The boy was perched in the back corner. He looked surly, like he was too cool to be here. His eyes were shrouded in darkness, the black creeping from around his eyes, to his eyebrows, and then onto his hair. To most people, the whole effect was so horrifyingly miserable, that they couldn't stand to be within 5 feet of him for too long. For me, however, the air of darkness that surrounded him was intriguing, almost mystical.
Needless to say, I felt compelled to go and take a seat next to him.
The class followed my every step as if I was a mysterious beast from another world. They gasped in unison as I sat down slowly next to the boy in black. He, on the other hand, gazed up at me, astonished. His eyes, cloaked in black, were the same colour of a clear night sky, the lights reflecting in then like stars. There was the promise of a smile on his lips, that didn't seem capable of breaking through onto the rest of his face, as if it was stopped by an invisible barrier. I turned to him once I'd gotten comfortable, but found he'd already lost interest. Now, he was scrawling in a piece of paper with a permanent marker.
I peered over his shoulder, and each word I read was like a stab in the heart.
Falling from a great height
What's beyond this experience?
Counting down the seconds
Before you're gone, dead over
I recognised the lyrics from a band I knew, but each word was etched into the paper with such conviction that I believed them. It was as I watched him write, that I saw it. Just below his watch, a think crusty line, too precise to be accidental. It was gone, as quickly as it had appeared, the watch sliding back into place, covering the wound. All I'd had was a fleeting glance, but it burned into my memory.
On your first day at a new high school you should pay attention to each class, to every teacher. Despite this, my common sense went out the window and my mind was filled with this boy and his cut for the whole day.
For the next six months, my mind never strayed far from this boy in black. Each morning I watched him write lyrics and messages of darkness, sometimes catching a glimpse of a cut. From time to time, there was a fresh one, looking as if the blood had just stopped flowing. Other times, the scab was crusty and appeared to have been there since the previous night.
Towards the end of the semester, the cuts became more frequently new. Although he seldom spoke in class, he seemed to be falling deeper into himself, never smiling as I sat down, and barely murmuring a sound when his name was called out on the roll. I wanted to help but I felt powerless.
On the last day of term, a note was on my desk as I arrived. As I read each word, I realized it was from the boy in black. His words scrawled across the paper were almost indecipherable, but the message was clear. He was calling out from help in the only way he knew: in song.
one more chance to say goodbye
I know it's hard to stay alive
You'll go to a good place now
This song is a farewell now my friend