Dead to Rights

William Morro is just your average sixteen year old boy, well he was, once. After a week of increasingly worsening events he finds himself suddenly awake in his bedroom, or atleast, what appears to be his bedroom. It is shortly after that he realizes that indeed something is out of place; he's dead and stuck in a place where everything seems like the world we know when, at the same time, this world is nothing like we know the world to be...

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8. Forever By Your Side

   I was glad to have gym come to an end for two reasons, one; even though I had a decent figure and a knack for the class, I still hated it. The second reason was simple; find and confront him. By him, I meant my friend who I learned that he too, regrettably, was dead and stuck here in this screwed up world. Trying to remember Jay's schedule was going to be key in finding him now, and, considering that my schedule was identical to the one I had in life I could imagine that it would be like that for him as well.

   "Alright, let's see," I thought to myself under my breath, "If I can remember correctly... he should be getting out of... Shit, is it Biology or English?" I always got the last two class periods that he had confused. "Well, I'm closer to his Bio class, let's start there." I managed to move about rather quickly; no matter how thick the crowds, I was always able to maneuver through them without difficulty, an ability that always drove my friends nuts, now, however it was coming quite in handy. Arriving at the classroom door I peeked inside; shit, he's not here.

   "Hey! Will, over here!" that voice I recognized; Charlie, but, what was he doing here? He was trying to maneuver through the crowd of kids to get to me but, I couldn't wait for him, I had to find Jay and talk to him. "Hey! Where you goin' Will!? I need to talk to you for a sec!"

   "Sorry Charlie!" I yelled back, zooming down a narrow stairwell, "I need to find someone right now!" I soon lost him in the immense crowd of, what I'm guessing were mostly NPCs in the form of students; you can tell cause they seem to lack any form of life in their eyes when you look at them. I kept going, picking up the pace a little as I tried to make it to his locker, since class was over, he'd always go to his locker before heading home, something I never did; yeah, because of its location, I never really used my locker at all. It was as I neared his locker I saw his bouncing mop of blond hair and I immediately recognized him. "Jay!" I called; his face twisted into utter fear upon seeing me for he slammed his locker shut and took off like a bat out of Hell.

   "Stay away from me, Will!" he called as he tried to lose me, "I'm sorry, but, please, stay away from me!" He rounded a corner and disappeared for a second. I just stood there for a second as the hall gradually grow devoid of life and empty. I slowly began to trudge down the hall in defeat, to add insult to injury, this specific hall was where my locker was located; great, my friend managed to ditch me and, in the place I never go no less, he really must not want to talk to me right now. As I meandered down the god forsaken hall I caught the faint reflective glimpse of blond in the small window of one of the doors to the many computer labs of the school.

   "You smart bugger," I whispered as I quietly cracked the door ajar. As I entered, I could here the quiet sobbing coming from him as he sat, hunched over one of the consoles, rivulets of mixed blood and saline tears streamed from his face. Seeing a boy that, for my entire life I'd known to always be smiling suddenly crying, well.. it, it broke my heart to be honest. Carefully I crept up to him until I knew that he was cornered to start talking. "You know, in all my life, I've never known you to cry, Jay." He shot up and tried to get by me but he only succeeded in getting caught in my arms and I fell into a bookcase and then to the floor, making sure to land atop him so he couldn't escape again.

   "Let me..GO!" he screamed as he began to thrash around erratically, it was almost reminiscent of that first night with Samvel in the way he was taking swings at me. Eventually though, he began to grow tired and he soon let up, crying again as he just squeezed his eyes shut. "Please... Will, let me go, please, I can't stand to be around you... not now..."

   "Nothing you can say will get me to let go," I smiled, trying myself to catch my breath, "I... I heard what you said... in the courtyard... You knew I was here," I looked him over, the pain evident in his eyes as they opened once more but avoided contact with mine. "Why, did you not come to see me?"

   "I figured you hated me," he looked away, his fair hair falling over his face as if to hide his apparent shame and despair. "I killed you after all."

   "No, you didn't. It was a truck hitting our car that killed me," I answered, leaning up against the bookcase, still holding firmly onto one of his wrists in case he'd try to dash out there. "I choose to go to the party, Jay, it was my choice and mine alone... I.. killed myself, not you."

