Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together agian.
No where in this poem does it say that Humpty Dumpty is an egg.

Humphry Stout was, admittedly, a bit clumsy. He was thirteen, just on the cusp of young adulthood. He had grown over six inches in the past year. Still adjusting to his new height, he was awkward and unsteady. Teetering on his long, thin legs, he made his way down the stairs to his first class of the day. History.

He sometimes felt like a stone in the water. Everyone moving around him as though he were in their way. Invisible. He didn't really mind, he had never been a very social person. He had a few friends, not that he remembered any of their names, but they said hi every now and then and seemed nice enough. For the most part, people around him ignored him; and he preferred it this way. He had never been the type to crave attention. It seemed as though whenever he was the center of the spotlight, he was being made fun of. It was better this way.

He made it into the classroom three minutes before the tardy bell. He made a mental note to leave his house a couple minutes earlier from now on. He hated being late. He took his usual seat near the middle of the classroom with moments to spare before Mr. Henderson began his lecture on the civil war. Humphry reached into his plain black backpack to extract his red spiral notebook that he used to take notes. The first twenty pages or so were filled front to back, single spaced with his writings. These were not all notes taken from History. In fact, most of the pages were filled with his irrelevant ramblings. His thoughts on the people around him, life itself, and what he wished would happen on a day to day basis.

He would rather die than let anyone read this book. In between these ink filled pages lies the color in his life. What makes it all worth living. At least in his opinion. That small spiral notebook was his escape from all the irritating things that littered his life.

The seat he had chosen for himself long ago was placed towards the left side of the room, right next to the window. This gave him a wonderful view of the cracked black asphalt of the parking lot and the seemingly endless woods beyond. To someone else, the scenery would become drab and boring after a short while. Not to Humphry. His mind wandered to distant places. What had happened in those woods? Forbidden love? A student who wandered into the forest a short ways to fetch a Frisbee that had flown into the trees who then became hopelessly lost and desperate to survive? The writing prompts evoked by this simple imagery were endless. He opened the notebook and began to write as Mr. Henderson droned on in his monotone voice about the causes of rebellion in the south.

It's not as though he didn't enjoy Mr. Henderson's teachings or History in general, it was simply that it was morning, he was still in the process of fully waking up, and History had never come easily to him. It is difficult to gain interest in a subject that you do not excel in.

He continued to write. He had never been very good at school. He averaged grades C and lower. No one expected very much of him. Except in his English class. He excelled at anything that related even slightly to writing. His awkward tall gait and lack of intelligence had landed him with the name Humpty Dumpty among the other students. In complete honesty, he didn't mind when he heard the other students hushed whispers about him as he walked by in between classes. He was uninterested in the constant jeering and teasing that they seemed to thrive on. He truthfully didn’t care. He knew full well that these students and their persistent mockery was all meaningless in the big scheme of things. He would grow older, become an accomplished writer, and become successful while they were all stuck here in this meaningless world working minimum wage jobs.

His attentive parents had always assured him of this. As his father would have put it, everyone was simply going through the motions. Attempting to make something of this miserable thing called life before it ends. Some people were headed places and others were not. That's life.

As the day rolled on he became more anxious to get home. The other students were at it again. Pestering. Name calling. Endless. As he said before, it didn't bother him, but it most certainly was not pleasant or uplifting in any sense.

Finally, at 2:15 pm, the final bell rang signaling the end of the school day. He gathered his things from his locker and went outside to meet his mother in the parking lot. Where she always was. The sky was overcast. Somehow this made everything seem darker. It wasn't raining, but there was a certain chill in the air and the atmosphere seemed dense and moist. Rain was inevitable.

As their small black car rounded the corner nearing the house, Humphry engaged in one of his favorite past times; looking out the window. In a few minutes they had reached the house and Humphry made his way to the backyard. The way he always did on days like this. His life was ordered; structured. And he wouldn't have it any other way. He hated when things were out of their place. Anyone could see this by simply glancing into his bedroom. His bed was always made, there were never any dirty clothes on the floor. Everything was in it's place. As it should be.

Glancing back towards the exterior of his home, Humphry's eyes zeroed in on the old, and slightly rusted ladder leaning against the house near the sliding door. Grasping the ladder firmly in his hands, he began to climb. The frigid metal felt sturdy beneath his warm palm. A breeze ruffled his hair that carried with it an icy chill, bringing color to his cheeks and reminding him again of the certainty of rain. He should have worn a jacket. Moments later he reached the roof. Slowly, he hefted himself over the last rung on the ladder and onto the slanted roof. He moved carefully. It was a two story house and most definitely not one that would be pleasant to fall off of. with cautious movements, he made it to the peak in the roof. Here he sat, crossed legged, and opened his backpack. From it he pulled his English textbook and his red spiral notebook. Just as he did every afternoon after school.

Setting the spiral notebook carefully on the roof, he opened the textbook and began to read. Just then, a strong gust of wind came by, with enough force to push the notebook from where it was placed and send it hurtling to the ground below. Raindrops started to fall. Ever so slowly but quickly gaining in frequency and size. Humphry noticed small droplets of moisture hitting the page as he read and glanced up just long enough to catch the red square that was his notebook out of the corner of his eye. He had to get to it.

He stood up in a rush, scrambling to reach the ladder. As he did, another strong gust of wind surged towards him. Hitting him with all the force of a middle school football player. Knocking him off balance. The roof became slick with rain and Humphry began to stumble. Quickly loosing his footing due to his uncomfortably new height and the sheen of water between the sole of his shoe and the stable roof. He could feel himself slipping.

Yet another gust of wind hit him. This one was enough to make him finally loose his balance. He toppled backward onto the roof, hitting the worn shingles with a dull thud. the surface was still wet and still slick he was sliding off the roof towards the twenty foot drop to the ground. Towards death. He grasped at something, anything, to hold onto but there was nothing there. He could feel himself begin to fall, loosing contact with the roof one piece at a time. First his legs, then his hips, followed by his torso. In slow motion he fell. In his mind he reviewed the few things he knew for certain.

That he was loved. That life was, in fact, worth living. That he was not ready to die.

These were his last conscious thoughts.

He lay in a hospital for weeks afterward. He had many visitors; including some of those who had teased him. He was given many apologies. but he could not hear them. The doctors said he was brain dead. He was in a coma. They had tried everything. Medications, therapies, acupuncture, stronger medication. everything. Nothing had worked. He would never wake up.

All the kings horses and all the kings men

No one could put Humpty Dumpty together again.

The End

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