Everyone always thought he was kind of strange.
As he walked by they would stare. They would giggle. They would whisper. This went on day in and day out. He tried to bury his face in a book, or a paper when this happened. He tried not to pay them any attention. He just kept to himself.
At lunch he sat alone. Hed eat alone then stand by the door, waiting for the bell to sound. In class he worked by himself, no one ever wanting to be near him. In gym he would linger in the corners quietly. After school, he went straight home. No one saw him any other time.
All his life people had laughed at how clumsy he was, at his clothes, at his hair, at everything. They would laugh at everything different about him. If he didnt act or do as they did, they would laugh and make jokes.
All his life he held his head low, he kept his thoughts and feelings to himself. All his life with not a soul to connect with.
No one knew him. No one wanted to. No one felt his life was worth giving a second glance. No one wanted to reach out to him. No one cared.
I was always watching him. I watched the others too. I watched them tease and torment him. I watched them get under his skin and irritate him. Once I saw him get up and leave, hiding his face as he walked away but I saw the tears.
Once I even saw his eyes, he looked up at me for a moment.
One glance that led straight to his angry, tormented, pitiful soul. One glance, screaming out to me. One glance crying for help, like a child choking; without a voice, scared, hurt, angry. I felt him inside me, under my skin. His cry for help consumed me. The feeling was unbearable, it was as though I felt his pain with in me.
Day in and day out he would sit alone, he would read alone, he would walk alone. Day in and day out he would run screaming inside. Day in and day out he would listen to them and their words. He tried not to let them get to him but they did.
* * * * *
It was the same as any day. Everyone did their own thing, went their own way. The voices of unsuspecting souls filled the halls. He was there of course, hiding his face in his locker as usual.
Objects flung at him followed by giggles and jeers. I watched as I always did. Someone came up behind him and pushed him. I watched as I always did.
He looked up at me and I saw what he was thinking. His eyes spoke to me. I couldnt believe what I was hearing.
I slowly shook my head. He didnt seem to notice. I saw the pain in his eyes. Time seemed to stand still. One more accidental trip into him, one more object thrown at him and he would snap.
Suddenly the giggles and jeering stopped. Eyes widened with disbelief. Tears streamed down his face. He held it to his head.
He screamed out to the crowd of non-believers. He damned them to a life of pain and guilt. He held a tape in his other hand. He placed it in a small radio he had in his locker. He pressed play.
With a painful glance in my direction he screamed and pulled the trigger. His anger, his adrenaline, his pain, his angst all surged throughout his body at once.
The sound was loud, it was ear splitting and yet it seemed muffled. I was in a dream like trance, everyone was.
His body slammed backwards against his locker from the impact of the shot. Then it slid limply to the ground, consumed by a puddle of crimson blood.
All attention turned toward the radio now. It was his voice; small, weak, and lonely. He had taped himself, recording his final words on tape cassette. He had never been brave enough to stand up to them, so he did it the only way he knew how.
* * * * *
"Why?! Why do you do it? Do you get some kind of joy out of it? Did you for once even consider me? Did you for once even care? Did you for once think of me as a human being, the same as you? Did you for once think that maybe I just wanted a friend, to be treated as an equal?
I guess not. If you had you wouldnt have done this to me.
All you care about is yourself. All you care about is making yourself happy. All you care about is being perfect. All you care about is fitting in. All you care about is nothing. All you care about is no one. All you pretend to care about means nothing. All you should care about means everything.
I cant take it any more. I cant stand it. So Im doing something about it. Im ending my pain. Im ending your fun.
Maybe its not the best way out. But its my way out. You should hate yourselves. You should hate yourselves for the rest of your lives. You should look at me and realize what you have done.
And dont for one moment pretend to care because I know you dont. You never did, you never will either. If you had cared at all you would have shown me a long time ago."
* * * * *
The tape ended. Little by little everyone went back to the way they were. Everyone continued their conversations, their gossip, their socializing, their jeering and whispering about him. Everyone continued his or her normal drone like lives.
He was lying there and no one even cared. No one gave him a second glance. It was as if he were still alive. He was ignored as always. He was lying there on the ground lifeless.
The whispers and jeers continued. He was still being tormented. What was wrong with these people? Did they not see or hear what just happened?!
Confused, frantic he got up. Walking past the people, he waved a hand slowly in front of their faces: no response. He ran down the hall and out the door, tears streaming down his face. He ran faster and faster until he collapsed. He fell to his knees and let out a mournful cry that seemed to echo throughout my body and into the depths of my soul.