Chasing happiness

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Winterwings, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Miles walked along the sidewalk, looking at all the cars passing by. They were in a hurry, he thought, unlike himself. He wandered around without any goal, without anything to do. He looked up to the sky, and he could see the starts. It was dark outside, and he turned his head towards the city. There was a lot of lights over there, it looked peaceful. He smiled.

    He was standing on the edge of the bridge, looking down at the city. It was truly beautiful, it really was. He knew that there couldn't be a better way of dying than this. It was the perfect time. And the perfect day, as well. It was the day before his sisters death, two years ago. Everybody told him that it would get easier with time, that he would move on, but it didn't work that way. He was still as broken as he had been exactly two years ago, when she had died. It didn't get better, he had tried, but nothing had ever gotten better. The last two years of his life had been a living hell. And now, he was finally about to end it all.

    He looked at the clock tower, waiting for it to start ringing its bells. There were only minutes left till it would turn 12am. Soon, it would be the day his sister had died. Just in a few minutes. He looked up to the sky, thought of her. He hoped that she didn't blame him for what he did. He looked down, one last time, before he heard the bells ringing, and let go.
  2. There was a boy on the bridge. She watched him with interest as she neared, starting up the pedestrian area that ran along the length of the bridge divided from traffic by a low concrete wall. She would pass right by the boy, each step bringing her closer to where he stood on the other side of the guardrail, overlooking the merrily twinkling lights of the city below. She found her steps were quickening; and then the bells began to toll and he let go.

    But he wasn't over the edge yet; there seemed to be something he was waiting for. She didn't want to frighten him and scare him to his death, so instead she kicked rocks and shuffled her boots loudly on the concrete path as she approached, finally stopping and looking up at him when she was just a few feet away. "Hey. Hey, guy. What'cha doing up there, admiring the view?" She said casually over the breeze, her hands shoved in the pockets of her frayed jeans.

    Louise wasn't much to look at, not at first glance. Skinny and short, she looked more like a kid than her actual age and was rather a mess of mix-and-match clothing. Holey and frayed faded blue jeans looked a little too long, their hems dirty and ragged where she had walked on them. She wore scuffed hiking boots that looked like they had seen better days and a shirt that was easily a size too big, its neckline cut and exposing one pale shoulder and the strap of a tank top beneath. Dirty blond hair peeked out around her face from under a floppy knitted cap. She stood there under a street lamp, arms akimbo and looking somewhat petulant as she stared up at Miles with large blue eyes.

    "If you want to look at the lights, I know a place with a better view."
  3. Miles was just about to finally let go and let his feet step out in the air, but stopped himself as he heard someone coming. When he could hear her voice, he glanced at her. Who was she, disturbing him just as he was about to end his life? Honestly, he was a bit pissed off about it. He was just about to open his mouth and say something, but then he closed it again. He didn't really have anything to say. His words were gone. He knew that she wouldn't understand anyways. And if she really thought that he was admiring the view, she was stupid, he thought. She had made him think of other things, on the other hand. He had almost forgotten about what he was about to do. With here looking at him, he didn't feel like jumping. He knew that he would probably scar her for life, leaving scars that nothing could heal. And he didn't feel like ruin her life when he was just about to end his own. It just didn't feel right.

    He opened his mouth a second time. Now, he had turned around, facing her. It was still easy though, to just take a step backwards and just to fall. But, he didn't want that to happen as she stood there, looking at him. He was pretty sure that she could see his anger, that she had disturbed him, but it didn't seem like she noticed it. And then, the question. A better view. Didn't she get it, at all? Couldn't she see what he was doing? He bit his lip, but stepped down, looking at her. "Who do you think you are? You can't just... well, disturb me... like that. Don't you see what I'm doing? Leave me alone", he said, hoping that she would at least understand that he didn't want her there. He didn't care about the view.
  4. Watching the different emotions cross his face was like watching the reflection of sunlight on moving water; ever-moving and a little hard to predict the direction. Surprise, anger, confusion, disbelief, pretty sure that was anger again... and then such a deep despair and regret that it nearly shook the ragamuffin girl. She kept her expression carefully nonchalant as he seemed to struggle for words.

