he was so proud, and i can't remember a time in this life, or in any of the fictional lives that have passed these eyes, that everything seemed more real.

he'd look at me with serious eyes (so alive), and he'd tell me of the things that he had done, some humorous, others, not so much. from time to time his schoolboy charm would shine too strongly, and i would crumble, i'd just let him be. (i had always wanted that from them, the people trying to fill my head.) i could see his want for room, he was not the sort to sit in a chair and he did not learn from the piles of meaningless text they piled in front of him. i think, he was born into a time that did not quite suit him. i had thought, more than once, and i wanted to tell him, you should have been a cowboy.

sometimes i'd sit and marvel at the fact that he could be so opposed to even the tiniest bits of text consumption. i know, it is not for everyone. i think he created worlds in his head that could not have fallen on any author's page. he was a story teller, he could tell anyone's stories, but his, those were the ones that made his breath come slightly faster, he liked to entertain. i let him.

there was one particular instance, he would not listen. i was frustrated and then, he pulled a knife from his school bag, an old one, and he ran his finger along the blade. i warned him of consequences, the school was strict where such things were concerned (not unreasonably). i was not fearful, not even of the way he stared at the blade as if he could see something there, in the well kept steel. he told me, he never fought anyone with a knife, only his fists. he was proud of this. for some reason, i understood, though i've never been one to condone violence. these boys, his group of friends, they were all that way.

i questioned once, why he would fight, it was after he had returned from a visit to the principal's office. the boy, he said, the one he'd fought with, had "messed with his friend". i told him that he should let his friends fight their own battles and he looked at me, almost angrily, and i knew he'd heard that too many times before. he told me, and i believed him then, that they did not try to pick fights, they were not there to cause trouble, but they were just too damn proud to run.

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