The boy did not notice, nor did I, but I have been told that the doctor advised the mother to keep him at home for a week or so, and keep a close eye on him. The mother listens to her, and writes a note to the school that her little boy will not be attending school for a week. Maybe more.

The boy protests, but he knows that when his mother says No, she means Absolutely Not. So he stays in his room, fidgeting throughout the hours while his mother tries to engage him in various activities. He agrees occasionally, only to stop her constant raids of his room.

Once, he peers out his window, and there are storm-cloud eyes watching him. The clouds are thick and impenetrable. He panics and runs out of the room, only coming back in afterwards his mother closes the curtains.

("Can I please go outside now?" the boy asks.

His mother hesitates. "To the garden, you can."

"Why not to the park?" he pleads. "Have I done something wrong? I'm sorry."

Her lip trembles, and she draws a smile to her face weakly. "No, darling, you've not done anything wrong. I just think you might be sick. So it's best if you stay by the house, okay? I have to keep an eye on you.")

It's been a week, and he's anxious now. Every time he looks out his bedroom window, blue eyes consumed with grey are watching him. They get windier, wilder, each time he looks.

He knows he's not being a good boy now. He knows that the longer he stays away, the worse his punishment will be. Good boys shouldn't need punishments, he tells himself frantically, but he's not a good boy. He's bad. He's horrible. 

He's terrified, and he needs to think of a way to go next door. Apologize. Something. 

Fear-tainted tears spill from his eyes that night, though his mother doesn't notice. And when the sun peels itself off the night and shines through his window, an idea to get next door strikes him. An idea to go and apologize to his neighbour in any way he can. To show him that he is truly a good boy.

Needlessly grieving to say, he went through with it.

("Mum, can I go to the back garden?" the child asks. 

She looks up at him, sees him holding a football. Then she looks at the clock; it's an hour till dark. "Of course, sweetie. Be careful, okay? Don't fall and get hurt. Do you want me to move my gardening things?"

"No, I can," he says, going to the back door innocently. "Thankyouloveyoubye." He rushes out, and she doesn't notice when he slips towards the front of the house and runs out to the street.

"Hey, wait! I love you too!" she calls after him, laughing, pleased that her little boy seems to be getting better. She doesn't think he heard her, but she doesn't mind.)

Alas, my story-telling skills are inadequate. I have never understood the to and fro of languages; words do not come easy to me. (These humans do not either.) And my memory is incompetent as well, for I have lived a year over infinite numbers, and it has always been easier to forget. 

It is to be hoped that this tale is somewhat comprehensible, and mayhap one day humans will take this as more than just a bump in their concrete roads. But there is one flaw about humans which I will always both admire and despise;

They can never quite remember their mortality.

(The smoke-painted teen watches; the boy skips towards the cavernous house, an age of tiredness etching into his young face. A bruise is drawn across his cheek, and the man is waiting in the open doorway. The boy is met with a smile, hard-cornered and firm-handed, and is lead inside. The door exhales shut, and no more breaths are taken.

The teenager turns away, smoke stumbling away from his cigarette with weak cries before perishing in the cold night air.)


The End

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