    Louise's chest felt a little less tight as the boy stepped back over the guardrail and back onto terra firma. Well, at least the pathway that counted for it on the bridge.

    "Who do you think you are? You can't just... well, disturb me... like that. Don't you see what I'm doing? Leave me alone" He had spoken angrily, the tone colored with confusion. She tilted her head at the question and stepped closer. Now that he wasn't exactly in danger of taking a dive, she didn't mind shocking him a little.

    "Who I think I am has a lot of answers." Louise said, stepping close. She stood on her toes to bring them nose-to-nose; she smelled like grass and lemon soap. "As for what you're doing, why don't you tell me?" One blonde brow quirked up quizzically, her lips pressed into a thin line of displeasure. Did he honestly expect someone to just walk by while he hung out there, inches from freefall? Maybe she should have kept walking. Maybe he was just a nutjob who thought he could fly and was genuinely pissed that she had stopped him from taking wing. Maybe he was high, but he seemed too lucid. You never know, though.

    She circled him, sizing up the boy a little bit as she did, trying to make herself look as menacing as she could. The result being more like a temperamental chihuahua than anything threatening. But at least she was now standing between him and the edge of the bridge, arms crossed across her chest now as if in challenge, waiting for his answer.
  5. This wasn't what he had expected, at all. He had hoped that she would walk away when he told her he wanted her to leave, but he would have been surprised if that had actually worked. He looked at her with stubbornness in his eyes, mixed with anger, and a bit of confusion. He wasn't going to change his plan just because of some girl passing by. And that she would disturb her in a moment like this. Now, the perfect moment was gone. The bells didn't ring anymore, it was rather quiet. The magical time that he had planned to jump was gone. She had ruined it for him, of course he was mad at her. But it wasn't her fault, he thought, she didn't understand. It all made him a bit confused, that she would actually stand there, looking at him as if she was never going to leave, she seemed just as stubborn as he did. He sighed, tried to think of another way to get her out of the way, because he just couldn't jump as she was watching. He thought of what she might would do, he didn't think that she would leave him alone that easily. He had to think of something good.

    Actually, he thought, she hadn't given him an answer. It seemed like she expected him to answer her question, though. He nodded slightly, he was going to explain it to her, if that was what she wanted. Maybe she would leave him alone if he did.
    "I was going to jump off that bridge when you passed by, and now I can't do it, because you're here. I don't want you to watch me as I commit suicide", he said, hoping that his honestly would be enough for her and that she would leave him alone. On the other hand, he thought, maybe it was a stupid thing to say. Who would leave a suicidal person at a bridge in the middle of the night? When he thought about it, he was even more sure that she wasn't going to leave him alone.
    "Never mind, just leave. This is none of your business, you wouldn't understand... when the bells rang, that was a very special moment for me, and you ruined it... you ruined my suicide attempt", he explained, hoping that she understood at least a bit of what he was going through. He didn't feel like it mattered whether he opened up for her or not, since he was going to die this night, anyways. He looked at her with tired eyes, didn't feel like arguing with her. She was in his way, she definitely was, and he had no idea what to do.

