Blood Trickling Down

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


People can be harsh. Especially when you don't understand and take it the wrong way. Zack has issues with the meaning of other's words. He thinks they are being hurtful. He can't take it any
longer.

Submitted: April 28, 2018

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Submitted: April 28, 2018

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Blood Trickling Down


 

I wish Physics wasn’t so boring. Every day I find myself just sitting there. At least when we aren’t doing a butt load of redundant work, or the teacher isn’t blabbing on about whatever the current subject is. I glanced up at our teacher. Mr. Jeager was pointing at the Promethean board giving another lecture,

“ - but the persons inside of the spaceship see us on earth as moving slower…” I think we were going over Special Relativity or something? I wasn’t sure. It was hard for me to care about this class.

 

I looked back down at my notes. I didn’t understand any of it. I simply copied what was on the board to study for the test. It’s not like you need to even remember anything. As long as you look at your notes a couple of times right before the test you were usually fine. I figured it was that time of class again. When the teacher talks and no one listens. Typically this is the time I sit by myself also, because no one here talks to me.I tried to think of something to do. The classroom itself isn’t exciting. The walls are just four blank spaces, with one picture of Newton on the far back. I preferred my Spanish class with its colorful flags and posters. I liked that class, it was fun to learn a new language. At least the parts where I can be alone and work on the assignments myself. A lot of the class is speaking, which makes sense. But this means that everyone ends up doing the activity, without me. Even my partner next to me joins her friends next to her and does the work that way. I can only work with her sometimes. I try to ask for help, but she ignores me anyway. My partner in physics was a little better I guess. She did talk to me. If only in short sentences to get the right answer. I leaned over to her,

“ Is this class interesting to you?” I asked her. She didn’t look up.

“ Not really.”

“ What don’t you like about it?”

“... Hold on.” Barely a response. I’ve come to expect this. Pretty much everyone at this school doesn’t care for me. Why should they? I don’t make art or do sports or anything to get attention. I’m alone in my physics class just like I’m alone in my life. I stared at the ceiling, waiting for the period to end. The fan was blowing gently. It’s blades spinning around.

 

After a few seconds, a kid walked up to me. He was light skinned with brown hair and blue eyes. He had on a purple T-shirt, grey pants and black tie shoes.

“ Heya Zack! You know that model of the arm our biology teacher wants for the project?” He asked me.

“ Yeah.” I said. I hated having two science classes in one year. If one filling me up with tedious work wasn’t bad enough. Now I have two. “ What about it?” The boys' eyes filled with devilish intrigue.

“ I’m gonna make the blood real blood!” He said happily. “ And to do that I have this!” He produced a knife from his pants. I looked at it. It was a little larger than a normal cutting knife.

“ You’re going to use that to cut yourself?” I asked.

“Yup! This will be so authentic I will sure get a good grade!” He seemed serious.

“ Mason. You really shouldn’t be doing this, it’s not safe.  But if you insist on it then be careful. Only take a little bit. Too much and you’ll be hurt. I don’t want that.” I told him. Mason seemed thoughtful.

“ Well… yah you’re right. I don’t think me hurting myself would get a good grade.”

“ Why not use fake blood?”

“ Because Zack. This is more interesting!” He playfully swung the knife through the air. It came a little too close and cut my hand.  

 

I watched as a small clot of blood surfaced. It filled the cut and shined like crimson.

“ Mason! Don’t cut other people!” The girl next to me said to him, suddenly alert. “ Are you ok?” She asked me.

“ I’m fine.” I stared at the cut. I got a weird feeling. I didn’t feel the pain, allowing me to watch the blood, sitting there. Not judging or hating. Just sitting there doing its thing. I kinda liked it.

“ Well Mason don’t do that or I’m telling Mr. Jeager!” The girl returned to her work.

 

“ Oh please Jessica! All you do is worry about your grades. Who has time for that? Sports is where it’s at! Soccer baby hell yeah!” Mason exclaimed aloud. Jessica shook her head. The teacher finally noticed him.

“ Mason. Please move back to your seat.The period is almost over.”

“ Oh thank god! Also, sorry about that dude.” He quickly fumbled to his desk at the front of the room. I continued to stare at the blood, missing Mason’s fake apology. People don’t mean it when they say ‘sorry.’ They use it as a way to get my friendship and then embarrass and hurt me later. I rotated my hand a small bit. The blood moved down my palm a small bit before stopping. There wasn’t enough to make a river down my hand and arm.

 

The bell shook me as it rung.

“ Ok that is it for today. Remember to complete your homework assignment for 7.8 and read the textbook chapter before monday.” Mr. Jeager was saying. All the kids rushed to get their things put away and hurried out of the classroom. I was about to leave when my teacher stopped me.

