"Click"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

A young man confronts his best friend to find the truth concerning a story he was told about his lost love.

Three months had passed since Morgan’s death, and Nathan had still not recovered. He remained shut away in his room, refusing to see anyone whom he had been in contact with on the day of the shooting. He rarely ate when his mother brought him meals, and he scarcely drank from the bottle of water he kept in his room at all times. Everyone who attempted to talk with him could see how this was affecting him, physically and psychologically, and it was the latter that they worried about most.
Despite being much thinner than he used to be, Nathan no longer spoke to anyone. Before he had had the breakdown, he was always one for a deep conversation, whether it be about politics or the latest blockbuster. Also, it seemed like the Nathan that was always one to keep things in order was gone, as well. With each passing day his bedroom became less of that of an honor student and more like that of a pig. Whenever someone would go in to see him, Nathan would always be either laying in the fetal position in the middle of the messy floor or sitting in his desk chair with his back to the person. What was also off compared to the old Nathan was that no noise at all came from his room. He would previously had listened to loud music in his room, or had the TV on, but not anymore. Nothing about Nathan was the same.
Mrs. Pryce sought all possibilities she could conjure up to make Nathan responsive, but every hope was dashed as it was tested. She tried using his older sister Natalie to coax him out of his silent isolation, but Nathan would not say a word to her. Natalie would drive back to college, complaining that the trip home was a useless endeavor. And with every failed attempt, especially the previous, Mrs. Pryce would begin to cry as she slowly drowned herself in whatever alcohol was in the house.
It was an utter shock when Nathan placed a small note in front of his mother as she sat at the small kitchen table, a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s in her hand.
“W- what is this, Nathan?” she asked in a hushed tone. She picked it up, looking at it with wide, scared eyes. Mrs. Pryce looked up, but Nathan had already retreated back to his room. She opened the note quickly and read the two scribbled words:
“Call Marcus.”
She didn’t hesitate to grab the phone and dial Marcus’s number. She had memorized it from all the times she needed to check up on Nathan.
Ring… ring… ring…
“Hey, Mrs. P,” Marcus began in a confused tone. “What’s up?”
She couldn’t speak for a moment, still overwhelmed by Nathan’s brief appearance. She sighed slightly and replied, “It’s Nathan. He wants to see you.” She could hear him jump up as she said this. “He came out of his room and gave me a note,” she continued with a shaky voice. “I don’t know if he’s finally coming out of it or what, but you need to get here as soon as you can. The simple fact that he came out of his room is a breakthrough.”
“Yeah,” Marcus answered quickly after only a moment of silence. “Yeah, it is. I’ll be there in two minutes.”
The two hung up as Mrs. Pryce hurried to Nathan’s door. She knocked a couple times and said through the door, “Nathan, Marcus is on his way. He’ll be here very soon.”
Silence. Mrs. Pryce hadn’t really expected him to respond.
Marcus arrived a minute later, not bothering to knock on the front door. He rushed to where Mrs. Pryce still stood.
“Is he in there?” he asked. She nodded.
The door opened slightly and Nathan looked through the sliver. Upon seeing Marcus, he opened the door enough for his friend to slide inside. He, Marcus, took the hint and entered the room.
It was very different compared to the previous time he had visited: once warm with the sun pouring in through the window, the room was now cold and dark, the blinds drawn; what he remembered as a clean and tidy room was replaced by a disheveled mess. And in the middle of it all stood Nathan, now a thin frame wrapped in a set of black clothes that had barely hung loose on him three months prior.
“So,” Marcus said quietly as he watched Nathan. “It’s good to see you, buddy.”
“You too,” Nathan replied in a low, hoarse voice. He continued to stare unblinkingly at Marcus as they both stood still.
“I’ve missed you a lot, Nate. Things haven’t been the same with you gone.”
“I have something to ask you, Marcus, and I need to know the honest-to-God truth,” Nathan said as if his friend hadn’t said anything. “Can you do this for me?”
Marcus stared into Nathan’s cold, dead eyes as he replied, “Of course, Na-,”
Nathan cut him off as he looked away for a second, glaring at the door. “But first, tell her to go away. I don’t like it when she hovers.”
