The cement crackled under his feet, walking down the aged sidewalk. His feet knew more then his own mind where he was heading, although he remembered it quite well. He remembered everything, though he wished he did not.
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Heads did mot turn. Faces did not scan his, searching for any familiarity. they passed by, friendly, but unaware. I'm forgotten, he thought, I'm not in the headlines anymore. Am I a man? He didn't know.
As he continued his walk, a building, older then what he had thought, appeared in front of him, the facade faded yellow-gray on all sides but the north. The old Richter house, on Erie Avenue. He had no idea why his feet lead him here. His mind was left back at the bus station.
James lived there, he thought, James Richter. The smaller boy with the quiet smile was imprinted in his memory more then most people. The man believed that, through the years, somehow, James remembered him the same.
He slowed to a stop in front of the house. The blinds were drawn, door securely shut. He did not know whether he dared to knock, dared to reenter this world. He may not have known, but the muscles in his legs sure did. They led him to the front door without his knowing. His thought process was slowed by the fear that was creeping up his spine since he entered this place.
The doorbell chimed. The man stood for a minute, his heart beating faster and faster with every passing moment. Just as he could not take it anymore, just as his back had turned to head away, he heard the creaking of the aged wood. Several moments passed before the words came out of the stranger's mouth.
"Jesus Christ, Quinton, is that you?"
The man turned to see the smaller boy James Richter to be a smaller man. His face was twisted in an emotion unseen by the man, a cross between bewilderment and astonishment.
"My God, Quin, it is you!"
Quinton's permanent frown curled up to a warm smile. "Hello, James."
The laughter was quieting down from the living room of James Richter's house, though dry huffs were still echoing throughout it.
"...that was so amazing!"
"I know, I know, I didn't think he would either!"
"That was unbelievable, I mean, how one man could survive all that..."
"I know, I know," James sighed, wiping a small tear from his eye. Two hours had passed since Quinton Blair had walked up to his house. Two hours to catch up on a lifetime.
An awkward silence settled between the two, as the memories in which they were recounting upon reinstated themselves in the past. James looked Quinton straight in the eyes, all laughter faded from their dark engagement.
"You know, they miss you," he said quietly, leaning back in his chair and taking a sip of his Coke.
Quinton stared straight back at James, and the he looked away. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"God damn it, Quinton!" James yelled, suddenly on his feet, enraged, "You disappear at the age of fourteen. You've been gone for nearly five years now, and you think nobody gives a damn about you!"
"You may care, but I know they don't!" Quinton was on his feet now as well, across the ottoman from where James was. "I knew you would never forget me!"
"Where the hell do you get off thinking this? Nobody forgot you! Do you even know what the hell you did to this town? Do you know what we went through?"
"No, I don't. I don't know a damn thing. I defiantly don't know why the hell I even came back here!" Quinton yelled, turning around. Storming out of the room, hand on the doorknob, he heard James.
"Local boy missing; family heartbroken."
Quinton turned around to face James. He was holding what appeared to be a large scrapbook.
"Blair family offers reward for their son," James said, monotone.
"What is this?"
"One year since Blair boy disappeared; family not giving up hope," said James, his eyes shifting between Quinton's face and the scrapbook," Weston Blair makes plea across state for safe return of his son. What is this? This is how much everyone forgot you. Every news article ever published on your disappearance."
Quinton took the book from his hands. Page after page, articles on him, on his family. Year after year. five years of his life he wasn't even there for.
"Your father had it..." James said quietly. Quinton looked up at James' face, and the small man appeared smaller then ever before.
"No..." Quinton whispered.
"He couldn't wait forever, Quin. He had cancer; he was diagnosed two years ago. He fought long and hard," James said sympathetically.
Quinton fell upon the couch. His face was that of a split man, a man broken more then he had ever been before. Hid face fell into his hands, and tears flowed freely down his cheeks, dampening his hands with remorse beyond comprehension. That fourteen year old boy who had disappeared from home all those years ago had returned five years later. He had not aged a day. Quinton sat in his friends house and cried,
Quinton stood in front of the house. The lights were turned off. The lawn unkempt. Nobody had tended to anything within it for a long time. The old Blair house. That's what it was considered now.
"I heard you were back in town," a voice, oh so familiar in it's sweetness, said from behind him, "You're taller then I remember."
"You're just as a remember, Amy," Quinton said, not moving his eyes from his old household.
Amy went and stood beside Quinton, grabbed his hand and pushed her head against his arm, her wavy blond hair covering most of her face, "I missed you."
"I missed you, too."
"why did you leave?"
"I don't know...for reasons unknown, I took the road less traveled. But now, I'm home...if you consider this hone."
The two stood beside each other. The weight of the world that had crushed their backs had left, and the sun which shone down upon their fair town slowly dwindled into night.
I don't you can see, I only use my superpowers for good...