“ Zack. Why were you talking to the other classmates again?” He asked as he turned off the board and put away his teaching notebooks. I slowly faced him.

“ I-I only did so because Mason came up to me first! I was trying to help him with-”

“ Zack listen. I don’t need to hear you make up excuses for why you weren’t doing the work.” Mr. Jeager looked directly at me now. His see through glasses digging into me. I got nervous.

“ S-sir! I didn’t mean to not do the work I swear! I was just helping my friend!”

“  Do not give me that. This class is bad enough. You don’t need to add to it! If you just worked a little harder than you would pass! This knowledge can help you know! If you are willing to understand it!”

“ O-ok sir I’m sorry.”

“ Just do better tomorrow then huh?” He walked to close the door on his way out. “ Are you gonna leave or stay here?”

 

Outside the room, Mason was leaning against the wall, on his phone. He spotted me and sprang up next to me.

“ Hey dude! I just wanted to say sorry again for cutting you.”

“ It’s whatever I guess.” I mumbled.

“ You know this whole physics thing is really dumb. I mean why do we need to think so deeply about every little thing in our world? Let’s just forget about it and have fun!”

“ Probably for the kids who are smart enough to grasp it. They can work in the fields of science, maybe make a new discovery and help everyone for years to come.” I suggested.

“ Possibly yeah. Hey you sayin’ I ain’t smart enough?” Mason asked.

“ What? No! I just meant- you asked me why so I was answering... Nevermind.” I kept my face on the ground. Mason laughed.

“ Naw I’m just kidding man. Hey I got a game to go to. Bye!” He dashed off towards the P.E. locker rooms. It seemed like once again I had said something stupid to someone without even realizing it. Of course.

 

The day was over, and I had to walk. My parents couldn’t pick me up. They are always busy during the school days. They tell me it’s because of their schedules. But I know why. They are tired of me. I don’t do anything to please them. I can’t make cool art or good grades. I left the school via a small dirt trail leading down to the sidewalk of the main entrance street. There were four other kids walking with me. They converged on the right side and quickly walked ahead, giving back weird glances. Most likely for me. I sighed and moved up to the  four way cross street section. The pole there had a button to press in order to cross safely when the time came. It always seemed like I had to wait longer than anyone else to get across. Might be random chance, or just life itself hating on me. As I passed the people sitting in their cars, they seemed to watch me. Like they were judging my looks. All I had on was a simple black jacket, blue jeans and a red backpack. What would cause them to stare like that? I tried to go on Discord for some interaction and entertainment while I walked alone. I joined a public chat.

“ Hello is anyone on?” I tried.

“ Who are you?” Said one.

“ I’ve been here.”

“ Never heard of you.” He replied.

“ Neither have I.” Agreed another.

“ Oh. Well what do you guys think of the new dlc for Mania?”

“ Dude who cares about that. It’s that new FP2 that is lit!” The first guy said happily.

“ AYY dis man knows what’s up!” The second said.

“ Das right broddah!” The first said cheerfully.

I exited the chat. They were ignoring me again as normal. Even online I couldn’t get a conversation going with me in it longer than two seconds.

 

Once I reached home. I unlocked the door and stepped in. Every time this hurts me. My dad leaves the ashes of our dog on top of the living room table. The exact place where he died.

“ It is there so we remember Flussey.” My dad had told me. But I saw it as a reminder of my failure. I remembered what happened on that day. I woke up in the morning. It was a saturday, and I was ready to eat breakfast. When I came into the living room, I saw my dad and mom holding Flussey on the table. He was whining and struggling. Something had caught in his throat.

“ Son! Go get the tweezers! I can see the bone I just need to pull it out! It’ll be quicker this way!” I ran all over the house but I couldn’t find it. By the time I returned with the tweezers in hand, he was dead. I didn’t know he would die that fast. For the rest of the week I felt nothing but shame and grief. Knowing that I could have saved my best dog. But I didn’t, all because I was too dumb to know where basic items were in my own household.I still feel like my parents are mad at me for that mistake. One I couldn’t take back. My dad most likely keeps it there, even after all my asking to remove it, to spite me. A reminder that I failed them.

 

I put my backpack on the kitchen counter. I had three assignments today. Instead of beginning the work like normal, my eye caught on the set of knives next to the freezer. I stalked toward them. I glanced at my now healing cut. I remembered the feeling I had gotten in physics class. Something so odd and yet good at the same time. I wanted more of that. I slowly picked up the middle knife. I stared at its blade, my ugly reflection staring back at me. I remembered my teacher, scolding me for not paying attention and not giving the effort to pass the class. And how I said a mean thing to my friend, causing him to rush off to his game early. The way he wanted to use his own blood for his project. The way he had cut me on ‘accident.’I hovered the knife over my hand. I lowered it, so that it touched the top of my hand, and swiped it across. Much like how you would swipe a credit card to pay for lunch. This time the cut was a decent amount bigger. The blood quickly filled up again. Now, however, there was enough to spill out and drip down my hand and arm. I watched the little red streams make their way downward. My arm felt numb, immune to the pain. It was soothing. Seeing the liquid journey to reach my elbow, falling off and hitting the stone floor. I actually enjoyed it. I scraped my arm a little more, watching the blood trickle down my arm. Soon my whole arm was red and numb.