Marcus looked behind him as he heard a sharp, hurt gasp come from the other side of the door. Mrs. Pryce’s footsteps faded away from the door and, seemingly, back to the kitchen where her half-empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s awaited her.
“I guess I didn’t need to,” he said as he turned back toward Nathan again. He quickly looked over his friend and noticed that he was surprisingly clean. He noticed how there was no dirt under his fingernails. He saw that his hair had been combed recently. There was no foul stench coming from Nathan. “Hey, how have you been keeping clean if you never leave your room?” he asked.
“I sneak out when Mom is asleep.  Now promise me, Marcus,” he pressed.
“Yeah, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know, Nate. What is it?”
Nathan finally began to move; he backed away slowly and sat in his desk chair. However, his eyes remained on Marcus. “I have a question pertaining to an incident you revealed to me shortly after my sweet Morgan’s tragic passing.”
Marcus knew immediately what Nathan was talking about. He recalled the first moment he had ever lied to his best friend.
“Three months ago,” Nathan continued, “you told me a story of how my Morgan attempted to seduce you. You told me that as I left the room for a moment to bring us all some drinks, she climbed on top of you and straddled you. If I remember correctly, you told me that she whispered in your ear that she had been wanting to break up with me for quite some time so she could be with you instead. According to your story, you remained loyal to me and quickly denied her and proceeded to get her off of you. Now, unless I’m wrong, she tried to kiss you, didn’t she?”
Quivering slightly, whether from fear or the low temperature of the room, Marcus answered, “Yeah, she did. She kissed me a couple of times before I was able to push her off.”
Nathan nodded slowly. “Yes, and I returned shortly thereafter, handing to each of you your drinks. As I recall, we spent the rest of the evening watching a movie, with you avoiding her gaze.”
“Yeah,” Marcus agreed quickly.
“But you see, my friend, therein lies a problem.”
Marcus tensed up slightly. “What do you mean?”
Nathan stood up again, slowly walking back toward Marcus. “The problem is that you were not avoiding her gaze, but vice versa. During our evening together, Morgan was not sitting in a position where she could steal glances at you. She was wrapped in my arms, her head resting upon my chest. We sat on the bed while you sat in my desk chair. I would have known if she was looking at you, yet I would not have known if you were looking at her.”
“No, no, Nathan,” Marcus defended. “You’ve got it wrong. She was looking over at me all night. Remember, Morgan said she hadn’t paid attention to half of the movie? That’s because she kept glancing over at me!”
“No!” Nathan snapped, his hoarse voice resonating against the walls. “She hadn’t paid attention to half of the movie because I kept whispering in her ear how much I loved her! And I made sure I was quiet enough because I knew how awkward you felt when us three were together!”
Marcus was lost for words; he had been caught in his lie. Slightly.
“Morgan told me what really happened, Marcus,” Nathan added in a softer, yet spiteful tone. “She told me that you were the one who pounced, that you were the one who begged.”
Marcus shook his head slightly, no longer looking into his friend’s eyes. “No,” he whispered. “No, she lied.” He looked up into Nathan’s face. “It was just a ruse she thought up so you would no longer be my friend. Once you did that, she said it would have been easier to cheat on you, and then she was going to dump you. I swear, Nate, it’s the truth.”
For the first time, Nathan grinned. He shook his head slightly as he took a step back from Marcus. “You are lying, Marcus. I can see it in your eyes.” He placed his hand behind his back and his grin faded. He looked darkly upon the young man who stood before him. “Tell me the truth, Marcus.”
Marcus glanced at Nathan’s hand. “What are doing, Nate? Do you have something behind your back?”
“Tell me the truth, Marcus,” Nathan repeated.
“Nate, tell me what you have behind your back,” Marcus insisted.
“Tell me the truth!” Nathan yelled.
Marcus stepped back a little, his eyes full of fear. “I am telling the truth,” he said, barely above a whisper.
Nathan looked down, shaking his head. He sighed as he pulled his arm around from behind him. He pointed his father’s Colt 1911 in Marcus’s face. “Tell me the truth, Marcus,” he said warningly and desperately. “Now.”
Tears began to fill Marcus’s eyes as he raised his hands slightly. “Please, Nate. I swear to God I’m telling the truth,” he pleaded.
