He walked down the hallway head hanging low. His head usually hung low as he walked this same school hallway every day. His head would hang in disappointment of being forgotten by the ones around him again and from the natural shyness he had, just trying to avoid the people around, knowing no one would notice him anyways. But someone did, on this day when his head hung even lower under the weight of his heavier than usual backpack, red eyes were following his thin form.
Matthew Williams had woken up that morning from a nightmare. Nightmares weren't uncommon for the Canadian boy. He had them often and they all had a similarity. In all the dreams he would be forgotten by everyone, even his family, or disappear with no one noticing he was gone. Recently the dreams had become more current. Not even his razor can make the feelings go away and give him the release it used to.
The boy self-injured. He didn't do it because he enjoyed the act but because of how it made him feel. It convinced him that he was real and alive because sometimes he really believed that he wasn't even real since everyone constantly forgot and ignored him.
That morning, he decided, would be his last. He sat on his bed for a long time just thinking. Is there really a reason not to do it? He stared at his hands, the scars on his arms, and then he looked up and surveyed the room slowly with red-rimmed eyes. His room was a little on the messy side. "Maybe I should clean it first," he thought while biting his lower lip. Where this urge came he wasn't quite sure, but he started to clean and organize his room.
"They won't notice I am gone, so they obviously won't clean out the room," he thought with despair.
Then he started thinking about what the rest of his family would do with the room once they noticed no one was using it. He mused over those things and many more while he finished cleaning up his small room. Once finished, there was something else nagging at him.
What else could there be?
So he found himself walking down the street towards the school. He made the walk before on the days when the bus driver would not see him waiting at the bus stop and would drive right by without noticing the teenage boy standing there. School had started not too long ago when he was cleaning, but he didn't walk any faster.
They wouldn't notice him walking in late. They haven't in the past when he barged in breathing hard from running all the way from the bus stop. Today would be no different. No one would turn a head, so he continued walking at his slow pace pondering over things. Will I feel it? Will it hurt? How long will it take? He pondered his end without fear all the way until the school came into view.
Once he took in the image of the school he straightened his back ever so slightly and walked with a little more purpose. He always liked to have things to do. They made him feel like he had a sort of mission and he strived to accomplish them to the best of his ability. His current mission was to clean out his locker.
He didn't want to have some student next year having to deal with a locker full of his stuff, since no one would clean it out once he was gone. Besides even if the school figured out the locker contained things that had no living owner, he would not want to leave the burden of cleaning it out to them. He absolutely hated being a burden on people. That's why he must do this. In his mind, he was wasting space, money, and time. All that wasted on someone who no one remembers when it could be used on someone more deserving, someone who can do something great.
As he pondered this and many more things in his depressed state, he walked into the school. Class had already started so the hallways were empty and void of life, mirroring the feelings swirling around inside of him. Not paying attention to what he was doing, he walked into his second period class out of habit. Once he walked through the door, he looked up and realized he hadn't been heading to his locker like he initially planned. Not that it made a difference though.
The class was carrying on as it normally would if someone hadn't just walked in in the middle of the lecture. Some people were whispering to each other like the teacher couldn't hear, others were texting friends that weren't in the class, some kids were actually trying to comprehend what the teacher was saying, most were staring into space daydreaming about nothing, but one student had their red eyes trained on the disheveled boy in the doorway. Matthew didn't notice the eyes as he trudged to his seat in the third row with his head downcast because he was so used to being completely invisible at times like that.
Thankful that he sat next to the window, he stared out it and pondered things some more. He decided to go through the rest of the school day… or at least until lunch. It was not because he carried any fear about what he was going to do. In actuality, deep down there was an excitement that he was finally doing some good from the world, but it was overshadowed by his deepening depression.
He didn't want to clean his locker out during classes in case someone heard him. He didn't want to disturb classes with his banging. Not that he feared someone seeing him, he actually would love that. He didn't want someone to think there was a ghost in the school like the one time he went to his locker during classes when he was late. He remembered that incident with a frown. It hurt more because it was his own brother.
The shrill bell signalling a change of classes broke his thought. He quickly got up and hurried to his next class not wanting to be banged against the lockers by the crowds of other students that wouldn't see him. In his rush to beat the large crowd, he didn't see the white haired person walking towards him with a worried face. He also didn't see how the face looked even more worried as he left and how the white hair person stared at the door a moment in thought before grabbing their own bag and walking out into the crowded high school hallway.
Matthew sat down at his seat in his next class and watched as the rest of his classmates walked in to take their seats. Some were chatting with each other, others were waving goodbye to their friends in the hallway promising to see them later, and a few were walking in looking as bored as they probably were last class. As Matthew watched the rest of the class file through the door, his eyes lingered on one person longer than the rest, Alfred, his brother.
