Adél Mihályi

Terry was rushing through the city, putting his hands in his hoodie pockets. His blond hair kept on covering his eyes, so he was constantly fixing it with one of his hands. He didn’t want to miss any detail of the view he had in front of him. He always observed everyone and everything he saw; some people would have called him paranoiac, but that wasn’t true. He just liked to know what was happening around him.

…At least that’s what he was telling himself. Without being exactly aware of his surroundings, he would be totally lost… or he would notice that he was lost. This was the last thing he wanted to admit; acknowledging that he is just a random crumb thrown into this maze called ‘life’ was his only fear.

But this fear was big, and it was slowly taking over his mind. It bothered him so much… He started walking even faster, anxiously checking his watch: he was running late to pick up his younger brother at school. He shook his head so that neither his hair nor his self-destructive thoughts would bother him as he got closer to his location.

He arrived just on time: his sibling immediately ran to him and crossed his arms around his waist, hugging him tight. Terry placed his hand on his brother’s head, playfully tangled his hair, while an exhausted smile appeared on his face.

“Today we had to write about someone who is really brave, and I wrote about you,” his brother said suddenly, while passing his backpack to him. Terry and he interlocked fingers as they started walking home.

“And, what did you write?” he asked curiously, forcing a happier look on himself.

“Well, I wrote that you always know what to do, and that you are very confident.”

Hearing the sentence from his brother’s innocent mouth, Terry felt empty. Without his noticing, his smile became a grimace filled with tension. He started to feel lost again, realizing that kids are always honest, yet he couldn’t believe a word he had just heard.

“That’s cute. How about we race to the next corner? I bet you will lose!” He winked at his brother, and in the next second they were already running; the loud sound of their feet stamping the ground was echoing in his head, but the faster he ran, the louder it got. He suddenly stopped, trying to catch his breath, but he still heard the steps of his brother, who was on his way to become the winner, leaving Terry in a slump.