i The crowd is cheering and I'm cheering along with them. Screaming, really. I know my voice will be hoarse tomorrow, but I don't care.

"Fallon O'Connor," the announcer begins, and I immediately stand, hollering louder than ever. He must have won!

What's a little sore throat? Nothing. Not when my best friend has done something so incredible. Not when it's his big moment.

"Has fallen. Let's all share a moment of silence." the announcer finishes.

The crowd is stunned into silence, but not for long. The screaming starts and I shove myself through the crowd that's suddenly swarming the lower bleachers. And I'm screaming, too. So much for a moment of silence.

He hasn't won. Fallon isn't standing victorious; he's not searching the crowd for my face, grinning that winning smile of his.

There's a gurney being wheeled in the distance. I can imagine what's on it, hidden by the cloth draped over what must be my best friend's cold, unmoving body. Pale.


I lose control. I can't help it. I'm wailing like a banshee, but no one shushes me. No one even looks my way. They're all distraught, too.

They won't let me through. I push myself to the front of the crowd, but there's a wall of guards blocking my way out. They don't want the crowd swarming.

But I'm his best friend. Don't they understand? I have to see him.

I slide to the side, where there are no steps to go down, but where there are also no guards. I hurl myself over the edge. It hurts, so bad, when I land. The drop is farther than I'd realized.

But I don't realize that until later. I sprint to Fallon. They're just loading him into the waiting ambulance. How didn't I notice this before?

I have just enough of my wit left to know that if I throw myself on him, they'll send me away.

And I need to be by him. I can't take my eyes off of his face, which the shroud isn't covering. It's expressionless. Peaceful, one might say. Well, at least one of us is, I think sarcastically. That only makes me sob harder.

No one comments when I join the small crowd circling around him. They all know I'm his best friend.

Was his best friend.

I feel someone put their arms around me and hear their sobs in my ear.

I turn my head then, quickly as I can, glance at the person. It's Amos, Fallon's father.

I sink to the ground. His touch, it's bringing me back. Making it more real.

We clutch each other and sob. I don't know how long we're there on the cold, hard ground, and it doesn't matter. It could have been a minute, it could have been forever.

No matter how long I weep, I can't get that spent feeling, though. The one where you finally feel empty, like you've run out of tears.

I just ache. In my heart, more than anything.

Can you die from grief? /i