 

I was there for a good few minutes, just standing there, watching. I couldn’t shake the feeling. I felt content. Like this was something I could do that wasn’t gonna hurt me back. It was finally something that just happened, silently, and peacefully. The blood continued to trickle down my arm and fall off onto the floor. Like a red waterfall, where you can relax and and enjoy the coolness on a hot day. I wanted to do more, to follow up this feeling of happiness I had found. I was about to move the knife nearer my chest, when I heard the garage door opening. One of my parents was home. I sighed and cleaned off the knife, careful not to remove the blood on my arm. I sheathed it back into the wooden holder as my mom came in.

“ Zack! I’m home! Zack, where are you?” She came into the kitchen. She was in her normal business suit, black and white. Her brown hair fell down the sides of her shoulders, her green eyes full of stress and facts. “ Zack. How was-” She saw my arm. I hadn’t stopped to consider the consequence of letting her see me like this. “ Oh my god! Zack what happened?!” She quickly rushed forward, grabbing my arm. “ What the hell happened?” She put my arm in the sink and began to wash off the blood.

“ Mom! No! Leave it!” I whined, watching the blood wash away.

“ What? I’m helping you fix this! Now tell me what happened now!” My mom washed off my arm, dabbing on cloths covered with liquid medicine on my cuts.I told her what my day was like and the feeling I had gotten at the sight of my own blood. Once she finished bandaging my arm, she turned to face me.

“ Why, would you do this?” My mom asked.

“ Because it gave me joy! I don’t get that a lot mom! You have to understand I felt happy seeing it!” I told her.

“ Zack!” She put a hand to her face. “ Hurting yourself doesn’t count as happiness. Or at least not the right kind. You need to think of something else more productive and not dangerous to spend your free time on.”

“ But I like this!”

“ I do not care. If it hurts you I will not have it!” She raised her voice. I recoiled. The sound of my parents getting angry is one of the worst things I could ever hear.

“ M-mom please!” I begged. I had finally gotten something I could invest in, what else was there to this blood system? I didn’t feel pain so I could work with it right?

“ Zack, you know better than to say pain is the answer to anything. Well, maybe somethings. But not this. For your own safety,do not do this ever again. Got it?”

“ Y-yes.”

“ Good. I’m gonna go in my room. Finish your homework.” My mom walked away.

 

I stood there, staring at my newly bandaged arm. My mom was a good medic. Another thing I was not. Why had she been so mad? Did she think I was even more pathetic now? Simply because what I thought was fun she didn’t? Probably. I was still feeling like exploring more. But I couldn’t resist my mom while she was here. I sat down, pulled up my supplies, and did my homework. It only took maybe an hour to do. The work itself is pretty easy. Just figure out the pattern, say for math and physics, then use that in the different question they throw at you. And English is just write as much as you can about this book. The whole understanding the meaning thing is not bad either. Usually something about people and the way humanity is and all that, blah, blah, blah. Some kids call me a nerd for doing the work so easily. I wish they wouldn’t make fun of me like that. I never go up to speak in front of the class because of every time I do, a large group notes on how dumb I look. Or how well I grasped the concept. Why do they do that? Can’t they just accept me for who I am and move on? Maybe learn something from what I have learned to later help themselves in real life? Nope. Instead they have to make fun of me, because that is the popular thing to do. I hate it, I hate it!

 

After my work was done, I slumped into my room and watched Youtube for the remaining hours. Before I would have had to feed and walk Flussey. But I ruined that so no more. My parents don’t want another dog. Perhaps because I’m too stupid to own one. Youtube is fun. Except when it isn’t. I used to enjoy certain video games. Like Sonic the Hedgehog, or Minecraft. I had always thought they were good fun and allowed me to experience another world that was more wacky and cool then this one. Once I learned about Youtube, I immediately rushed to find out what others thought of my favorite games. Turns out most people hate those games. They criticize anyone who finds them entertaining. I guess even in games I can’t be happy.

 

Later on my dad arrived. My mom told him about my arm.

