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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

 

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Wounded
By FallingWithGrace

 


The eighteen-year-old boy sighed, looking out the plane window as the plane rolled to a stop, flicking back a strand of dark, dyed black hair from his face and running his finger slightly over his silver lip ring, feeling the light touch run over his lips. A flight attendant looked worriedly at his pale and slightly sad face, but he gave her a reassuring smile, and she turned to leave. When she was gone, the teen turned back again to the hazy window of the plane, looking at how similar Boston seemed, even though he'd been gone for three years. Three years, God, and things were still pretty much the same.

He wished things were different, so it wouldn't be so hard to face the past—so the memories wouldn't fight their way back again. He was still thinking this as he pulled his tattered, gray backpack from under the chair in front of him, and walked slowly off the plane, stopping only to nod good-bye to the plane's staff. He didn't want to think of how nothing had changed, how life had gone on. Feeling slightly disappointed, he wondered why he felt this way. Stop being so stupid, Benji. You left them, you shouldn't complain.

Lost and broken
Hopeless and lonely
Smiling on the outside
Hurt beneath my skin

He walked outside after getting his suitcase from the conveyor belt, pulling the heavy bag behind him. He flagged down a taxi, loading his belongings into the trunk and then reaching into his jacket and pulling out a frayed envelope. The writing had faded a little at the address in the corner, but it was still legible. He handed it numbly to the taxi driver, who merely nodded and told him how much it would cost.

The teen, Benji, just nodded and didn't say anything else. He climbed into the car, fastened his seatbelt, and stared out the window, still motionless and lost in his reverie. The cab driver attempted to start a conversation, but stopped when he found that the boy wasn't interested, from his quiet grunts of answers to the questions. He decided instead, to focus on the road ahead of him, his eyes darting over to the teen every once in awhile.

He didn't say anything; the boy didn't say anything.

They reached the destination, and the teen forked over a twenty dollar bill, only stopping to say, “Keep the change.”

The cab driver nodded, and the teen grabbed his stuff from the trunk, pulling it out as the taxi drove off, leaving the smell of exhaust behind.

My eyes are fading
My soul is bleeding
I'll try to make it seem okay
But my faith is wearing thin

The boy looked at the place where he'd ended. A small white house, its shingled roof bending invitingly, as if beckoning him forward. He sighed and stepped up on the sidewalk towards the house, pulling his suitcase along behind him, and pulling the backpack straps over his shoulder. He held the straps nervously in his hands, noticing that suddenly that his palms were sweating. Come on Benji, pull yourself together.

How could he though? Three years lost couldn't fix themselves so easily. The memories that still screamed, trapped inside of him, and he couldn't open up and let them out. After all, he was the one that'd left. He was the one who'd kept walking and hadn't turned to stop and remember. He'd walked, selfishly, oblivious to all of those who had needed him, who had asked him to stop and come back. He'd laughed and pushed them away, and now, three years later, when he was finally tired and needed help—that was when he went to fall back on those tainted promises, those lost words. If only those words were ready to take him back in.

So help me heal these wounds
They've been open for way too long
Help me fill this soul
Even though this is not your fault

He walked up to the door, noticing that his hand was now trembling. He paused, his fingers brushing against the doorbell. Stop being such a coward. You've come all the way here; you might as well finish the job. Then, it was too late to take anything back, as his index finger pressed hard against the bell and it sounded. Regrets began to rush back. You walked out on them, how do you expect them to take you back in now? You hurt them, you broke their hearts, why do you come back only when your fun is over? Are you really that selfish? Why do you have to make everything harder for them?

There was a call from inside the house. “I'm coming!”

The teen flinched. That voice—it was lower and deeper now, but it hadn't changed at all. It was still the small voice, a voice he'd never forget. The voice of his little brother—his twin.

The doorknob turned, and the teen considered running away—disappearing. He turned to leave, but he didn't get out in time. The door opened and another teen was standing there, filling up the entirety of the doorway.

But I'm open
And I'm bleeding
All over your brand new rug
And I need someone to help me sew them up

The boy gasped in recognition—at the newcomer who stood in the doorway. He'd grown up, his body now lanky and tall, his natural, brown hair plated over his forehead, his brown eyes still alive. The eyes were still the same. The eyes were still the same as those ones that Benji had known so long ago. Those eyes were still Joel's. Those caramel-colored eyes stared hard at him now, glancing over him, as if afraid to believe. Afraid to believe that Benji had come back.

There was a silence as Benji devoured the sight of his brother, and Joel probably doing the same thing. Then, Benji, realizing the awkwardness of the situation, broke the silence which had settled over them. “Hey Joel.”

I only wanted a magazine
I only wanted a movie screen
I only wanted the life I'd read about and dreamed

The words came out, rusty and unused in his mouth. So long he had wanted to say those words, to come back. And so many times he had run and hid.

He'd been caught up in the moment, at the time of his life. That kid—Benji had forgotten what his name was now… Caspian or something, had offered him a new life to escape to. At first it had only been a gang meeting. The next time he brought out drugs. And then Benji had been pulled into a vicious circle, being too afraid to deny it, being too afraid to turn his back on what they thought of him—instead turning his back on himself. He'd fled from his beliefs, from what he knew was right while Joel had been strong and refused. Now Benji wished he'd followed his brother and been more firm in what he believed in.

