One of our assignments was to write a short story that was a tragedy. So, I decided to write it on a kid my age, infact more so the male version of me. I figured writing from a male's perception might be better, and it definitely was!
I'd appreciate some crits, but I know it's really rather long. Not so much a "short" story, LOL.
IMPORTANT: There are a few swears in it, that I didn't want to take out... but I'm sure they'll be edited out anyways. Just as a forewarning.
It was Thursday, and it felt like two weeks had gone by in that short time frame. I was sitting in chemistry, which was my fifth period class, playing with my iPod. My teacher was droning on, becoming so loquacious to point where I wasn't even listening. That was, until she stopped talking.
"Zeke... Pay attention." She said suddenly, startling me.
I returned my iPod to my pocket, and my attention back to the overhead she was explaining about the atomic mass of compounds. Something that was very boring, but came really easy to me. When the bell rang, the silence of the room was lifted with everyone moving from their seats in a synchronized fashion, and leaving as fast as they could to go home. Our teacher Mrs. Johnson yelled out to us as we were leaving to remind us of our test on the following day, like we were listening. I went to my locker right after to return my books and grab my skateboard, as it was about all I could relate to in the real world anymore. There was a decent skatepark just down the street from my school, and it's where I spent a great deal of my time to escape my parents, and the people around me. Skating was not big in our city, as are only about twenty guys who actually own a board.
I skated down the pathway to the park, as I always did. When I got there I climbed up one of the funboxes and sat on the ledge, as I always did. I was adjusting the bearings on my trucks as a familiar car drove into the parking lot. It was my best (and only) friend, Geoff. He got out of his beaten up Honda, and grabbed his board from the back seat. Geoff was the kind of friend everyone should have. A friend who made you smile in any situation imaginable. He got along with everyone, regardless of what their status was to society. I have to say, he saved my <bottom> on more than one occasion, and I owe him big time. Let's just say, I've always known him like a brother to me than anything else. He was definitely the epitome of a true skater. He often wore ripped jeans accompanied by skate brand or some neon-coloured band shirt. He was a year older than me, and was in grade twelve at my school. His brother also owned the only skate shop in town, and he was the manager.
He dropped his board to the ground, and skated in my direction. I waved, and he returned the favor as he came and sat beside me on the ledge.
"All right, well, talk to you later." He said ending the conversation with the mystery caller, then looking over at me.
"So what's up little bro?" He asked, playfully punching me in the shoulder.
"Nothing exciting," I said, looking into the distance.
He nodded his head, and pulled out a cigarette from his pocket. He held the package up to me, even though he was used to me refusing. But this time was different; I looked him straight in the eyes and took one from the package. His eyebrows rose almost from the top of his head, but handed me his lime green lighter.
"You know, I don't feel proud of influencing you to smoke, man." He said with a hint of guilt, taking the lighter from me and lighting his.
"You didn't influence me, I just..." I stopped.
"Just, what?" He asked.
I paused for a moment into a huge coughing fit. I'd never touched a cigarette before, let alone smoking one. I didn't like the fact I was caving into everything I stood against, but I didn't have much will power to care anymore.
"Is something bothering you? This definitely isn't like you, bro." he said again.
I put my head down in shame, and took another drag.
"Just the typical stuff, nothing I need to complain about. My family is useless, and I'm sick of waking up every day to this," I said quietly motioning in the direction of our school down the road. He nodded in agreement, and he took another drag.
"Just think man, only one and half more years. Seems like a lot, but you'll be done before you know it," he said trying to be helpful.
"But you know what; I've got some news for you."
He didn't go into details, but it piqued my interest. Geoff was the master of what he called "good news", and when he said it, you knew he was serious.
"Yeah?" I said, perking up.
"Well you were looking for a job, right? I talked to my brother, and he's firing two of the employees working there right now. I told him you're a really sick skater, and would own up to twice as good as both of those knuckle-heads times ten." He smiled.
"Wow really? Thanks man." I smiled.
