Taking The Plunge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story based on a song written by one time friend Steve Lake.
For everyone like me who does not jump.

Warning: due to content may include triggers. If you feel this will negatively affect you do not read.

Submitted: June 11, 2016

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Submitted: June 11, 2016

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Taking The Plunge.

 

 

 

Who was that on the window ledge?

Did he jump or was he pushed?

He left a note which no one read

In desperate hand the note just said

'Never turned my back on society

Society turned its back on me

Never tried once to get out

I just couldn't get in from the very start.'

 

copyright belongs to Steve Lake of Zounds.

 

 

Evan glanced at the screen of his phone. Classes should have started fifteen minutes ago. He'd wait another five just in case there were any late arrivals or loiterers. He would really prefer it if nobody saw him creep in.

 

It was drizzly, grey. A fitting day for how he felt. An appropriate day for what he had to do.

 

Evan rubbed at his arm. Was it really less than an hour ago that he had got this bruise? It was already starting to show, an angry purple-black mark. He reached up his finger and touched the cut that showed up so brightly against the pale skin of his cheek. The joys of the school bus journey, ignored by students who wanted no part in it, ignored by the driver who just didn't want to know. Well, that was one thing he'd never be doing again, getting on that damn bus.

 

Five minutes had passed. Evan walked up to the glass door and pushed it open. It made a slight hissing noise as it slid shut behind him. He hoped that the noise wasn't loud enough for anyone else to notice.

 

Almost straight inside the hallway there was the school office. Evan stood beside it for a moment, listening. It sounded busy. He could hear a telephone ring, the tap of computer keys, the sound of a drawer opening. Evan could hear talking and laughter.

He should be able to make his way past unnoticed.

 

Evan hoisted his bag on to his back, straightened himself and forced himself to walk right past. He did not rush but maintained a steady pace. He did not look towards the office to see if he had attracted anyone's attention. He just kept walking.

 

No one calls after him. No challenge is made. Evan has not been dragged into the office to receive a late arrival note and detention. He flings his bag down to join the others that are already under the stairs. Evan throws it much harder than he usually would. He figures that he won't be needing it again so what the hell. And if it damages someone else's stuff, that had happened so often to him in the past let someone else know how it feels like.

 

Evan's soft canvas boots make no sound as he makes his way further down the corridor. The classroom doors are shut but as he passes them he can hear lecturers voices, the soft chatter of students. Good! The lessons all seem to be well under way.

 

As he makes his way up the stairs Evan thinks about his school days. When he had first started school at five years old he had had a friend called Joe. But theirs was a friendship born from proximity as they lived just across the street from each other. Once other kids were introduced it hadn't taken Joe long to find others he'd rather spend his time with, so by the time he was six Evan had already found himself alone.

 

And there had been plenty of bullying at that school. It just seems to come so naturally to some children, the ability to pick out a suitable target, one who can't stand up for themselves and hone in for the kill. Academically, Evan excelled, but psychologically the damage was already being done.

 

Thinking back, it seems strange to Evan that his parents never noticed. They were always both so busy, never around for him to talk to. His reports were full of top marks. So, he was a bit quiet. That was just shyness, he would grow out of it.

 

It hadn't been until the teenage years that things began to become seriously unbearable. Up until then Evan had never really considered himself to be an outsider, a freak.

 

Everyone seemed to fit in somewhere. There were the sporty lot; these tended to be the loudest, the most popular kids in school. Funny how that group should spawn the most bullies. Evan had no chance there. He neither played nor had any interest in sport of any kind.

 

There were the brainy ones. Evan might have found a place with them if his grades were not already falling. Depression had sapped his enthusiasm for learning. Most nights he was just too damn tired to even take his books out of his bag. He certainly could not claim to be a genius, which this group required him to do.

 

Evan reaches the top of the first flight of stairs. Once again he pads silently along the corridor, praying that the soles of his shoes don't make any noisy squeaks against the lino. More lecturers voices, more student chatter; everything just as it should be. He pushes through the door at the end of the corridor and starts up the next flight of stairs.

 

The social group were always around. Any activities they would be there, full of enthusiasm for......well, anything really. The drama group was mostly made from these super confident pupils. School shows, open days, fund raising; all these things were available to this group as a kind of compensation when things got tough. And they were never short of a shoulder to cry on.

 

Then you had the losers. These were kids that knew they had no real future in the education system. They attended to keep out of trouble and tended to hang around in two's or three's. This group, Evan remembered, was the one he had most feared initially but they had left him alone, ignored him. Maybe he should have tried to join them.

 

And finally there were the freaks. Evan knew this was the group he really belonged to but no one else had been like him. There had been the druggies and the goths, the kids who only whispered to each other, the kids who took fanning to a totally new extreme, the kids who would talk to no one else but each other.

 

Evan, at sixteen had realised that he neither did or could ever really belong anywhere.

That is why he is skipping class and creeping up these stairs.

 

Not too far to go now. One more flight and he'll be up to the sixth floor. And the floors in the school don't get any higher than that.

 

Evan wonders if his parents will miss him. Maybe for a while but it will mostly be from guilt not lack of his company. He would be hard pushed to remember when either of his parents had had a real conversation with him. If they passed him on the street these days they probably wouldn't even recognise him.

 

Lately their only attention had been focused on his future. His mother saw him as going into Chemistry as she herself was a research chemist. She had always believed Evan to be interested in Science and had been devastated when he had failed his last exams. And Evan had placated her, mumbled some excuse about feeling ill, promising next time he'd do better. Why hadn't he just admitted that he hated the subject?

 

Maths had been his father's subject. He was a senior lecturer in Mathematics at the local university. Evan had been a very promising Maths student, again right up until the last exams. His abysmal performance had brought on a pile of work sheets which were to be done, one a day. But of course his father had been too busy to even notice Evan's failure to complete even one of them.

 

No, Evan doesn't think his parents will find his absence too upsetting once they get used to it.

 

Finally reaching the sixth floor, Evan removes his phone from his pocket and checks the time. Ten minutes and the place will be swarming. But not on the sixth floor. Here he will be alone. He leans against the wall and scrolls through his phone until he finds the note he wrote the night before. All anyone will have to do to read it is swipe the screen. Will they bother? Evan thinks probably not.

 

Carefully placing the phone in a spot where it can't be missed, Evan makes his way to the window. It isn't locked and swings open easily. But it is too early for him to climb out there yet. Evan does not want to chance someone seeing him standing up there and calling the police.

 

As Evan waits for the minutes to pass he feels a total calmness wash over him. Right up until this moment he had thought he might not take the plunge but now his mind is made up. The morning bus ride had decided it.

 

Evan steps out onto the window ledge just as students and teachers begin to emerge from the building. It doesn't take long for someone to notice him, to start pointing, for people to start shouting at him. Funny how they all want to talk to him now they'll never get the chance.

 

And in the distance Evan hears the sirens. Nobody bothered when others were hurting him but when it comes to doing something to himself they just can't keep out of it. Police, ambulance and fire brigade! A full showing and all for nothing.

 

Here they come, the footsteps pounding up the stairs. The voice of the principal calling to him, telling Evan to step back inside, that everything will be alright. Someone else is calling out that help is available to him.

 

Yeah, right. Evan knows just what that help will entail. Thanks but no thanks. He'll never fit in, never be part of things. Better just to get things over with.

 

And with that thought in his head, Evan steps forward to plunge off the ledge and to land on the concrete below.

 

 

 


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