Dark clouds overhead were pouring over the quiet road. A lone young boy was walking with only his jacket to block out the cold rain. His umbrella was nowhere to be found. Was he shacking because of the rain or was because he was trying to hold back the tears?
Something caught his eye as he passed an abandoned park. Trying to escape the rain was a wet dog sitting under a tree. He walked across the grass to the dog.
“Hey…” he said softly as knelt next the dog.
He had enough.
“You won’t tease me will you…” he began to pat the dog as it sat there obediently, “not like the others.”
He couldn’t hold the pain in anymore.
“‘Cause they… they…” He began to break down and cry, as the voices of the past few months came flooding in.
Ha ha what a stupid name.
He’s a good for nothing
You’re just a weakling.
You’re weird go away.
They wouldn’t let him play with them. They would pick on him. Even today with the pouring rain someone had stolen his umbrella before he could leave school.
Was it wrong to not want to be lonely? Was it wrong to want to have friends?
He held the dog tightly as he cried. He wanted to be comforted. A voice to let him know those words weren’t true. To tell him he won’t be alone. That everything will be alright.
But the only one near was the dog, and dogs can speak.
They can let you cry into their rain drench fur and help you let some of the pain out, but they can’t tell you things will be alright.
After a while the dog began to whine, as if to remind the boy he had to go back home. The boy slowly let go of the dog and stood up. With some of the pain gone, the rain began to wash his face as he and the dog parted ways.
When he got home he was scolded by his parents for losing the umbrella. He stayed silent, he couldn’t find the words to explain what happened nor the courage to say them. What if they did something that made him feel more alone? Something that caused the others to target him more?
The left him alone he watched the television to try and forget the pain, wishing life was more like fiction and soon a hero would come to save him. Someone to say the words he longed to hear. Someone to be his friend…
The next day was overcast a light drizzle as he walked to school. As he neared he became part of the crowd of students who hung around the outside the classrooms wait for the starting bell. He saw group of his class mates outside their classroom and began to approach them. However he began to overhear what they were saying
“He’s pretty pathetic, he doesn’t even fight back.”
“He’s just a coward. Who would want to be with him?”
The words were beginning to soak in and change him
Shouldn’t he fight back? Isn’t that what the heroes on TV do when something’s wrong? Maybe I am just a coward, his thoughts began to warp. No don’t listen to them. He tried fighting against it.
“A weakling like him? No one would want him right?”
No one wants me here. So will I always be alone? That’s not true they’re just poison! The other voice yelled
“He shouldn’t even come here” they began to laugh.
I shouldn’t be here. Get away from them! The two voices that fought in his head melded together and he could only here one thing.
“I need to get away from here” he whispered to himself. He began to run away. He ran from those students. He ran from school. He ran, trying to escape the hurt and pain.
It was some time after running away from school. He had calmed down and was walking along the streets. He’d get in trouble if went back home, and school had started so it was too late to go back there even if he wanted to. All he could do was aimlessly wonder around to kill time.
“So I really did run away?” he mumbled, feeling sorry for himself. “I guess I am pathetic.”
His listless wondering took him this way and that around the town, till eventually he found himself passing the same park that he met the dog. There he heard sobbing causing him to stop. Behind the tree he could see back of someone kneeling and the tail of a dog.
Is that person alright? It sounded like something bad had happened. Don’t bother about them.
Curiosity won out as he walked quietly to the tree. Has he neared he could he a girl’s voice choked with tears.
“Why do they do that? Is there something wrong with me?” The boy’s heart ached. How often had he asked himself that?
“I don’t want to be alone!” she cried as held the dog. He knew that pain well.
Go talk to her. What if she’s like the others.
The voices continued their battle in his head as he hesitated on what to do. While he was hesitating the dog broke away from the young girl and ran away past the boy.
