He was out of shape, panting, and wearing gray sweats in the summer heat to hide his bloated body. His hairline was receding rapidly, and it was a wonder that you couldn't see it move. Glasses were perched on a nose that had been broken one too many times, and his face was hardly clean-shaven.
He was on the corner now, almost at the fence lining the playground. He hadn't noticed the clouds overhead, so he jumped in surprise when splashes of water started to decorate his glasses. Del whipped the glasses off of his face and furiously wiped them off. He found that he could hear the tormentors' voices clearly now.
"Uh-DUH! Why are you so stoo-pid?" One brown-haired boy taunted, hitting the side of his hand against his breastbone.
Del saw that there was a circle around the retarded boy now, with children ranging from six to twelve. The fiery haired mentally ill boy seemed to be thirteen, judging by how tall and gangly he was, but he didn't even try to defend himself against his younger companions. Strangely, he even seemed happy. The circle moved in closer, and the contorted faces of the children make Del think fleetingly about vultures.
Del was now at the corner of the fence. This was taking him back to his childhood, and his fists were clenched subconsciously.
He kept walking, but he didn't know why. He should have used his "adult authority" to make the children scatter, but it was no use. He knew it wasn't. They would just come back, day after day, to torment a little boy just because they were scared to understand.
Suddenly, Del realized that he had stopped and was staring into the fence. He viciously wiped at his cheeks to dry them from what he thought was the rain. I must look like a pedophile, he thought, so he started 'speed walking,' waving his arms goofily but not speeding up at all. He could hear the taunting of his peers in the voices of the cruel kids in the schoolyard.
"Ohh, look at 'im now!" a small kindergartener in pigtails screeched. "He's laughing! Man he's stoo-pid!"
That statement mimicked one he had heard all through his school days. Humans were still the same, and always would be.
Now Del was past the fence and was closer to the house. He walked faster, jogged, and then broke out into a sprint. He was running from the asinine remarks of his childhood. He could still hear the whiny high-pitched voices of the children, now so far away, yet so close to him. The 'innocent' children that all the adults adored.
He was deep in thought as he got closer to his house, not even noticing the numbness in his left leg or the burning sensation in his shoulders. He stepped onto the sidewalk and tried to breathe, wheezing and coughing. He finally felt the burning and numbness and he clutched his heart frantically. He was struggling even harder to breathe now. He fell over, and not noticing the ground under his back, he tried to stop the pain.
Del brought his head off the ground and banged it on the sidewalk. He weakened after the fourth blow, and he couldn't lift his head anymore. There, on 1789 Youdel Lane, Del took his last breath and drifted off into an endless sleep.
The next day, in the newspaper, there was a report in the very back of the local section. It was hardly four inches long, and one inch wide. It told cold, hard facts of the death of a man no one remembered or cared about.
The redheaded boy looked at the picture of the corpse over his mother's shoulder. He pointed to it as his mom was reading.
"That man was watching my friends get ready to give me my present and he was crying." He said in one breath and pointed to his proudly worn purple and yellow striped eye.