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2. When the End Comes First

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Ever read a story, and it’s a good story, but it’s backwards? Maybe it’s just me. My name’s Harvey, which is a silly name for a girl, but it’s the only name I’ve got. I’m 16, I go to school, I work at a tattoo parlor and I look after my father. Dad’s blind, he’s been that way for a little while now, it’s tough, but we manage. I like work, the tattoo parlor’s great; the kids there are amazing. They’re all freaks like me, but that’s cool, they’re all very talented. I’m ranting, I should get to the point.

I’m writing because I was asked to, or told to. Maybe both, I’m not sure. I got into a little trouble but I’m not supposed to think about it. Mrs. Drake, well, Darius rather, she told me to write. I’m not sure why or for how long. She gave me a story to read and gave me some paper to write one of my own. The story was short but sad. It scared me a bit, I don’t know why. I feel like I’m in school, I don’t like writing that much, it’s okay I suppose, but I’m no good at it. I want to make her happy, but I don’t know what she wants to read. But I was told to write, so I’ll just write.

It’s a nice day, the weather’s nice for a change. It’s been changing constantly as the days passed. Tomorrow it might rain, you never can tell anymore. I’ll be leaving here in a few hours to head home. Home, where’s home to you? Is it where you feel safe? Where you live? I’m not quite sure where my home is, maybe it’s this parlor. I’m sitting in a storage room, a considerably large one at that. And I’m very comfortable here, it’s kind of scary if you think about it. The room is filled with boxes of sorts, I arranged most of them myself. They contain all manner of bizarre contents, as expected in the vocation of the place. I found a corner to curl up in, I was at ease, surprisingly. Maybe she was right after all.

I would write about school, but that’s a boring topic. My classes are typical, my teachers don’t care and my classmates suck. It’s school. My father is the only family I’ve got left, but he’s blind. He’s still kind and caring though; his pride took a hard blow when he lost his sight. He tried to be humble, but he refused to ask for help. I was the same way, I wouldn’t ask for help either. But if the situation got desperate, I’d know enough to go to someone for help. I’d know to go somewhere and cry my eyes out until nothing was left. I never cried loud and hard like some people, you know, with the kicking and screaming. I shake a lot and bury my face in my hands to muffle the sobs. I don’t know why I wrote that, maybe it’s significant, if you read everything backwards. Some things make more sense that way. Some things only make sense that way. Logic’s a hard one to tame, maybe some day. The backwards thing is worth consideration, I’ll have to ask Jack later.

Jack. Even his name looks nice on paper, it sounds nice too, it kind of rolls off your tongue. Backwards it would be, “kcaJ,” which doesn’t matter. But it’s fun to think about. Jack’s mine as I’m his. I love him, he’s the greatest person I know, he’s my best friend, my only true friend. He’s the only one that honestly gives a damn about me, and I respect him greatly for it. He’s got that foreboding note going for him, the dark, brooding personality suits him. He’s my reflection, just better than anything I could ever be. Where Jack came from, I’m not sure. One day, there he was. And we got along from the get-go – it was great. We spoke in whispers usually because I was afraid that if either of us spoke loudly, the dream of happiness might shatter. It was so frail that even a harsh whisper put it in grave peril.

Everything’s a gamble, life, death; all of it. I carry a deck of cards with me at all times. They give the deciding vote in my life, when I couldn’t reach a proper outcome, high card rules. I’d shuffle the deck, take a card for the house and one for myself. Usually Jack took the house’s card for me. I don’t know, I answered everything with cards, some might find that odd, but it worked out for me. Some people flip a coin, I draw a card. I had painted the cards and laminated them, they were familiar to me. A kid in school challenged me once; I beat him at his own games in five minutes flat. He took the loss poorly though. He threw the cards at me and said a few nasty remarks. I just walked away, pride intact. It was an interesting day then.

Like I said, I carry cards always. I like the uniformity of them, the fact that it’s all chance and luck. My favorite card was the ace of spades. It was the top card, the highest blessing you could hope for. Yet, in old legends of sorts, this card symbolizes death. This double meaning helped me fall in love with it. I had death with me at all times, he and I played our cards out one at a time. Whoever holds the ace at the end, wins.

The list of topics to write about it limited. Darius will be disappointed with me, but this is all I can do. I respect her greatly, but there are limits. I can’t write, it’s not what I do. She’s an amazing person, both her and Raine are, truly amazing. They’re above it all, everything, all pettiness is nothing to them. I want to sit and pick their minds, or better yet, their hearts, to learn the key to their tragic happiness. Maybe, if I ask them nicely sometime, they’ll let me. Hopefully. I’m supposed to be pouring my heart out on paper – it’s not working very well. I can’t write down my problems, I can say them in a whisper, a slight tone above silence. Nothing more. Writing them down is proof, it confirms them; they become real. Reality’s another story.

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