    He looked around, didn't see anyone coming. It was just the two of them. He thought of his options, of what he could do. One option was, of course, just to walk up there and jump. But that wasn't an option, it seriously wasn't. He didn't want to ruin her life just because his was ruined. Then, his other option would be to flee. It seemed a bit dramatic though. But if this girl, whoever she was, was determined she wouldn't let him die that easily, she would probably run after him. And he didn't feel like doing that. He turned away from her and walked away, to the other side of the bridge. He looked down, and he felt a tear down his cheek. Everything was ruined, anyways. Not even his last moment in life could be good. Of course, it had to be ruined too. He turned towards the girl.
    "You've ruined everything, don't you understand? This was my last moment in life, and you ruined it, just like everything else is just... so fucked up..." he said, more quietly at the end, almost whispering at that point.
    "I hate you", he ended it, looking at her with anger. He hated her for ruining his last moment in life. He had planned it so well, and then she just ruined it all. He hated her for not understanding what she had done.
  6. Well. She hadn't expected him to be so honest about his intentions, but since she was a total stranger and he obviously had nothing to lose she could see why he wouldn't mind telling her. His tone, the blame in it, and the subject just pissed her off. She clenched her fists down by her sides, her lips thinning further still as her cheeks became ruddy. She couldn't believe this guy; made him miss the perfect time? Didn't want her to watch? She gave a little groan of frustration, cut off by the tired look in his eyes. As stupid and whiny as he seemed to be, she felt bad for him.

    His words stung, surprisingly. Here was a stranger yelling at her because she ruined his death and she was actually starting to feel a little bit guilty for that. She shook her head in disbelief of herself as the boy began walking away across the bridge, calling out after himself.

    "I hate you", he said in parting. At that she grinned and took off after him at a jog until she had caught him up.

    "So, I ruined your un-life, you hate me, and you don't even know my name? That seems kind of lame." She said casually, falling into step beside him. "I mean, as far as ruining things goes, this wasn't even my best work for such a strong feeling. I could have snuck up quietly and said 'boo', you would have fallen and not even had the chance to yell at me like this." She grinned, gesturing widely at the tragedy of this scenario. She could practically see the smoke coming out of his ears he seemed so angry. If he was angry, he was at least feeling something, and she knew from her own lows that sometimes that's all you could ask for.

    "If you want to curse my name from the next base-jumping point, you can call me Lou. And for what it's worth, I can't say that I'm really sorry for botching your thing up there. I'm sort of a serial ruiner. Just can't help myself, y'know?" She chirped on brightly, walking with him. Sure, he was pissed now, but someone like this really needed watching. And maybe a friend. Or a stranger to act like one, at least.

    She moved around in front of him, blocking his path and offering a hand. "You might as well tell me your name. You're not getting rid of me."
  7. Lame, she thought it was 'kind of lame'? Maybe it was. He didn't know her, and no, not even her name, but he didn't really care either. All he knew was that she had ruined it for him. At least, she got it now. He listened to her as she spoke, even though he wasn't that interesting hearing what she had to say. He thought about what she said. He wouldn't have a chance to yell at her the way he had done, if she had said 'boo'. But would he care? Yes, probably. Maybe. A little. Or maybe not. Then she would have herself to blame for watching him fall, that he was sure of. Which would mean that his problem with ruining her life by jumping wouldn't exist. But, things wasn't like that. He was still alive. He hadn't jumped as he had heard her voice. No, he had turned around.

    Miles nodded slightly, yes, she sure was a serial ruiner, he didn't doubt that. He listened even though he felt annoyed. He felt annoyed by her way of, well, making it all seem... so normal, or something like that. As if they were friends taking a walk. As if the whole situation wasn't anything unusual. He stopped as she moved in front of him, looked at her hand.
    "You're not getting rid of me", echoed in his head. Her voice. He didn't know what to say. He didn't want her there. He wanted her to leave him alone, as he had finally made the decision to end it all. Seriously, she wouldn't leave? What would happen? What would happen in the morning? Would she stay with him for that long? It would ruin everything. This was the perfect time. He still had about 24, or, closer to 23 maybe, hours left. If he didn't end it in 23 hours, what would he do? That just couldn't happen.

