Part 7:

Moist, the air around him was moist. It was always gloomy where he went, but not always damp. The rain seemed to follow his mood. When he was particularly down, it would pour. That had never made sense to him. People were out less when the weather was bad, and when he felt sad, that is when he needed them most. Occasionally, when the rain would fall for days or weeks, he would venture into stores and churches. If he was desperate, he would go to the prisons and homeless shelters, but he did not like the way they made him feel. When his friends were bad or sick or lonely, he felt bad and sick and lonely too. It was better when they were young, vibrant, full of hope.

Today he wandered through a market. There were peaches, and he loved peaches. The man at the stall selling the fruit looked up when he thought he heard footsteps stopping in front of him, but as he gazed around, he decided he must be hearing things and went back to reading the news from the paper in his lap. The boy reached out and felt the fruit, it was soft and heavy.  He grabbed a few pieces, and began eating them as he walked. The juice from the peach trickled down his chin and he wiped it off on his sleeve.

In the corner of the market, he saw a man sitting on a stool playing music. He went to sit next to him and listen. A crowd was gathering. The chords from the guitar thrummed in his veins. He could feel the music building and growing, it gave him energy and made him want to dance.  Looking around for a partner, he noticed a girl in her early teens swaying in the back of the group. Her flowered skirt swished at her ankles to the rhythm of the music. He stood and moved toward her. People shifted out of his way as if compelled, but never took their eyes of the musician. His eyes were glued to her form as he moved slowly closer.

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