My eyes opened, and everything around me was bright white. Then things started to come into focus. I was at school. That didn’t make sense. I was in the commons area where everyone sat in the morning until class started. I looked at the faces around me, most were just placid. I caught three familiar faces however, over in the corner of the commons. Carter, Rachel, and Alice were all sitting together. Rachel and Alice were crying, big sobs, and Carter was trying to hold back his own tears while comforting them. I started walking over to them.
“Hey! What’s wrong?” I ask.
They didn’t answer, didn’t even look at me.
“Hey! Guys, what’s wrong?” I ask again.
“Can you hear me?”
Everything is so weird, so strange, so different. Something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what. I searched the crowd for Trenton. My eyes finally spotted him, and he had his head in his hands, no doubt crying. I went over to him. I still didn’t really know him, but I wanted to see if someone would just talk to me. I tapped on his shoulder. Nothing.
“Trenton? It’s me Skylar.”
I was furious. Nobody could hear me, feel me, or even see me. I was used to being alone, but was this what it was truly like to be completely alone? “Can anybody hear me?” I scream as loud as possible. Nothing. Not even a flick of the head from anyone. Now that I think about it even more, I can’t remember even getting out of bed this morning. I look down at my clothes and realize that I’m wearing and all white dress. I’ve never seen the dress before in my entire life. I find the closest bathroom and run over to it. I open the door and slam it shut behind me, and turn to the mirror. I stare into the mirror. I don’t see anything. I am staring directly at something that should show me my face, yet I see nothing at all.
I begin to cry. Loud, huge sobs of tears. I have no clue what’s going on, but I know it can’t be good. I wipe my tears and hear a voice from outside the bathroom. I go back into the commons and see my principal standing behind a podium, talking into a microphone.
“And with that, we are very sorry to announce the loss of one of our students, Skylar Jennings. Skylar was texting and driving when her car drove off the side of the bridge by Wellins St.”
What? Was he really talking about me? I’m not dead, I’m right here!
“I’m not dead! I’m here! Look at me! Please just look at me!” I yell, but nobody even flinches.
“We know many of you didn’t know Skylar very well, but she was a very nice girl. Thank you.” My principal leaves the stage.
Nice girl? Not many knew her? Is that it? Is that all I will be remembered by? I look back over to Carter, Rachel, and Alice who seem to be crying more than ever. A teacher finally rushes in and takes Rachel and Alice and ushers them away. As soon as they’re gone, Carter begins to cry more. I want so badly just to hug him and tell him I’m here and that I’m okay, but I know I can’t. I leave Carter and follow Rachel and Alice. They are both ushered into the guidance counselor’s office. I have a sudden curious thought. What if I’m a ghost? I try wait until the office door closes and try to walk through it. Owch! Nope, not a ghost.
I open the door and go in, but clearly they can’t see. Rachel and Alice are sitting side by side on the loveseat couch, blowing their noses and wiping their eyes repeatedly. I want to hold them both tightly, and tell them everything is fine, but I can’t. I let out a loud scream that nobody can hear. Mrs. Turner begins to talk.
“I know it’s hard for you. You both were very close to Skylar.” Mrs. Turner hands them more tissues.
“It’s just… It’s like nobody cares!” Alice cries.
“Well, Skylar was more conservative. She didn’t talk to many people.” Mrs. Turner states, not even looking sad.
“I know but… but… I wish she would’ve tried harder.” Rachel says in between sobs.
“What do you mean sweetie?” Mrs. Turner opens a new kleenex box.
“I wish she wouldn’t have been so reserved. I know people would’ve loved her! She was just amazing. But nobody even really knew her name.” Rachel explains, wiping more tears away.
“I’m sure she’d be happy to hear you say that.” Mrs. Turner comforts.
But I’m not happy. I just heard one of my best friends say that she wishes I would’ve tried harder to be social, but now I’m apparently dead and I can’t even talk to my friends. I’m not happy whatsoever. I want so badly just to know what’s going on. I decide to go back and see how Carter is doing. I head back to the commons and see Carter with Trenton. At first I think he’s hugging Trenton, then I realize he has Trenton in a headlock. I run over to them.
“Carter stop!” I yell to no avail.
I try to pull them off of each other, but my touch means nothing. Carter throws some punches, and Trenton tried to fight him off. Trenton throws a punch to Carter, but it looks like nothing.
“It’s you fault! You shouldn’t have texted her! Skylar is dead because of you, you piece of crap!” Carter screams.
“I’m sorry man! I didn’t know!” Trenton sheds a tiny tear.
Finally, a teacher comes over and pulls the two apart. I never thought about it as being Trenton’s fault. I never thought about it being anyone’s fault except mine. I hadn’t actually thought about anything at all though because I just learned I am dead. I thought about it for a moment. I came to the same conclusion, is was my own fault. I’m the one who opened the text and decided to try and reply. I felt bad for Trenton, he probably thought it was his own fault too.
The teacher told Carter and Trenton to calm down and get to class. I decided to follow Carter. He stormed off to his locker and opened it aggressively, then slammed it immediately shut and fell to his knees. God, how I wanted to tell him it was all okay. I went over and put my hand on his shoulder, even though I knew he couldn’t feel it.
“It’s okay Carter.” I knew he couldn’t hear, but I had to tell him.
Rachel and Alice came up to Carter. Their mascara was running, and their makeup was smeared. No doubt they had been crying for a long time. Part of me was happy that they cared so much about me, the other part was sad because they were sad and I couldn’t help.
“Carter, are you okay?” Alice asks, placing a hand on top of mine though I know she doesn’t know it’s there.
“It’s all Trenton’s fault.” Carter mumbles.
“Don’t blame anyone. Sky wouldn’t want you to.” Alice comforts.
She knows me so well.
“I know… it’s just… I’ll never get to see her again you know? My last words to her were ‘see ya tomorrow’ and that was obviously a lie.” Carter seems angry now.
“Sky wouldn’t want you to be upset.” Rachel tries to step in.
“I liked her so much. I liked her a lot.” Carter is on the verge of heavy sobs.
Carter liked me? I mean, we’d been friends since third grade, and still as Juniors we remained friends. I guess maybe there was a spark I had missed. Maybe I liked him too. It didn’t matter though, because I am dead. Is this really what dying is like? You get to see what’s going on around you but can’t do anything? Or is this just what being truly alone is like? Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference.
Maybe being alone isn’t what I want.