“ You cannot do these kinds of thing Zack! Be a smarter man!” He had told me. I didn’t say anything, just avoided his face and looked at my bed. I had also upset my dad again now. I decided to go to bed earlier. That normally happens every week. I get someone mad, and I want to escape into the dream world. So I try to sleep faster by going to bed sooner. I did have a dream. I was standing on the knife holder in the kitchen. I looked down to see my whole body was red, like a blood vessel. In front of me, a blurry figured picked up the knife behind me. I quickly grabbed hold as I was lifted into the air. The sharp edge didn’t hurt either. The knife was lowered onto the person’s arm. It made a split in their skin. I dropped in and whisked away with other blood cells. I zoomed around the human anatomy. Down the arm and through the heart. When I passed through the heart, I felt the same feeling of joy, only multiplied. I smiled and yelled in delight. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was so happy about. Just the fact that all this was here, for me, not being hurtful. Just the blood moving the way it does, nothing bad happening. It was enough to make me pleased. I zoomed down the legs, and up into the head. I saw the brain, and the eyes, and the ear canals. All working silently, letting me be me. I could move on and not get called on. It was the best thing I had ever experienced.

 

Unfortunately, it ended. I woke up in the morning. There was an hour before school began. I hesitantly got up, into my new clothes, and went to brush my teeth. After breakfast my dad drove me to school.

“ Have a good day. And no cutting!” He said, and then drove away. I slinked into my first period. Gym wasn’t that exciting. We mostly just ran and did not much else. Today we met up on the field. No one sat next to me. The coach came up in front of us.

“ Alright kiddies. Today y’all will be doing a mile. Remember these do count for your grade so get to it!” He instructed. All the students got up complaining and began to run. I didn’t feel like running, so I fast walked instead, letting all the other kids get way ahead of me. After about two laps, the coach called my name.

“ Zack! Kid. What are you doin’? You’re here to run, get some exercise. Quit bein’ lazy and move!” He instructed me.

“ Sorry sir! I will!” I replied quickly.

“ You almost never hit the lap goal. Maybe twelve instead of ten will help get your gears moving. Go!”

“ What?! Twelve? Why?” I asked.

“ Because you’re still standing here not running. Get going kid!” I wanted to argue that wasn’t fair. But I knew that would only get me in more trouble than I was already in. I sulked off down the field, pushing myself harder to meet the goal. I didn’t make it. There wasn’t enough time. I had only completed my ninth lap when Mr. Hawthum sounded the bell.

“ Alright everyone! Give me your time, laps, and role call number to me before going to the locker room!” The rest of the class ran up, breathing heavily and sweating. I was also tired, but not as much as them. When I came up to give my numbers, Mr, Hawthum scowled at me.

“ Zack. Only nine? Oh god! You need to push yourself more kid! Only by pushing through will you be successful!” I kept my gaze on the wall.

“ Sorry, I wasn’t sure how fast I was going.” I told him.

“ I’ve heard that too many times from you. Now you need to try harder. Giving up is what losers do. You wanna be that? Keeping trying and you can do it!” My eyes felt heavy, loser?

“ O-ok sir. I’m sorry.” I went up to get changed.

 

As I headed for second period, I couldn’t shake the words of what my coach had said. Loser, I was a loser. Of course. Only someone like me would give up so easily. None of the other kids gave up. Even the ones who were weaker than me physically were able to make it because they kept on trying. Pushing themselves more and more until they reached their goal. I have tried that. But every time there are too many things holding me back, hurting me. It doesn’t become worth it then. Too bad I’m forced to come to school and be pelted with rocks. I looked around my school as I ascended the stairs to Video Production. I saw all the kids, walking, talking, laughing with their friends. They didn’t have the issues I did. They were happy. No one tried to hurt them, they could do what they wanted and not be in fear of negative results. I longed to join them.

 

Video Production I took because I thought that maybe acting could be something I would be good at. Since art, writing, and technology never clicked. At first I thought I was fine, it seemed like I could act out a character well. But as soon as I re-watched the movies my group had made, I knew that I wasn’t fit for it. I looked stale, emotionless. I just mumbled my lines like an awkward idiot. The members commented on how much I could improve. How much I didn’t have in terms of skill. Today we were finishing editing our latest film. Something about a cowboy who is lost in modern times, getting in trouble with the government. I had played the part of a supporting role, that of a restaurant owner who shelters the cowboy during the movie. He dies at the end, fitting I suppose. I came into the class and took my seat. We sat at the very back of the classroom.

“ Hello guys. How’s the film?” I asked. No one answered. Two of them were on the computer playing Call of Duty. Apparently that was illegal at school, but they got away with it somehow.

“ Dude! This sniper is sooo bad! I literally shot him right in the head and no damage!” Said one kid. He was lighter skinned, brown hair, green eyes. He was wearing a bright orange T-shirt and blue jeans.

“ Rescot! Why would you use that one? It is actually garbage! The Y-89 is the best one!” Said the other. He had blonde hair, brown eyes, light skin. He was wearing a black jacket, and red long pants.