Nathan didn’t hesitate to cock the gun. “Tell me the goddamn truth, or I swear to God I will kill you.”
Marcus let the tears fall as he stared horrified at his friend. He was silent for a long time before admitting, “Yeah, yeah, you’re right, Nate. I lied to you. I asked her to break up with you so I could have her to myself. But she loved you, man, and that’s what I liked most about her; the fact that she was always loyal to you. I wanted that so badly that I tried to steal her from you. I was jealous, Nate. I was fucking jealous of what you had with Morgan, okay? And I was just as miserable as you were when I heard that she was one of the victims of when that Washington kid shot up the school.”
Nathan rushed in upon Marcus, pressing the gun against his teary cheek. “Liar!,” he said threateningly. “You were not at miserable as I was! You lusted for her, but I loved her. You have no idea what I have been going through for the past three months. To you, she was just another girl you wanted to get with. But to me, she was my other half. She was my fucking soul mate, Marcus, and for you to say that you were just as miserable upon hearing of her death as I was is just plain bullshit.”
Nathan backed away, the gun still pointed at the frozen Marcus. His once-dead eyes were now wild and livid. “We were going to get married after graduation, go to college together, and start a family once we were out of school and had steady jobs. That was our plan. But that bastard Washington fucked all of that up for me. And when you lied to me saying that she tried seducing you right here in my own bedroom, it felt as though you had been killed too. You were my best friend, Marcus. You were my brother. And to be betrayed by your brother is a horrendous thing.”
Marcus was still frozen as he watched Nathan sit back down in his desk chair. He didn’t look away as Nathan broke his gaze and looked down at the silver gun he held in his hand.
“You know,” Nathan chuckled softly as he began talking to himself quietly, “after all this shit that has happened, I honestly don’t have anything to live for; my girlfriend is dead, my best friend is dead to me, and my mother is slowly killing herself by the bottle.” He paused for a moment, sighing and raising the gun. “I’d rather not bury my mother.” He placed the barrel of the gun into his mouth, closed his eyes, and pulled the trigger.
Click.
The next few minutes of silence nearly killed Marcus. He stood against the door, his eyes glued onto Nathan, who had taken the gun out of his mouth with a small smile. Marcus slowly regained his senses and took a few steps toward Nathan.
“What was that about?” he asked cautiously.
Nathan laughed softly again, studying the pistol he still held in his hand. “Dad was always good at hiding the bullets,” he confessed. “Somehow, he managed to hide them even in death.” Nathan looked over at Marcus with a serious look, who had stopped again. “You can go, Marcus. I only wanted the truth out of you, and that’s what I got.” He turned his attention back to the Colt 1911 as Marcus fled from the room.
“Nathan!” Mrs. Pryce cried as she ran into the room. Her eyes fell on what rested in her son’s hands. “Nathan, what are you doing with your father’s gun!”
Nathan didn’t reply. He simply sighed as he looked over at his mother. He remained sitting in his desk chair, smelling the booze that was coming from her.
“Nathan, you answer me this instance!” Mrs. Pryce cried again.
Nathan set the gun down on his desk and stood up. He walked toward his mother and gently pushed her out of the doorway. He closed the door on her as she muttered his name pleadingly. He rested his head against the door and sighed once more.
“Nathan, talk your mother,” she begged. “I’m scared, baby. What’s going on?”
He lifted his head and opened his mouth for a moment, but closed it. He contemplated what to say, whether or not to try to make his mother feel better. “Mom,” he said to break the silence between them, “I just need to be alone for a little bit longer. I know I didn’t show it, but thanks for not fully giving up on me.”
Mrs. Pryce was speechless for the second time. After regaining her voice, she replied, “Of course, honey. You’re my baby boy, and I love you.”
This brought a small smirk to Nathan’s face. “I love you too, Mom,” he responded. He heard his mother walk away again, but with the soft whimper of joyous crying.
He turned back to his desk chair and sat down, examining the gun again. He turned his attention to a picture on his desk, taking it in his free hand. He looked down at the picture of a smiling teenage couple, and felt a wet, cold tear run down his cheek. He set the gun on his lap and traced the face of the girl in the photo with his finger. He closed his eyes again as he held the picture of Morgan and himself to his chest.