He smiled back, and patted my head.
"Awesome bro, it's going to be sweet to work with you. He said you could come in for training probably Monday or Tuesday of next week. He's offing those idiots because they either never show up, or slack off completely. You'll make him proud, I'm certain."
I smiled at him again, and held out my hand. He answered by putting his in mine to complete our extremely geeky hand-shake.
"Thanks man, really. It means a lot. With the extra time I spend doing nothing, I could be making some money." I said, putting my board to the ground.
"True, true. Oh, and before I forget, there's supposed to be a sick party at one of my friend's houses tomorrow night. My band is playing, you should definitely come stop by for a bit, it’d mean a lot to see you come out." he said defiantly.
I turned to him, looking him in the eye.
"I owe you man, the absolute least I could do is come out and watch you play for a bit. Besides, you're an amazing musician, and your band's pretty awesome,"
He looked back and me and smiled.
"Thanks, man. I know you don't like the whole deal of partying, and believe me there's going to be a lot of idiots out there. I mean, get alcohol in the room and teenagers come like flies to a light bulb. So, I don't blame you for generally hating it."
"It doesn't matter what I think, I want to see you play, so I'm coming." I said, finalizing it. I really was excited to see him play; he really was an amazing musician. A smile lit over his face, and I felt good to be the reason behind it.
"So, have you ever nailed that nollie-tre' you've been telling me about?" he asked, placing his skateboard to the ground and riding down the ramp. I laughed, knowing he wasn't serious, and prepared to follow him.
"Not even close!"
I returned home later that evening with good thoughts going through my mind. Something that rarely happened. I'm not a pessimist, I just don't have a lot to look forward to in a day, or enjoy schlepping myself through the days which were always the same. My homework that night was abundant. I had three assignments due for Friday as well as a test, and two essays due for Monday; how fun. While I was finishing up my math, I gazed out the window out at the night sky. The sky was luminous, and the stars as thick as daisies on an uncut lawn. I had a deep appreciation for the night sky, and could spend hours just staring into its wonders. Nature was one of my guilty pleasures. I loved being outside in the open fresh air. There was a rather wooded area behind my house that I would take walks through frequently; tonight felt like one of those nights.
Abandoning my homework, I crept from my room and went down the stairs, careful not to wake anyone. It was nearing midnight, and I knew I should keep my nature walk short. My iPod created a soundtrack only I could appreciate. My taste in music wasn't something most favored, but to me it was heaven to my ears. It was cool and crisp; the air smelt like thick pine and rain. In the distance ahead of me, I could see a small dear grazing on a patch of grass. Quietly not to disturb him, I created a new untravelled path around it. The mood was full and bright, creating the only light source in the middle of no where.
Time unbeknownst to my knowledge, and as I walked up to my front door I couldn't believe that it was almost 2:00 am.
"Wow, really lost track of time tonight." I thought to myself.
It wasn't rare of me to not get a lot of sleep, often times I'd go to school with none. I'd always had a sleeping problem, but aside from that it was either me doing homework, or being on a nature walk. How many people can say that?
"ZEKE!" shouted a voice.
I lifted my head so fast I felt my neck crack. It was my older sister Sam, screaming at me not three feet from my bed.
"What happened?" I said, confused.
"You slept in, idiot, that's what happened. My God, you really are stupid..." She said as she left, slamming the door behind her.
I rolled over to look at my clock forgetting what day it was. It was 8:04, and school started at 8:30. Not that it took me very long to get ready, nor by now would I get the shower anytime soon, it sets me off when I'm late or running behind. I jumped out of bed, and put on a pair of jeans and a shirt. I collected my homework; made sure I had my iPod and cell phone, and grabbed my skateboard and went down the stairs. I was greeted by my dad who was standing in the kitchen.
"Sleep in again, son? What exactly were you doing last night?" my dad asked, clearly in a bad mood.
"I, uh, had a lot of homework. Lost track of time," I said, slipping my shoes on and going for the door.
