Graffiti

Just ten more steps. Five more steps now. Four, three, two, and one. I reached for the door of the toilet stall, went in, and shut it behind me. No, I was not here because I was in a hurry to use the toilet. My face still felt hot and I wondered if I was blushing when I confessed my love to my crush a while ago.

"I hate ugly boys like you," was her response. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed of myself that I ran away and fled to hide in the toilet stall. No one would go to this restroom because it was far away from the school's main building and it was old and uncleaned for years. The toilet stall had become my hiding hole since last month when I found it. It was my safety zone and I felt relaxed when I was in it.

I looked at my watch. Still fifteen minutes before classes start. I took out a blue marker from my backpack and began scribbling out my self-anger onto the stall's door:

"I HATE THIS WORLD & WANT TO DIE"

Next day, I hid myself in the same toilet stall again during lunch break. Apparently, someone had responded to my writing with a black marker:

"Me too. Let's go die together. - K"

I didn't know someone had been to the restroom too. Was there someone else like me out there who would hide in toilet stalls because it was the only space that freedom was felt? Who was this "K"? I took out my blue marker and wrote on the door:

"OK"

Should I give a fake name too? Sure. I wrote the name of my favorite singer next to it:

"OK - Calu"

I went to the toilet stall the next day to check if there were any replies and saw some blue writings below mine:

"The world is so filthy, fake, and full of lies. I don't want to live in it anymore. - K"

I wrote below it:

"Fuck the world. - Calu"

My curiosity for who this K really was grew larger as time passed by. We wrote back and forth to each other that the door was filled with blue and black writings. We even continued our writings onto the side wall of the stall.

Was K a student? I never met any student who was similar to me. Was it just because I never noticed? I re-read K's and my writings. We even talked about daily things like soccer matches, which beer tasted best, and music. As I read down to the writings, I noticed a new message which I never saw before:

"Meet with me X Bridge 7PM – K"

I didn't know when this was written. Did it mean 7PM today or was it written days ago? Either ways, I decided to go to X Bridge tonight and see if he would appear.

As I arrived at X Bridge, I noticed a notice board placed at the sidewalk. It said that a person had died there two days ago. There weren't any details for it. I waited until 12 AM that night and nobody came so I went home.

After I went home, I searched for yesterday's newspapers from the recycle papers' bin. I finally found it and flipped through it, skimming through the titles. I stopped my eyes on this one:

Man jumped off X Bridge for suicide

A man, aged 40, who worked as a janitor at Parker High School had chosen to end his life by jumping off X Bridge into the ocean. His body remained unfound and was therefore claimed as dead by his family.

I felt guilty. Guilty for not persuading K not to commit suicide for real. I was just venting out my anger when I wrote that I wanted to die so I didn't really mean it. Tears began building up in my eyes and I felt chills on my scalp.

I took out my blue marker and wrote on the toilet stall's wall:

"R.I.P. K – Calu"

I went out of the toilet stall and that was my last time going into it.

It was a new school year. A group of seventh graders were playing hide-and-seek. One of the kids was searching for a perfect place to hide himself. He ran away from the school's main building and entered the male's restroom on its opposite street. He locked himself inside a toilet stall, being glad he found such a hard to find place to hide. Then he noticed many lines of marker writings on the door and walls. On the line at the bottom of the wall wrote:

"R.I.P. K – Calu"

And one more line below it wrote:

"I'm waiting for you to die. - K"