Retreat in a Cyber Cafe

I was stupid to think he could change. I’d spent months talking to him online, but never really knowing him. We talked about everything, from politics to music videos. At first, he was the poster child for teen angst. He was moody, depressed, and rude. But after a while, he started to talk. Really talk, about his family, his friends, and his problems. And I don’t mean problems as in his Xbox wouldn’t work, more along the lines of his mom. She was an alcoholic, a druggie, and unemployed. She spent the days smoking pot in their tiny 2 bedroom apartment in downtown Chicago. He said he avoided home as much as he could. I don’t blame him. He went to a cyber cafe a few blocks from his house and signed on at exactly 9:30 every night, for months. He was the closest thing I had to a friend, yet I never met him. After spending so much time talking to him, he opened up completely, so different from the moody, depressed guy he was before. But one night, the last night, I got only one message from him. My dad came home.

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