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Living The Lonely Life - by PKPetalLove

Living The Lonely Life

Lucas awoke to the soothing sounds of birds twittering at his open bedroom window, Boney's barking downstairs, and the sounds of his father Flint's hammer pounding, fixing broken singles on the roof. Despite the beautiful sunlight pouring in, a disgruntled Lucas let out a groan, and pulled the blankets over his head, trying to claim at least a few more minutes of sleep. When he heard another loud thud of Flint's hammer, and Boney let out a few more loud barks, Lucas let out another groan and threw the blankets off himself, swinging his legs over and jumping onto the floor.
Yawning, Lucas slid his feet into his favorite white slippers, and he stretched while shuffling to his bedroom mirror, ready to appraise his appearance before heading downstairs to cook himself breakfast.
The instant he met his reflection, his blue eyes shot wide open in surprise, then dimmed again. He looked messy. His blonde hair, usually neatly combed, was unkempt and poking about all over the place, as if it had a mind of its own. One side of his face had the imprint of his pillow, from sleeping on his side for too long. His left arm had fallen asleep and was still currently waking up. His pajama shirt was wrinkled and one pajama pant leg was hiked up due to constant moving around in his sleep.
Slowly, sluggishly, Lucas looked down and reached for his black comb. For an instant he remembered his mother, the way she laughed and teased how his hair was so wild he might as well be a lion. She would know just how to comb in a way it didn't hurt when she tugged a knot out of his hair, and beside him his twin brother Claus would fidget and kick impatiently, saying how he couldn't wait to go outside and play whatever little game he and Lucas would come up with.
Lucas ignored the pang of sadness that suddenly struck his young heart. Even though the loss of Hinawa and Claus hit at around the same time, and he still missed his mother and brother, each day it grew easier. The pain was still there, but Lucas would still attempt to pull through. He'd begun feeding Boney, cooking his own meals, and even began cleaning the house. He'd grown from a coddled little crybaby to a self-reliant boy.
Picking up the comb, Lucas began running it through his messy hair, thinking of what to make for breakfast today.
The front door creaked open, and Flint walked in, the brim of his cowboy hat covering his eyes. He threw his washcloth down on the table, and patted Boney on the head when the dog scurried over and nudged him in greeting. He then smiled a small smile and proclaimed, "Mornin', Lucas."
"Mornin', Dad," Lucas didn't turn around from the stove, watching his omelet cook. When it turned golden brown, he tossed a piece of his favorite cheese over it, letting it melt. He then stepped onto his stool, reaching to the top for a glass so he could pour himself some milk. When he finished, Lucas took his plate and milk, and took a seat at the table. Boney stared with the intent eyes of a hungry dog as Lucas began to eat, his tongue hanging out.
"You sure do love those omelets," Flint replied as he sat across from Lucas.
Lucas nodded, "Did you eat?"
"Me? Yeah, I was up pretty early this morning, don't worry about me, I already ate."
"Hmm." Lucas continued eating in silence, not meeting his father's eyes. He didn't know why, but he always found it difficult to talk to Flint. Besides, conversations like these were rare--Flint would always be fixing the old house, visiting Hinawa's grave, or up in the mountains looking for Claus. Lucas was usually at home, wandering around town, or playing with Boney. But even with his loyal dog, Lucas somehow always felt alone.
After a long pause, Flint rose to his feet.
"Where are you going?" Lucas asked, even though he already knew at least one of the default three answers was going to come up.
"I'm gonna head to the mountains," Flint mumbled, "take a walk."
The front door slammed shut, and Lucas took a deep breath, feeling his usual loneliness set in.
Boney let out a whine.
Sighing in resignation, Lucas took a piece of cheese from his omelet and tossed it to Boney. The dog caught it effortlessly, the only sound left in the house being the dog's appreciative chewing.
"Heyyyyy, Lucas, ol' boy!"
Lucas, whom was spending his day wandering around town alone (Boney felt like sleeping in today), turned to see Thomas waving happily to him from the entrance of the bazaar. He was wearing the typical factory uniform, but his smile hadn't changed. Lucas waved,
"Hi, Thomas," he replied politely.
Thomas remained grinning, "How've ya been? You get bigger and bigger every time I see ya!"
"I'm fine." Lucas never lied about that. He wasn't terrible but he wasn't terrific either, "How is work for you?"
"Ah, can't complain, can't complain! Ehh, hey, do me a favor, will ya?"
"Sure," Lucas nodded as he walked into the bazaar with Thomas, "what do you need?"
Thomas picked up an old stick from under the counter. Handing it to Lucas, he spoke,
"Would ya mind givin' this to your dad? He asked for it and paid for it three days ago, but since our stocks were off lately, we just ordered it and it came today."