"I think he needs like counseling or something..." My sister snapped as I walked through the door.
I gave her a dirty look, but continued on my way.
I glanced at the time, and it was now 8:16. I wasn't going to be late, just, not quite on time. I jumped on my skateboard, and skated as fast as I could to get to school. Just as I got there, the bell rang, and my first period class was upstairs. I made no effort to go to my locker before class, I simply ran as fast as I could to get where I was going. When I was about three steps away from the door, the bell rang again declaring anyone who wasn't already in the room, late. My teacher saw me frantically running to get in on time, but slammed the door in my face before I could do anything about it.
"Are you serious?!" I snapped, not even bothering to knock, he knew I was there.
It was rather obvious that he didn't like me, for whatever stupid reason. I shook my head in disbelief, and for the first time ever, I walked away from the room. I'd never skipped a class before in my life, and it felt good. Instead of just leaving the grounds, I went back down to the main area to finish some homework. I got ahead on the essays, and got some extra study time in for my chemistry test. I then thought to myself how useful a first period spare would be, and how useless my first period class was. Never had I thought about spares, I wanted to incorporate as many classes as I could into the four years I spent at high school, but psychology? It wouldn't get me very far. I was just interested in some of the topics. So later in the day, I marched myself down to the office, and dropped the class. I was very proud. Now, I didn't have to worry about being late, and could have an extra hour to do homework.
After lunch just before fourth period, I was talking to Geoff about tonight. He was so excited about playing, and I really wanted to keep the vibe going for him. Then, the bell rang.
"I'll text you the address later on when I get it, okay?" he said turning to leave.
"Yeah for sure, see you tonight," I said leaving as well.
My fourth period class was biology. A rather interesting class I was taking. I sat down in my seat, and took out my binder from my backpack. When I looked up, a girl I'd never seen before came into the classroom. She carried her binder to her left side, and walked nervously. She was wearing blue jeans a pink shirt and white shoes, and walked in talking on her cell phone, while still in the last few moments of the break. She sat down in the empty chair beside me, didn't say anything, but glanced a peaceful look in my direction. As the class dragged on, I tried to rack up the courage and find an excuse to talk to her. I wanted to seem welcoming. When our teacher asked us to pair up, I knew it was either going to be me myself and I, me and Jake-the-bear (who hated my guts, and always ended up working with me cause he never did anything), or me and this new girl. So I spoke up.
"Hi, I'm Zeke. You new here?" I asked, feeling dorky.
She cocked her head and smiled.
"Yeah. I used to go to Christiansen. I'm Heidi." she said softly.
"Do you want to be my partner? I'm usually alone for group work,"
"Certainly, thanks." she replied.
Our task was to relate the genetic make-up of a frog and a toad, and find the similarities and differences. We finished the assignment with ease; I guess she was pretty smart.
“You seem to really know what you’re doing,” she said.
I looked at her with a smile. I never did take compliments well, and from a girl? Well, it felt good.
“Same to you,” I said, writing down last minute information.
I got so far into the assignment I didn’t even notice class was almost over, so the bell caught me by surprise. I handed in our assignment to the teacher, and carried on to my fifth period class, chemistry.
I won’t go into much detail about what happened in that class; since its right before the end of the day it just drags on. We learned something completely new almost every day. I ended up texting Geoff through the entire class to kill time. I was extremely good at hiding it, too, since getting caught using your phone in class was a first class ticket to having it taken away. To be honest, I was growing more excited about this party tonight. Geoff would not stop telling me about how stoked he was to be performing in front of someone more than just his band, and I was really happy for him.
After biology, I grabbed my things and went straight home. I wanted to get all my homework done early so I could go out and have fun and not worry about it. Maybe I had the whole weekend to do it, but I preferred just getting it done. No one was home when I got there, I would be alone. My sister was taking university classes and had a part-time job, and both my parents were at work. I liked being home alone. I could blast my music and do whatever I wanted to without my dad or my sister nagging at me. My homework was easy, at least. I got it done in less than an hour, and it gave me some free time to myself.
