The sky behind the boy was grey. There was the smell of dirt, mud and rain oozing up in the air. Around him was the rough metals piling up on each other forming this graveyard of used electronics that he calls home.
As usual, the boy is standing at the gate, drawing a couple of long and deep breaths to prepare for another hard day ahead. He’s wearing shorts, it has two pockets which give him extra room to carry smaller devices home and sell it the old man. He has no shirt, no shoes. He likes the rain, he likes being cleaned. Although a few times he had caught a bad cold, he still slings himself right in the open space to catch as much rain drops as possible.
It rained last night, he missed it, he was asleep. He is disappointed with himself for not waking up, and now there are only puddles left. That’s enough to wash his feet. The water is cold, the boy shivers.
Winter will be here soon. He has been through 13 winters, but the cold still surprises him every time. He notices the goosebumps on his arms, he sighed. He can’t work as well in the winter. If he doesn’t work as well, he won’t have enough food. If he tries to work like he does in the summer, he will sure get sick and can not work at all. And the rain stops when winter comes. It’s always a lose-lose situation.
But he can’t complain. He never complains. He didn’t complain when they assigned him this junk yard. He didn’t complain when the old man broke the deal and gave him the shorter end of the stick. He didn’t complain when he threw up after trying to swallow the first meal of the Common House. He was surprised, sure, but he always managed to pull himself together.
Others may call it a miserable life. He just calls it life.
Today, he decides to think about family. He wonders what sticks those people together, what it would feel like to have people around, what it feels like to be fed by others and what it feels like to feed others. That must be tiring, he can barely feed himself. People say family has love, he hasn’t really thought about love yet. It seems powerful.
He sees something. Something soft. It’s sticking out of the fridge.
He pulls it out.
It’s a blanket. He doesn’t know it as a blanket yet, but somehow he immediately figures out a use for it. He tries wrapping it around his body. The thing touches his skin gently and affectionately. The thing was so big that he could cover his entire body in it. It feels so good to be inside that thing that he almost forgets his job.
He places it back to the fridge, he remembers this fridge now.
He will bring it back for the others and the old man after collecting the usable parts.
But then a dreadful thought strikes him, the blanket won’t be his anymore. He can’t bring the blanket back, he knows the old man would take it. This is his and his only, he found it and he will keep it.
The comfort he gave him brought him back so far back, almost to a point of irrelevant and unrelatable. But he has felt a similar feeling, and he wants more of it.
With this, the winter poses less powerful.
Credit picutre: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-haired-boy-796526/