Aaron's Answer

"I'm sorry I can't do anything about it! It's not something that can be changed whenever I want," Aaron screamed into the phone.
He paused to listen to a reply then answered, "Well if you're so adamant about me being vile now, then hang up!"
A click and a dial tone were the only response.
Aaron slumped against the wall, silent tears streaming down his face. He thought coming out would be better. He knew that there would be problems but he thought he would have some friends left. It hadn't worked out like that though. All his friends had turned against him, his mother thought it was her fault, and his father wouldn't have anything to do with him anymore.
He looked up at the wall in front of him. It had words written on it in small letters across the top. He had memorized those words the last few days.
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."
Those words were in his mind al the time. They were his continual prayer. He said it when times were bad, as they were now, and when times were worse as he knew they soon would be again.
The clock on the microwave said 10 p.m. Aaron needed to go to bed now if there was any hope of him being awake during school the next day. He rose, walked to his room, and, without even turning off the light, collapsed on he bed.

When he awoke the next day he was dressed and gone before his parents even knew he was awake. He walked slowly to the bus stop, after all it was jut one block away and he didn't have to be there for another 30 minutes.
Aaron didn't care though. He just wanted to be alone. He felt better that way. When he was in a group with people that knew who he was these days he always felt people were intentionally avoiding him, as if he had a horrible disease. He had preferred to be around large groups of people until Monday when everyone had turned against him.
Aaron arrived at the platform just ten minutes after he left his house. It seamed as though an eternity had passed before the bus arrived. Aaron slowly got onto the bus and took a seat near the middle. He rode in silence to school. Alone again. He arrived at school only tem minutes later, just to be screamed at and cursed.

"Aaron! Aaron! Pay attention. Now Aaron, now that I have your full attention would you please hand in your assignment?" First period. English. Mrs. Black. Hell on Earth for anyone, though today would be worse for him. He had not even started his assignment. Mrs. Black was notorious for giving the worst punishments allowed, and he had no reason to believe that today would be any different.
The teachers of his small school still didn't know, or at least they hadn't shown it. Aaron figured that it was only a matter of days before someone said something to close to a teacher and they found out.
"Mr. Jackson, listen to me this instant!" Aaron was awakened from his trance yet again. He looked up at Mrs. Black as she towered over him. He tried to tell her loudly and clearly that he didn't have his assignment, but all that came out was an unintelligible murmur. That, in Mrs. Black's eyes was an unforgivable mistake, and as soon as he looked into her eyes she knew what he meant, and he could hope for nothing more now than the relative safety of the schools disciplinary office.
They had been forced to separate it from the mail office because of a student who had been reprimanded in front of some older students who had then made fun of him the rest of his high school career. Which consisted of four days. The length of time it took for him to decide that suicide was the best way out of it. His mother had sued the school and won easily, so now, no student could be formally reprimanded or punished in front of classmates.

Mrs. Black's eyes may have told him all he needed to know but Mrs. Black had decided to be particularly unpleasant today. "Mr. Jackson what did you say to me?"
"I-I said I have not done it," he stuttered.
Well then I guess you should go visit Mr. Clark", that glint in her eye, it scared him more than any words could have. "Now! Mr. Jackson. He knew what this meant; it did not bode well for the rest of the day.
As he left the room, he could hear, though Mrs. Black could not, curses and insults following him all the way. He walked slowly down the hall dreading what was to come.

"Ah, Mr. Jackson, what can I do for you today?" asked Mr. Clark. "I certainly hope such a fine student, as you are, is not here for punishment."
Aaron said nothing. He only dropped his eyes to the floor and wished he could be anywhere but where he was at that moment.
"Oh," was all Mr. Clark could manage when he realized what was happening and what he had said. "We-Well I'm sure its nothing serious.is it?" He sounded uncertain.
"I-I didn't have my assignment for Mrs. Black's class," Aaron answered nervously. He had never been in this position before.
Mr. Clark looked relieved. "Well since it's the first time, and you have not been having a good week, I think we can overlook it this time, but only this time."
Aaron couldn't believe his good fortune, though he tried not to let it show on his face. Then he realized it. Mr. Clark, and probably all his other teachers by now, knew everything. That he was gay, that his friends had abandoned him, and what everyone was saying, and judging by Mrs. Black's actions, they were not going to do anything about it.

Aaron slowly walked into Mrs. Black's class just minutes before the bell. She looked at him pointedly then asked, "And what did Mr. Clark say?"
Aaron panicked. He knew that if he said Mr. Clark did nothing he would still be in trouble. "What do I say?" he thought, "What do I say?" Before he could even comprehend what he was doing he said, "He took care of it."
Mrs. Black didn't know what to say. She didn't know how it was "taken care of" but if she asked it could get her in trouble. So she let it drop. Just in time for the bell to ring. Everyone practically ran from the room to get away from her. They even forgot to avoid Aaron and pushed him out with them. Aaron had no choice in the matter, but then that was a good thing, because he didn't want to spend any more time with Mrs. Black than he had to.

Lunch was nearly intolerable. He spent it alone at a small table in the cafeteria, contemplating how his life was going, or rather, wasn't going. In the end he knew just what to do. Just what was needed for everyone to stop talking behind his back.

He went home and went to bed early. He didn't speak to his parents; they hardly knew he was there except when he got in the way, or what they considered in the way.
The next day he slept late. He awoke just in time to grab his things and run to the bus stop.
When he got to school he noticed all the people congregating in the parking lot. He ran over to them fumbling with his bag.
When Aaron reached them he took out what he had been looking for. It was his father's handgun. It only had seven bullets in it, but that was enough. He took aim and fired at his six targets. His old friends. They were the ones to blame for all of this. If they had not left him he wouldn't be doing this, wouldn't have to do this. When he had only one bullet left, he put the gun to his head. Preparing to end the pain, the suffering, his twisted life.
Before he pulled the trigger he said his final prayer.

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

When the funerals were over and the parents of Aaron's friends were going through their children's belongings they found a letter to Aaron. It was from his best friend. All it said before the signature was "Me too."