A tale of Love

- By BlueMage

It was raining outside, and I was sitting behind my computer, desperately trying to make some sort of decent story. It was supposed to be delivered the next day, and high school didn't allow their darling students to get of the hook. Not even a pretty girl like me.

I cursed as the words started avoiding me, since this was usually the first sign of writer's block; a phenomenon that always seemed to appear when you were in a hurry.

The theme of the story was simple. It was love.

But how the heck was I supposed to write anything about that? Surely, I might've flirted with a boy or two, but I'd never taken it any further. What was love, anyway? Curse those teachers for forcing their students to write essays with such themes!

Since I had no idea what love was, I started using every metaphor, I'd read in those cheap romantic stories. 'Butterflies in the stomach' and 'a tingling sensation' was some of the most original things I could write. Believe it or not.

I yawned and stared at my watch. Quarter past eleven. Twentieth of April in the wonderful year of 2003. I still remember when we celebrated entering a new millennium. Everything was going to change! We were going to stop polluting the earth, and we would stop all wars. All was going to be saved, and within a few months, we knew that we were going to make the hippies proud. 'Make love, not war!'

A new idea popped into my head. I would use the 'make love, not war' as a theme in my story. A soldier would try to persuade the enemy to let him go home and see his pregnant wife. Somehow, this would end up with him getting killed, and being reborn as his own child!

Oh, yeah, that'd be original. What was it that movie was named again? I would be damned if it wasn't 2001-something-with-space.

Then, all of the sudden, the doorbell sounded. Surprised as I was, I gasped, and then instantly panicked. Who could it be? Randall Flagg? Gregg Stillson? Norman Daniels? And why the hell did I read those books, if they freaked me out that much?

I got out of my room, and walked to the door. Opening it, I saw a slight, little boy. His face seemed wet with tear, and he vaguely reminded me of a puppy that had been beaten up.

Yes, I knew the boy. It was Dennis Carlson. He was one of the persons in the class who never spoke. One of the persons who had a voice you could finish education without hearing. I really didn't know much about him. He came from a poor family, and he got scarred of almost everything. Not so long ago, the boys had found a bug, and hidden it in Dennis' lunchbox. I don't know what had happened after that. I'd never cared much for Dennis anyway. I don't think anybody cared for him.

"Dennis?" I asked, trying to make him confirm his identity.

He nodded. Slowly and unsure. Then he scratched his throat, as if his jersey was scratchy.

Really, although he'd answered my question, I didn't feel quite satisfied. "Dennis, what are you doing here?" I asked, hoping for him to actually talk this time.

He opened his mouth, but immediately closed it again. Then he scratched his throat, and opened his mouth once more. "I…" his voice was stuttering, and hideously hi-pitched. He almost sounded like a girl. "I just wan… wanted… to tell you…" he took a deep breath, as if he was going to continue, but he didn't say anything else. He just scratched his throat again.

I gave him a questioning look to make him continue, but he obviously didn't get it. Maybe because he was starring at the ground and not at me.

"Dennis, what was it that you wanted to tell me?" I asked in a concerned voice. Heck, I almost sounded like a mother.

"I just wanted to… to say that… that… I…" he mumbled something more.

"That you what?"

He took a deep breath, and continued scratching his throat. "I love you…" he mumbled. "I… I just wanted to… to tell… you know, it's… it's…" he took another deep breath, and this time he continued. "I… I dream about you, and… and… I… Tears! I cry… sometimes… I just… just… miss you… And I know that…" he almost gasped as he took another breath. "I wanted to… to tell… to tell you…"

I don't know how long it took before I understood what he'd said. Dennis Carlson – an utterly unattractive excuse for a male had just told me that he loved me. To make matters worse, I had no excuse for turning him down. I had never had a boyfriend, and nor could I tell him that I was in love with another guy. I didn't really think that I was able to fall in love with anybody, anyway.

"Dennis, I'm sorry, but I don't love you." What else was there to say?

He didn't seem disappointed. Instead, he seemed insultingly relieved. "Then I don't regret," he said without the slightest hint of stuttering, and turned around. I noticed that he weren't scratching his throat anymore.

I got back inside the house, and I started writing my essay. The writer's block was gone, and I finished it rather quickly. It was far from perfect, but at least it was rather respectable.

Why hadn't I gotten started with this thing sooner, anyway? Normally, I would start writing as soon as I'd heard about it, and I would use the time perfecting it, hoping for a better grade. So, why not do the same thing now?

Maybe it was the theme that had confused me. I don't really know.

However, I'm still unsure what happened that night. It happened no more than a week ago, and I'm already feeling guilty for what happened. When I arrived at school we were all told that Dennis had killed himself. Strangely, nobody seemed to care. Maybe because nobody really knew him?

I didn't get all the detail, but his mother had found him hanging in a rope. I can't imagine what it was like for her, so I'm not going to try.

So, now I'm sitting in this so-called house of god. Apparently, Dennis had a collection of poems about me, and these made his mother think that we were the best of friends. If not lovers.

Therefore, I'm supposed to give a speech. Now.

However, even though everybody is starring at me, and even though everybody looks at me, waiting for me to get up, I can't move. The preacher told us some of the things that had happened to Dennis, and one of them just doesn't make sense.

For a short period of time, I'm unable to breath, and people start calling for help. Then I get a hold of myself, and I go trough the information in my head. It still doesn't make sense! Or maybe it makes perfect sense… Agh, like I give a shit! The preacher said it twice, and his mother said it once, so it has to be true.

Several minutes have passed since I was called up to make a speech, and I'm still sitting here, gasping for air, barely noticing that every single person in the church is starring at me.

I knew most of the things about Dennis' death, however this one detail seems to have eluded me.

The date. Dennis died the nineteenth of April.