As I sat alone watching TV, I heard my phone vibrate from in my backpack. When I looked at it, it was Geoff with the address to the house. It was at 5687 Collingwood Road, which was actually not far from where I lived, so I would just walk.
My mom got home at 8:30, and Geoff wanted me there for 9:00. She didn’t like me going out to parties, but who says I would tell her that?
“Where are you going tonight?” she asked.
I hesitated before saying anything, playing it cool.
“I’m just going over to Geoff’s for a bit. His band wrote some new songs and they want me to hear it,” I said.
She smiled and sat down at the kitchen table, going through some paper work.
“All right, well keep in touch with me, and if you want a ride just let me know.”
I nodded, and headed for the door. I loved my mom to pieces when my dad wasn’t around. He was very controlling over her, and I knew she was afraid to ever speak her mind in front of him. If he found out I was going to a party involving alcohol and most likely drugs, he’d rip me apart. So I kept I low brow.
As I walked down the street smelling the crisp night air, I began to think of how much I wanted to be wandering the forrest. It was like an addiction for me, all I wanted to do was be free and as far away from civilization as I could get. But I made my best friend a promise, and postponed my nightly crawls.
As I walked up the steps to ring the door bell, I could hear the sound of music coming from within. Someone looked out the window through the curtains just as I made it to the door. Geoff answered it, quite clearly intoxicated.
“Heeeeyy! You made it!” he said holding a beer can.
“I told you I’d come, why would I miss something like this?” I smiled, following him into the house. He led me down a flight of stairs into the basement. There were already about twenty people down there, drinking from red plastic cups and dancing to the kind of music that made me want to pull my hair out. I saw a lot of people there who did not seem happy to see me, and I felt a sudden wave of sickness come over me. In the far corner of the room there was a set up of amps and cords, and everyone’s instruments. It looked like something you’d see at a punk show, it was definitely cool.
As they were warming up, I stood as close to the stage as I could get. I looked around the room seeing if I knew anyone decent. I was shocked to see the new girl I met in biology today. How fast does it take you to become popular? Well, I guess good looks, expensive clothes and what kind of reputation you had buys you into it. Suddenly, I had a different vision of her as I watched her suck back the beer she was holding, flirting with some of the most sex-addicted guys I’d ever seen. A few moments later, the drummer began playing followed by Geoff (who played guitar) and the bass player. It was very loud, but loud was the best way to have it. People began moving closer to the set up, and I got pushed aside. I was in no mood for moshing, because the environment I was in did not call for it. I stood back a little further, but I could still see the stage. Geoff glanced back with his enlightening smile a few times, and it made me smile every time. They were a really good band, I could definitely see them headlining Warped Tour one day.
I stood there for about half an hour, and I began to grow tiresome. I stepped back from the ever growing crowd of people standing in front of the band. I noticed that there were now probably at least fifty more people in the room and scattered through the entire house. Why people were so in to doing this every weekend was anyone's guess. Geoff was definitely right about the alcohol, though. I didn't see anyone who didn't have some sort of alcoholic beverage in their hand, or smoking an illegal drug. I was definitely a misfit.
Feeling bad I decided to leave, I sent Geoff a text saying I wasn't feeling good and I had to leave. I did feel bad for leaving early, but I'd rather watch his band in an environment I trusted, instead of being surrounded by people I hated. I glanced at the time while I searched the mountain of shoes collecting by the door, it was nearly midnight. On my way out the door I tripped and fell almost face first on the ground; I felt like a total idiot. A bunch of people who were smoking outside laughed at me, and it only made me feel worse. I just so happened to know the guys standing outside and I felt really uneasy. They began to approach me, reeking of weed.
"Well well well... if it isn't Mr. Wiebe." said one of them. It was Tom Wilkinson, one of the football players who frequently reminded me of how much he didn't like me.
