Authors Note: This is actually being written for a contest a fellow writer is hoping, so I hope this first chapter came out alright. I know school shootings are a sensitive subject so if the idea bothers you I warn you not to go on. Hardcore drama is something I'm just not attempting, so any constructive criticism would be awesome : - )
Sometimes I wonder why things happen the way they do. What have I done to deserve what has happened in my life? To be raised the way I was? Perhaps I did something wrong in a past life an am now paying the price? Either way, I suppose the why doesn't matter in the end, because either way, I'm still stuck in the same life I'm in now. Don't get me wrong, sometimes good things happen, sometimes life seems to go in the right direction. But those moments are rare and far between, leaving everything in the middle to be complete crap.
Sighing, wondering for the hundredth time why I've chosen to become so complacent in the middle of lecture, I shake my head and look up at the clock. Tick tock. Still another 20 minutes left of class, 20 minutes of listening to the professor drone on and on about absolutely nothing. It's hard to believe that this is still the first class of the day. One almost down, 2 more to go. At least I have something to look forward to tonight. This would be one of the good things in life I was talking about, and his name is Andrew.
I met him last year in my bio lab. He sat on the other side of the room, quiet but friendly. Kind of like me, except the friendly part. It's not that I'm overly rude, I just don't go out of my way to be nice to people. If someone pisses me off, they most likely will know. Anyway, there he was, friendly, studious, and incredibly good looking. He has the blondest hair one could without dye, and incredibly green eyes that I usually find myself enraptured with. In the end it was he who came up to me, asking to partner with me the next semester, as I was the only one who wasn't all over him. It was then that I found out his father was some hot shot lawyer and he was apparently worth a lot of money.
After that we ended up hanging out almost every other day. We had lunch together and stuff during the week, and I started visiting him at home on some weekends. I suppose it made sense that he didn't need to live in campus, but he told me that he secretly was dying to get out of the house, so usually he stayed in my room. Somehow he ended up figuring out I was gay, and by some act of god instead of running away he said he was too. Our first date was dinner and a movie, typical I know, but it was still perfect.
Which brings us to tonight, and my one year anniversary. We decided to celebrate by doing the same thing we did on our first day, dinner and a movie. It's a good idea I think, symbolism and all that…oh great. Now English class is seeping into my thoughts. Symbolism, pfft. I hope there's something good playing at the theatre, we didn't really take a good look earlier. There has to be something though, there's always at least one good movie out…I think.
When I look up again I'm grateful that there is only a few minutes left of class. Students around me are packing their things, wanting to get out of here was fast as they possibly can. I can't blame them, so I pick up my bag and start packing as well. No one wants to be the last one out the door. Usually I do my best to be the first, though that has more to do with the fact that my next class is in another building, and I need all the time I can get to walk there.
When the clock strikes 1:50 and I finally make it out the door I smile as my phone rings. Right on time. I dig into my pocket and pull out the small blue phone my parents gave me and smile as Andrew's nickname appears on the caller ID. "How do you do that?" I ask, slightly embarrassed by the giddiness that is evident in my voice. I wasn't always so sentimental, but with him I just can't help it. It's like a plague.
"You know I can't divulge my secrets," Andy replies, laughing slightly. "Besides, it wouldn't be nearly as fun if you knew. How was class?"
"Boring as usual," I replied, shifting my bag on my shoulder as I leave the building, walking at a fast pace. "I kind of blanked out half way through…I didn't mean to though. He just goes on and on about absolutely nothing."
Andy laughs. "My poor baby…I told you, he's easy on the work, but actually attending class is what kills you. At least it's the end of the week though, and in a couple of hours it'll just be you and me."
Heat rises to my cheeks and I'm glad he can't see me. He always liked to poke fun at how easily I flush. "Trust me, it's the only thing getting me through the day."
"I'm honored…hey, are you blushing? I bet you are." His voice is smug.
"I am not." Damnit, how does he always know?
Laughter rings through the phone. "It's nothing to be ashamed about. I think it's cute."
"Yeah well, you're only saying that because your not here. We both know if you were with me right now you'd be making fun of me and poking my cheeks."
Another laugh. "Guilty as charged. Anyway, you must be pretty close to your classroom now right? Perhaps…just coming up to the stairs outside?"
I shake my head as I head up the stairs. "You're creepy, you know that don't you?" Up ahead I can see the students piling into the lecture hall. I almost want to turn and run, make my way back the room and kiss Andy senseless.
"I know. It's all part of my charm, and you love it."
I smile, because it's true. "Lucky you. But yeah, I'm outside the room now, so I'd better go. I'll see you tonight."
"Yep. See you then."
When I shut the phone a small frown plays on my lips as I walk into the large room and take a seat in the corner. It only lasts for a moment though and I force my thoughts to a happier place, mainly tonight. I guess I am a bit obsessive, but I can't help it. It's something I've been looking forward to all week. And most people can see I'm not really a big people person, but Andy makes all of that okay. He doesn't mind anything about me and for the first time I can really be myself around someone without being nervous.
As the teacher starts his lecture, I lift my head and try to pay attention. He's talking about the lifespan of stars, white dwarfs and red giants. I vaguely remember learning this in high school but I can't be bothered to think back that far. High school wasn't that great and I hate looking back on it. Too many people who thought they were cool and could get away with anything.
When the professor stops talking, I notice the papers in his hand and inwardly groan. A pop quiz, how wonderful. I suppose I should be glad I paid attention for at least most of the lecture. When a sheet of paper lands on my desk I glance down and roll my eyes. I had been expecting a challenge, but all of this stuff was just basic astronomy. Maybe he knows we don't really care? I glance up at him, noting his blank stare at his desk. No, probably not.
Finally the clock strikes 3:20pm. I have 10 minutes to get to my last class of the day. Just as I stand up to go, however, there's a loud banging sound and the next thing I know someone is pulling me down and I'm on the floor. I recognize the girl who's ducking next to me. Cheryl I think her name is? I can't really remember right now. I turn to her, making sure that my eyes are conveying the same confusion that I feel right now, begging her to let me know what is going on. She motions towards the door and the fear expressed on her face makes me wonder if I really want to look.
For a moment I think I can see something reflecting in her eyes, but what I see makes me wish I hadn't gotten out of bed today. A flash of black, a hint of smoke in the air. All the signs are clear but I don't want to see it. I close my eyes, telling myself over and over again that everything is fine, and the school is just running one of it's stupid drills that the safety code requires. I only open again when I hear a scream, and suddenly the weight of the girl is on my chest.
My eyes widen as she starts to gasp, her breathing picking up drastically. My hand automatically moves to her back, but I pull it away when I'm met with a slick substance. It's red and dripping from my fingers and I'm frozen in place. Everything in the background seems to be muted and all I can see is this girl, slowly dying right in my arms. It takes a minute but I finally regain control and slowly lay her down, her head resting on my thigh as I pull off my over shirt. As I roll it up and press it to the wound I'm suddenly grateful that Andy loves all those detective and doctor shows.
She's crying now, and all I can do is run the fingers of my spare hand softly through her hair, telling her that things would be alright. When I finally look up to see what has happened I feel my own heart start to pound, almost like it's going to pound right out of my chest. Five men, two by the door and three dispersed around the room, all holding large guns in their hands, with even more strapped to their waist. The professor is holding his hands in the air, but I can't hear his words. I can't hear anything. And the only thing I can think about is how I wish I could call Andy and tell him I'll probably be late.