Surely he will notice me.
Matthew imagined his brother coming up to talk to him; asking him if everything was okay. He would say everything was fine and his brother would say, "Bullshit," and demand to know what was wrong so he could help his little brother and be the hero that he always claimed to be. He then shook his head. These thoughts only made it worse. Imagining how everything could be better if he wasn't invisible always depressed him more. He liked to blame books and Hollywood movies because stuff like the things in those movies doesn't happen to people like him. Even after reassuring himself he still watched his brother, the one person in the whole school who should recognize him, to see if he will notice.
Alfred walked in with his confident stride and his head held high wearing the goofy grin he almost always seemed to have on his face. For once he wasn't surrounded by one of his many friends. He scanned the room for someone to talk to eyes passing right over his younger brother as if he wasn't there and landing on someone else. "Hey Kiku!" he practically screamed while walking across the room to his Asian friend where he proceeded to talk about some "wicked awesome videogame" he played recently. It was at this moment Matthew tuned out his brother and the other conversations going on around him.
Matthew remembered a time when upon seeing him Alfred would come up throw an arm around his shoulder and say some greeting involving recent slang and the term bro. Then he would proceed to talk endlessly about stuff that made no sense to anyone who didn't have the happy-go-lucky personality that Alfred had which just seemed to spread to all the people around him. But just like with everyone else, Matthew became invisible to Alfred and faded into the background as the twins grew older.
To say Matthew didn't miss the times when he was close to his brother would be a lie. Even though they hadn't hung out in a long time, some of his best memories were when they used to hang out and do brotherly things. He remembered how Alfred used to stand up for him and beat up the kids that would make fun of him because he was the hero, but that is all those times were now, a used to, a memory. Stuff like that didn't happen anymore. Stuff like that hadn't happened in years. The last time Alfred really spent time with him was almost a year ago when their dad forced him to bring Matthew along to hang out with his friends. At the time Matthew was a burden to him with his quiet shy personality, an annoyance. That's all he was now, a burden. He almost didn't hear the bell he was so lost in his thoughts. With a sigh he got up and trudged to his next class. One more class until lunch and then this would all be over.
The next class went by much like the first two. Not one person so much as looked at him, his name was not called on the roster, and the teacher didn't hand out the worksheet the rest of the class was working on to him. Usually he would go up to the teacher's desk and explain how he didn't get one; the teacher would look confused, but then give him a sheet. Today was different.
He didn't go out of his way to get the work because he wouldn't need it. He wouldn't be back tomorrow, so he didn't need the work today. He pondered many things as he did in the past classes, but this time kept an eye on the time. He looked around his small classroom one last time attempting to find some sort of good memory there to carry with him as he left. He drew a blank. There were none. He took in the faces of his fellow classmates and said a silent goodbye to them as the bell rang signaling lunch time.
Most of the class rushed out the door to ensure they got near the front of the lunch line, while a few lingered with their friends and slowly disappeared from the classroom in groups laughing and talking about nothing. Matthew waited until most people cleared the room before he started packing his bag. He didn't want to have to try to clean out his locker in the middle of that crowd. He could just imagine getting slammed into his locker and having his head stuck inside until a janitor realized late in the night that a boy was stuck.
Shaking thoughts of getting his head stuck in a locker out of his head, he shrugged his backpack on one shoulder and made his way out into the hallway. The hallway was mostly empty except for a few kids walking to lunch and others talking with their friends by their lockers. Luckily, he wouldn't have to worry about people running into him or knocking down his stuff as he cleaned his locker, because it wasn't near the cafeteria. He made it too his locker and fiddled with his lock for a little while before peering inside.
His locker was decently organized, which he was grateful for. He could pack quickly and leave sooner. Being at school was depressing and just made everything worse. He stared at his locker contemplating the best way to place his belongings in his bag. They were mostly text books and spirals, but he wanted to make sure they all fit. He started with the larger books, stuffing them in his backpack two at a time, then he moved to the smaller, and then the thin spirals. It was a tight squeeze but it all fit. After he fought with the zipper for a few minutes, he was ready to go.
He looked at his open locker a little longer remembering the times he was accidentally pushed into it. Shoving his now heavy backpack on his shoulders with a grunt, he made his way down the hallway with a mixture of emotions. He was slightly happy about it all being over. The thought gave him relief, which also gave him a dim feeling of happiness. Those good feelings were overshadowed by his growing sense of dread that came along with his sadness and overwhelming depression that seemed to fill his insides when thinking of all the times he was forgotten and uncared for.
He walked down the hall head hanging low depression clouding his mind more and more the longer he sat with his lingering thoughts. "It will all be over soon," he thought dryly to himself. The hallways become more populated with people as he neared the cafeteria. Not like it matters. No one will notice. His dark thoughts were right. Now one head of the many students turned. Not one person made eye-contact. Not one person out of the many noticed the depressed boy walking by under the weight of his heavy backpack.
