Eyes of the Beholder
By Dave (webmaster@beinghuman.cjb.net)

Dan was a normal kid, just like everyone else. He shared their interests, their hopes, their dreams, everything. He didn't appear to lead a bad life, in fact his family life was pretty good. He had friends, and everyone thought he was a nice guy. He was smart, friendly, and he kept himself clean. He appeared to have the world at his feet, his whole life spread out before him, without any faults along the way. He had it made.

There was one part of his life, however, that didn't meet his expectations. He always felt lonely inside, like he didn't matter. He'd shut himself away from the world, because he didn't feel he was needed or wanted there. No one could figure out why he felt this way. Even Dan himself had no idea how to explain it to anyone. That bothered the people who cared about him, and annoyed those that didn't. No one could understand.

Things seemed to change when Dan met Michelle. She was the girl of his dreams. Dan's initial reaction was one of disgust, like always. He didn't feel that he was anywhere near good enough for her. She was beautiful, tan, smart, and all around wonderful. How could Dan ever be anything good enough for her?

Dan explained his dilemma to his best friend Chris later that day.

"Man, I just don't know what the fuck to do." He said.

"Why don't you just talk to her and stop being a pussy!" Chris replied.

"Because…" Dan began, "Look at her man! She's perfect! What the hell would she want to do with someone like me? There's no way that she'd even care."

"You don't know that for sure unless you talk to her." Chris started, "So just go talk to her, what the hell do you have to lose?"

Dan had no answer. So rather than make up an excuse, he got up the courage to talk to Michelle. He had no idea what he was going to say, but he felt that it was better that way. He had a habit of over-thinking things and winding up frustrated. He decided to approach her after lunch one day.

"H-hi.." Dan stammered, "What's up?"

Michelle looked up at him with her deep blue eyes. Dan almost shit his pants.

"Hey, what's up?" She said. After she spoke she flashed him a smile. This made Dan even more uneasy. Not knowing what else to do, he smiled back, with a stupid look on his face.

"Listen.." He started. He was eager to get this over with. "Are you busy Saturday night?"

"Nope, not that I know of." She said.

"Well…would you like to go see a movie or something?" He replied. He was getting very nervous.

"I'd LOVE to!" She said excitedly.

Dan didn't know what to say, but Michelle did. She told him to pick her up at 8, and that she was looking forward to it. Dan was dumbfounded. He was embarrassed at his demeanor, but also overwhelmed with joy. She had actually said yes. It gave his self-confidence an enormous kick in the ass. He felt like he was on top of the world, and nothing could bring him down.

For the longest time nothing did. Everything about his life improved. He didn't let the little things bother him anymore. Everything was looking up. The glass was half full again. Something would happen, however. Something that would make Dan realize that no matter how great things are going, you have to be prepared for something to go wrong, and know how to deal with it. Things can be great, but they can also be terrible in an instant.

It was their one-year anniversary. Life was good, and both Dan and Michelle seemed to be incredibly happy. Everyone had gotten used to seeing them together in school.

But something had changed. Dan couldn't quite put his finger on it, but he knew something was different. He didn't like it at all. Everything was going well, and it couldn't stop now, right? He could never be more wrong. Soon his world would be turned upside-down and he would fall and smack himself violently against the floor, which used to be the ceiling.

Michelle started acting very moody around Dan. He was reverting back to his old way of thought, where he felt that he wasn't good enough for anyone or anything. It was all happening over and over again in his mind. They would fight, and Dan seemed to be the only one that was effected by the arguments. Michelle would act like nothing had happened.

The two decided to take time off. The break seemed to help. In less than a month they were back together, but this only lasted a few weeks. After that, they were broken up again. This cycle went on for months and months. Each time Dan was committed to keeping it that way. But when she came back for him he would always take her back.

All of these events tortured Dan's mind. His grades slipped, he fought with everyone, and his friends seemed to want nothing to do with him anymore. He was on the brink of insanity. The quiet kid that everyone knew at first had returned, but now it was even worse. It became so bad that Dan ended up in counseling. After a while, though, he refused to go, and he fought with his parents whenever they brought up the issue.

Then came a phone call one night. It was Michelle. She was crying. Dan asked her why she was crying.

"I miss you Dan." She said. "I need you back, for good this time."

"I miss you too.." Dan started, "My life is miserable without you."

Then there was silence. Dan didn't know what to say. Michelle's tears seemed to subside. This relieved Dan. He didn't want to hear her cry. It upset him greatly. After a few minutes, she wasn't crying at all.

But she was doing something. It was very quiet at first, but it was getting louder. She wasn't crying anymore…so what was she doing? Dan couldn't hear her well enough. He was too upset to ask her. It almost seemed like she was…laughing.

He could hear it clear now. Indeed she was. She was hysterical with laughter. Dan thought this was a good thing. He didn't want to see her sad. It didn't make any sense that she was laughing, but at least it was better than her sobs.

"YOU ARE SUCH A FUCKING IDIOT!" She suddenly yelled. "What a moron! You never even saw it from the beginning! This whole time, you believed in all of this. Look at you! Look at who you are! Look at me! What am I doing with you? Did that ever occur to you that I'm popular and you're not? I never liked you and I sure as hell never loved you. You were a game from the beginning! You were just too retarded to get it!"

With that she hung up. Dan was losing it. He started to punch his walls in anger. He got out a piece of paper and wrote something on it and shoved it in his pocket. He was crying now. He got his dad's pistol out of its hiding place. His dad never knew he had any idea where to find it. He loaded it and put it in his other pocket. He took his keys off the hook and drove off.

He sped all the way over to Michelle's house. He got out of the car in a rage, and ran up and pounded on the door. He walked back to his car and waiting for Michelle to open the door. When she did, he took the piece of paper out of his pocket and held it in the air. Then he took the gun and placed it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. His brains splattered all over the sidewalk, and he fell dead on the grass.

Michelle screamed and ran over to Dan's lifeless body. She grasped the piece of paper out of his dead fingers and opened it up. Through her tears she could barely read these words.

When I needed to cry
You were not my shoulder
On top of me you put
The weight of a boulder
And you remember this
As my body grows colder
That beauty
Is in the eyes of the beholder

The End