“Sixteen held such better days
Days when I still felt alive.
We couldn’t wait to get outside”
“Get out! I hate you!” she screamed. I couldn’t handle this. I threw my algebra book across the room. It hit the floor with a clatter. For one blissful second, it was quiet. Then they were back at it. I knew that Dad would leave, and Mom would cry. I practically ran out of the house. I leaned on the tree that stood proud in our yard. My mind ran in circles, like it had been doing for the past two months. Then he showed up.
One of the first things I noticed, after I had figured out I was dead, was that I had no heartbeat. Before things began to go downhill, I loved my heartbeat. It told me how alive I was. One of my favorite things was to go run outside and listen to my heartbeat gain speed as I did, and then lose it the same way. Now there was nothing but silence inside me. I started to sob. I wanted my life back. I swore I’d give anything just to have my heartbeat back. When the tears dried and the sobs ceased, a new emotion swept through me. It was pure, unadulterated anger.
The girl, Amanda according to her picture, muttered something about thinking she heard the door open. I followed her into her room, which was my old room. Where there had once been an army cot and black walls with silver Sharpie all over them, there was now a queen bed and pink walls. How could this be the same place that I’d once taken refuge in? My room was where I’d felt safe. Now it was my worst nightmare. The anger only got worse.
I lashed out and hit a glass sitting on a white, girlie nightstand. That’s where my cinderblock and plywood desk had once been. It flew across the room. She shrieked as it collided with wall. She’d ruined my sanctuary. I wanted to hit her. I felt as if it were her fault I was dead.
She turned in a circle looking for the destroyer of the glass. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Mimi traipsed in. Her once bold purple hair was now a boring brown. This was not my best friend, with whom I had shared an awkward first kiss, one which we agreed to never speak of again. She wandered around the room.
“Adam’s room looks so different,” she muttered to herself.
“I know. I wished I could’ve met him. Can you tell me about him? I mean, if you’re comfortable and stuff.”
“It’s been three years since he died. I think I can talk about him without totally freaking out. He was great. Tall, with black hair that always fell into his eyes. His eyes seemed to never stop laughing. He just seemed to leak happiness. I would show up to school in a horrible mood and he would say something that would make it all better. But the months leading up to his death, he was miserable. He quit hanging out with me after school, and sometimes, when I went out, I’d find him wandering the streets. He wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. I knew I could have helped him.”
She was wrong – so, so wrong. If I tried to talk to her, there was nothing she could have done anyway. She couldn’t make my parents stop fighting. I’d been so close to both my parents. But when they started fighting, they both seemed to avoid me. I was like I didn’t exist.
“At first, when I heard he was dead, I hoped he was somewhere far, far away from the stuff his parents put him through.”
“That still didn’t give my brother the right to kill him,” Amanda murmured.
I stopped listening after that. In that moment, I hated her, even though I didn’t know her. It was her fault I was dead. I knew I would’ve survived the divorce. My life had so much hope and promise. It had been ripped out of my hands. Even if I was able to come back, I’d lost three years. No one I knew from before would be at school. I didn’t even know where my parents were now.
They stood up and began to leave. The pair headed to the door, but I slammed it shut. They froze. Mimi’s face froze, her eyes widened in shock.
“Adam?” She asked.
To Be Continued…