I'm Sorta Kinda BACK.


i.

When I woke up this morning.

I thought it would just be another day.

eat,sleep eat some more.

Can't forget to place school in there somewhere.

ii.

Got up.

Took a shower.

Went to the bus stop.

Was running late again.

Forgot to kiss my mum

And hug my dad.

Laughed

Smiled

Punched my friend in the arm

Nothing new

Nothing odd

or

bad

about it.

Time reads seven-twenty-seven

iii.

I stepped off the bus

Took a left turn on the sidewalk.

Got to buy a snack

ROTC snack bar is the destination

Have my headphones in, walking to

Hayley Williams voice

Dance step now.

Trip

Fall

I hope no one saw.

Round another corner,

I'm in the back of the school.

Wave at my friends.

Laugh some more

Come inside

Noyoushaddup! He'stotallyintoyou!

Average conversation.

Going to my first class.

Brisking through the crowds

Girldidyouheartherumor?

Whatrumor?!

Listens intently.

IPod put away now.

We'resupposedtogetshot!

Reallyforreals?

Yesforreal!

Another laugh.

Yournotserisous!Don'tlielikethat!

Shrug.

I'mnotlying!Thekidhimselfsaidit!

The Kid.

Yeah!Thatreallyweirdone!

Weird one? He has a name you know.

Keeps mouth shut.

Too much of a chicken to speak up.

Oh!Thatreallyweirdone!Iknowwhoyou'retalkingabout!

More laughter.

Enters the class.

I sit in my seat,

Peek back at that

'weird' kid.

He sits alone,

All alone.

Give a head nod.

no

A slight wave

Receives a slight wave in response.

I look him over.

His face

clothes

Dark black clothes; not too different from my own.

Same chains

Same shoes

He doesn't look any different

Can't see his face. Obscured by his hoodie

But I can see

his eyes

Indifferent eyes, uncaring glance as he meets glasses.

Another weak wave, then a point to the board.

Balancing Equations.

Again.

The time reads eight-oh-nine

iv.

Four periods later

I stop at my locker.

Yanking it open,music falls out.

Slipknot tickets,Paramore CDs,Vocaloid lyrics

Books stacked like hay bales

Freud under Tolstoy

Tolstoy slanted by Christie.

Christie leaning under piles of manga.

Food everywhere

Pocky wrappers.

Gum boxes

Ramune bottles

Cheetos bag in the corner.

Gotta find my bag.

Lunch money is in it.

Found it.

between History and chemistry books.

Pull it out

note falls out.

Read it.

Blush.

Boyfriend again.

Gotta meet him for lunch.

Time says twelve-fifty-three

Walks into the lunch room.

Everyone's there.

Biggest lunch of the day.

Teens on tables,in chairs on laps

on floors.

Sit on the floor,next to my friends and my boy-who-is-a-friend-but-we-make out-a lot-

Nibbles on pizza.

Still looking for that kid.

Been looking all day.

Haven't seen him.

Nudges from friends snap me out of my search.

Inserted back into the conversation.

You have now joined into this chat.

More laughing.

Handholding.

Giggling.

Cursing.

Punching of arms.

Cafeteria filled with the normal noise of kids.

Nothing new.

Nothing odd

or bad

about it.

v.

Until-

the noise.

Sounds of rapid fire fill the cafeteria.

Bang over there.

Someone's fallen over.

Blast over there.

Someone's screaming on the ground.

Can't think.

Friends trying to yank me up and run.

black nails wrapping around my beaded wrist

pulls me up and drags me.

New Sounds of the cafeteria.

Screaming, Shouting

Crying

Feet plastering on the floor

not the sound of feet drifting to class

but feet banging on the floor

trying to escape.

This is something new.

This is something odd

and bad

about it.

Time ticks slowly.

One-ten

vi.

Run and Run

Feels like eternity.

It's only been a minute.

Going further away.

But the sounds getting closer.

Approaching the exit. Friend turns to me.

Where'sJa-Ja!

Pet name for my best friend

Looking around

Ja-Ja!Ja-Ja!

Nani-Nani!

Me.

Nani for Adriana

Nani!Nani!

That's Ja.

Ja for Jaleyn.

Nani-Nani!

Turn. Here she comes,running.

Crying.

Scared out of her wits.

Runs to us.

Falls to the floor.

Blood streaming from her leg.

