Authors note: I wrote this for a contest in my state. I have to submit it in two days but I figured there is no harm in posting it here :) I suppose this could be included in the guilty series but I'm not going to.... I'll leave up to you to decide whether or not it should be in the Guilty series or not xD
December 20, 2010
I walked down the hallway not knowing my life was going to change completely from that day. I hated lunch because it was impossible to get anywhere quickly. I knew a back hallway which was inhabited most of the time so I always made my way there. When I got there it appeared that it was empty which made me sigh in relief.
Once the sigh was released I heard a pounding and a stifled cry. I looked around the corner to the hall that led to the lunchroom. The school bullies were there along with the new transfer kid that was in my Biology class. They had bruised his face up pretty badly, and there was no telling what they had done anywhere else.
“Guys, what’s the problem here?” I asked as I stepped out into the middle of the hall. The bullies looked up right away and released the kid, letting him slide to the ground in pain. A couple of them backed up as the leader began to speak.
“Um nothing much, Nick, it’s just this kid. His accent is so annoying and he wouldn’t be quiet. You understand don’t you?” He asked. His eyes pleaded. Now you probably need some elaboration on this. I’m apparently one of the “strongest” kids in the school so everyone wants to be on good terms with me. So if I asked a question I would be answered immediately.
“Leave him be. He seems fine.” I barked and the leader flinched. “Get going Brett.” I said and took a step forward. Brett back peddled and raced away, with his friends racing behind him. One slid and almost fell. I snickered and then turned to the kid.
I moved over towards him and checked over his face. He had fallen unconscious as soon as he fell to the ground, of that I was sure. I carefully picked him up and began to take him to the nurse. Now I find detail important so let me explain what he looked like.
He had dirty blond hair that was cut to the middle of his ears. He was wearing black jeans at the time with a light gray hoodie. He appeared to be about six foot. He was really skinny but he wasn’t as weak as he had appeared when getting beaten up. It was just the fact of him being outnumbered. I suppose you wonder what I look like as well so I guess I should explain this as well.
I am six foot two and as stated I look really strong. I have dark brown hair that is cut really short. My eyes are a very pale blue and I always get the comment that they look white. I usually can be found wearing regular jeans either black or gray and some sort of shirt. My appearance really doesn’t matter to me. But anyways let’s get back to where we were.
I got him into the nurses’ office and because lunch was almost over I sat there with him. It was a good excuse for getting out of class; since he didn’t know where he was going for his classes the nurse said she would have me return him to his class if he woke up within the next hour. The nurse as you can tell wasn’t that much interested, kind of sad don’t you think? I sat down near the bed which he was on and waited, reading the posters posted all around the room multiple times.
He woke up about thirty minutes later with a swollen shut eye and a busted open lip. He tried speaking but found it very difficult. I shook my head and then motioned to his bag.
“I’ll take you to your class; just show me your schedule.” I said and waited for him to respond. He pointed to me, which confused me greatly.
“What is it?” I asked but he continued to point to me. After a few minutes of this I got tired of sitting there. “Speak up!” I yelled but he shook his head. “I don’t care if you have an accent, it’s not annoying.” I said finally. He seemed to think about this for a second and then began to speak.
“I’m in Geometry.” He whispered. I smiled and then grabbed him by the hand, pulling him into a sitting position.
“Well that’s good because I’m in Geometry too. Who is your teacher?” I questioned.
“I have Fairburn.” He said a little louder than before. He seemed to be a little more comfortable now. I smile and help him to his feet.
“So do I. I’ll carry your bag for you so come on.” I said as I walked towards the door, holding it open for him. I was really happy at the time. No one had ever seemed at least a little comfortable around me.
He stepped out the door a little cautiously. Then looked back to me and smiled. “Thank you, you’re really helpful. I know it’s probably strange but will you be my friend?” He asked, suddenly pulling out a serious face.
This shocked me greatly. Everyone was always nice to me out of fear but I truly only had one friend. The thought of another friend never occurred to me. But the idea really sat well with me.
“Sure, my name is Nick.” I say extending my hand to him. He looks at it for a moment and then grabs my hand with his own.
“My name is Josh.” He whispers.
December 22, 2010
We hung out the rest of that day as well as the next. I had him over to my house even. My parents thought he was a great kid and approved, not that I really needed approval of my friends. I had Austin over that night too so that Josh at least knew another friendly face. They didn’t talk much but that didn’t matter, at least they hadn’t fought.