Submitted: July 08, 2009

© Copyright 2022 Tyler Gohde. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Jesyka

There aren't words...
I loved that Short Story so much.
You did a brilliant job of the descriptions and the flow was magnificent.
The suspense was lethal, I loved it.
When he pulled the trigger, I would have been on the edge of my seat if I wasn't in bed.
It was emotional and enthralling and I absolutely loved it!!!
Superb job!!!

Sun, July 12th, 2009 12:17am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 2:26am

kaylaaa1994

wow. I'm not sure what to say.. That was one of the most amazing short stories I've ever read. Great job!

Thu, July 16th, 2009 5:58pm

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 2:21am

Nia

You are a freaking genius.
Okay. A freaking genius. That was the saddest, sweetest, most emotional freaking story I ever read. You are absolute brilliance. Do you know why your story is not flooding it comments? Its publicity, dude. Publicity. You have to advertise it, comment about a million people telling them about Ur work, And you'll be top ten in a month.
I feel so terrible for Nathan, terrible for his mom, and I feel like killing Marcus. MURDER. I was never so deadly serious.
You are a miracle. You are brilliant. Unbelievable. Powe4rful. Talented. I CANNOT believe you.

Fri, July 31st, 2009 3:09pm

Author
Reply

Thank you. Now here is where I try be humble and say that I'm not a genius, miracle, blah blah blah.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 2:17am

WritingandThunderstorms

........... Words cannot describe.... This was absolutely amazing. And so realistic. The words were enpowering, the paragraphs flowed well.... Wow.... GREAT job.

Sat, August 1st, 2009 12:49am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 2:05am

SoCentralRain

This is very deep and moving and provides a great visual! Keep at it, mate.

Sat, August 1st, 2009 1:01am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 2:04am

Scarlet Sky

Grief and loss are very hard to capture with words - but you did an exceptional job!

Great short story. :)

Sat, August 1st, 2009 7:32am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:59am

Esme

oh my god that was sad..and nice! great story!

Sat, August 1st, 2009 9:50am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:59am

iLJ

You're beyond amazing! Words cannot describe how much I loved reading this, it's the best thing i've read in a while, i'm deffinately becoming a fan! :-)

Sat, August 1st, 2009 11:09pm

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:59am

ForeverCharmed

Oh great story i love the whole idea of it. best i've read in a while. i gave it an "i like it" please come read some of my work if you have time. Great Work xx

Sun, August 2nd, 2009 1:31am

Author
Reply

Thank you. I will check out your work as soon as I can.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:58am

MiMa

well that was very deep. i feel the pain for that boy, love should be cherished, like he did for his girl. and now that she died he missed her more then life.
very good.

Sun, August 2nd, 2009 1:44am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:58am

to lie on the floor without holding on

This. Was fucking amazing. I seriously thank you for commenting on my page, otherwise I never would've seen this. It has such raw emotion and power to it I completely love it.

Sun, August 2nd, 2009 4:38am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:58am

Phoenix Personiam

That was utterly amazing, some how you were able to draw me in so much that at times I found my self flinching when certain things were about to happen as if I was actually there

Sun, August 2nd, 2009 6:16am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:55am

YouGotMeDeadBang

This was really good (: Clicked 'i liked it' (:

Sun, August 2nd, 2009 11:52am

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:52am

IanJohnson

nice! a very well thought out story, the subtle shift in the middle, where you finally get to the heart of the problem was masterfully done.

I do have a few critiques however, I hope you don't mind. In your 2nd paragraph you wrote, " despite being much thinner than he used to be, Nathan also never talked to anyone,"
shouldn't it read, In addition to, instead of using despite?
there was another one, but I have forgotten it, and Didn't have the time to reread. I did really like it though, well done!

Sun, August 2nd, 2009 8:57pm

Author
Reply

Thank you. I've seen the error in the second paragraph, and I assure you that I have fixed this problem on the original file.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:50am

ayrianR

that was absolutely the best short story i have ever read , the description was the best.

Sun, August 2nd, 2009 10:06pm

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:48am

AllHis

That was just ..... Awesome!
I felt so sorry for Nathan!
And when it looked like he was going to shoot himself.. O.M.G!
I couldn't stop reading it! Loved it!

Mon, August 3rd, 2009 12:28pm

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:46am

bookwormqt321

Oh my gosh...that was amazing! I couldn't stop reading it!
omg, when Nathan was going to shoot himself...awesome suspence and realistic wording! Great job!

Mon, August 3rd, 2009 1:23pm

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:45am

enduringthedarkness15

Wow. I really expected Nathan to be dead. This is very good. Well written.
I liked it!

Mon, August 3rd, 2009 5:37pm

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:45am

Jazzie

Wow, you're amazing! I've never read anything like this in my life, you are really incredible! Don't stop writing, ever, you're too good at it!

Mon, August 3rd, 2009 7:32pm

Author
Reply

Thank you. I don't plan on giving up writing. I won't even give it up if my music career takes off. (Check out my band, Overnight Parking on Madison: http://www.myspace.com/overnightparkingonmadison)

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:45am

Anthony Lopez

Wow! What a way to show suspense to an audience!
I loved it! Your writing is much more than incredible ^-^

Tue, August 4th, 2009 2:22pm

Author
Reply

Thank you.

Mon, November 2nd, 2009 1:41am

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