   "You don't remember it then," his face twisted into a grimace, "I choose to save the others and I... I almost left you for dead that night."

   "What... do you mean?"

   "When we got hit, we were turning to go up Hillcrest Drive, that small hill, you know, by the High school and the overpass?"

  "And...?"

  "The truck tossed us like a child's toy onto our roof and down a small hill on the opposite side of the road. When I came to, Mary and I were in a crumpled heap, lodged into the rear window. I checked on her and she was breathing, but labored because my body in the jostling, managed to break a few of her ribs so, I began to try and get free of the car..." he left off as the tears came again to his eyes and as he lost his composure, his body took on the hideous form it must've looked like that night.

  "Jay, it's alright, I was already dead," I tried to reassure him, hugging him like he did to me on so many occasions. He just shrugged me off as his voice began to crack and waver between a sob and a nervous and guilt filled giggle.

  "No... you were unconscious, but you were still breathing," he answered, "Your seatbelt had caught you  and entangled you like a spider's web. But I, well I instead only saved Mary, I broke out through the rear window and dragged the two of us out through  the hole I made and laid her in the grass. I then went back and managed to pull Alden out who, by some unknown force had remembered to also wear his seat belt and survived. My phone was broken, and Mary didn't have one so I searched and found Alden's anc called 911." 

  "You did the right thing, why are you beating yourself up about it?"

  "Because, it was only as the dripping gas from the upturned car caught fire and illuminated you that I remembered you were even there and, it was then I could see you were breathing. I only went to get you becuase I hoped that, if you were somehow alive then you might forgive me for all that happened that night, but..."

  "But what? What aren't you telling me!?" I asked growing suspicious, that weird feeling growing inside me, a feeling that I thought I could never feel towards him; hatred.

  "I guess, fuel tank ruptured cause the car suddenly went up into a fireball and I ran away... I stopped because.... I thought... I thought I heard you scream and that made me think you were alive... So, I went back, right as the fire and rescue crew arrived."

  "Jay, get to the point, why do you looked like something crushed you?"

  "The car had hit a tree on the way down and knocked it loose from its already deteriorating soil; I didn't know, but, as I tried to get back in to save you... it came down and pinned me partially in the car, just out of reach of you... We died together, Me from blood loss and severe injury, and you, from smoke inhalation.... You could've lived, but, my fears kept me from you until it was too late... My cowardice killed you... so yes, I, Jay Thompson killed my best friend, you, William Morro..." he left off, tears and blood pouring from his eyes which, in his state resembled lifeless sockets.

  "Jay, I..." I tried to pat his shoulder but he slapped it away.

  "I don't deserve anything from you, except your eternal hatred; I'd understand if you never forgave me Will, Hell, I would never forgive myself if such a thing had happened to me in place of you."

  "You stupid bastard," I whispered as I hugged him tightly, "I could never hate you... No matter what, cross my heart, or I shall die, I'll forever be by your side... Do you remember when we made that promise?"

  "Elementary school, right?" he stopped crying, "Behind that ragged old oak that came down the year after we graduated... Yeah, I remember." He recomposed himself and it was then I saw that glint begin to return to his eyes. I placed my hands firmly on his shoulders and looked deep into his reviving eyes.

  "I meant it, no matter what, Jay," I spoke in a firm and friendly manner, "We've been bound by the hip since we first met, why should that change now? We are still here, together, so why should our promise stop in the living world; answer me that."

  "It shouldn't..." he ambushed me into a deathly hug as he whispered into my ear, "Thank you for being able to forgive me, I really needed to know that you remembered our promise." He helped me stand up as he immediately five starred me again, a smile plastered on his face; just the way he should be, happy and carefree.

  "Come now, will you come home with me?" He looked at me but his smile had shrunk to normal.

  "They gave you a house? All I got was the clothes on my back; I've been sleeping in the burned out car on the side of the road by where we would've crashed." That saddened me a bit but I smiled and pulled him along, out of the school and down the hill to the house. 

  "Hi Will!" called Sam as I returned home from school. Walking in the door, Jay followed in tow but cautiously, almost in a state of dazed confusion.

