C'mon Nash, just push open the doors. I take a deep breath and push the doors open. The school is busy but it seems to quiet down with every step I take. Just keep your head down Nash. Breathe and don't make eye contact. I walk over to my locker, unlocking it, swinging it open. Everyone is staring. At me. Everyone knows what's going on. Cam nor I have came to school since we found out about the incident. I honestly just want to curl up in a ball and cry at how much my life has fallen apart. Since the day I was kicked out, I haven't talked to my parents, but I can't help but wonder if they talk about me still. I see Dad occasionally when I walk by the field after school with the team, running up and down the sidelines, screaming commands and if something was wrong he'd blow his whistle and storm onto the field. I remember when that was my life. When that's all my life ever centered around. That whistle. I followed that whistle. That whistle ruled my life. It told me when to start, when to stop if I got something wrong. A non-living, not breathing object controlled me. It's sad to say that, that whistle brought me comfort. Now I don't have a whistle and that comfort is gone. I'm on edge, making mistakes and nothing to stop me and tell me what I've done wrong. How to fix it. I'm on my own. I'm scared to death.
I take a deep breath once again, and shut my locker. Something wet falls onto my hand. Wait is it raining? Wait no, I'm crying? I wipe at me face quickly, sniffling I start walking to my class.
I find myself chewing on my pencil. The bitter taste brings me some comfort as I remember the habit.
"Nash? What are you doing?" Sally asked, her blonde curls shaking as she made a disgusted face. "What does it look like I'm doing?" I sassed, but since the pencil was in my mouth it came out like "Wha does I loo li I doin?" She screwed up her face. "That's gross! Do you know how many germs there are on a pencil?!" She squeals. I continue to chew on it. "EVERYONE! NASH CHEWS ON PENCILS!" She exclaimed, the whole grade four class turned to the both of us. "NASH THE BEAVER!" She teased, laughing along with the rest of the class. "OH YEAH?! WELL SALLY EATS HER BOOGERS! SNOTTY SALLY!" I shot back and pretended to pick my nose. The class laughed harder. "I DO NOT! NASH THE BEAVER!" She screamed. "SNOTTY SALLY! SNOTTY SALLY! SNOTTY SALLY!" I sang, the class laughed even harder as I pretended to pick my boogers and eat them. The teacher walked in and shushed us all. I teased her the rest of the day.
I smiled and looked across the classroom to find Sally watching me. Her blonde curls long gone, replaced by straight flat hair. I pretend to pick my nose and she laughs and chews on her pencil. I laugh quietly too. It's nice to know that someone other than me can remember times in their life where it was just so simple and not so stressful. But the moment ends of she returns to taking notes. I look at the clock, there's a good twenty minutes left. I sigh and lean back in my chair. I really hope this class flies by. There's a knock at the door at it catches my attention. I lean forward, curious. A woman walks in, Cameron following. He walks over and sits next to me. "Dude what's going on?" I ask. He looks to me, "Christina." He whispers. "What do y-" The teacher cuts me off. "Nash, you're excused." He says and turns back to the board, explaining something.
I stand up, looking to Cameron, he doesn't look up at me. I catch Sally's glance. She gives me a soft smile and taps her nose. I chuckle and walk out the door. I find the woman standing outside. "Nash, follow me please." She says simply. I nod, and walk beside her and into the office. there we walk into her small room and the door shuts behind us. I jump and turn around to find an officer.
I take a deep breath and sit in the chair, my hands in my lap. "So Nash, how are you?" Terrible. "Okay." I shrug. "Why aren't you happy Nash?" She asks. "I never said I wasn't happy." I say quickly, shooting down any of her assumptions. "You said you were okay, not happy." I scoff, is she serious? "Look, I don't even know who you are so-"
"Katy Smith. I'm here to assist the officers in getting information on Mr. Carter Reynolds' suicide and Skylar Green's attempt. You were very close w-" I cut her off. "No. I never talked to them. I barely know them." I shrug. I'm not telling her anything. "That's not what Mr. Cameron Dallas said, he actually said the complete opposite. He said you and Carter were close, even lived together and you fell in love with Ms. Green." I bite my lip, shutting my eyes.
"You fell in love with Chris-" "NO! I just had a crush! I never loved her! We barely spoke. She hated my guts!" I scream. "Mr. Grier, please s-" I cut the officer off. "No! You guys are putting words in my mouth! I didn't love her! I don't even know her! I don't even know why I'm in here!"
"I didn't fall in love with Ms. Green." I said, feeling the anger bubble up inside me. They're trying to get inside my brain. Trying to see what's going on in there. Trying to get information while assessing my mental well-being. "Why would Mr.-" "I don't know! Why don't you ask Mr. Dallas!" I raise my voice. There's shuffling in the background. She looks from me to the officer. "Can you get me Mr. Dallas please." He nods and walks out.
Yeah, go get Cameron cause I ain't saying shit. "The officer is gone, are you more comfortable now?" I shrug. "Nash, we're just trying to help the families understand why their child would do this." She smiles softly. "Yeah? So?" I can see the frustration on her face and it brings me joy.
The door opens and Cameron walks in, sitting down beside me in the next chair. "Alright, let's talk about something else. Your family Nash. How are they?" "They're all a bunch of shits, and I fucking hate them with every fiber of my body. They're all a bunch of cock-suckers and can go fuck themselves." I smile.
