I sat on the bench under the lamppost, my hands covering my face that dripped with tears. It was cold. it was dark. I was lonely. I was sad. I didn’t know what to do. I had many worries and had no one to talk to. I don’t have siblings. I wish I at least have a friend to talk to. I don’t have parents. I am an orphan. I bought my own house. With my own money. From my own job. I work hard. My body hurt every night as I dump myself on my bed. I work hard in my job to get the money that makes me live. I work hard to keep up with everything around me. I am tired of the pain I had. I am hurt. I lost many friends I had. I don’t have any now. We were going on a trip together with the car. The car crashed and I was the only survivor. But I survived after the fifteen surgeries I had. And the broken legs and arms. The bleeding face. If you would see my hands, legs, and forehead, they are filled with scars from the sharp glass that cut me.
I am Caine. I have light brown hair and brown eyes with flecks of green. I have snowflake white skin. I am eighteen years old. I don’t remember my parents. I lost them when I was a kid. I don’t even remember why are they gone. Were they killed? Dead from a car crash? Or a plane crash? Or from a virus. I never knew, and I was never told.
I wiped away my tears as I sniffled.
It was almost midnight, so I went back home.
I opened the door and said to no one, “I’m home!”
There was no answer, of course. No one lived with me. I was alone. I went to my balcony and sat on the small outdoor couch. I looked outside and saw a boy younger than me running down the street. People were chasing him. he had some bread in his hands. He stole food. I told myself.
The next day after my shift at my job, I went back sitting on the same bench under the same lamppost. People were walking by. Friends, couples, siblings, and more. Some people were walking their dogs, somewhere exercising, some were jogging, running, cycling, and skating. I was alone on the bench. Using my phone, scrolling on social media.
Three hours later, it was midnight, again, I went home. That was my routine every day. But that day was different. I went home, eyes full of tears, and said again, “I’m home!”
And again, of course, no reply. But I heard something fall. I flinched.
“Hello~,” I said. “Who is here?”
I closed the door behind me and locked it. Whoever is inside won't go out. I wanted to know who.
I heard something else fall. It came from the kitchen.
I entered the kitchen. It was dark. I turned on the light. I saw a boy there he was sitting on the floor. He flinched when he saw me. He was the boy I saw running away from some people. He was at my house, my kitchen. He had blonde hair and green eyes.
“hey…” I said as I crouched down in front of him. “Why are you here?”
“…. I…. I am sorry,” he said as his eyes got gilled with tears. He was shivering and breathing heavily. “I’ll leave.”
He stood up quickly and made me stagger to the floor. He ran to the main r=door, but it was locked. The key was behind me. I went to the boy. He looked at me fearfully. He was breathing heavily.
“Please…please don’t hurt me,” he said in a shaky voice. “I’m sorry…”
“I won’t,” I said. “I won’t hurt you. Just tell me why you came here?”
“I…I wanted to…eat…” he said.
“Why don’t you say?” I asked.
“…Everyone kicks me around…I am starving…” he said.
I sighed walked to the kitchen. I looked back and said, “Come with me.”
I let him sit on the chair of the kitchen table as I made for him pasta.
He was silent. He didn’t know what to do. He was scared. He was shivering. He was crying. And he was sniffling.
“How old are you?” I asked not looking at him. I was cooking.
“I am fourteen.”
“I am eighteen,” I said.
“…Four years older…” he said. His voice still sounded shaky.
“You don’t need to get scared,” I said. “I’ll not do anything to you. It's fine.”
“I am not used to it,” he said. “No one was ever too kind to give me food or won't kick me around.”
“Why don’t you have your own food anyway?” I asked.
“I don’t have money,” he said.
“Do you have a place to go to? Or people to see?”
“No…,” he said. “I am an orphan…”
“You…don't have somewhere to go to?” I asked. He shook his head. “Nowhere?”
“Nowhere,” he said. “I try to sneak into houses that no one lives in to stay there. I sneak into pools to have showers.”
“You can stay here for some time if you want to,” I said.
He looked at me, surprised, and happy, “Really?”
“Yes,” I said.
“You don’t have your parents here with you?” he asked.
“…I am an orphan too,” I said.
“What you heard was right,” I said as my eyes got filled with tears.
“I know that feeling,” he said. “It hurts. Why….’d your parents die?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I don’t remember. How did your parents die?”
“My mom from a plane crash, my dad from cancer,” he said. They died a year between each other. I was twelve.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said.
I was done with the pasta and put it in two plates for me and him.
“I’m Caine,” I said.
“I am Callum,” he said.
We ate our food as we talked and laughed. He was a nice friend. I bought him new clothes. He slept in the room next to mine.
“Thank you,” he said. “Thank you so much.”
Three days passed and he said that he had to go. He didn’t want me to spend my money on him. I was okay with that. But he felt guilty. I had so much fun with him.
The next morning, I went out of my house for my shift. Everyone was happy to see me. Everyone liked me. It was surprising because everywhere I usually went to, people shot me dirty looks. No one wanted to talk to me. I didn’t know why. But today, everyone seemed to like me.
I went home and there was an envelope. It was from my neighbor. In the envelope, there were one hundred dollars. I didn’t know why my neighbor did that. Why was everyone being too nice to me? That was odd. Was that Karama, because I helped Callum? Probably. I didn’t see Callum for the next week, not even from the balcony.
He told me where he lived, so I went to him and called him over to my house.
Time past by quickly. It became days, days turn to weeks, weeks turned to months, months turned to years. We were best friends. I found a job for him. I told him my worries and my problems, and he helped me with them.
One day Callum called me and said, “Caine. I need you to listen to me carefully.”