“ That one? Ugh! Alan you have terrible taste in these games.” Rescot said.

“ Me? I’m not the one who just got pushed off the map!” Alan forced Rescot’s character off the side of a waterfall, killing him.

“ DUDE! God damn it man! You are gonna pay for that!” Rescot said loudly.

“ All you’re gonna pay me for is that chocolate sandwich I got you yesterday!” Alan told him.

“ Oh really? Whoever wins this game gets to pay five dollars!”

“ Deal!” They both went in hard, pressing fiercely on the keys. I shifted my gaze to our editor, Kebin.

“ How is it?” I asked him. He kept his gaze on the computer screen.

“ Fine. Just putting the finishing touches on it. Next time we need different actors honestly.” He told me. Kebin was light skinned, black hair, brown eyes. He was wearing a purple T-shirt and black pants.

“ You’re right. Perhaps like me and you or something.” To my left, Qwell was also watching the editing. He’s the one producing the script and music for the group. If it weren’t for him, the movies wouldn’t be what they are. Qwell was darker skinned, green eyes, blue shirt and pants.

“ Hmm, I don’t know. Rescot and Alan, you guys are gonna be taking a back seat. I want to make this next movie fresh.” Kebin told the gamers.

“ Is it that. Or is it because Alan is just too bad at acting-hey! My package!” Rescot teased as Alan took his supplies away from him in the game.

“ Mixing it up is good. That way we can make the movie more interesting, give something new to the class who already knows the original actors.” I agreed. “ Could I be a main actor?” I asked softly.

“ Um, sure. You could I guess.” Qwell offered.

“ Not sure yet. I have to see who is best at it first.” Kebin responded.

“ Oh, ok.” I slumped back into my seat. I guess I wasn’t near the best, so they didn’t want me. There wasn’t much to do since we were just waiting around. Or, I was anyway. I didn’t have music to write, a video to edit, or a game to play with a friend. So I just sat there, watching more Youtube until the period ended. Once again I didn’t contribute anything.

 

Math was fine. Just another round of me doing the work too quickly and waiting for the teacher to catch up. Fairly boring. Then came Spanish. We were doing some notebook work for possessive verbs. I got most of it pretty easily. However there was one question that confused me. The teacher was busy with another student so I turned to my partner.

“ Leesha! Do you know the answer to number fifteen?” I asked her quietly. She glanced at me, then turned back to her friend on the left side of her.

“ Or not. Nevermind.” I had to guess on the translation. I still don’t get why these people don’t talk to me. What did I do that was so bad? Sure I messed up a lot but still! Was it because it was me? Just the fact that Zack was speaking to them was enough to make them cringe? Probably.

 

English wasn’t that bad. We were writing an in class essay about the meaning of Animal Farm. The kids around me were complaining the whole time. I didn’t see the issue. I knew what exactly the book was trying to say. I followed the format our teacher wanted, and explained the authors opinion about dystopian governments and all that. I was the first one to finish so I turned in my essay. Mr. Genum raised an eyebrow.

“ Wow already? You re-read it and everything?” He asked.

“ Yeah I did.”

“ Ok, I hope it’s got the true meaning in here. But normally it does so I’ll take it.” I handed him the paper and sat back down. Was it too early? Did he think by me finishing so quickly that I did it badly? I most likely did. Why can’t I use my head and slow down every once in a while? After the essay we were given homework, to research Homer and his books and write down notes. Then I headed for my last class, Physics.  

 

Today we were simply studying for the upcoming test. Mr. Jeager handed out study packets and set us off. I breezed through it. I had done half of them by the thirty minute mark. The girl next to me, Jessica, was having some troubles with her work.

“ Hey, you need help?” I offered to her.

“ No, I just can’t do this.” She put her head on the table. I looked at her paper. She was on a problem asking about the difference between mechanical and electromagnetic waves.

“ Oh, I can help you.” I said. “ Look. All you really need to know for this problem, is that mechanical waves travel through matter to propagate. Like a sound wave that travels through the air molecules. And electromagnetic waves use things like radio waves and magnetic fields to propagate. It’s in the name actually. Electromagnetic tells you that it goes through those kinds of electric fields like a radio or phone. And Mechanical is like a machine. How all the parts need to move together, and through one another to continue forward. That’s how I think of it.” Jessica looked up at the problem, thought for a few moments.

“ Yeah, that makes more sense now.” She scribbled in the answer and continued on. I expected her to say some form of ‘ thank you,’ since I was going out of my way to help her. But I guess she just took my help for granted, just like always. I had wanted to stop helping, but my parents would constantly lecture about why I needed to keep doing so anyway.