He decided to stop dwelling on it. This is how things went. This is how they always went and this is how they always will be. "Hey!" That's why I'm doing this. "Hey kid!" That's why I just can't live like this anymore.
The boy became so lost in his thoughts he was tuned out from the world around him. Halfway through a thought a grunt escaped his mouth and he found himself laying on his back on the floor, which was similar to sitting since his backpack was stuffed to the brim with books. He looked up in a small daze to notice an open door right where he was walking. "Of course," he thought miserably. This wasn't the first time he ran into a door. Usually they were being slammed on him from the people walking in front of him, but it left the same feeling. He sat a moment basking in his growing misery until he heard footsteps coming up behind him.
"Hey, are you okay, kid?"
He looked up to see a boy with white hair and a worried expression in his red eyes. "Uh…umm…" Not used to being noticed the boy was having trouble coming up with a quick response. Luckily for him, the other boy continued talking.
"Dude, that must have hurt," he said shooting a glare at a passing student, probably the one that came out of the classroom. The red-eyed boy continued talking, while the boy with the backpack sat there on the ground shocked someone was noticing him.
"Some people are just not as awesome as the awesome me I guess," the white haired boy said with a shrug sticking his hand out to the other still on the ground. The boy on the ground stared at it a moment before feebly taking the pale hand. The new boy forcibly hoisted Matthew to his feet.
The red-eyed boy decided it was time for introductions since they didn't really know each other stated, "My name is Gilbert, and I'm am the awesomest thing in this dump called a school. So, who am I gracing with my awesome presence?" He looked at the boy in front of him questioningly with a lopsided grin.
"Oh… I'm… uh… M-matthew," the boy said feebly in his shy manner. Noticing Gilbert still looking at him expectantly he decided he might not have heard him and said a little less shyly, "My name is Matthew Williams."
"Mind if I ditch with you?" Gilbert asked nonchalantly now leaning against the wall.
"W-what?" Matthew asked now very confused. Gilbert gave him a look.
"You know, ditch, skip class. I mean you obviously aren't just leaving for lunch carrying a backpack like that," he said pointing to the overstuffed backpack currently hindering Matthew's balance. Gilbert paused giving a chance for Matthew to respond, but he just stared back still slightly confused and adjusted his backpack strap.
"Soooo," Gilbert dragged out while getting of the wall. "Ditching is always funner with someone else." Gilbert grasped Matthew's wrist and started dragging him down the hall as he claimed, "We need to hurry if we don't want to get caught."
Matthew cringed in pain as his wrist was grabbed. Gilbert's grip wasn't strong enough to cause pain, actually it wasn't a strong of a grip at all, but Matthew's wrist stung. He was sure cuts were reopened and staining the bandage hidden under his hoodie sleeve. Gilbert sensing the other boy's discomfort and knowing he would follow behind let go of the wrist, put his hands in his pockets, and continued walking out the front door of the school. Since it was lunch, it wasn't odd for people to be passing in and out the doors, the ideal time for leaving to ditch the rest of the day. Gilbert threw open the door like he owned the place and walked outside into the bright day with Matthew trailing behind.
Outside seemed so much brighter than inside the school. It always amazed Matthew that no matter how many lights were on in the school, you were always blinded when you first walked outside. It was as if all the lights in the school were minuscule compared to the light of the sun, like all of the lights inside the school were fake version of the real light that was on the outside. "Kind of how the people here act," Matthew would sometimes think. He always liked nature, so he enjoyed the times he could walk outside the doors and bathe in the rays of the sun on his pale skin even though he preferred the cold and winter.
Matthew's eyes quickly adjusted to the bright light of the sun. Gilbert continued walking down the front steps taking no notice to the fact that he wasn't being followed at first. Matthew watched Gilbert walking down the steps confused at what exactly he had gotten himself into. Focusing his attentions on the recent events of being noticed put the depressing thoughts he had before in the back of his mind.
"Hey kid, you coming or what?" Gilbert said stopping and turning around slightly to look at the boy still standing on the top steps of the school. Matthew nodded his head before muttering yes with his quiet voice.
"Well come on, then. You were the one originally skipping." Matthew quickly sped up to catch up to Gilbert and walk into step beside him. It was at that the two teens started their way down the sidewalk leaving the school behind.
A/N: Ya, I don't really know where this came from. It was saved on my computer as "random writing blurb" for the longest time so I continued it and it turned into a Prucan fic.
This is my first fic so please tell me what you think! I really want to know how my writing is and where there is room for improvement. I already have the next chapter written so expect an update soon.