San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Abandoned, alone and unloved

There once was a boy who lived in a house on a street with tall trees. His parents loved him very much, and he loved them back.

This little boy feared what most little boys do: that his worst fear might come true, and he’d have to learn how to live in terror. The boy feared that whenever a person left him, they’d disappear forever, and so he’d be alone and abandoned. Unloved.

Every night before he went to sleep, his parents assured him that his fear was simply a bit of nervousness.

“Fear is good; it allows you to empathize with those who have suffered through things,” they said.

“What’s ‘empathize?’” he asked.

“To feel for someone else,” his mother said.

“To put yourself in another person’s shoes,” his father said.

The little boy pulled up his covers and peered down at the dog, his best friend, sleeping at the foot of his bed.

“What if Frank leaves?”

The dog moved his eyes, but kept his head on his paws. The dog was lazy, but a good dog nonetheless.

“No one’s going to leave,” his father said, flipping the switch as he and the boy’s mother said goodnight and went to their room. The little boy sighed and turned over so he could face his nightlight. Frank rolled over and groaned.

“I won’t leave you either, boy,” the child said, and fell asleep.

But the next morning, his parents were nowhere to be found.

“Maybe they’re buying groceries, or maybe they went next door to borrow syrup,” he thought. Saturday mornings were always pancake mornings and there never seemed to be enough syrup.

By noon, the boy began to get worried, but reassured himself. Frank stayed by his side. “I’ll go next door to see if the Maples know where Mom and Dad went,” he said.

Mrs. Maple answered the door.

“I haven’t a clue, dear,” she said to the boy. “Come in, let’s get you fed.”

By nightfall, the boy’s parents were still gone.

“I’m calling the police,” Mr. Maple said.

“Let’s fix you a place to sleep,” Mrs. Maple said.

Frank stayed by the window facing the boy’s house.

The next morning, the boy woke up to the smell of bacon. But when he wandered into the kitchen, he discovered the Maples were gone, too.

“Oh no,” he thought. “Everyone I know is leaving!”

He scared himself very much with that thought. Luckily, Frank was still there.

On Sunday, he walked to church like always. The community sympathized with him, but some called him cursed. Some families didn’t want to take him in, for fear of being evaporated into nothingness, like his parents and the Maples.

“Enough,” his uncle said. “There’s nothing wrong with the boy. He’ll stay with me and mine.”

The boy was very happy because he loved his uncle, aunt and cousins.

And they loved him. But the next day, they disappeared along with the rest of the church. Suddenly the town felt more empty.

“I’m cursed,” the boy said. “I’ll live by myself so no one else has to suffer me!”

Frank barked in agreement.

And for the next few years the boy lived happily, albeit solitarily, in peace. He learned how to cook and clean for himself and Frank. When he needed human companionship, he turned on the television. Soon, that wasn’t enough. That’s when he discovered the Internet.

But the Internet is like a window: The boy was looking out and the world was looking in because they’d heard about the curse. Eventually, strangers from far and wide began to knock on his door, just to meet the boy, just to disappear. The terminally ill and suicidal, the morbidly curious, the thrill-seekers and lunatics. The old and lonely and depressed. Society began to improve with all the dependent people gone—at least, that’s what the media thought.

After a few months, infrastructure crumpled. Packs began to form, those who wanted to seek the boy out, and those who wanted to avoid him.

In another couple years, nearly everyone was gone or in hiding.

“I do very much wish to find a girl to love,” the boy told Frank. But Frank was old and ill. Frank wanted to run away to die in peace.

And that’s what Frank did.

The boy considered killing himself. He tried to hang himself, but the rope always broke. He tried to jump off high places, but always landed safely. He tried to shoot himself, but the gun always jammed.

On his darkest day, he decided to fight back. He was going to turn it all around. With no one to bother him, no one to expect anything from him, he decided he was going to do all the things people feared. No one stopped him from going anywhere because there was no one left. He learned how to break a cinderblock with his bare hands, how to swim and surf and how to drive really fast. He learned how to fly jets and helicopters. He explored his world, from Area 51 to ancient ruins.

One day, while flying across the Pacific Ocean, he discovered an unknown, volcanic island.

“Maybe someone’s left there,” he thought. When he parachuted down, though, he found it uninhabited. He sat down and thought long and hard about his cursed life. After what seemed like ages, he had an epiphany.

“Now I understand,” he told himself. “I must conquer my own fear. With everyone else gone, I must get to know the only person left. I must get to know myself.”

He walked to the edge of the surf and peered down into the water.

“Hello,” he said to himself.

No one greeted him back.

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Abandoned, alone and unloved