    He looked at her as if he had been gone for a moment, just realizing that he was still standing there, with her. Offering a hand. He bit his lip but reached his hand out, touched hers.
    "I'm Miles", he said, and let go of her hand. He swallowed and looked away for a second. Then he looked at her again.
    "You have to let me do this. I only have about 23 hours left. Please, just... I don't know, do whatever you want, just let me end it in 23 hours. On this particular date. Please. That's all I'm asking for", he said, begging her. He wasn't sure if it was necessary though. He wasn't sure if she was going to listen. But whatever she was going to answer him, he wouldn't let her ruin it. He had decided the date for his death, he didn't want anyone to change that. Especially not a total stranger. He sighed and began to walk again, didn't care if she followed him, even though he knew that she would. He wasn't going to let her come between this. He walked in silence and then stopped and turned around, looking at her.
    "Just so you know. I won't let you ruin this. You can do whatever you want to, but today is a very special date to me, and you're not going to make me stay alive even a second beyond it. I just wanted to let you know", he said, before he started to walk again.
  8. Louise smiled as Miles offered his hand and his name. She raised her hands, palms up at his request. "I didn't force you to do anything, man. I just started talking. If you can't resist my siren call, that's all on you."

    He was on the move again, and she hurried to catch up once more. He really was set on this date, wasn't he? It was a little unnerving. Something had to have happened, and it looked as if she had 23 hours to find out what and convince him that he was being melodramatic. Given her past experiences with the male population this was going to be a herculean task, but she had nothing better to do.

    "Alright, Miles," She drew out his name, as if she were tasting it. "Do dead men walking like pancakes? I can always eat breakfast, personally. No matter what time, breakfast is just great. I know a place. All that climbing and moping must have given you an appetite." She glanced up at him, making sure that her light teasing wasn't going to set him off. Louise's expression sobered a bit, and she found herself looking away. Her voice was soft when she spoke.

    "Look. Why you want to do that is your own business. I'm curious about the time limit, but I'm not going to ask. If you want me to know, you can tell me." She glanced up again. "Personally, even if you think everything is shit, odds are that someone has it worse. And living is actually pretty great. But you've probably heard that claptrap all before." Raising her shoulders in a helpless shrug, Louise shoved her hands into her pockets and kept walking beside Miles, shuffling her feet a little on the pavement.

    "But since you apparently don't have anything lined up to do today, you can spend it with me. If you still want to take the big dive after that, we'll count it as your going away party and I'll try not to take it too personally that you want to off yourself after a day with me. If you want to hang out a little longer, then tomorrow you'll owe me dinner or something. Deal?" She didn't offer a handshake, didn't look up, just kept walking on down the sidewalk towards the lights of the city still twinkling prettily below.
  9. Miles immediately felt better, or, less scared maybe. Knowing that she wasn't going to force him into anything made him relax, at least a little. He looked at her, nodded slightly. All of sudden, she didn't seem as nuts as before. It seemed like she actually knew what she was talking about, and it made Miles more willing to actually listen to what she had to say. He knew that he could tell her everything, since she was probably the last person he would ever talk to, if everything went according to his plans. This far, nothing had though, but he knew that he had to form a new plan, which was, to die in the next 23 hours. Louise could know everything, it didn't really matter. But what worried him was that she talked about tomorrow, and dinner. As if it mattered, as if she expected him to live the day after that as well. Maybe she still thought that she could actually save his life? She thought that he would change his mind about the whole thing, just because he hung out with her for a while? To him it sounded stupid, impossible. But if she wanted to believe that, then sure.

    He glanced at her, unsure of what to say. Was it a deal, or wasn't it? He reminded himself of the fact that he could actually hang out with her for a while, and then end it in the 23 hours time limit, as he now had planned. Then everything would be, well, at least close to, perfect. And he didn't mind hanging out with her. The fact that she gave him the choice to still end it all, made him feel as if she'd been there too, or at least close to it. A person who didn't know what it was like would just call 911 and make sure he didn't try anything before they arrived. But Louise was different. She was willing to give him a try. She wanted to be with him his last hours of life. He had nothing to lose.
    "It's a deal, then", he said, glancing at her even though she didn't look at him.

