ever walk this Earth. But like me, our beloved Lord and Savior decided to deal him a bad hand
in life. He was stuck in a hospital, struggling with terminal cancer. Since he was first admitted, I've watched him
change and deteriorate into something else. He was skinny, weak, sickly...he had lost his hair, and his once
beautiful tan had become pale and faded. But no matter what happened, his eyes always kept their shine. He was
always happy to see me visit, and he always had a warm smile waiting for me, no matter how bad he felt. I held
back every possible tear when I went to see him, feeling helpless and alone. But I greeted him with the same
smile he gave me, I was strong for him, and he was strong for me. But I knew one day it would be over. No more
hospital visits, no more long hugs, no more long matches of video games on his room's TV set. Soon he'd be
gone. This beautiful person would be gone forever, and he'd be leaving all the perverts, deviots, killers, rapists,
thieves and every other kind of low life scum ever to inhabit the Earth behind. Why would heaven choose to take
such a beautiful angel away from us, when there are so few left in this world? Richie was my best friend, but he
wouldn't be around forever, and the way I felt that night...I envied him.
My father was an abusive son of a bitch. Whatever words he couldn't use to hurt me with, he made up for with
his fists. My parents finally divorced, putting a stop to the beatings once and for all, but at what price. My mother
and I didn't have enough money to support ourselves, and I was so tired of going to bed hungry. We had enough
to put a roof over our heads, and maybe pay the bills every two months or so, that was it. My mother always
seemed to have enough left over money from her paycheck to buy alcohol though. Funny how that worked out
every week. How many times was I going to have to put her to bed? How many times was I going to have to clean
up the mess she made in the bathroom after drinking too much and passing out? How many times did I have to
call her into work sick, or cover her up on the couch, or listen to her cry about how poor and unfortunate we were?
I just couldn't handle it anymore.
I had nowhere to turn to, no one to lean on, and as if my life hadn't been bad enough, I recently had to come to terms with another unfortunate turn in my life. It happened when I was ten, playing in the park with some friends, tackle football. That's when a few other kids about a year or so older joined us. That's when I saw him. This boy,
this 12 year old boy, with light brown medium length hair and ice blue eyes. He was so slim, his hips were almost serpentine, and when he took off his shirt to play, I practically fell in love with him on the spot. I had no idea why I was feeling the way I felt, but I knew it was wrong. Boys don't like boys, that's just the rules of the game. But as we kept on playing, his smooth preteen body rubbing up against mine, his warm breath in my face, his long legs wrapped around me when he tackled me...I knew I couldn't hold this back any longer. Every time he touched me, his velvety smooth skin making a sensual contact with mine, my erection flared with growing intensity. At one point they all decided to have a pile on, and I was actually on top of him. There was so much confusion that he probably didn't even notice that I had done it, but while everyone was laughing and screaming and tusseling about...I bent down and started kissing his chest. Delicately, secretively, I enjoyed myself. But when the pile on was over, and the heap started to settle, I had to get off of him, and I knew that this was as far as I was ever going to get with another boy. I felt hurt, sad, rejected, almost sick. I left the field shortly after that, and I stayed home alone, crying. I just didn't understand why. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Was I cursed to live this way forever? This would turn out to be a very lonely life indeed, a secret one that would boil inside of me until the day I died. This day.
I continued to walk out to the very end of the dock, nothing but the sound of the waves licking the sides of the platform, and I peered over the side into the darkness. I thought about Richie, about my dad, my mom and her drinking, my nonexistent social life, my hidden feelings for other boys, and just the world in general. How could anybody stand it? How can anybody bare to live in a world full of so much hatred and pain. There was no love here, only torture. Love is merely a postponing of the pain to follow it. It's an illusion, a fairy tale that we tell our kids to give them false hope, to teach them how to ACT as though it is real. I'm sure it was out there somewhere, but how many people actually find the real thing? Four? Maybe five in a year? I wasn't about to fool myself into thinking I was that lucky. It was time for me to take myself out of the equation, and have some peace at last.
I stared at the water, the rippling waves as they churned back and forth in front of me. I was magnetized to it,
and I wanted so badly to jump in, but something was anchoring me to the dock. A fear of the unknown I suppose,
of what would happen...after. Was there even an 'after'? The last time I got this close, an officer stopped me,
asking me what I was doing out there. Saved by a stranger I guess. This time, my guardian angel must have been
sleeping. I continued to concentrate on the water, and the darkness, and just as I was ready to throw one leg over
the railing, I heard a voice come from the darkness behind me.
"So are you going to do it, or what?" It said. It was a young voice, a hazy teenage voice, he sounded about my age. I looked around to see who it was, but the sound was coming from behind the giant black anchor on the end of the dock. I moved around it a little to see who it was, and caught a glimpse of a young figure hidden in shadow.