Lucas took the stick, knowing exactly why Flint would need it. He needed a weapon to fend off the creatures as he looked tirelessly for Claus in the mountains. Sighing, Lucas nodded, "Sure."
"Thanks! Man, Flint sure is lucky to have a good kid like you around. Bet you help 'em out a lot!"
Lucas couldn't ignore the strange loneliness again, "...Yeah. I do."
As Boney was still sleeping peacefully in his doghouse, Lucas decided to wander off into the mountains through Sunshine Forest on his own, carrying his own little stick to fight off anything that threatened his safety. The trek through the forest was perfectly fine, but the mountains was where Lucas went into stealth mode, sneaking past hungry Spud Bugs and Yammonsters. This was where it got dangerous.
Lucas knelt down and tiptoed past more Spud Bugs until he finally reached the usual area where he'd find his father. Sighing with relief, Lucas rested his back against a giant boulder, and took a breath, ready to call out for his dad, whom he knew was around somewhere.
Just when the first d escaped his lips, he heard a low growl behind him. Eyes widening, Lucas felt his entire body tense up as the boulder behind him suddenly turned, and was breathing down his neck. Very slowly, Lucas turned around to face whatever it was that threatened him, sweat falling down the back of his neck.
He met the eyes of a Crag Lizard, and Lucas was frozen in fear, wishing Boney was with him. He jumped when the Crag Lizard let out a roar, and Lucas backed up until he stumbled, falling on his bottom as he scrambled away. His father's stick fell somewhere beside him.
The Crag Lizard slowly began stalking towards him, growling and claws bared. Lucas wanted to cry, but he was too scared for even that. He held up his stick, his hand shaking.
Another roar escaped the Crag Lizard's mouth, and it lifted a claw, preparing to rip apart the young boy. Lucas tightly shut his eyes, wishing somehow he'd wake up in his bed, with his dad, his mother, and Claus, all together again where everything was all right, and--
Lucas' eyes shot open, and there was Flint, holding his own stick, batting the Crag Lizard away. It let out one last roar, then stalked off, realizing it wasn't going to be killing anyone today.
Flint stared as the Crag Lizard stomped off, regaining his breath. Behind him, Lucas slowly got to his feet, a little shaken up, but still relieved. After a long moment, Lucas began to speak,
"D--dad, Thomas told me to get you that stick since you paid for it, and--!"
Flint turned around with blinding speed, eyes blazing, "What the hell were you thinking, Lucas?" he exclaimed furiously.
Lucas immediately shut up as Flint continued,
"You couldn't at least take Boney with you?! You know how dangerous this place has gotten these past years, what were you thinking even coming here on your own like this?!?!"
"I'm...sorry, Dad," Lucas didn't know what else to say, "I was just..." he trailed.
"Just what, Lucas?" Flint yelled, "What you did was extremely reckless, just like--!" he suddenly stopped, unable to continue his sentence.
It was then Lucas felt an unexplainable anger fill him. Days, weeks, months of loneliness finally caught up to him, and manifested into another feeling--resentment.
Clenching his fists, he suddenly blurted out,
"Just like what, Dad?"
Flint relented, taken aback by Lucas' sudden outburst. His mind was screaming, but Lucas could no longer bring himself to stop,
"Just like Claus?!"
He saw his father flinch at the name, and it was then Lucas relentlessly continued,
"Well guess what, Dad? I'm not Claus! I'm Lucas! And if you took the time to be home and pay attention, you would see that! Every day I wake up alone! Every day I cook my own meals and every day I'm the one who feeds Boney since you conveniently forget. Every day all you do is mope around in front of Mom's grave or you go looking for Claus, who's been missing for so long people are starting to question your sanity! I'm still here! I'm not dead! Why don't you open your eyes?!?! Mom and Claus are gone and they're not coming back!"
A loud clap then echoed in the mountains. Lucas ignored the stinging pain that now ached his left cheek, where Flint had struck him.
There was a long, tense silence. Lucas held back the urge to cry, because damnit, he wasn't a baby anymore. His throat hurt from doing so, and he swallowed hard as he slowly met his father's eyes.
His eyes widened in surprise when he saw tears falling from his father's eyes. Lucas felt his young heart break once again for the millionth time in the span of the years that broke his family. The muscle he pulled so taut beneath his sternum snapped, burst, broke, and he let out a loud, gurgled sob, letting his own anguished tears fall. He stood there crying for a while until he felt Flint's arms around him, hugging him. Lucas hugged back tightly.
"I'm sorry, son," Flint sobbed, "So sorry..."
Lucas could only cry.
Together, for the first time in a while, both father and son grieved for Hinawa, grieved for Claus, grieved for all that had been lost.

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