"I just don't understand why suicide is such a big deal, if you really consider everything," the boy said, pacing the cement patio back and forth under the dreary, late afternoon gray sky.
"And you've considered everything, then, I guess?"
"Well, I know what I have here, what I'll be leaving behind, who I'll be leaving behind. And I know what I'll have afterwards. The more I think about it, the more I realize I actually have nothing worth sticking around for." He stopped in the middle of the empty yard, looking skyward as the clouds parted momentarily, allowing a small ray of cold autumn sunshine to escape to the earth below. The clouds shifted, the sun hidden. "Except maybe that...."
"Nothing worth sticking around for? No one worth sticking around for?"
The boy sighed and looked down from the sky to his feet as he began shuffling aimlessly around the patio once more. "They would understand. They would forgive, in time. I mean, how could they not? Yeah, it's a selfish thing. Or so they say. But the people who say that must have really sad lives to think something like that. What people need to do is step into someone else's shoes for just a minute. Just pretend, what would it be like to really be this person, apart from all the facades and fake cheerfulness? No one really knows."
"No, I guess no one does. Though, how could they?"
"Yeah, how could they? Maybe I'm thinking about it all wrong. I don't know. I never was great at understanding other people very well. Hell, I don't understand myself half the time."
"And it's not worth trying? Others and yourself?"
The boy's eyebrows raised questioningly, angrily. "Like I haven't." His expression faded. Dead leaves littered the cement patio of the backyard, leaves the boy was brushing aside with his feet.
"Hmm. You've considered everything then. You're so sure what will be waiting for you once you're dead?"
"Well, of course," the boy smirked. "I know better than anyone else. I've seen it for myself."
"You've seen heaven?"
"In a dream, once. Although, I don't think I'd use the term heaven. But I've seen what's waiting for all of us when we die. And you know what? I feel no hesitation at all, concerning that. It's like the next step in some great cosmic ladder. That's stupid. But most people think of the life of the soul in only two different parts: life on earth and whatever comes after. But my view is much wider. I see a much greater scale of things. There's so much more after this life, and after what comes next, and after that. I think probably it's never ending.
I'm ready to move on to the next part, the next act. I feel like no matter what happens, no matter what I try or how hard I try it, I'll never be more than I already am, I'll never accomplish more."
"That's a very sad thing to think."
The boy stopped once more, leaves crunching under his feet and then silence. A pitiable expression on his face as he sighed and said, "Yeah, I guess it is. But...I don't know how to think any differently, sometimes."
"It will be okay, soon."
"Yeah, soon. Always soon. I say this every winter, but I really think these heavy gray clouds and cold empty days are going to kill me." He looked around, no blue in sight. All colorless.
He walked to the back door and stepped inside, warmth stinging his skin and artificial light burning his eyes. His mom walked into the kitchen as he closed the door, keeping the heat in. She looked at him with a feigned expression of wonderment and frightened concern.
"What is it?" he asked her.
She shook her head. "Who were you talking to out there?"
"Oh." The boy felt embarrassed and fumbled for words. "I...hey, everybody talks to themselves. As if you don't."
His mom shrugged and smiled with half her mouth. "Well, I'm old. I'm allowed to act crazy. You're only twenty, what's your excuse?"
The boy smiled and began to walk past her, mounting the stairs that led to his bedroom two at a time. "I'm in a good mood," he called back to her from the top of the landing.