(April 24, 2015)

   Derek managed a smile as he waved with his good arm.

   Robin was a nice girl, not very outgoing but sincere. She stepped out of his room and into the bustling hallway of the hospital.


   The last four days consisted of visits from his classmates. The people he would sit with at lunch like Erik, Ken, Jake, and Scott, the people who never noticed him, even people that he never held good faith with. Derek felt an odd sense from it all. Gratification. Most of the time he pulled off his jobs, he received his pay. No recognition from the outside. All his time and effort swept under a rug.

   Same mentality as serial killers. Desire for recognition. He used to repeat it to himself like a mantra whenever it bothered him.

   I don’t need a stranger’s approval.

   This felt different.

   He would either get cards or visits. A visit could take the form of one of three categories.

   A single kid, usually the loners in his class. A team of three or four, the type of students who wouldn’t go unless so and so went with them.

   And the army. AKA popular kids. They would visit him in force, crowd around his bed and throw up all their concerns for him. Calling him “man” and “dude” like he’s a part of their cliché now. It didn’t feel right. Derek wasn’t unhappy with them. He felt an uncomfortable desire of wanting to be accepted by these people. And regret. Regret that they were all done with High school and graduating and THEN, he finally received their blessing. When it meant nothing. They looked like they had so much fun all the time.

   Derek hated himself for thinking it. They don’t know you. They haven’t lived YOUR life. They are nothing.

   What happened at the Barkley Country Club; that weakness they all had, while Derek was well passed it. It made him feel strangely happy. Superiority over the people who held the same feeling for him. His two worlds collided that night. There was his school life, his awkwardness, his lacking social habits. Then, his past, the trauma…

   the fighting.


The End

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