Bob is about to know what this boy really is... what about the dream?
“Frank had to carry you in to make sure you’re alright,” said Bob.
“Frank?! Where is he? Is he alright?” the boy’s tone became frantic when he remembered the incident awhile ago.
“Him? Why, of course. He’s outside if you want to see him.”
The boy peered outside of the window and saw Frank chatting with Gerard. He sighed relief as he sunk back to his position earlier. He realized that he was inside a bus with beds in it.
“You’re feeling okay, too?” the boy asked as he looked at Bob.
“Yeah, just a little scared and drained from the event on stage. That really freaked me out,” he said, recalling the past moment.
Freak him out? What in the world does “freaky” mean to Shock? Weird, disgusting, ugly, bad, unacceptable. It all reflected him. His moves are freaky, his appearance is freaky, HE IS FREAKY!
It was like the worst thing I ever said to the boy. His eyes shot down and he lowered his head and filled with sadness. Through his glasses, I can see tears slowly building up from the brink of his eyelids. What have I done?
“I’m sorry… I mean, I didn’t mean to… sorry,” I uttered out of confusion.
He sniffed and looked up to me, “No… that’s usual for me to be called like that. It’s just that it weighed more today being said by a man than being teased by kids,” he smiled.
Gosh, it really hurt him.
“Can I get you something?” I asked.
“Actually, you can,” he smiled, “bread, two loaves.”
I was surprised when he led me out and invited me to feed the birds. I’ve fed birds once in my childhood life and seemed to long for that moment again, seriously. I mean, he made it fun for me. He made me notice things that I don’t usually notice when the birds eat, like how they search for food using their keen eyes. I just watched him do his thing and had no conversation for the first two minutes.
Finally, I spoke up the question I had to confirm, “Seriously, where are your parents?”
“You won’t listen, will you? I told you they’re dead. Before they died, they even regretted me for being their only son,” he answered.
“Because of my gift of seeing things they can’t. I always told them that the kitchen is a house for the little man and we have to keep away from there because he gets angry when we trespass. They never listened; dad got his left leg amputated because of the little man. Since then, I roamed the streets of New Jersey.”
“How did you… live?”
“I grew up being rejected by people, I don’t need to be accepted; they were the ones needing acceptance from me to keep my life in order. If we keep rejection in between the normal and the not, we’ll not be in order. Someone has to give in and if they would not, I would have to,” he smiled.
I was surprised by his braveness to accept that.
“Do you live anywhere?” I asked.
“No, as I said, I walk the streets of Jersey, talk with friends I call ghosts and tuck away in dark alleys at night,” he answered.
Then, almost immediately, a voice in Shock’s head whispered, “Tell him my favor, it’s time you tell him. Him only and no one else.”
He was sure it was from Dave. He did his instructions and was surprised by how the man reacted. He let the boy stay with them for as long as he wants.
“What?! What’s your problem?” asked Ray to Bob as he revealed what his decision was.
“I don’t know… I just felt concerned about the boy…” Bob said weakly.
“What are you? A saint?”
“No! It’s just that… because… I had a dream… about him…”
Ray paused as he let the words sink into his mind.
“I know I sounded weird,” said Bob.
“No,” he held up a hand, “actually… I also had a dream about a boy who looks like him. I just can’t seem to believe what my mind was saying. He was so similar to that boy who told me in my sleep that I don’t need to worry, that he’ll protect all of us…”
They both looked at the boy on the bench, feeding the birds.
“Impossible,” they chorused.