Cameron chuckles. "Mr. Dallas do you know how his family is?" Katy sighs. "His dad, he's pretty stressed out. He's the coach for our football team. The team hasn't been doing very well, his mom, cries every night about her little boy not being there. Skylynn his younger sister, wonders where her brother went. Hayes his younger brother won't admit he misses him but he does. Will, he's just disappointed, he looks depressed every time he comes to a practice. That's how his family is. His dad kicked him out of the house and he lives with me and a couple of friends." I stay silent. He knows everything and I know nothing.
"Christina. Nash do you remember her?" without thinking I nod, and mentally curse myself for doing that. She's going to ask endless questions about her now. "This whole Carter suicide must have you messed up, I mean it's barely been a month since Christina died and you witnessed her take her life and now you're best friend is dead. How are you feeling?"
"I dunno know." I shrug. She turns to Cam, he shrugs. "What events took place before Christina pulled out the gun?" She asked.
"I don't get it bro, why are they called hamburgers if they're made of beef?!" Taylor points out. I laugh as we walk down the hall, some of the other teammates with us along with Mahogany and some other girls. Taylor put his arm out, stopping me. "Look it's Christina." He smirks. "Hey she looks pretty today." Mahogany says. I think that's the nicest thing she's said about Christina.
"I don't remember." I shrug. She looks to Cameron. "I wasn't there." He mumbles, a sorry look on his face. I know if he could've been there he would've tried to save her. Done a better job than I did.
"I agree with you Mahogany, she looks really cute today." A blonde nods. "She won't be looking so nice when I'm done with her." Taylor smiles, cracking his knuckles. I cringe with each crack. I wasn't disgusted with the action just Taylor. Christina stopped in the middle of the hall, dropping her bag on the floor. "What is she doing?" Taylor says confused. I shrug, confused too. She zips it open and searches it, pulling out a black object. Mahogany let's out a scream and I watch as she pulls a warning shot and everyone runs away. I grab Mahogany pulling her over to a table where they had some kind of sign up. Christina lowers the gun to her head. "Nash, I-" I shook her off and ran over to Christina. She turned to me, tears in her eyes. "Christina stop. You don't want to do that." I say calmly, but my voice shakes. "Why should I? I want to do this Nash. I need to do this." Her voice cracks as a tear rolls down her cheek. "No you do-" "I DO! TAYLOR AND EVERYONE ELSE SAID SO!" She screams. What do I say? I don't want you dead? "Cameron. What about him? Your family? They don't want you dead." I say. "It doesn't matter. Anyways what made you care now?" She asks. I turn to the others and find them watching intently. You're walking on a tightrope Nash, be careful. "That's what I thought. You just want to be the hero on tv, the news papers. Just remember Nash when there are very few people who care about you in your life, majority always wins." I open my mouth to say something but everything moves too fast as there's a bang and red splatters everywhere. The floor the lockers, me. She falls to the ground, the gun still in her hand. What just happened? "Christina?" I mumble and our principal Mr. Gregory tells everyone to evacuate. I feel my knees give out but I'm still standing. The boys drag me away but I can't take my eyes off her body, laying lifelessly, surrounded by the pool of blood. Soon I can't see her and I look down at my grey Vans to find blood splattered on them. What the hell just happened.
"Nash! Did you just remember something?" Katy asks. I shake my head, letting out a shaky breath. "Can I go now?" I ask. "Just a few-" "I'm going to go now." I stand up. I can't catch my breath as I take shaky steps towards the door. The officer puts his arm out, blocking the door. I look up at him, I know everyone can hear my loud jagged breaths. "Nash are you okay?"
But it's not Katy's voice it's Christina's. I freeze and my body tenses. "Nash? Is every-" I hear Cam start but nothing else is said as I shut my eyes and feel myself fall. Scenes flash through my head before I can understand them.
"What's your name?" I see myself smiling at a pretty brunette. "Christina. My name is Christina." She smiled. "I'm Nash. Welcome to our piece of shit school." I joke, she laughs.
I smile watching it play out in front of me. My vision blurs and a pain strikes me in my forehead that I fall to my knees and there's a new scene.
"They call me names Nash. Your friends. Can't you make them stop?" Christina begs. I watch as I roll my eyes. "Look. The world is not a wish granting factory so suck it up. It's just fucking names." I say coldly and watch myself walk away. Christina breaks down crying, before I can reach out for her and help my vision blurs once again and I cry out as I'm struck with the pain.
I lower my hands to find myself in Christina's room. I hear sobs. I stand up slowly and move carefully towards the door. I put my hand on the knob for my hand to go through it. I push my body through the door to find Christina. Cutting herself. "Christina why?" I mumble to myself. She sobs and stares at her arm. "I am a slut, a whore, I'm a waste of space, a burden." She lists the names. "I should die!" She says harshly, slicing her arm again. I take a sharp breath. She stands up and cleans her cuts, walking back out into her room. I follow her. She walks out into the hallway and into what I assume is her parents room. She pulls out a gun. "This'll do." She sighs. I watch as she raises the gun to her head. "This is what I'm made to do. I look so pretty like this. Everyone will love me." She laughed walking out. I took a step to follow but fell to the ground as the pain hit me again.
I opened my eyes to see myself talking to Christina. The gun fires, and I scream at the top of my lungs as she crumbles to the ground. I scramble to my feet, running over to her. My clothes are drenched with something. I look at my arms, bloody. I feel my hair, wet with fresh blood. I look down the hall to see myself. I make eye contact with me. I look desperate and scared, pale. My eyes frantic. I watch as the principal walks outside with the rest of the teachers, his phone pressed to his ear. I reached out for Christina but I flew backwards. I screamed out in pain, rolling on the ground. I sobbed, as I screamed hoping the pain would stop. Please. Stop.