"Are you going to do it, or aren't you? I figured from the way you were staring at the lake like that, you were
either going to jump in, or part it like the Red Sea. Either way, I'd get to see quite a show." He said. His voice was
so calm, so eerily peaceful. There was something so intriguing about it, and I moved a few steps closer. Then he
turned his head to look at me, and it must have been my imagination, but I could have sworn I saw his eyes flash
at me. Bright flashes of gold, like cat eyes in the dark, but when I took a few scared steps back from the sight of it,
the glowing orbs dimmed and then faded away. "Did I scare you?" He asked.
"Shouldn't YOU? I was here first. In fact, I've been coming here for a very long time. I've been watching you take the long walk up and down this dock for months now. But it looked like you were really going to jump this time. I wanted front row seats."
How could someone be so inconsiderate? He actually came to WATCH??? How sick is THAT? For this strange kid to actually have the nerve to say that to me was beyond belief. These are the kind of assholes I hope to leave behind when I'm gone. I was still going to do it, but I started to wonder if I should kick his ass first.
closer to me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but when he finally stepped out from under the anchor's shadow,
his beautiful face came into view. His skin was flawless, beyond comprehension. His hair hung down to his
cheekbones on both sides, a beautiful reddish brown color that shined with reflections of moonlight. His eyes were
a blazing color of green, deep green, like I had never seen before. Not on a boy or a girl or even an animal. It
almost looked artificial. His lips were a deep red, and they were smooth and tight, hiding perfectly white teeth that
almost looked like baby teeth. They just had that pure, untouched, just-came-back-from-the-dentist look. He was
sleek and trim, I could probably fit my hands around his waist and let my fingers touch if he sucked in his stomach
a little. He was about my height, and he had the cutest little mole on his cheek, almost up by his right eye. I was a
bit put off by the fact that such a hot kid would be walking around Navy Pier in the middle of the night. But
something about him really interested me, so I kept him talking.
"If you've been watching me all this time...then why didn't you say something before?" I asked.
"You looked as though you didn't want to hear it. Maybe now you do. What's your name?"
"It's Brian." I said.
He looked me right in the eye and said a second later, "No it isn't. So I'll ask again....What's your name?"
How did he do that? It was almost like he could tell exactly what was on my mind. I've never experienced
anything like it. Just being there with him in the dark, talking, having him examine me with his dazzling green
eyes, was spooky, and yet so inviting. Something about this kid seemed unnaturally pure, crafty and wise at the
same time. "It's...it's Justin." He seemed to look through me whenever I spoke. Even when I was trying to sneak a
few glances at him out of the corner of my eye, every time I peeked, he was looking right back at me. His gaze
was so frighteningly intense. Most people back down if you stare them right in the eye, but not this boy, he looked
right back at me and wasn't afraid to let me know it.
"Let's be serious Justin, if you really wanted to jump you would have done so without stopping to think about it.
Ask yourself this...did I really stop you, or did you stop yourself?" He waited for an answer, but I didn't know what
to say to him. He was just so weird about the whole thing. I mean if I saw someone about to kill themselves, I
would hardly be this calm about it. "One of the many things I've learned in life Justin, is that you should never act
on any impulse that requires hesitation. Either you do it or you don't. That's all there is to it." He moved a step
closer to me and flashed me another slight grin. I took a step back, leaning against the rail. Normal people don't
act like this, he couldn't have been a city boy. We just have an understanding in the city that you don't look
somebody in the eye for too long, you don't talk to strangers at any length, and you don't stand so close that you
invade their personal space, or whatever. It was like he was subliminally telling me that he had absolutely nothing
to fear from me at all. Not one twitch, not a shiver, not a shake, not a blink, not a single bead of sweat on his brow.
It was a confidence that I had never even seen in a grown man before, much less a teenage boy. He just kept
staring me down, and it rattled me a little bit.
He took another step forward, causing me to lean back a bit more, and I could hear the waves splashing on the
sides of the dock behind me. I was nervous, partially because this kid could be some kind of psycho for all I know.
He could push me over the side and end it all right then and there. And suddenly, my survival became more
important than anything else at that moment. Funny thing, a suicidal person wanting to survive. But there was
something else that scared me too. His forwardness, his voice, his soothing words...they did something to me. To
have such a good looking kid be this close to me was a bit unnerving. I had never really been close with a boy
before, especially the really good looking ones. I always pushed them away, afraid that they'd find out about me.
Always afraid that I'd give off some tell tale signal, or accidently get an erection and give myself away. But Taryn
didn't seem to mind at all. It was like he could sniff me out from a mile away, and he wasn't afraid to be close to
me. His eyes, his hypnotic eyes, they came closer to me with his every step, and I began to tremble as he
reached out his hand to take mine. It was then that I realized that I was leaning back almost all the way over the
side. Another inch or two, and I would have fallen in for sure.
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