It was sunny that day. A little chilly, however, with the sun hiding behind a moderate amount of clouds. For the Floridians, unused to the sudden temperature drop, jackets were the typical clothes trend of the nearing winter season, it being mid-November and all.
Today, though, was different. Today, he was going to end it all, make a difference, change the one-track life he was living, the same sort of life he'd been living for almost two years now. He was sick and tired and through with the way things were and he planned on change. That change came today.
He brought a gun to school—recipe for disaster.
Gripped tightly at his side, securely placed on safety inside his deep jacket pocket, he walked into school with as much confidence as he could muster. He was ready today. He wasn't going to back down. Not after all the crap he's gone through the last year and a half.
You must be wondering why he'd bother going through all of this trouble, why he bothered bringing such a dangerously, deadly weapon to school. You're probably going towards the obvious choice: bullies; but that's not it at all.
It's for love.
To explain, go back to freshman year. (To add, he was, at the time, a junior in High School). Freshman year was when he met her: Chloe Blaze. He thought it was love at first sight. He met her through their friend and never could get enough of her since. They always, he remembered, walked from second period Spanish portable together until they split ways to their next classes. It was a daily routine that he grew to enjoy very much.
He was intrigued. Chloe was simple, yet intricate, smart, yet clumsy, gorgeous, yet average. She was perfect, in his chocolate brown eyes. And what was he, he would ask himself? Large, ugly at best, with small, round glasses, and large, chubby hands. What would he ever be to her? But, oh, he would try.
He asked her out that year.
She rejected him and that cracked his heart more than anything metaphorical chisel ever could. Chloe had a boy already; taken, smitten with her own—with a boy she claimed she was in love with and would do anything for, a boy she was obsessed with. But, you see, he couldn't accept that. Honestly, he had never met this boy and knew hardly anything about him, but she was special and whoever this boy was, was simply not deserving of her.
Day after day, he tried and tried to convince her that this boy wasn't good enough for her and that he was her true soul mate, that he would do anything for her, cherish her like she deserved to be cherished, love like she deserved to be loved.
But she refused and slowly, but surely, she began to hate him. He caught the signs, for sure, but he kept pushing. He was desperate. When he realized that nothing would get her away from him, he began openly insulting him. "He's nothing! He'll hurt you! He hates you!" What he failed to realize was that if there was one thing you never did was insult the ones she loved. She gave him three chances and, easily, he broke them all.
Chloe hated him.
The thing with Chloe that he quickly learned was that when she hated someone, she changed. She not only strongly disliked him—she outright hated him. No more sweet conversations between second period to third period, no more adorable smile thrown in his direction, no more shining blue eyes gleaming at his. Nothing. Just an empty, cold, mist that blew right through him and chilled his every bone. And it scared him. It scared him because he knew he had messed up.
Sophomore year, they stopped associating altogether.
They had a class together, but no matter how he tried, she outwardly ignored his presence. He would occasionally message her or try to corner her in the hallway, but Chloe paid him no mind. In fact, if anything, his attempts only made her hate him more. She began to hate him to a point that she figured out it would only pain him more if she showed no emotions towards him whatsoever. She looked past him when glancing in his direction, continued talking to whoever she was conversating with whenever he offered words at her, and brushed by him as if his physical form was nothing.
In her eyes, he didn't exist.
Chloe had figured out what was worse than hating him: feeling nothing towards him at all. Hating him meant exerting energy to actually think about him, which seemed to give him hope to keep trying, so she changed tactics altogether. So she began to think nothing of him. He was nonexistent and he never popped back into her thoughts.
It killed him inside.
That's where he was at with the gun, Junior year of High school, the beginning of the second semester, a whole year and a half of feeling like nothing because of her. He was done. He was ready to end it.
The lunches were split into A lunch and B lunch. He had A lunch and no classes with her, Chloe being an AP and honors student, while she had B lunch, sitting next to the band kids where she fit right in, being a band student herself. He skipped to B lunch that day. Her back was turned to him as she sat next to the full table of band students, chatting away with a smile on her face—the same smile that she refused to direct towards him for so long. Well, not any more.
He needed more space. He adrenaline was running through every vein in his body, causing his mind to pull blanks. Nobody had any idea of what was about to go down, just him. Without anymore hesitation, he strolled up behind her and grabbed her by the hood of her jacket.
"What the hell?" she half-laughed, expecting it to be someone more appealing to her. Upon seeing him, her smile quickly vanished into a scowl. She shut her mouth before turning around. Without waiting for anymore time of being ignored, he roughly grabbed her by the arm and literately half-dragged her out into the open center of the school. Most of the kids that usually sat around there were sitting in the library today for the insulation. The kids she was sitting with all turned their attention towards the two now in the open courtyard. He shoved her forward and she stumbled onto her butt, glaring fiercely up at him.
