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Chapter 6

*For this chapter: Self-harm warning*

About the nudist guy, he's in all of my classes! He MUST be new to the school. Anyway, I never spoke to him. I just ignore him like I do with the other students. He doesn't talk to me either, so it's a win-win.

Just so you know: he's not actually nude right now, I just don't know what to call him; never caught his name.

"I'm putting you in groups of four to five to act out, in your own words and methods, Act One of Hamlet. Make it funny too!" Mr. D said.

"This will be due next class period."

He would call out our names and tell us to go to a certain table.

"Luc, white table." It's all the way in the back corner.

I got out of my seat and headed over there. Two people were already sitting there.

I sat down in a chair against the wall.

"Hey Luc!" One girl exclaimed.

I screeched mentally and stared blankly. She. Doesn't. Even. Know. Me. I hate when people just talk to me like they do.

When the rest of the group sat down I clearly stated my position in the Act.

"I want to be the dead king; I don't want to act much right now."

"Ok fine." One girl said.

At least no one argued about it.

So we came up with our act. Although, there were some areas we needed to touch up on.

Eventually Mr. D called us back to our seats. There was still time to kill.

"Is there any group that thinks they are ready to present today?" He asked.

One guy raised his hand. "We will!"

"Okay. The floor is yours." Mr. D said before walking off to the side.

It was nudist guy's group.

They presented. Could use some work, I didn't really laugh, but they had the summary part down pat. Actually, I think nudist guy is the better actor than anybody in this classroom.

Once the group sat down Mr. D came to the floor.

"Anyone else want to go?" He asked us.

I looked at a member of my group. He gave me the shrug and "I dunno, should we?" look. I looked at another member of the group. She shook her head.

Once it became clear that no one was going Mr. D put us in "done for the day" mode. So, phones out, earbuds in, 70s to 90s legends on.

"I'm happy. Hope you're happy too." Must be nice.

It's 2:05. Three more minutes and I'm out of here.

Let's hope Chet isn't home right now.

I opened the door and walked in.

"Luc!" I heard Izzy yell.

I jumped and froze. She whisked herself over to me.

"I need a favor." She said.

I started walking away.

"I have homework." I sang.

Izzy hopped in front of me.

"I wasn't asking." She sang back.

I lowered my head.

After Izzy left I sat up in my bed.

I don't really have homework. That means I don't have anything to do.

I lay back down and curled up into a naked ball.

Where is my salvation? Don't I get a knight in shining armor?

Instead I got a guy with wonky eyes and teeth, whom I love, of course, but he can't do anything.

I reached under my mattress. I gripped the handle of a knife and pulled it out. I held it to my chest and clenched it tightly.

I brought it to the top of my wrist and started to dig.

Blood squirted and trickled down my arm.

Watching the blood, I got a bit...out of control. I started slicing my arm open. Up and down, side to side. Each time missing the vein. The one thing that would end it all.

Can I still not do it yet?

Evie. I need your help.

"Luc? What happened to your arm?" Evie asked when she saw me the next day in third block.

She must have seen the bandage when my sleeve moved.

"Oh this? Just a burn." I said.

"You were cooking?" She questioned.

"Yeah. Boiling eggs."

"Be careful next time. My mum says you could boil your skin off." She stated.

I nodded my head.

I put my hand on the bandage and gripped it. It hurts like hell. But, if I acknowledge the pain, it shows I'm still willing to fight.

The next day in Theatre Arts everyone presented their acts. People would laugh here and there, I stayed silent.

Once the bell rang and everyone piled out, I went to the hallway in front of the cafeteria to wait on Evie.

A finger tapped my shoulder.

I sighed. What now? I turned around and froze up.

Helloooo, nudist guy. Whatever you do, don't call him "nudist guy."

I noticed he wore a scarf. It was wrapped tightly around his neck with the ends trailing down his coat. Seriously, if I tugged on it he'd be hung. He wore all black and mostly leather.

"What is it?" I asked semi-robotically.

"I just wanted to say; you are a pretty good actor." He said.

"Thanks?" He had these eyes, they really pulled you in. They were blue and green. Enchanting blue and green, almost mystical.

I started to take slow steps backwards. "Right well..."

"I have to go meet a friend. Before she leaves. So I'm just gonna..." Take off.

I turned and walked away -- more like fled.

I found Evie and pretty much dragged her all the way around the school to the bus lot. I was panicking. Kind of.

"Nudist guy spoke to me! He complimented me!" I complained.

"Isn't that good?" Evie responded.

