I strode down the hallway, my books clenched tightly to my chest as tears threatened to form in my eyes. Behind me, I could feel eyes burning into the back of my head, my classmates whispering malicious things about me knowing full well that I was within hearing range. With one last swallow I ducked into an empty classroom, slamming my things onto a desk.
I glared out the window, not noticing the small slip of white paper that fluttered to the ground. I hadn't done anything to deserve this, none of it, not the cruel names or jeers thrown in my direction. If they didn't want me around, then fine.
I won't be.
I glanced around to make sure I didn't have any watchers, and then yanked the window open. I peered over the edge.
How long was the fall? Long enough to finally end this misery? Those were the thoughts running through my fevered mind. Putting one foot on the sill, I stiffened when I felt something brush my ankle. Looking down, I saw that it was a glossy white square.
I picked it up and flipped it over. My breath caught in my throat. It was a picture, one of me and my late best friend, Sammy. Bright green eyes stared up at me from the paper, and the photographic rendering of the girl held my own image in a firm headlock. Rainbow-dyed hair spilled over her shoulders, over my own agitated face. Loved by all the students in our school, she was killed pushing me out of the way of a hit-and-run accident. Of course, because I was the survivor, everyone said that it was my fault and that if I hadn't been on the street we wouldn't have to mourn her premature burial. For a while, I believed it.
In my head, I could almost imagine what she would have said to me if she knew what I was planning, if she were still alive.
Amanda, she would begin, you can't be serious. Are you really- then she would look saddened. …you are, aren't you? She would sigh and facepalm. I cannot believe that you are actually considering doing this. Then, she would grab me by the shoulders and shake me roughly. Look, if you go wherever it is dead people go looking like you're still fifteen, and I see you there, I will beat your butt right back down to earth regardless of the laws of nature, and you will STAY there. Got that? Her eyes would grow soft. Live your life like I couldn't, find a nice guy, have kids, grow old and be happy. Don't let them walk all over you, after all, you gotta do my share of living with a smile, and you can't do that if you kill yourself, right? She would walk away after that, laughing at her own corniness and leaving me to ponder her words.
I smiled slightly at the picture. Sighing, I placed it gently down on my books and took a deep breath. She would have been right, of course. She always was.
Mentally steeling myself, I promised her that I would do my best to live a good life in her stead, even if that meant facing each and every one of those people populating our school's hallways. After all, I have to do her share of living with a smile, and I can't do that if I'm dead, right?