 

Once the final bell sounded, I walked back home again. It seemed that my parents couldn’t pick me up. They were off from work, but they had to go shopping. That or they just didn’t want to see me for as long as they could put off for. I walked along in the heat, other kids maneuvering around me to reach their friends. Try as I may, I couldn’t let go of what was said to me at school. Or rather what wasn’t said to me. The P.E. coach telling me I had to try harder, that I was a loser if I didn’t. My own group in Video Production telling me I wasn’t good enough to be a main actor. Leesha not even giving me the chance to speak to her about my problem in Spanish since the teacher was too busy. I didn’t understand why these things had to happen to me everyday. I used to have one friend, back in elementary school. Her name was katie. She would be the only who would pay me any attention. We would hang out during recess all the time. We’d eat our snacks, and I would complain about my issues to her.

“ Aww. Zack, don’t worry about those guys. I feel they are just jealous! You’re better than all of them, no worries!” She would tell me. Whether or not it was young ignorance, I never cared. She made me feel better. People say toddlers don’t know what true pain is. That may be true for most. I always felt the pain others forced on me.

 

Katie was my anchor to the world. She let me go through elementary school being happy. If I had one thing to look forward to, it was seeing her at recess and lunch. Katie was always so confident and stayed happy. However she was never in any of my classes, but that didn’t bother me. Just seeing her twice a day was better than none at all. Once I had graduated and was going to be transferred to middle school, I became worried. Katie had talked about her family moving a few weeks before.

“ But then, I won’t get to see you again!” I had told her. “ Are you gonna move far away?”

“ I....don’t know.” I remembered Katie’s face. She seemed, for the first time, unsure. “ My momma told me we had to leave because of daddy’s work. It requires that he move a lot or something.” I actually felt like crying. Not because I was being made of fun, or tormented by other kids who wanted to take advantage of me. But because I was afraid of losing the one thing that kept me happy.

“ No! Please do not leave!” I begged her, pointless as it may of been. “ We can go onto middle school together! You’re a smart, brave girl! We can make it!”

“ Hehehe. You’ve always been a good friend. I don’t wanna leave either Zack. But I don’t know.” Katie smiled at me. “ Whatever right? You will be fine and so will I!” I stared at her. How can she be so confident when she was leaving forever?

 

I remembered the final day of school. The ceremony had just ended, everyone was running to meet their parents. Leaving the school for the last time. I didn’t go to my parents, who were waiting by a tree near the playground. I scrambled around the area, looking for Katie. I at least wanted to get a final goodbye before she was gone. I must of close to a half hour checking. My mom and dad probably thought I was playing with my friends or something. I wish I could’ve been doing that. When I was about to give up, I saw her. She was at the far end of the field, getting into her parents’ car. Katie noticed me. She smiled, a big toothy grin. She waved to me, got into the car, and drove off, forever.

 

I know that little kids cry over a lot of things. But this was the most pain I had ever felt. My dad had asked what was wrong. I didn’t answer. Through middle school I tried to forget her. Maybe it was just something that needed to happen and I could move on. No. Every night I lay there in bed. I thought of her encouragement, her shining eyes. It helped me to overcome the days’ torture. Of work, kids, teachers, loneliness. I never figured if it was love. We were too young for that. But, it was something just as nice for me. It was help. Something I never got now. Even currently, in year nine of high school. No one talked to me like she did.

 

As I opened the door to my house, and put my things down, I looked at the knives again. They were something that had been the closest to what Katie had given me. It made me happy, like she did. I walked over, and picked up the same knife from the day before. I saw my reflection. For a brief moment, I didn’t see me. I saw Katie. Her light skin, her yellow eyes, her blonde hair. I managed a small smile. This is what made me happy. This is what I should do. I took off my shirt. My left arm was still covered up from my mom. But my right arm was still open.

 

I slowly drove the knife across my right arm. Again, no pain. I focused on the blood. It filled up the open wound. Spilling out, down my arm and falling down to the floor. It was just there, the way it was. Not hurting me. Its purpose is to help me live. It’s there for me, and nothing else. This again comforted me. I wondered: what did the other parts of my body look like? I moved the knife to my chest. Apparently the heart is to the left side of your chest and not the middle. I wanted to see for myself. I penetrated the knife into my skin. I thrust downward and to the left. A lot more blood spilled out of me this time. I saw my ribs. They were white and stained with blood and organs. I spotted my heart, beating. Then I began to lose consciousness. My vision blurred and  everything around me became fuzzy. What was happening? I tried to think but my brain wouldn’t process any thought. I stumbled to the floor. I couldn’t get up. I felt too weak. I looked at the knife in my hand. The scarlet liquid covering it and the floor around me. My eyes closed and everything went pitch black.

