Death After school

July 30, 2008
By Nathaniel Hoke, Greenville, MI

Death after school

As I look upon this place I observe many things that have changed since that incident here in school. Slowly students are returning, these are the ones who have decided to shoulder their fear and brave seeing the aftermath. There are some who are honestly too scared to come, the day still fresh in their minds, and of course there are those who simply use fear as an excuse so as to not be forced to come.

A week has already passed, I know this for I awoke the day after I passed out during the incident. I find it strange however that I can remember it but not what happened to me. Perhaps that is why I find myself wandering through these hallways unseen, unheard. I can’t seem to remember much actually, I don’t know any of the kids here, no teachers, but I feel as though what I am searching for must be here. I believe its here anyway, I have already been to where others have gathered with tears in their eyes and felt a strange sense of repulsion. So I continue to wander here endlessly searching.

As I fail in my search to find what I am looking for I observe other things. The janitors and other men do their best to wipe away all traces of the incident, but you can still find little drips of dried blood here and there, a bullet or two along the walls, and there’s still cardboard covering up several windows that they are working diligently to get to.

The braver or wealthier of the students have begun to show their better character as they volunteer to help. Some along with their families donate money or pay for materials while others do what they can where and as they are needed. Some try to forget what brought the place to this by saying its only a school project. But you can still see tears in their eyes from time to time.

In class, everyone participates, even those who stay in the back that wish not to be noticed usually. They want to pay attention they have to, it’s the only thing they can do to keep their minds from wandering. They’re terrified that they’ll wander to darker parts if they don’t. Despite all this participating the rooms are still unable to shake away the sense of foreboding that hangs over them.

The speeches have been made, the graves dug and memories shared. Those were painful to me as I kept wondering if any of the people they talked about was me.

“Hope” was the word they pushed. Hope of learning from past mistakes, hope of having the suffering soon forgotten and for happiness to return. Those who speak say this, and yet their tears speak otherwise. They don’t believe it themselves and yet they want to more than anything. I hope to soon make sense of my predicament.

That was only a week ago. Somehow a week passed in such a short span of time.

I find that there are those who didn’t learn, those that probably never will. I watch them go to the graves and perform despicable and disgusting acts that others will lamentably find traces of the next day. These people don’t care, they simply think “I won, I survived and they didn’t. Despite their so called futures I’m the one still standing.” They then return to the school and continue with their heinous acts forcing the memory to linger ever longer, like reopening a freshly scarred wound. When all is said and done they take substances of their choice and awake the next morning, without a single change in thought.

I remember the day I awoke, I tried to ask someone what a happened but they didn’t even seem to notice me, I tried to get attention by slamming my fist on door but my hand passed right through the wood and to the other side.

The image of a girls face floats into mind, and I suddenly feel excited. Yes something to do with her, she’s got to be connected to it. She’s here, somewhere close by, she has to be. She must be what I have been searching for, for so long.

Suddenly, just as I am filled with hope, I feel as though I’ve just been shot ten times as my memory begins slipping back. The pain is unbearable and I’m on the ground holding myself but no one notices. They just continue walking right through me. I now remember gun shots and screaming, this must be the pain I‘ve felt before.

Suddenly I spot her, she’s alive, completely unhurt and I remember it now, all of it, yes everything. It was those boys, they couldn’t take it anymore so they made plans, and preparations. They were in jail now, but they still managed to carry out their so called “act of redemption” There was panic everywhere, kids were screaming and running. I was also running, trying to find the quickest way out. I came to intersection of hallways when I saw them, they were targeting her. The police were near by, they saw what they were about to do but I knew they wouldn’t make it in time. Suddenly without thinking I ran and leapt, jumping into the path and immediately felt a spray of bullets hit me as I screamed. That’s when I passed out, just as everyone else began to scream.
But I didn’t pass out.

I see her now, she is walking towards me, maybe she can see me, maybe she can hear me. Please notice me! I reach out hoping she will embrace me. Please, please see me. I brace for it as she gets closer and closer… But she passes right through me! She didn’t see me, or even sense me, she just kept walking onward.

Despair fills me. I know the truth now, why I’m here, and what really happened to me. The kids in the hall continue walking past and through me, they don’t notice me, cant even sense I’m there. They don’t even sense the light that descends upon me.

I feel myself being raised. I’m ascending and the light that washes over me feels so soothingly comfortable, making me feel as though I were falling asleep on the most comfortable bed. Only one thought passes through me before I vanish into nothingness.

“Was my life worth it?”

The author's comments:
Ever since an assembly at school four years ago i wanted to write a story about a school shooting. Four years later i finally got around to writing something i thought was good enough to get published. It made the majority of my teachers proud.

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This article has 1 comment.

Justin H. said...
on Aug. 29 2008 at 2:18 pm
great job. i'm glad you finally got it published. I knew it would soon enough.

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