“Come back” the girl got up and tried to follow the dog. “Don’t Leave…,” her voice trailed off trailed off as she rounded the tree and saw the boy. Her mouth opened and closed but she couldn’t get the words out. Who is he? What’s he doing here? Is he like the others? Will he hurt me too? These questions went through her head. The fear made it hard for her to speak.
He only had a little courage to make the choice.
“It… hurts… doesn’t it?” his voice was soft eyes down cast. “When they tease you and say those things,” his voice grew in strength. “And if they laugh at you, or don’t let you play it gets even worse.” He raised his eyes and looked at her “There’s nothing wrong with want a friend right?”
The tear weld up in the girl’s eyes and she nodded.
The two lonely kids in the park only wanted a friend. For a moment they stood silently in the rain
Why don’t you be her friend?
Dogs can’t speak. They can’t tell you that the words are wrong.
“There’s nothing wrong with you.” his voice breaking the silence
They can’t tell you that you won’t be alone.
“You don’t have to be alone!” tears rolling down his cheeks
They can’t tell you it will be alright.
“We can be friends so it’ll be alright!”
Everything he longed to hear, wished that some hero would say to him, he said to the young girl.
Fresh tears flowed down the girls face as she hugged the boy. In the drizzling rain at an abandoned park two friends were hugging and crying. It was a day their lives turned for the better.
Message from the author
Hey Dear Reader
So I was browsing English covers of Japanese songs on YouTube when I found this cover of the song “Shounen brave” by JubyPhonic and crew and it spoke deeply to me.
Growing up I was someone who was bullied. I knew loneliness because my family moved a fair bit so we occasionally had to change schools. In high school because I knew what it was like to be alone I tried to at least talk to the “loners” and the new kids. And now in my 20s I can’t help but smile at that kid and teen and how much they’ve grown since then.
Anyway I there were a couple of thing that weren’t that clear to me from lyrics of the cover so I went looking the original. Found the original song and video (with English subtitles) here (note original doesn’t equal official). Using those lyrics and the ones from the cover I understood the song better and thought “I could try writing a story about this” and I did.
Before moving on I feel like saying something quickly. So I here goes nothing…
To those of you who are being bullied or have been but still carrying the pain and the baggage from it… I’m not a counselor or psychiatrist or anything like that, and I’m probably not the best person to talk about these things. I’ll just say, based on my life, eventually the words (and actions) do stop. Eventually you stop replaying them in your head as you’re trying to sleep. You stop believing that they could be true. Eventually as time goes on when you do remember them they hurt less and less. And eventually you’ll forget them. You won’t forget that they were spoken, but you’ll forget what the words were and they pain the pain they brought. At least till something causes you to remember them. Then you might realise they don’t hurt anymore and just how much you’ve grown and matured since way back when. Well that’s the short version my personal story anyway. For what it’s worth I hope it helps.
*clears throat* ahem
Moving on to something less personal and emotional.
While I was writing I found that the original song was part of the Kagerou Project (Wikipedia page is here). Long story short there’s already been an official light novel (and anime) series based on it and some other songs (written by the original song creator). So I thought should I really write this story? And after reading some summaries containing spoilers to make sure what I planed wasn’t too similar the novels, I decided to continue writing the story and tried to avoid basing too much of what was left on the song (but by then I had already done a fair bit). So right now is it a fan story (it doesn’t feel right to call it a fan-fiction) of the song and video or a story heavily based around/inspired by the song? (is there even a difference?)
*shrugs* well you saw what I chose in the very first line of the post (before the story started). Hopefully it doesn’t matter (and in terms of copyright and IP protection I really hope it doesn’t matter *crosses fingers*)
Also I feel like maybe I should change the title of the story, but I couldn’t think of what to write for it. Well one of the definitions for courage is strength in the face of pain and grief (don’t believe me? Google “courage”), so I guess it still does work.
Whoa this author’s message has gotten way too long!
If you excuse me I’ve got to add an anime to that every growing list of “things I should watch at some point in time.”
I hope you enjoyed the story