Tonight I am walking down the tree lined path with my hands tucked into my pockets and no headphones in my ears — I don’t need them. I’ve already got The Shins playing on loop in my head. Melancholy.
    Jack falls into step next to me, making no noise at all.
    He isn’t smoking tonight — and he doesn’t smell like he has been, either. (On more than one occasion I caught him putting a cigarette out when he saw me approaching).
    I don’t look at him — I generally don’t — but tonight, Jack knows something is different.
    “Bad day, Dahlia?”
    I look at him with dead eyes. He’s wearing a “Save Ferris” t-shirt and smiling even though he knows he shouldn’t be.
    “Ahh,” he says when he read what’s written on my face. “It’s one of those nights.”
    I want to snip at him — he’s talking more than usual and I really don’t need that tonight. Perhaps I should have gone down the well-lit lane. I was in no mood for friendly small talk. Especially since Jack and I aren’t friends.
    I take out my aggression on an unsuspecting rock sitting in front of me. I put it down the path, watching it skitter and thinking about why I am so upset.
    There is no reason for it. Nothing particularly happened today, nothing to trigger such an onslaught of unhappiness. In all fairness, it had been a pretty good day.
    But why couldn’t I see it?
    Why was it that all I could see was that my best friend’s dad was a deadbeat drunkard and my ex-best friend is a prostitute, that Jack should stop smoking or he’d get lung cancer and what would I do without Jack, that there are over 520,000 children in foster care in the US, that every two minutes someone in my country will be sexually assaulted, that every seven seconds a child will die in Africa, and, mostly, I can’t stop thinking about how I am seventeen years old and can’t get this information out of my head.

The End

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