The Picture

It was April 13th. It had been raining that day and the surrounding country side was damp and the roads were sleek and dark. I was coming home from a class trip I had been on and the bus was alive with noise from the children chit-chatting. I was sitting near a rain-drop covered window looking out at the green hills as they passed by when the bus suddenly stopped. An accident had occurred ahead of us and the roads were blocked. The teachers allowed us to get off and stretch our cramped legs and get some fresh air.

As I walked along the damp roadside, I overheard a group of students complaining about the cold. Although it was colder than usual, it didn't affect me. I soon became uninterested in their conversation and began to walk towards a group of kids I usually talked to at school to see if they had anything of interest to talk about. As I began to walk towards them, something caught my eye. Under a bush, I saw a flash of light. I investigated to see what it was. As I looked through the tuffs of grass, something cut my finger. As searched through the dew-covered grass I found a broken old picture frame covered with dust from the passing cars. It showed a boy with crimson hair about the age of six, sitting on a swing, with a small, tattered, brown bear in his little arms. At first, I thought nothing of it but then I could not help but wonder where did he come from. Where were his parents? Then I saw his eyes. Although he appeared to be smiling in the picture his eyes said otherwise. His eyes showed great sadness, those deep pools of aqua. They were clouded, as if afraid to show his true self, keeping him locked away from the world. A feeling I knew all too well, for I too hid away, concealing what I really felt. Hiding in fear from the truth that would be revealed. His small hands clutched the old, worn bear like I often did with old blankets when I was little. Sitting in that old, empty house listening to the strange noises from unseen sources, as my grip grew tighter. "He's just like me." I thought." Alone and afraid."

In a nearby valley a flash of lightning went off as the children clamored back to the safety of the warm, dry bus. As we drove away, I watched the picture frame blink out of sight. I had taken out the picture and put it in one of my pockets. I kept thinking of the boy and what lonely eyes he had. Although plenty of commotion was going on around me in the cramped bus, I felt as though I was the only one there. I was so focused on the picture I did not even notice when we pulled into the empty school parking lot. The children one by one left until I and a few other students remained. As I waited for my parents to come and take me home, I took out the picture. I saw the boy had a faint smile on his face and I had the feeling people did not get to see it often.

Later that night I sat alone in my dark room thinking of the picture again. I had realized all the similarities I shared with this boy. "I've finally found some one like me." I whispered in the cold, empty room. I then went to my window and opened it. As the cool breeze blew around my room, I took the picture out of the box I had been keeping it in since I got home. I took one last look at the picture and let the wind carry it off. As the lonely boy floated off with the wind I felt so did my sadness, for now I knew I would not be lonely anymore. The moon was sending its calm rays down. As they caressed my smooth cheeks, I gazed up at the stars as they winked at me, their light dancing across the sky, and I smiled remembering my new friend and his soulful eyes.