 

Did I die? Why am I awake then? I opened my eyes. I was still lying down but facing upwards. I sat up and looked down, I gasped. My whole body was a light blue color. It was vaguely see through, skin and clothing. I could still touch my body but it felt like nothing. I stood up. I was still in my house. Lying beneath was my real body. Covered in blood, eyes closed. Does that mean I’m a ghost? I tried to interact with the kitchen counter. My hand went right through it. I stepped closer, and my foot went through the side. I ended up standing inside of the counter. I felt weird, though physically I still felt nothing. I tried to pick my body up and failed.

“ How? Ghosts aren’t real! But, I seem to be one. What? That makes no sense.” I said to myself. I jumped when the garage door opened and both my parents came through it.

“ Zack! We got some tacos for you! Are you still doing homework?” My dad walked into the kitchen and set the food on the counter. At first he appeared not to see me.

“ Dad! Don’t look please!” I exclaimed to him. But he didn’t hear me.

“ Zack?” He peaked around the side and saw my body. “ Ah! ZACK!” He got onto his knees. “ Zack what’s going on? Hey are you listening?” My dad rolled me over and saw the cuts. “ Oh my GOD! ZACK!” He started to cry. First time I’ve ever seen him cry.

“ What’s the trouble?” My mom came over. She saw me. She gasped. “ OH ZACK! NO!” She rushed over next to my father. “ WHAT IS THIS? WHAT HAPPENED?” She was yelling now.

“ I don’t know! Why would this happen?” My dad asked.

“ This has to do with his depression. You know he’d been coming home with the temptation to cut himself because of how upset he was! I never thought it would go this far!” My mom said through tears.

“ I never thought so either. I’m gonna call the police.” Dad picked up his phone, and with trembling hands, dialed 911.

“ Hello? My son has a-attempted s-suicide! Please come quickly! 11124 Red Acre Avenue! Please hurry!” He put it down. “ Ok they’re coming.” My mom cradled my head in her lap, getting blood on her clothes.

“ Oh Zack! Why Zack why! If you had issues you should’ve told us! We love you more than anything in this entire goddamn world and want to help you!” She said crying.

“ I...I don’t know what to say. I should’ve helped more. Zack. Why? Was it us? School? What was the problem? You didn’t need to do this!” My dad said.

 

I watched my parents lament. I was utterly shocked. They had never said these things around me before. Let alone to me. I tried to speak to them. But they simply couldn’t hear me. Was it the fact that I was a ghost that led to me not being able to talk to mortals? Was I a mortal anymore? I didn’t know, and I was too surprised to care. I should’ve felt bad, knowing that I hurt my parents so much. But rather, I felt happy. I had finally gotten them to love me! Or say it. I saw that they cared about me. They wouldn’t be like this if they didn’t. But I wanted to leave. I felt wrong staring at them in such pain. I attempted to hug my mom and dad. Then I waved goodbye and walked away.

 

What am I supposed to do now? If I was stuck in purgatory then it meant one thing. My spirit was still not satisfied. I had something wrong that was preventing me from ascending to heaven. What was it? I remembered the kids at school. How they made me feel like nothing, not to mention my physical ed teacher. Was that it? If my parents could confess in my death then maybe they would too? I decided on checking on that the next day, since then everyone would be at school. Technically now I didn’t have to go since, I was dead. Until then why not experiment? I spent some time simply walking through my house. Inside the walls was pure cement and stone, making it impossible to see around. It certainly was an odd feeling, to be able to just go wherever I wanted. I left my house and strolled through the neighboring houses. I saw what other people were doing. Watching tv, eating, playing games, reading, working, sleeping, etc. I went into the nearby nature trail. Walking through the trees. Observing wild animals and insects who no longer ran from me. It was kinda peaceful. Nothing could harm or notice me. I was safe from everything. But I also felt tension. Like if I didn’t reach heaven soon I would disappear forever.

 

I spent the night in the forest. I managed to sleep easily though I didn’t feel tired. I had dreams of my parents crying and blood spilling all over me. I woke with a start. The sun was coming up and it was bright out. I ran to school. Apparently I could keep running at my top speed since I couldn’t get tired. It took little time to get there.

 

I reached P.E. The kids were settled along the stadium stairs. They were grumbling about this being a boring activity. I could relate to that. Mr. Hawthum grimly walked up to the front with a megaphone.

“ Everyone’s attention please! Quiet down! Thank you. Before we start our activity for today, I have an announcement you all should hear. So news got to the school late last night about a suicide performed by one of your classmates. He most likely had severe depression issues and took his own life yesterday at 4:45pm. I am truly sorry you all have to hear this. I myself am affected by this event. I had been hard on Zack. I knew him to have potential. He just didn’t see it in himself and so I tried to push him. He was a very different kid then the rest, and I liked that about him. I can’t believe he would pull something like this. Zack, I can’t speak for these hard heads.” He waved to the crowd. “ But I will remember you.” The other kids yelled back playfully at what he had said about them. Then they all started talking to one another about me.

