|How Well Did You Know Todd Jennings?
Author: americanlebanese PM
A school newspaper interviews a group of high school kids to ask them about their relationship with a boy who killed himself. Slowly, they start to realize they all might have given him a reason to kill himself. Told from these kids' POV.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Tragedy/Mystery - Chapters: 6 - Words: 9,521 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 11-29-12 - Published: 10-21-12 - id: 3067470
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
How well did you know Todd Jennings?
Honestly, I didn't really know him all that much. We had, like, Linear Algebra class together and he always sat behind me. He was a very quiet person.
He always showed up early to class, always had his homework done and everything. I'm sorry he had to die that way.
I just wished he'd talked about it to someone before. Maybe I should've asked him "what's up" or something, just anything to be nice to the guy. He seemed like a really genuinely nice guy.
I heard a lot about Todd in the cafeteria this morning. To be honest, I didn't really know Todd. He just did my English homework once and I kissed him for it. Platonic. On the cheek.
Okay, fine, on the lips. But no tongue.
I feel sorry for the dude. What an awful way to go.
Todd and I went to middle school together. We were really cllse in the eighth grade but, you know, then you go to high school and you just gotta get yourself a whole other set of friends. And Todd wasn't exactly the sociable kinda guy, y'know? He became really awkward and weird in high school, I just had to stop hangin' out with the dude.
Of course I'm devastated that he died that way. But I guess I'm more mad than sad. If he was having such a horrible time, he should've come to me of all people. I'm the only one who knew the kind of guy he was back then, and I'm basically his oldest closest thing to a friend. I don't know why he didn't feel like he could talk to me. About anything.
Todd is in my bus, lives just a few blocks away from me.
The only times Todd and I ever talked is when I'm about to walk out of the bus and go home. He always sits close to the door, and I smile really big at him and say: "Goodbye, Todd." And he always smiles back and says: "See you tomorrow Jess."
I can't believe this happened.
I'm going with them tonight, all of them. To light a candle. He deserved to live.
Not just Todd. All of them.
Everyone who's ever felt like they don't belong or that they're misunderstood or weird or emo or different or anything. They're still people, you know?
And what all those people are saying...about Todd and kids like Todd who end their lives like that?
To me, those are the kinds of people that gave people like Todd a reason to kill themselves.
May he rest in peace.
I still can't believe it.
And I probably never will. Until I go back to school in 3 days and have to walk down the halls without him next to me.
I still don't understand.
Todd is one of the few reasons I wake up every morning. He texts me all the time, and he's been there for me in ways no one ever has.
Last year, I called him in the middle of a night to tell him that Riley Morris broke up with me and that I was depressed and so scared and I might even kill myself.
You know what he did? He stayed up all night talking on the phone with me, and he said he was gonna wait for me to fall asleep withthe receiver in my hands just to make sure I wasn't gonna harm myself. I woke up the next day with the phone still in my hands.
I still can't believe this is happening.
I don't know what it's gonna be like for me to go back there on Monday, and face all these idiots at my school all alone.
I just know it's gonna suck. Big time.
The good ones always die first.
I just hate that it had to be Todd this time.
Todd and I are complete opposites who live next doors and go to the same school. Yet, I never said a word to him in the halls, or in Spanish class. Or in the cafeteria.
When he sees me coming, he turns away-same as me, because we're scared to show to our school that we actually talk and that we're actually best friends once we go home.
I'm captain of the football team, and God forbid anyone from my school sees me talking to someone like Todd.
Someone like Todd.
Gosh, what a joke. If anyone found out Todd Jennings was my best friend, they'd probably think I'm kidding.
Even my girlfriend Jess didn't believe me when I tried to tell her once. Maybe I said it in a joking-kind of way. Because I was too ashamed to admit it.
Fuck, this is sooo messed up, man.
I asked him once why he was so okay with the fact that I don't ever even say "hi" to him at school. He said, "I don't care how close we look, as long as you and I know how close we really are."
I hate this.
I'm glad this is being published in the school paper.
I want the world to know that Josh McKenzie loathes everyone one of you. Yes, all of you. You and your need to bully, laugh at, categorize and mock people.
You're the reason the world had only one Todd Jennings.
And you're the reason we lost him.
I knew Todd a lot. And I loved Todd a lot.
But we got in a fight a few weeks ago, and we hadn't really spoken since.
So when he sent me that text 2 nights ago, I thought he was just bluffing. Just a lonely desperate teenage boy's vie for attention.
Now I know he wasn't bluffing at all.
And that I could've stopped him.
Todd, I'm sorry.
The storylines do get a little more interesting later on. I just need to know what your thoughts are on this chapter.
These characters are a lot more connected than they may appear..
Tell me what you think :)