“Gone” by Andy Sul



  by Andy Sul

I knew a decent amount about him. I met one day while he was moving into his

apartment which was next to mine. He hated me for the most part. I hope he did. He

never told me his name either. He said something about knowing a person’s name can

hold a lot of power. I was only able to find out what it was until this lady started to show

up every now and then 3 months after he moved in. She worked at the orphanage he

was at growing up, and she’d check in with him to make sure he was doing alright. It

was only until I met her that she told me a bit of his past. He witnessed his parents die

at such a young age and was completely alone ever since. Nobody during that time at

the orphanage would want to adopt him. I guess that’s the reason why he turned out the

way that he was. Just so afraid of everything that could potentially kill him.

Death was always on his mind. Because of it, he was afraid of everything and

anything. Some of the things he’d be afraid of made sense like crossing the street or the

food he’d eat. Some of them didn’t really make much sense to me like clothes. It could

never be too tight, could never be too loose either. Somehow they could just kill him. He

was always afraid of everybody too. I was even a potential threat to him because he

didn’t know me. For all he knew, I would have taken his life. As I’d see him more often

I’d try to open him up a bit by teasing him about the things he was afraid of that didn’t

make sense to me. That’s how he ended up hating me, because of my constant teasing

of whatever he was afraid of that he shouldn’t have to be. But slowly, he was becoming

more and more open to see things differently and even opening up to me.

One day I was on my way back from work and I found him on the ground in front

of his apartment. The other neighbors didn’t even notice, they just thought it was

another one of his freak out episodes. Apparently he got evicted from his apartment and

it freaked him out so much, it knocked him out cold. But he wouldn’t respond when I

tried to wake him up. Not only that, his body was really hot and sweating like crazy so I

rushed him to the hospital.

He woke up the next day and started freaking out again. Waking up in an

unfamiliar environment. Seeing all these unfamiliar people. It was really not until the

doctor talked to him about his situation that he started calming down. But he didn’t calm

down because the doctor did a good job of calming him down. The doctor revealed he

had cancer.

He never stood a chance. He was uninsured and only had enough money for

rent and food each month somehow. He couldn’t pay for the surgery. I didn’t have the

money then either. And just like that, he was gone within a few weeks after he got

checked in. The cancer had already spread too far at that point. He was so afraid of

everything that he couldn’t even live out his own life. See or experience the world out

there. Never enjoyed anything in life, nor did he have many friends. I think I was his only friend or at least I’d like to think that.

You know I just thought maybe, just maybe I could

help him out. And after all of that, and his constant fear of everything, something out of

his control got him. And now, he’s gone. He’s gone.


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