Ashamed, Benji had fled to California with Caspian, and ended up joining a gang. Caspian had been killed. Benji had written back once, just once to his brother and his mother, who he'd left behind and buried in his past. They'd written back frantically, saying that they'd come and find him immediately and bring him back to Boston.

That was when Benji did the worst thing he could do. He disappeared.

And now my mind is an open book
And now my heart is an open wound
And now my life is an open soul for all to see

He was ashamed, afraid even, to face his family after what he'd done to all of them. He cursed himself for it—hated himself, but he was embarrassed. Joel had always been the better twin, and now he still was.

So he'd stumbled around, lost for three years, until he couldn't face it anymore. He couldn't face his life, so he'd gotten a job and saved money to buy a plane ticket back to Boston. To dump all his problems back on his family.

He hated himself for it, but Benji had always been the weaker twin, the more influenced one, and he needed somebody to save him. It all came down to this one moment.

Would Joel help him?

But help me heal these wounds
They've been open for way too long
Help me fill this soul
Even though this is not your fault

His twin was staring hard at him, and Benji could feel the wave of emotions over coming him. Then Joel answered. “Benji. It's you, isn't it? It's really you.”

Benji nodded, glancing down at his feet. “It's me.”

Experiences had eaten away at him, broken the fragile soul that lay inside. He trembled, waiting for the next thing his brother would say.

“You've been gone for a long time.” Joel stood at the door, his hand pressed firmly at the side of the wooden paneling with its paint flakes peeling off. He didn't offer to let Benji inside; he just stood there, waiting.

And left Benji waiting too.

That I'm open and I'm bleeding
All over your brand new rug
And I need someone to help me

Benji stood there, risking a timid glance at his twin. Joel now had pressed his hand against his forehead, and brought it down, staring back at his brother, as if amazed he hadn't vanished. Tears glinted in his eyes, and Benji felt himself twist hard inside. He'd hurt his brother, but if only Joel knew what he was feeling inside right now.

“I know,” he answered, waiting for his brother again. “Is it bad that I came back?”

“God, Benji. I don't know,” Joel said, still standing there, now with his arms wrapped protectively around his chest. As if he was afraid Benji was going to hurt him, push him away again. “I don't know what to think Benji. You've been gone for so long…”

So you come along
I push you away
Then kick and scream for you to stay

“I'm sorry.” The helpless words slipped past Benji's mouth, and now he felt pathetic standing there. Pathetic standing there in front of his twin.

Joel looked hard at Benji, and his eyes were glinting harder with tears now. That doesn't cover it was the message.

I know, Benji replied, silently in his head. I know… I do know.

“Please Joel,” Benji said, feeling his voice break in pain. “Please. I've missed you so much, and I pushed you away when you tried to help. I broke you Joel, I broke you. And I know it. I know it…”

He stopped. Joel was standing, his hands pressed against the door, now sobbing openly. Long, sad, broken sobs.

Cause I need someone to help me
Oh I need someone to help me
To help me heal these wounds
They've been open for way too long
Help me fill this soul
Even though this is not your fault

Benji felt tears come into his own eyes, and pretty soon hot tears were trickling down his own face. He felt like running away, hiding again, escaping and end all the pain he was causing his brother. End all the agony that he was feeling, twisted inside. Denying all those perfect times they'd had together, in their seemingly unblemished lives, their biggest conflict being their father walking out on them. At least then they'd had each other to hold on to, to hug, a shoulder to sob on, somebody to lean on. They had had each other, clinging on to those broken lies that had been echoed, It's ok, when the whole time they knew it wasn't. At least then they'd been there for each other, but now they didn't even have that.

It was Benji's fault. He knew it, and he realized that he'd done enough running for now. It was time to face his past mistakes, fix the relationships he'd once had.

“I need your help now, Joel. I need your help. Can you… do you think you can help me again? Please? I'm hurting so bad inside, I'm so lost and so confused, Joel, and I need your help… please.”

That I'm open
And I'm bleeding
All over your brand new rug
And I need someone to help me sew them
I need someone to help me fill them

He looked down at the ground. He shouldn't be here, he shouldn't be asking for help, he shouldn't be begging. He knew it. He knew it, but he couldn't help it. He was so lost and pathetic, wallowing in those bittersweet moments of years past. He hadn't allowed himself to move on.

There was a touch against his shoulder, and Benji looked up. Joel had placed his fingers cautiously on Benji's shoulder, and now stared at him straight in the eyes, his blonde hair draping across the innocent orbs. Benji stared back, knowing that Joel was analyzing him, reading what was behind those eyes so stolen of their light—the light that had once belonged to both of them in their mindless deception of life.

Joel kept his gaze on his brother, his fingers drifting vaguely across Benji's tattered shirt, and seemed to realize that Benji wasn't disappearing this time—he wasn't leaving again. Cautiously, he pulled his older twin into an embrace, the touch rough and unused, and Benji knew how badly his twin had wanted to do this all along—all those times he'd cried for his brother to come back and protect him from those emotions he could not understand. So Benji let Joel hug him. He let himself open up, and sob into Joel's shoulder, release all the memories—the memories that would always be there, but that could fade a little… one at a time.

I need someone to help me close them up

And until then, Benji knew he was home.

The End

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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