Oh, did that send him chills. She intimidated him.
The other students around them watched with mild interest as a couple of her supporting friends started to rise to question the situation. They knew by the look on both of their faces that something wasn't right.
"Hey, dude, what the—" The friend that had began to speak as he neared her choked on his words.
He took out the gun and pointed it right at Chloe's head. She blinked up at him with those beautiful blue eyes of her that he found himself getting lost in again. He quickly shook himself back to reality and tightened his grip. She merely stared at him, studying him. A look of fear, he undoubtly caught, flashed over her face—and that inspired him to go on. The fact that he finally had the power over her was just what he had ultimately been wishing for.
Chloe's friends vaguely wondered, as they glanced nervously around, where the deans that hovered over them every day were. Where were the cops that joked closely by at? It seemed as if it was just him and her here, defenseless, the world oblivious to their situation. Nobody knew what to do.
After what seemed like an eternity, she finally, calmly, spoke. "What the hell are you doing?" she chuckled, forcing herself to do so. "Seriously, is that a squirt gun? Are you that stupid you couldn't even grab a real gun?"
"It's real," he assured her with an even voice.
She narrowed her eyes and scrutinized him in a way he was uncertain whether or not he liked. But his heart lit up. She was looking at him, talking to him. For the moment, to her, he existed.
Chloe sighed and stood up. Her hands were shaking, but she shoved them into her pockets to play with the strings inside. She took her sweet time before speaking again.
"Anyway, so what if it is?" she asked, raising a cocky eyebrow at him. It was eerie how calm she was. The crowd watched, nonexistent to them, silenced and perplexed by the rare situation. "Not like you plan on doing anything with it anyway. You're an idiot, you know that?" she spat out harshly. "What did you possibly think you were going to do with that?"
He stared at her, finger twitching over the trigger. The gun was aimed at her. It couldn't miss at this angle. It was centered at the perfect shot. But he made a mistake—he allowed her to speak.
When she got no answer, a sick smirk suddenly grew on Chloe's face. "Oh—oh, I get it." She was nervous. "You love me, right? It's what you've been saying for years. So, let me guess, you finally snapped and decided you've had enough, right?" The look on his face was enough of an answer for her. She laughed, loudly, harshly, forced from her fear that she refused to let show.
She took a gutsy step towards him, but he did nothing but watch her. "You love me," she spoke loudly, as if speaking to the audience, as if trying to convince herself this situation was really happening, "and you figure that since you can't have me, no one can. How stupidly cliché." She rolled her eyes, taking a couple more steps towards him until her head was centimeters from the barrel of the gun.
There, she stopped, staring at him with her hands at her sides, smirk plastered on her face. "Do it, Adomas," she dared. "Shoot me. Kill me off. You want me all to yourself, right? You won't be able to get me to love you, but, who cares? I'll be dead and then you won't have to worry about it anymore, right? That's the right way to do it, right?" With each question, her voice threatened to crack even more.
"I…," he hesitated, snapping back the safety of the gun.
She smiled sweetly at him and, for a moment, he got lost in the memories of Freshman year. "You love me, don't you? Then do it. Shoot me, Adomas." She shut her eyes and waited.
But nothing came. She opened her eyes and looked up at him. He was shaking, badly. Nothing made sense to him any more. He growled and stumbled backwards as if something had suddenly possessed him.
"Drop the gun and back away from the girl!" There were the cops, a little late, her friends thought grimly. The two ignored them, for the most part. They were staring at each other. Evenly, nonchalantly, thoughtless.
"You didn't do it," Chloe said softly.
He was crying now. He shook his head and smiled at her, taking a step forward. The cops aimed their guns, preparing for the worst. "No, I love you, Chloe, with all my heart."
She kept up her smile, before dropping it at his statement and looking past him. His heart panged. There was nothing left. She spoke past him just as she had done so many times before. "You never did learn, did you? You're still an idiot. You're a wimp. You never actually had the guts to shoot me. See, I've always been the smarter one. You've threatened me before, and I was more than ready to handle it, but you've always wimped out. I would never act out first because, don't you get it?—I'm smart. I realized I never had to actually do anything." With that, she spun on her heel, his gun still pointed towards her head. "You're not going to shoot me." With that, she pushed through the crowd, off towards the office where she knew the staff would be waiting for her to question and comfort.
He smiled after her and lifted the gun to his own head. The cops were rushing towards him now. "I love you, Chloe." With that, the sound of the gun resonating through his skull only mirrored the sound of his breaking heart as she walked away with a smile on his face.
She had won.