    The lights below the bridge was pretty, it really was. He could give her at least a few hours, he thought, since he had nothing to lose. And he could tell her all the things that no one else knew about. She could be the last one to know about it all, about his decision. Not now though. He yawned a bit as they walked, he was a bit tired, actually. Thinking about it, Louise had actually saved his life once, actually. It still felt weird that Louise, a stranger, had managed to make him come down from there, and now he was actually walking with her, on the sidewalk. He should have been dead by now if it wasn't for her. Not like he was thankful to her or had changed his mind, because he had been pissed off when she did it. Now he wasn't though, mainly because he knew that he still had the chance, that she would let him if that was what he wanted.
    "Where are we heading?" he asked, even though he didn't think that she'd have an answer. Nothing of this was planned, after all.
  10. At his acceptance of the deal, a wide grin broke over Louise's face. The moment of quiet sobriety seemed to end as abruptly as it had begun, her boundless energy and capricious attitude returning with full force as she bounced ahead and began walking in front of Miles backwards in order to look at him while she spoke.

    "Don't you listen? We're getting breakfast!" She called. It was a wonder that she hadn't toppled backward over the ragged trails of denim that had been the hems of her jeans at some point. "There's a place that I like, called Manny's, that does 24-hour breakfast. But it's not like an IHOP or something lame like that; it's a real honest-to-goodness mom n' pop greasy spoon joint and their breakfast is the best I've had." She grinned, slowing her backwards walk and pirouetting around to once more walk beside the boy.

    "If you haven't been, it's probably for the best that I caught you. Your life just isn't complete if you haven't eaten at Manny's just once." Louise said brightly, the smile lighting her face even in the dimness where they walked. The dimness was quickly giving way to more and more lights as they were coming down into the outskirts of the city. Many of the businesses were closed for the night, their windows darkened and in some cases shuttered against potential thieves. Graffiti ranging from simple tags to elaborate full-wall pieces decorated their path; despite the roughness of the neighborhood they were entering Louise seemed pretty well at ease. She had come this way often and her normal apprehension was tempered by having a companion.

    As they walked in companionable and maybe just slightly awkward silence, she hypothesized what would drive her new acquaintance to something so drastic. She took the opportunity to take him in now that the lighting was becoming a little better and hoped he wouldn't think she was weird for staring.

    "So Mystery Man Miles, without me really prying too much won't you tell me a little about yourself?" She asked casually. "For example: I'm Lou, I'm nineteen even if I look like I'm fourteen, I'm an Aquarius and I like long walks through the rough parts of town." She intoned as if she were making a video for a dating service, face breaking once more into a wide grin when she had finished. "Hell, even if you want to lie and tell me a bunch of crap about how you're the Queen of England, I wouldn't know." She giggled and shook her head a little, looking up at him out of the corner of her eye. "Although if you tell me that, I'll have to call you 'Her Majesty' for the rest of the day."
  11. Miles instantly thought of what it would be like if she walked into something, or simply just fell to the ground, as she walked backwards. It made him grin a bit. He nodded as she walked besides him again. OK, so, it wasn't like IHOP. It was something else, something better. To be honest, he thought it was a bit strange that they served breakfast 24/7. It wasn't like he was full, but he just didn't feel anything, really. As they walked, he thought of what it would be at as Manny's. If it was as fantastic as Louise claimed it was, he would definitely be surprised.

    When he thought about it, it was rather strange, everything. The fact that he was walking with Louise, a complete stranger (almost), on his way to Manny's that he didn't even knew existed, was strange. All that had happened just felt weird, he had been on the edge of life and then this girl just came out of nowhere and offered him breakfast at Manny's. He didn't know if he liked it or not, what she was doing. But the fact that he hadn't jumped of that bridge as he stood there was quite amazing, he thought, as he walked beside her. It truly was. On the other hand, he probably wouldn't have done it since he didn't want to cause her any trauma that would ruin her life. If it wasn't for that, he would probably have jumped at that particular moment, when he instead of jumped had turned around and faced her, wondering what the hell she was doing.