My inability to ever stand up for myself always got in the way of situations like this. I never wanted to cause trouble or get into fights; I just wanted them to leave me alone for once. So, I just ignored them and kept walking.
"Hey, I was talking to you, actually." he said again.
I looked back frantically, and suddenly he was right behind me. He had to have been 5'7", towering over me who was 5'4".
"Uh," I said, losing all sense of communication.
They just laughed at me, it was clear they were drunk but I was in no mood to deal with whatever they had in store for me this time. Unfortunately, it was too late to think about it, or even have time to react. Before I knew it was on the ground again. He pushed me over like a useless piece of trash. I tried to stand up, but I noticed I was gasping for air. I guess I hit the ground pretty hard. They were uttering blasphemous words I was convinced they were making up. Perhaps it was some new form of lingo I didn't understand. When I did finally get up off the ground, Tom grabbed me by the arm, and one of his friends I wasn't familiar with grabbed my other arm. They were holding so tightly I could feel my circulation cutting low. Some other random kid came up to me and started throwing punches to my face. I began to taste blood, and a lot of it. After he was bored punching my face, he started hitting me in the gut. I began to wonder if I would walk out of this alive or not, I knew my oxygen was running short and I began to see stars. I screamed for them to stop but they didn't listen. One of them took one last drag of their cigarette and then put it out on my face. It burned like <basement>. Like when you accidently catch your hand on a hot pan when removing it from the oven. The smell of my own flesh burning made me feel sick to my stomach.
After all that, the only thing I remember was waking up on the cold moist ground. My expensive Neff hoodie was no longer on my back, and one of my Vans shoes was missing. I sat up with the most excruciating pain in my head and stomach. I found a broken beer bottle a few feet from me and assumed they bashed me over the head with it, judging by the broken glass and the bleeding gash on the side of my head. I spit out a scary amount of blood that was collecting in my throat and realized my lip ring had fallen off. It wasn't ripped off, it just fell off, and it too was bleeding. Oh how I ached; I licked my dry lips and nursed my bruised limbs. My left eye was swollen and bruised, and it felt like my nose was broken. I stood up completely oblivious to where I was. I looked around, and found my shoe in a tree, and my sweater lying in the creek. The creek. Lightning creek.
Now I knew where I was, the path where I skateboarded to school every day was but a few steps away where I woke up, and home was only a few blocks away. Distraught and in pain, I staggered up the enclave and walked down the path that lead almost right to my house. I checked the time again; it was now 1:00 am. What exactly happened, and how long was I knocked out for? It was then I noticed Geoff returned my message.
"Ohh, maan that's okyt. Wpel jhgt hv to cgdil soethm soon!" Read the message, which made me smile. Geoff was as fun to be around when he was drunk and high off of music as he was when he was sober.
I made it to my house, alive, and in one piece. The door was locked and the lights were off. I assumed everyone was sleeping, and it gave me a chance to sneak in and clean myself up. I took my keys out of my pocket and unlocked the door. <super> thing hadn't got oiled yet, and its rusty screeching broke the dead silence of the night. It didn't sound like I woke anyone up, so I slipped through the front door and closed it behind me. I kicked my shoes to the side and headed for the stairs. Suddenly, a light came on from the living room; it was my dad who was sleeping on the couch before I woke him up. His eyes almost popped out of his head, I'd never seen him so full of fear in my life.
"Zeke, oh my God. Oh my God, what the <basement> happened?" He said his voice deep and sincere.
I looked away in shame, and pretended nothing happened.
"Dad, it's nothing..." I replied, trying to continue up the stairs to my comfy bed.
He shook his head in utter amazement, and grabbed my bruised arms. I winced.
"No, don't you dare tell me it's nothing. It's not nothing," he shouted, with a change of tone.
Just then I saw lights come on from upstairs, and my mom and sister were standing at the top. When they saw me standing there, and the state I was in, the both of them came almost flying down the stairs. With my mom almost instantly in tears.
"My baby boy! Oh my good lord, what has happened!" she cried, flinging her arms around me.