This was a pretty good time for me. Of course all good things fall. I went to school and was greeted by an unfamiliar thing. Everyone that passed whispered something that I could not hear. They would look at me and then turn away quickly. I finally got word of what was happening from Austin. Apparently someone had spread a rumor saying I took steroids to be this strong.
I was enraged by the fact that anyone would ever think that! I would never do anything like that. I knew better than to do that. I went around half the day wondering who spread this rumor when I came across Brett. I thought he had to have done it. He had always had it out for me.
“Brett were you the one that spread this rumor!” I yelled as I walked after him. He turned around to look, at the time I didn’t see the fear in his eyes.
“Why would I do that? I would never spread such an untrue rumor. But I do know who did do it.” He said and pulled me closer. “I heard that Josh was the one who spread the rumor.” He whispered in my ear. He then pulled around from me, nodded his head and walked away.
I couldn’t grasp the thought of Josh relaying that untrue statement to anyone until I realized that he hadn’t been around me that entire day. When I got to Biology I walked right up to him. He looked up and smiled. “Oh hey Nick, what’s up?” He asked as happily as he had the past two days.
“Oh nothing much except for the fact of you spreading these stupid lies around the school!” I yelled, which quieted the entire class. His smile faded as the words sunk in.
“What do you mean? What lies?” He asked which sparked something in me.
“The lies about me taking steroids! How could you even think that I would do that? I may not know you all that well but I thought you were better than that!” I yelled. “You really are annoying! Everything about you is annoying. How could I be friends with someone like you?” I asked and stomped towards my seat. Josh wasn’t given a chance to say anything else. The bell rang and the teacher came in saying that he was sorry for being late.
When I got to Geometry Josh was nowhere to be found. I really didn’t care though. He had hurt me and he deserved all that he had received.
December 24, 2010
I got a call from Austin two days later. He never called on Christmas Eve so it was really confusing. I answered anyways, knowing it had to be something important.
“Nick! You’ll never believe this. Josh is dead! He killed himself yesterday. My dad handled the case and told me everything!” He yelled almost all at once. “Also, he didn’t spread the rumors, Nick. It was Brett who spread the rumor about you. Josh didn’t do anything. I have got to go cause my sister wants me to help her decorate the tree. I just thought you would want to know.” He said quietly and then I heard a beep, indicating that the phone had been hung up.
I sank to the floor, I hadn’t cried in forever but this news made my stomach turn and brought instant tears. I had yelled at one of my newest friends and he was gone now. I wasn’t there to keep the bullies away from him. I was a leading cause of his death.
December 25, 2010
So now we are to the present time. I’m here above the highway on this bridge. It’s Christmas and I’m still depressed. I’m looking down at the traffic below and I think you probably know where I’m going with this. If I’m the cause of Josh’s death then I don’t deserve to live either. I left a note for Austin and my parents so at least they will know my reasoning.
I look down to the road below and step up onto the ledge. I count to ten and then I’m flying. “I’m sorry Josh!” I yell and then everything goes black.
January 3, 2011
“I realize you are probably confused on why we are gathering today on your first day back from the holiday. On the twenty second a transfer student killed himself after his one friend yelled at him; this kid’s name was Josh Miller. You probably also know the name of his friend. His friend was Nick Anderson. A rumor about Nick had been spread about him taking steroids. After Nick learned that Josh had died and had not told the lies about himself he also killed himself on Christmas Day.
“Nick left a note and his parents have asked that it be read by his friend, Austin Green.” The principal said quietly. Austin stood up from his seat on stage and walked to the podium. He unfolded the note that he had kept in his pocket the entire break.
“Dear Mom, Dad, Kaylee, and Austin,
I’m sorry that I’m leaving you guys but I just couldn’t deal with the guilt. I was the reason that Josh killed himself. I yelled at him over a stupid rumor that I knew wasn’t true. I should have seen that he didn’t do anything. I just wish I could change everything back to how it was a few days ago. After this I have learned something and I hope you teach everyone else this too. No one deserves to be treated different just because of appearance or origin. They’re people too and should be treated as such. If I am still able to miss you while I’m gone I know I will.
Austin finished the note and collapsed. “Please everyone! Don’t make the same mistake as Nick. Please don’t be mean to those who are different.” He whispered.