    She was right. He could tell her about himself, he could tell her everything, since he wasn't going to live that much longer. He nodded slightly as she talked about herself. He could just tell her some basic things about himself, just as she had. Yes, that would be good for now, he thought. "Well, first of all, I'm not going to lie. I'm not the queen of England - and, you could actually look that up later on", he said, with a barely noticeable smile on his lips. "I'm 20... don't know what I look like though - don't really care either. I'm a Libra, and I don't really like anything at all... but, before everything... happened, when I was, what I guess you could call 'normal'", he said, and sighed, "I enjoyed reading, and going for walks with people I liked being with. And writing. I wrote a lot", he said, and sighed, "I enjoyed reading, and going for walks with people I liked being with. And writing. I wrote a lot", he said. "That's about it."
  12. The scrubby vacant lots and derelict graffiti-tagged buildings began to give way to more and more businesses, though they were closed for the night. Among them, an old-fashioned diner stood brightly lit. It looked as if it had seen better days, the once-gleaming chrome now dingy and scratched though still somehow remaining free of spraypaint. The windows were streaked and dirty and the place had an overall air of neglect. The old neon sign above flickered, some of the letters burned out and the rest buzzing loudly.

    Louise turned to her companion just in time to see the ghost of a smile on his face. This made her own widen, and when he haltingly spoke of his likes she nodded her head in encouragement. "I like to read a lot too! I spend whole days in the library." She grinned, "But I've never really written much, and nothing any good. What sort of stuff do you like writing?" She heaved the heavy door to the restaurant open, a bell ringing above their heads to signal their entrance into the place.

    It was a long, narrow dining room, cracked and patched vinyl booths in what might at some point have been candy-apple red lined the side of the room with windows, a large coffee-stained lunch counter with stools ran the length of the opposite wall, the open kitchen directly behind it and surprisingly clean for such an obviously old and worn place. There was a punk couple at one of the booths and a heavyset dark-skinned man behind the counter. When he glanced up from the burgers he was frying on the flat-top, a wide grin broke over his face. Louise clambered up onto one of the stools and grinned right back. "Hey Donny! Busy night?"

    "It's a regular romantic hotspot with you kids bringing your dates in here. Who's your boo?" The man rolled his eyes before indicating Miles with a grease-dripping spatula.
  13. Miles looked at her, wasn't sure what to answer. What did he write? He hadn't thought about it before. He usually wrote about what he felt for the moment. Feelings. But saying it out loud would sound silly, he thought. A guy writing about feelings, who does that? Only girls, he thought. On the other hand, she was the only one who was going to know, anyways. He was going to die, so, why would it matter? "I write... stories... with feelings in it", he said, not sure if she understood what he was talking about or not. He didn't know if it sounded weird. Maybe all stories contained feelings? He looked around as they entered the place, and he immediately liked it. At least, it felt good. Maybe not when that man started talking, he thought. He bit his lip, it seemed like they knew each other. But that was a good thing, right? He was about to walk right out the door as the man said 'romantic hotspot', but stayed right where he was standing. Maybe it wasn't as romantic as he said. He didn't think that Louise was the romantic type. Why would she take him to a romantic hotspot? He had a hard time thinking that she had any feelings for him. Falling in love with a guy you barely knew, and also was suicidal, didn't seem like a good plan, he thought.

    Soon, they had gotten a table. Miles kind of liked the place this far. He looked at the menu. It was breakfast, right? He thought of what Louise had said. Breakfast 24/7. Were they having breakfast although it was in the middle of the night? He quickly looked at the menu, he wasn't that hungry. But he could at least order something, he thought. Maybe a sandwich. Or whatever. He looked at Louise. "What are you having?" he asked, and put his menu on the table. He was going to have a sandwich and a glass of mineral water, he thought. "I'm not that hungry, I hope that's OK", he said, and looked around. It wasn't many people there. There was that punk couple that he had seen before, and some other youths spread in the room. He wondered what they were doing there in the middle of the night. "What were you doing outside when you found me?" he asked, and looked at Louise. He hadn't thought about it, why she had been outside in the middle of the night.