She instantly led me to the kitchen and sat me down at the table. She got a cloth and soaked it in warm water to clean the blood from my battered face. It hurt, but I appreciated her attempts at helping. After all, she is my mom.
"I just got into a bit of a mix up, that's all." I said, calmly.
"You've come home beaten up before, Zeke. This is nothing new. But this time, whoever it was took it way too far." my father said, with great anger in his voice.
"I went to go and see Geoff's band play, and it turns out a lot of other people were, too... A lot of people who don't like me." I said.
My mom continued to cleanse my wounds, applying the good old alcohol and saline to all my open sores. When she noticed the gash on the side of my head I thought she was going to pass out. She'd ask me if I was dizzy, how long I was knocked out for. She must have asked my dad five times if they should take me to the hospital or not. He and I both responded no every time. As the night grew later, I began to get very tired. I began nodding in and out of consciousness from serious lack of sleep. My mom almost had to carry me up to my bed. She tried to convince me to let her stay in the room with me, but I wouldn't let her. I said I'd call her if I needed anything. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep.
I kept having this weird dream about Geoff. We were at a concert and I kept losing him. We would get separated, and it would take me what seemed like forever to find him again. I woke up dripping wet in sweat, with my pulse racing so fast I could feel it in my throat. It was 11:30 in the morning, and that night's sleep was probably the worst I'd ever gotten. My head was throbbing, and my face was soar. I walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Welts and bruises covered my arms and stomach, and my face was a disaster. I ran cold water from the tap and cupped it into my hands, splashing it on my face; it felt good. I remembered my lip ring fell out, but decided to wait until the swelling subsided to put it back in. Why this constantly happened was anyone's guess ...
When I left the bathroom, my mom was standing outside my room, with tears in her eyes. I looked at her.
"Mom. What's wrong?" I asked, confused.
She put her hand on my shoulder, and led me into my bedroom and sat me on the bed. She pulled up a chair in front of me and took my hands into hers.
"I just got a call from Geoff's mom... Sweetheart, he died."
I looked her straight in the eyes, and did not blink once. Was I still dreaming? What was going on? This must have been one of those pranks he liked to pull on me. A gag, a joke. It wasn't real. Someone was going to jump out from behind the wall with cameras and yell, "you've just been pranked". I noticed she was talking, but I couldn't hear what she was saying. It was like listening to someone talk in a foreign language, none of it made sense. I finally snapped out of it near the end of her speech.
"He decided to drive home intoxicated, and his car got t-boned two blocks from his house... They said he died instantly from substantial injuries." she said.
For the first time in a long time, I cried. I didn't notice it until I could taste the salt on my swollen lips. My eyes clouded up and completely fogged my vision. My mom put her arms around me, and held me tightly for a very long time. In fact, I lost track of time. We must have sat there for hours holding each other tightly. It felt like someone ripped my heart out, and smashed it on the ground. What exactly did I do to deserve this?
Rest in peace, amen.
After the ceremony, I walked to the blown up picture they had of him at the front of the room. He was smiling at me, but I was not smiling back. They could have an open casket funeral because his body was in too horrible of shape when they pulled it from the car. That little black Honda he'd drove for ever, the one we'd put ramps on and do tricks off in the parking lot, now it was nothing but a crushed tin can. I thought a lot about him, and all the memories. What he did for me, and how I didn't even get to say goodbye to him. To think, if I never left that party when I did, he might still be here right now. What a selfish decision of mine...
Memories of him flashed through my mind like rapid-fire, and I found myself over-stricken by grief. A tear rolled from my face, and onto the table where his picture sat. I thought about all the things he did for me, and the reality that he was the only friend I'd ever made. Someone who appreciated me for who I was, and had no interest in trying to change anything about me.
EDIT: it did have all the indents and spacing, but it doesn't look like it's keeping it in the final post. D'awww. >:[
Edited by Jordyn, 23 July 2010 - 11:54 PM.