Chapter 1: After
I’m standing in the middle of the cafeteria, with him. Holding my too green plastic tray, with the sky-blue plate, empty, as usual. I’m looking away, trying to find our table in the big mess of the cafeteria, and I look up again.
He’s gone, and I feel a cold breeze that knocks me to the ground.
Suddenly, I’m out on the street. I’m bleeding and screaming and crying, but I can’t hear anything.
He’s trying to say something, but neither of us can understand each other. I try to touch his hand… but, it’s too late. He’s gone. I’m all alone again.
It’s so cliché, but where are the credits? Where’s the script telling me what to say? Where’s the director jumping out of the bushes and stopping the scene.
Kneeling on the ground in that dusty, dirty street, I’m waiting for him to wake up and tell me that he’s just pretending… until someone has to drag me away from him. Until I somehow wander into the bathroom, because I have to clean off the blood because it’s ruining my shirt, and I have to be ready for my next take.
Until I suddenly remember that I’m not in a movie.
Then, I see his eyes, staring straight at me, from the mirror, and I hear his voice again. And then he disappears, and I’m cold again, and I can’t feel anything.
I sit up straight in bed, drenched with sweat, screaming and screaming and screaming. And, I remember again. He’s gone.
He’s not sitting across from me in math, trying to make eye contact every time the teacher mentions “x”. He’s not sneaking up on me in the halls trying to scare me by slamming locker doors. He’s not surprising me at rehearsal, standing on the stage with the light bouncing off his eyes. He’s just gone, and there’s nothing there to fill the empty space.
Even though I can’t give it up, I have to. He’s gone.
“He’s gone.” I whisper to the night, trying to tell the world, but mostly to tell myself. Maybe, if I believe it’s true, he won’t come back in my dreams to haunt me.
But, that wasn’t convincing enough. So, I scream, again and again and again.
“Why? Why? Why?”
What if it was me? Why did he have to go? What would he do? Why not me? Why not me? Why not me?
I’m thinking fast again; I’m shaking.
I stagger into the bathroom, the floor shaking underneath my feet, not even thinking straight, and my feet jump on the cold, white tile. I’m walking towards the drawer. The big, bottom drawer. And I open it. And there are the scissors. I see the light glinting off the silver blades.
But, he’s not here. He can’t stop me. He’s not standing over my shoulder, he’s not taking the scissors from me. He’s not staring at me with those big, beautiful green ocean eyes, telling me to stop. No one can stop me.
And I can’t stop myself. I’m too late. So, I fall and fall and fall.
When I hit the ground, everything, everything, everything is silent. I can feel the thick red liquid dribbling down my leg, almost like biting into a big, juicy tomato, and having that sweet, sweet liquid dripping down your arms.
As I look down and I’m stranded there on the cold, hard floor, I realize that I’ve been holding back. I can’t hold it back anymore.
I’ve held it back since two Tuesdays ago when the lights turned off. I’ve held it back since two Thursdays ago, when it was finally real. I’ve held it back since Ms. Lucy gave me the picture of us laughing like crazy while eating pancakes.
Now, I see how big the world is. How much I have to face without him. And I cry and cry and cry and cry, until the silent tears are silently strangling me and I can’t find my way back anymore.