  "It's... your house, down to every detail..." he mumbled in a dazed state, not even noticing little Samvel right beside him. Sam was examining him with the utmost curiosity and wonder until suddenly he did something quite bold; he entwined his fingers into those of Jay's which finally caught his attention. "Oh, hello, are you a friend of Will's?" he asked with a gentle smile.

  "He's my..." I knew Sam was about to probably say 'master' so I cleared my throat loud enough for him to stop himself as he corrected and tactfully left off with saying, "He's my friend, a good friend." He led Jay to the couch where they sat down together, or rather, Jay sat and Sam crawled up into his lap and nestled himself into his chest. 

  "Friendly, aren't you?" Jay just chuckled lightly, smiling down at him, "It's alright, don't you fret, you can stay if you'd like." And just like that, Sam and Jay became friends; come to think of it, you could do almost anything to that boy and Jay would just smile and accept you, quirks and all. In my opinion I believe that was because he himself had plenty of quirks that he knew others would have to tolerate so he learned to get along with generally anyone and everyone. "so, what's your name?" he asked, "I'm Jay."

  "Samvel, I'm Samvel Macken," the smaller of the two blonds smiled as he nestled himself even further into my elder friend's chest. It was as we chatted and completed our homework that we caught up on what had happened to to ourselves since our first days here and then, as sun was beginning to set and I began to prep for dinner that the question came up.

  "So, Will," Jay started up again, "As I said before, the people who run this place weren't kind enough to provide me with a dwelling so... can I crash here?" His eyes were bright and full of life but they also displayed an innocent sadness, his attempt at the 'puppy dog eyes' all young kids use to try and guilt trip their parents.

  "You know I'd never say no to you," I grinned at him, "So please, knock it off with the eyes, you making yourself look like a damn fool." He just moved close to me and again, like in the park, playfully slapped me in the face and whispered into my ear.

  "How dare you, and all I've done for you in the past," his smirked as he pulled away. As dinner was put on the table, Ari and Krystal mosied on in from where ever they had apparently taken off to earlier. And so that's how it went, five kids at a table eating in silence until Ari copped a rude comment.

 "So, who's the blond commoner at the end of the table?" he asked, a minor hostility in his voice. I watched as Krystal moved to say something but choose to instead, remain silent. 

 "Oh I'm sorry, were you talking to me?" Jay smiled politely, "I'm couldn't quite understand you, I'm afraid I don't speak douchebag." His polite smile turned into a devil's grin as Ari abruptly shot up from the table to which, Jay mirrored his move.

  "Watch your filthy tongue, or I'll cut the fucking thing out," he menaced moving to meet Jay just beside the table. Something Ari didn't know was that like him, Jay may look like a normally built kid but in reality, he was built like a freakin' tank, and like me, he was quick on his feet. Upon sizing the two together I noticed that the two were about the same height too.

  "Easy now, no need for violence," I cut in, "Ari, you're here under my graces, I can easily throw you out, so please, sit down and finish your dinner." He glared at me for a minute or two until the haze left his eyes and were replaced by their normal darkened self. He instead just moved his plate to the counter beside the sink and excused himself to the room I had given them, cursing under his breath; Krystal followed shortly after, closing the door behind her. When all the dishes were cleared and washed with Sam's help we all sat around the livingroom as the next question presented itself.

  "So, I see that the guest room is occupied, how bout your mom's old room?"

   "That's Sam's room now," I answered looking out the dark window. Sitting down after locking the front and back doors, Sam sat beside me on the couch, leaning his head on me, softly tracing random patterns on my hand with his forefinger.

    "He can sleep with me," Sam mumbled, "I'd feel better not being alone in such a big bed," he whispered drowsily. Noticing this I nudged him gently and spoke to him in a quiet and soft voice.

  "Sounds like someone's getting sleepy," I hummed into his ear, "Why don't you go to sleep Sam, I'll see you in the morning, now, goodnight." He rubbed one of his eyes with the sleeve of the sweatshirt I had given him as he stood up and clutched onto one of Jay's hands and tugged lightly.

  "Alright, I'll come with you, guess this goodnight then," he smiled as he stood up and the drowsy boy guide him into his room where they shut the door and I saw the light beneath the door go out. Smiling as I too wandered down to my room, I spoke to myself in the darkness,"Forever by your side... I promise, until judgement day, I'll be with you... all the way..."

 

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