8 Tapes [l.t]

"They're eight tapes, each one teaching me a different lesson." © Meagan [Cover made by Qveendom]


5. Tape 4 // JC

"All I known was she had spray paint in her backpack and she is very artistic."


10:28 PM


   I wipe off some of the sweat on the back of my neck and forehead, sighing. Did he commit suicide to be heard? If so, what did he want people to hear? I need to know. I look at the clock on the train's wall; 30 minutes till we hit the city. Then, we need to find the club and maybe even... Harry.


   I guess I can listen to another tape before the train ride ends. I slide tape three out of the Walkman and replace it with tape four. Pressing play, while holding on tight to the small player.


  Harry and I weren't official yet, but he asked me out for another date later that week. We went to his place and cuddled while watching The Outsiders - Harry's favorite movie. It reminded me of him too. 


   As you can guess I moved on too. Mariana soon calling me a user, after we split. I mean, I really didn't mean to hurt anyone, but it was to hide my true self. The one who liked boys.


  Uh, there it is.


  Like I always did, I moved on to someone else. In this case, it was, the one and only, JC. Yes, the JC  from the acting department at school.

Yes, the JC who is outrageously talented at singing and acting. Yes, the JC who got arrested.  


   Blood rushes to my cheeks, turning them bright red. JC is serving seven years in jail due to vandalizing with an unknown criminal, who is still being searched for.


  But the real thing is, it was all for show. And Harry knew nothing about it.  I couldn't come out, not when gay is used as an insult. And known as being a 'bad' thing. But I know one thing for sure: I loved him and no one can change that. Even if everyone else thought it was wrong.


 Then, why did you hang yourself, Louis? Why didn't you think about Harry and me? You may have been a the best friend I will ever had, but you made a god awful decision.  


  I was with JC, down by the North Side river, at the edge of town. All I known was she had spray paint in her backpack and she is very artistic.


  Oh no, this can't be, could it?


  The sweet woman, next to me, keeps looking over, her face full of worry. I can't tell her what I'm listening to.


   I press the pause button on the small player and slide my headphones around my neck.


   "Hey, ma'am, stop worrying about me, I'm just feeling a bit ill," I say, a soft smile playing on my lips, as I rub some of the sweat off my forehead. This train needs an A/C.


   "Okay, Hun, sorry just looks like you're having a hard time," she smile, shyly.


   I put a hand on her knee, "I'm okay." She nods back, smiling wider.


   I readjust my headphones and press the play button, again.  


   So once we were in her 'secret spot', which is a some forested bridge, down by the river. She pulled out the spray cans and masks.


    "Wear this," she said, passing over the small mask, that goes over my mouth. I nod, taking the mask and placing it over my mouth.


   "Why?" I question. My speech is a bit muffled with the mask covering my mouth.


   "Because we are gonna make art, dummy,"  she smirked, tossing over a bottle of blue paint.


   "Art?" I ask, as she puts on her mask.


   "Art," she replies, shaking the can of pink paint.


   Oh god.


   She slowly makes a heart on the bridge. I cock an eyebrow, confused. She ,then, makes a 'J + L' inside of the heart. She finishes it off with putting 'forever' underneath the two letters, but inside the heart. JC and Louis forever.


  Only if she known about Harry.  Maybe it would have gone another way.  


   She winks at me, I smile polity back. I couldn't let anyone find out about Harry, so I guess you could call JC a cover up.


  A cover up.


  23 minutes left.


  "Well are you going to help me?" she asks. She actually thought I was going to help her? Hell no. She throws a can in my direction.


   Louis, you dead man, you did it; you were involved.  


  I guess I don't have a choice, do I?


  "What should I paint?" I asked, fumbling with the cap.  


   "Whatever you wish?" she says, softly and sweetly.


    And of course I wanted to draw a penis.


   Rolling my eyes, while my lips form a small smile, as I readjust myself on the plastic bench. Of course you want to draw that. 


   "Babe, I don't think I can draw that... I don't think you want that," I smirked. Her jaw dropped and she whacked the top of my head. A smile soon playing her lips afterwards.


   "You dirty bastard," she goes back to her drawing, "You better not."


   "Then what should I draw?" I question, again. Rubbing the back of my neck, trying to come up with an idea.


   "You have to come up with it," she told me.


   "Why can't you help me?" I mumbled, feeling smaller.


   "I can't express you, myself," she starts, then she took a deep breath, "Art is form of expressing yourself. You need to find a way to express yourself."


   What the hell is this girl talking about?


   The back of my shirt is damp, I look like a mess. Should I even do this when I look this bad?


   18 minutes left.


  "What in the world are you talking about?" I huffed, getting sassy, "I have football."


   "Sweating and tackling people is not a form of expressing yourself," she sassed back. I stood there, my hand running through my messed up hair, thinking what the hell, then I realized something: to express yourself, to leave something behind for everyone to see. I felt the urged to do what I was always told to not to - to graffiti property that wasn't mine.


   Louis, you didn't, oh my god, it was you.


   I held the can in my sweaty hands, wrapping my fingers around it tightly, soon I press one finger against the nozzles and made a picture of mix tape, one you're listening to right now. Slowly I put "love is love" right underneath it in large lettering.


   You had this all planned out?


   Hours later, the sun is setting, I finished my paintings, the whole wall was covered in colors and art. All the art was for Harry. The Outsiders, his green eyes, the kiss on the sidewalk. I expressed it. I took a few steps back to study my work with JC, by my side, sliding off our masks.


   "Now don't call me rude, but what in the world is this?" JC asked, while a confused look washes over her face.


   "It's a love story," I said, proudly.


   "Who's?" she questioned, utterly confused.


   I sighed heavy, thinking of a lie when my thought were disturbed with red and blue flashing lights.


   Shit Louis, you were the one who got her put in jail.


   In the moment, everything played in slow motion and I ran. I ran the fastest I ever ran. I must have ran a good two miles before I stopped to catch breath. I felt so cowardly and sick. JC was nowhere in sight; I left her behind. I bend over to puke, holding my stomach as I felt like I was going to throw up an organ.




  2 minutes left.


  My heart was beating out of my chest, my hair sticking to my forehead, shirt completely covered in sweat, I puked for a good ten minutes. I can't really describe the feeling, but it the worst kind of hard-hitting guilt ever.  I finally realized, that she is going to jail, end of story. And most of it was because of me.


    My head is pounding, rubbing the sweat from my palms onto my jeans. The train stopped at the station.


   "Manhattan," the overhead intercom announces, as I stand, my legs feeling like jelly and pins and needles at the same time.


   JC taught me how to express myself.


   And now, you realize that I had this planned out for a while, and I was taking all the advice in the wrong way.


   I sigh heavily, picking up the brown box of tapes.


   A few days later I went back to the scene, which was no longer covered in police, and changed the "J" in the pink the heart to a "H". Even know the feeling of grief was still eating me alive. 


    The tape went silent and all I can hear is the noise produced by the people on the around me.









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