By Adam Lynch
That evening, Isaac and I fled for the first train out of the city, knowing our business with Magma had surely come to termination. We had no choice but to disappear and start anew.
I had hoped our relationship with him wouldn’t have had to end so soon. We could have used him for a while longer to earn some great cash, but for whatever reason, Isaac suddenly felt like playing the hero.
As I studied him now, I exercised the full capacity of my pondering imagination, trying to decipher the thought process of his brain down to the very core of its reasoning.
Better yet, it’d probably be easier if I just had a chat with him…
“Isaac,” I said to him, watching as he stared out the train window. “What’s on your mind?”
He hesitated as if debating whether or not he was willing to answer. “It’s nothing… it’s just…”
“It’s just what?”
“I feel empty.”
“I feel like I’m not living up to the man I should be. I feel like I’m disappointing the world that brought me here. Tell me, Jamie, how has my existence contributed to making this world a better place?”
“Life’s not about changing the world, Isaac. It’s about changing those most important to you.” I straightened my back in order to trade my gaze of sincerity with him. “Listen, you have changed my life more than you can ever know. If you hadn’t been a part of it, I don’t know where I’d be today.”
He nodded, turning away. “I suppose you’re right.”
“Of course I’m right! Now stop being so glum. We have a new start ahead of us!”
Though he appreciated what I told him, there still seemed to be something else bothering him.
It looked like Isaac was going through another one of his depression phases again. He got those every now and then when he became uncertain about things. Thankfully, I always had a way of cheering him up.
“You know, Isaac, we had some pretty tough times throughout our lives, but even through all the hell life put us through, we still managed to create some pleasurable memories.”
“That we did.”
“Do you remember all the pranks we use to play on the kids at the foster home? Do you remember how hilarious their reactions were?” It was small, but catching even one glimpse of his smile was enough to encourage my persistence. “Come on, Isaac, I know you remember! Don’t tell me I’m the only one who remembers filling Simon’s hat with bird feces and super-gluing it to his head while he was sleeping!”
Isaac shook his head, trying to resist the grin that was inevitably marking his face.
“I can’t believe you did that,” he said, still attempting to hinder his smile.
“Oh? Then I guess you forgot it was you that suggested we throw firecrackers at that fat kid who screamed like a little girl in the shower!”
Isaac chuckled lightly, unable to hold it in any longer. “Oh yeah? What about when you poured a bucket of roaches on Sally while she did her makeup?”
“How about the time you locked the janitor in his work closet?”
“How about the time you pushed Albert down the stairs?”
“How about the time you set off the fire alarm three times in a week?”
“How about the time you hosed down the folks who almost adopted me with sewer water?”
“Ha ha, I almost forgot about that one. Yeah, sorry about that. I just couldn’t bear to let you leave me with all those other whiny kids.”
“Don’t worry. I wasn’t planning on going anywhere with those uppy-giggity freak shows anyway. If you wouldn’t have intervened, I would have taken the biggest crap in their vehicle and would have smeared its stench all across the windows with my diaper!”
“Ha ha, now that’s the Isaac I know!”
“You bet, man!”
Isaac and I hadn’t officially decided where our next adventure would take place at, so once the train arrived at its last stop for the day, we got off there. We had no idea where we were or what we were going to do, but sometimes life’s just more fun when you take it step by step, not knowing what would happen next. It kept it interesting, plus, I didn’t care where we ended up anyway. As long as I remained with my brother, Isaac, the location wouldn’t ever matter to me.
Isaac and I had been through thick and thin together, so situations like these were nothing for us, and it’s not like it’s the first time we had been homeless. Ever since the authorities kicked us out of the foster home, we had been like this ever since.
Before nightfall, Isaac and I searched for a place to rest. If possible, we tried to sleep with a large community of people. Sleeping solo was too annoying—too many hostile hobo encounters—not that we couldn’t take them down when they came. It was just easier to not have to worry about it. Isaac and I did our best to get uninterrupted sleep when possible.
It took a while, but eventually we came across a large group of completely unresponsive deadweights. Seriously, not one of them was able to acknowledge our greeting besides the one who barely uttered two words.
“Ha,” I laughed as I observed the surroundings of our wasted companions. “At least we know now what they do with all the money they beg for all day.”
“Yeah, no kidding.”
“Whelp, I suppose they won’t mind then if we take the leftovers. You want one?”
“Cheers to a new and better life.”
“Yes, and may that new life be full of meaning and opportunity.”
I could tell Isaac still had this ‘striving to make a difference’ thing on his mind, but to me, that’s just pointless. A person would not have the power to control such things, and such things would not be worth the stress it'd ask for in exchange. So why should a person waste energy thinking over such matters? I never understood why this was so important to Isaac… but I was hoping he’d get over it soon…