O.K., here's the warnings: This one-shot contains suicide referencesand Christian references. Don't like, don't bash. Or better yet, click the 'Back' button on your browser.
That was what his life was, it wasn't a life. It was existence: pure and simple. He had no purpose; no reason to be, he simply existed.
His footsteps beat a steady 'crunch… crunch…' on the powdery snow as he reluctantly made his way home.
Around him, there was nothing. Nothing but cold, gray, snow-covered buildings. An occasional person passed him by or slipped around the corner, but not one of them recognized that he existed. Not one of them knew how tired of this existence he really was.
He stopped, his gaze sliding upward to rest on the stars that blinked down at him- The very stars that mocked his life with their cheerfulness.
His eyes lowered. He began to trudge again, kicking up powdered tufts of snow behind him with his steps. As a kid, he had thought of it as a game; he had wanted to see just how far he could kick the fragile flakes backwards when he took a step.
How he yearned for those days- the days that would never return.
He never asked for much, he reasoned to himself. He was the only kid he knew of who didn't have a Christmas wish list at the age of twelve. He'd been content with his home, done well in school, become captain of the debate team and was expected to graduate with honors. By all rights, he should be happy.
So why wasn't he? Why hadn't he been?
He continued his slow walk home. His mind whirled with answers. It had begun long ago, when he was in the fifth grade. He'd never had friends; he was labeled as retarded and forgotten about because of his shyness. Most people didn't even know that he existed. And the ones that did didn't show it. Then, in his darkest hour, he had found friendship in a close knit group of individuals. For a time, his life was happy, he was accepted, respected, and thought of as a member of their clan.
The traffic light across the street changed. He stopped again. He watched the cars and trucks pass him by, everyone was heading home to their families and friends. The friends he never had.
Over time, he had realized that he was being ignored again. Maybe it wasn't intentional, maybe he was too easy to forget. But he was forgotten about.
Then the annual school homecoming had arrived. He didn't plan to attend; after all, he had to work. He had things to do. But the school made it mandatory that all freshmen be there.
So he reluctantly went. Done his part, handed the flowers to the homecoming queen as he was supposed to. That had gone off without a hitch.
The light changed, he resumed his walk.
The problem had become apparent at the reception afterward. As people milled about, talking with their friends, he had found himself alone- alone and standing in a corner by himself. But he wouldn't stay down; he'd walked about the room in an effort to find companionship. Not companionship in the relationship sense, just someone to talk to.
It had been horrible. Not one group would admit him. If he entered a conversation, he was quickly forgotten about and ignored. If he tried to start one with a straggler, he was brushed off.
That had been hard. But the worst part- the worst came after twenty torturous minutes of looking for company. He had heard a voice behind him, a voice he recognized. It was the voice of the Homecoming Queen, a girl that he had secretly loved for years. He could hear her now.
"There you are! I've been looking for you."
He turned around, a smile lighting up his face. She looked beautiful in her white dress, but best of all she was addressing him.
He had opened his mouth to greet her. His hand extended. Then she had walked right by him- leaving his mouth open and a silly grin on his face. He turned around in disbelief, to see her joining her real companion.
The sight ripped at his very being. He had been here for a half-hour, and not even a soul had noticed him, or recognized him. His throat constricted with unwanted disappointment. As far as the world was concerned, he didn't exist. He was nothing.
He had turned and left the room. Somehow he had found his coat while coping with his released emotions. This wasn't new to him; his life had always been like this. He had always been the last one picked for teams; or chosen as a lab partner. This was nothing new. But tonight, to see just how much of an inconvenience he was- it destroyed him.
Walking through his shattered emotions, he left the Homecoming early.
That was why he was here now. Walking across the Integrate Bridge on his way home. His head turned, to see the lake running beneath his feet.
He stopped. He stared at the water. An idea forming in his mind.
He was an inconvenience. No one recognized that he existed. He was always forgotten about. He was always last. Why continue? If he truly was an inconvenience, then why not remove himself? He wouldn't be missed. Tonight had proven that. And was it better to end it all than to carry on unknown? He didn't want to be the most popular person in the school, but a greeting or a quick conversation wouldn't hurt him either.
His hands found the wall. Snow tumbled off the side as his hands planted themselves on the ledge. Disappearing into the depths of the lake, the powdery flakes twirled downward. It was almost as if they were daring him to join them.
To end… might be better than to continue. To die was judgment. To live was to be forgotten. Which was worse?
The pain broke anew. He was tired of being forgotten. It was time…
His grip tightened. His muscles tensed, his mind shut down as he prepared for the end…
He ignored the voice; it wasn't calling out to him anyway. His arms strained. His body went up an inch…
"Did you hear me…?"
He jerked. A hand rested on his shoulder.
His body relaxed. He dropped to the ground. Unsure of what was happening, he turned around.
She was there. The same girl who had brushed by him earlier- the one who hadn't even realized he was about to speak to her.
"You left sort of fast." She addressed him in concern.
Fast? He had waited for an hour before leaving. Was he that invisible?
"I was… tired." He fibbed. She wouldn't understand anyway. All her life she had been popular and recognized. He had been nobody. "So I left."
"Oh, uh… I think you dropped this." Her arm extended, a small golden object was resting in her fingers.
He recognized it. It was a gold and silver wristwatch. His grandfather had given it to him years ago. He had worn it ever since.
"This is yours, right?" She inquired.
"Yes," He admitted. He took the watch from her. Then he added his half-hearted appreciation. "Thank you."
"Well, I would be upset if I lost something like that." She replied, "Uh, are you all right?"
"Yes." He couldn't keep the sadness out of his voice. "I'm fine."
"Oh…" She seemed to sense his hesitant manner. Finally, she gave up. "Here, take this, it really helped me."
He took the small booklet she offered.
He watched her walk away. Then, the realization hit him.
She had remembered it was his.
The revelation snatched him, holding him in its grip. She remembered. She had remembered that the watch belonged to him, she remembered that it belonged to nobody.
He glanced down at the watch and booklet in his palm.
His footsteps took him away from the bridge. Away from the fate he had almost banished himself to. His fingers parted the cover of the booklet. He found himself reading the words inside.
It amazed him. The booklet told him of some amazing things. About the God in Heaven who knew him personally, knew his name, knew him- right down to the number of hairs on his head. God knew about his mistakes, about the wrongs he had committed known as sin.
And because of that sin, he had to pay the ultimate price. But God had shown mercy, and sent His Son to make a way of escape. All he had to do was accept this gift.
He reached his house. He opened the door, even as his eyes stayed on the booklet. He walked up the stairs of his cold, lonely house. His mind reeled.
He was faced with a decision- to accept or reject Christ. The Christ that loved and knew him…
His choice was clear, there was nothing to loose.
He collapsed at his bedside. He prayed, he cried out; he experienced the forgiveness and new birth of Salvation.
And there, by his bed, a new man was born. His sin forgiven, a peace given, he knew who he was, and he had no doubt that there was a purpose in his life. God would give him one.
He was not a nobody in God's sight. He was his child now. He was accepted.
And that night, the angels rejoiced that he had come home.