"No. He gives me the creeps."

Evie giggled. "Aw Luc. You're so worked up about this."

I rolled my eyes.

"My soul is painted like the wings on butterflies, fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die. I could fly..." Ahh...Freddie fuckin Mercury. Wish I could be like him. Free, fearless.

I had nothing to do. I'm certain Evie is busy with homework. I never have homework -- mainly because I do it in class and it's such light work. Tedious even.

I surfed Youtube and found a recently posted David Bowie music video.

"By the time I got to New York. I was living like a king. Then I used up all my money...I was looking for your ass." Why is this music video so dark? I like it but...

A couple days later, I was downstairs in the den watching the news. I lost my mind when a certain news story came on:

"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!" I yelled until my voice died off. Winn walked in with a cigarette in his mouth.

"What's the matter with you?" He questioned.

"My one and only hero died and now I don't know what to do!" I practically screamed.

"Who?" He asked.

"DAVID BOWIE!!" I yelled.

"Who?" Winn asked again.

"Are you kidding me?!"

"Who's gonna make me feel better now?" I lamented.

Winn threw up his hands and walked out.

I turned off the TV and stood up on the couch. I looked up and shook my fist.

"Curse you, fucker! Give him back!" I yelled.

When all my screeching did nothing to bring him back, I gave up.

Winn banged on my door repeatedly.

"LUC!!" He yelled.

"Turn your music down!!"

"No! I'm in mourning!" I called.

I was blasting 'Heroes' non-stop.

"You're dead if Chet walks in."

I reached over and turned off my speaker. He's right. Better to spare myself a beating.

I went over to the door and opened it.

"I'm hungry." I told Winn.

He hunched his shoulders. "You know I don't cook."

"Neither do I." I responded.

We stood there for a bit.

"I'll call for a pizza." He sighed and lit a new cigarette as he walked away.

I retreated into my room.

Liver Cancer. LIVER CANCER. I'm just surprised he didn't die from Lung Cancer. Or AIDS.

I'm talking about David Bowie, of course.

I'm going to get a tattoo. It'll say "Oh no love, you're not alone." Best goddamn words I've ever heard. Life saving, actually. For me, at least.

"Luc! Pizza's here!" Winn yelled after a while.

I went downstairs. I grabbed a plate from the cabinet and grabbed two slices of pizza. I sat at the counter. Winn sat at the table. We ate in silence. Everyone else was out.

After dinner I went to my room and sat on my bed.

I coughed a bit. I huffed when I landed on my back. I rolled over and started laughing into my pillow.

Laughing at nothing in particular. Maybe I laughed because I'm going insane.

I don't know anymore.

In third block the next day Mrs. C was calling on people.

"Mr. Alehanson," Mrs. C called.

"What is the Y-Vertex? Do you want to take a guess?" She asked sweetly. I love her because she never puts pressure on us.

"...four." Nudist guy answered.

"Correct!" Mrs. C chimed.

Nice job. Eye roll.

I really hate people who know all the answers. They never let anyone else answer.

Ah, oh well.

I was writing in my journal during Creative Writing class. I even wrote about nudist guy when I first saw him at the river. Maybe I should delete it?

Anyway, in my journal I mainly write about school, things that happen in class, that kind of stuff. But this time, I wrote about David Bowie.

About how he saved my life, made me laugh, made me enjoy life. Now that he's dead, what am I supposed to do? Who could I possibly turn to now?

Everyone I love is dead - Freddie Mercury, David Bowie - I never knew who my parents were. My earliest memories were of the Narsons' and me moving to Charlotte. Sure, there's Evie. But how long is she going to stick around?

I want someone who is there, but not there. Someone who doesn't know me at all, but helps me too.

There's no one now. They're all dead.

I sighed lowly. I saved my work and closed the laptop.

Now Ms. D has us working on a short story. Writing whatever we want. I haven't decided yet.

An imaginary lightbulb went off over my head.

Maybe I can write about my home life! I had no other ideas. Just gotta change the names first!

I started typing. Typing, typing, typing, words, words, words.

I was done with it by the next day. I turned it in and called it a day.

"Luc." Ms. D called me after class ended.

"Yes?" I turned around.

She beckoned me over. She had a packet in her hand.

She showed it to me. "This,"

It was my paper.

"This is highly highly inappropriate. You cannot write about these kinds of things." She scolded.

Yes. I wrote about my foster sibling raping me too. Or, siblings raping "Jake."

"I'm going to have to call your parents."

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