Her cries grow faint as the sounds come closer to us.

Final tears,run back.

Kiss her on cheek

Run out doors.

vii.

In the hall.

Kids everywhere.

Running left

right

banging at doors,

trying to hide.

Doors barred.

Bags littered on the floor

blood and tears pooled here and

there

Push through

Boyfriends hands wrapped on mine.

Warmth

My hand wrapped around my friend's

Not Ja-Ja

But Briana's

Pulled her along

Running through screaming kids

and

the spray of bullets.

Looks to the left.

No teachers.

Looks to the right

Sees one.

She's helping a girl get to safety.

Bullet's richoet off the walls nearest to us.

He's left the caf.

Moving our way.

Running faster

trips over something.

Briana's hand escapes my grasp.

Looks back.

Lost in the mass of screaming students.

No time to look back

Pulled harder.

Gotta go faster.

viii.

Small school

Everything is everwhere.

Front entrance blocked.

Office flooded with people.

Small town.

No cops yet.

Delayed.

Bullets slowing

and

cease all together

Stuck in the hall.

Clutching boyfriend's hand tight.

It's over

It's got to be over.

Intercom comes on.

I' .

It's him.

that kid

Voice cuts off abruptly.

Sound of ticking takes it's place.

Screaming starts again.

Time reads One-oh-seven

IX.

More running.

I'm crying for Briana.

And Ja-Ja

And for the girl with the shot arm

and for the dead boy we just passed.

he was in my math class.

He lent me a pencil and always helped me when I needed it.

He didn't deserve a death like this.

Ja-Ja!Briana!Ja-Ja!

Don't even realize I'm crying.

Boyfriend ignores me.

Pulls me faster into the school

Interior

Past the library

Backtrack

Into the library.

Still crying

Ja-Ja! Briana!

Sat down on the floor.

Looked at.

I' .I'llbeback!Promise.'KayAdriana?

Weak nod.

Don't even have the strength to say no.

Kiss on cheek

Iloveyou.

Stop

Stare.

Watches him leave.

Hears more shots.

Cries.

Luke.

Curls up in a ball

Waiting for shots

and the soon coming Death.

Waits.

Waits

waits

Yet nothing.

Nothing but that tick tick tick.

Reminds me of my alarm clock.

Nothing new

Nothing odd

or bad

about it.

Think of the alarm clock

X.

Tick continues.

Each second

My heart beats faster.

No Luke.

No Ja-Ja

No Briana.

No shots

just the tic

the tic tic tick.

All alone in the library.

Door opens.

I dart up.

Luke?!

No.

Not Luke.

It's that kid.

The 'weird' kid.

He's got guns all over him.

Large one

Small one

Wrapped in ammo

Sad faced and lonely

I see him

standing in the doorway.

Whimpered

My life is done.

So many guns.

But which one

will he use to kill me?

Head shake no.

He's not going to kill me.

But why.

I open my mouth to ask him

Why

but I close it

His eyes say it all.

They are

Tired

and

Empty

and

Lonely

and filled with misplaced anger and sorrow

He didn't want to do this.

But if not this,then what would he have done

I hear the tic tic tic again.

An explosion follows

Came from the front.

The kid sighs

Placing a pistol to his temple

And pulls the trigger

I can only watch.

His body falls and I rush to him

finally getting a good true look at him

His name is Kevin

he goes to my computer club meetings

he played guitar in Luke's band

and

he was teased for being smart

and for being a dark person

and for not believing in God in

this hypocritical Christian town

But

he was a person

And now he's dead

and gone

and he only went this way

because of the way

people treated him

Death

This is something new

This is something bad

but not odd-not odd but terrible

XI.

Sound of cops and ambulances appear.

I know

it's over now

Time says One-one-five

They found me

holding his body

Tried to take it away

Wouldn't let them.

They told me to let him go

that he was the cause

that he was a killer

and that it was over

It was over

To them

The guns had stopped firing

The bomb had blown up

People were dead

wounded

scarred and

scared

The physical violence was stopped

It was over

But the real shooting had begun

Emotionally

Mentally

Holding the dead Kevin in my arms

Wandering outside

Finding people

In ambulances

In cars

dead

Or

alive

For them it had just begun

All the pain and

Recovery that was to follow

To revive their scared souls

and to trust again

and perhaps to learn from

the dead Kevin

The time was One-two-three

And it had just begun