“ Is it true?”

“ I guess so.”

“ No one should do that.”

“ Nope, everyone should be loved no matter who.”

“ Whoever Zack is, I feel terrible.” I heard them saying. I started to tremble a bit myself. My P.E. teacher was saying good things about me? He will remember me? It, was, great. But there was two more areas that I needed to see.

 

I walked to my Video Production class. I waited inside of the classroom until the bell rang and the class came in. Once everyone got seated, the teacher put on his microphone.

“ Attention. As you know from the announcement in first class, one of our members took his own life yesterday. I just wanted to give anyone here a chance to speak if they so choose. Anyone?” He asked the class. I prepared for no one to say anything. For it to be silent, like usual. Qwell raised his hand.

“ I would like to say something. I knew Zack more than any of us here honestly. For this class anyway. And, I was honestly struck down when I heard this news. Zack, good friend, great actor, and good advisor and smart kid, ended by himself. I feel like I might have had something to do with this. Maybe I didn’t speak to him enough, or I gave off the wrong kind of mood. But, Zack was a really good group member and a friend. I chose to sit next to him for a reason. I wish this didn’t happen.”

“ You’re right.” Rescot said. “ Zack was a cool guy. Maybe we should have given him more attention or somethin’. But he did have the best acting in this group. I want him to still be here.”
“ Yes.” Kebin spoke up. “ Zack was definitely a good guy. He made our movies possible. Without him, it wouldn’t be nearly as good as it has been. I have him to thank for adding to this group. I can’t believe this.” Alan stayed silent, simply nodding his head.

“ Thank you for that.” The teacher said. “ I think we all will miss him. Rest well Zack.” The class resumed. Now with a much more sad demeanor to it. I didn’t know what to think. It was more than I had ever hoped for. I moved quickly to Physics class.

 

I can pass out and fall asleep whenever I want to. I woke up just in time for the class to start for sixth period. Mr. Jeager came up to the front of the class. I thought for sure he wouldn’t say anything. He is always about work and nothing else. But he equipped his microphone.

“ By this point you’ve heard too much about Zack. I won’t go on long about it since I’m sure we are all sore of it. But does anyone want to speak? It’s ok if not.” Jessica raised her hand.

“ I will. When I first entered this class, I was struggling a lot. I couldn’t handle the logic behind the math and computation. I thought I was gonna drop out. But then I was moved next to Zack. He helped me more than I could’ve ever asked for. He explained to me every problem I asked him. And he actually allowed it to make sense! I understood what was going on! And it’s all him! I can’t even describe how terrible I feel knowing that he was secretly depressed and is gone now. I wish I could’ve helped him like he had helped me.” Leesha spoke up.

“ Yup. I never sat with him in this class, but I did in Spanish. He was the only boy in that class that wasn’t disgusting or annoying. He was quiet, and did his work. I can respect that. If I nor my friend knew the answer to something, I could ask him and always get a good response. It’s hard to know that is all gone now.” I looked at her. She was in this class also? I never noticed. Mason raised his hand.

“ See, y’all think ya know Zack. I know him more than you do. I spent time with him, at lunch, during class and when walking home. Well that was three times but you get it. Point is, I knew him. I saw how smart he was! He taught the meaning of this class! The way of figuring out equations, authors’ meaning in books, and so much more! I knew that he was a great friend. Because he helped me, and I seriously appreciate that. He’s gone? I had suspicions but I thought his parents would handle it. I-I don’t know what to even say. I can’t tell how I feel!... Zack. You can’t hear me, but. If there is one thing I can teach you, it’s this: Don’t let your problems get you down. If you just work your way through it, and try your hardest to be happy no matter how difficult it seems, you will be happy! You just need to try and don’t give in, and keep going.” He began to tear up. “ Zack! Don’t leave!” He cried.

 

The others tried to calm him down. I watched from the corner of the room. A part of me wished they could see me right now. Because I was happier than I had ever been. They all cared about me! Those things they said! I didn’t know! They all said I mattered to them! I had meaning! This epiphany made me feel so pleased I felt like I could fly up into the sky. And I did. Now knowing that I did have meaning. That other people did care about me and I did have an affect on them that mattered. It put me to rest. I wasn't sad anymore. My problem, was solved. I felt myself get lifted into the air. Out of the classroom and high into the sky. The clouds up above came to greet me. I looked straight ahead. I saw an image of Katie. She smiled at me.

“ Katie.” I said to her. “ You were right. I can be happy. Thank you.” I ascended up into the clouds. Finally at peace. I was happy.  

 


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