March 2, 2010
I still remember that day. The horror, the screaming, the blood, the police, everything. Now I am forced to remember that day every time I go to school. I can hear the whispers of, “It’s Laurel’s fault”, and “If she wasn’t here, Danni still would be.” Now when I hear Danni’s name, I hang my head and move on slowly.

It was my fault you know, that she died. We had wanted to play a small prank on the teachers by releasing a rat into the gym while they were in the middle of a meeting, but they freaked out and pressed the button for the bleachers to close. We scrambled up and tried to run out from under the bleachers but Danni’s shoelace came undone and made her fall. She pushed me back when I tried to help her up and screamed, “Go!” Without hesitating, I ran away until I was in the clear. Then I watched in horror as the bleachers crushed my best friend, her eyes wide, blue, and terrified. She screamed once, only once, and then everything was very silent.

I shook the memory out of my head as I approached the science lab and entered the sterile room. Beakers and test tubes flashed in the morning sun, people talked cheerfully, and Mr. Hawkins, our teacher, was reading over a paper in silence. I quietly slid into my seat and set my books on the glossy black counter without a word. Annaka Lawrence gave me a cold look and mouthed the word, “murderer” before turning back to her group of preppy friends and flashing the smile that earned her the love of every boy in school. I clenched my jaw and stared at the ceiling to keep from crying. Annaka had been on the cheerleading squad with Danni when they were juniors and been a close friend to her. At least that’s what Annaka thought. Danni had always disliked Annaka and her group of Hollister buddies.

“Dislike,” Danni would say to me all the time at lunch while Annaka picked on a freshman and we looked on. “I don’t hate her, I dislike her.” Then I would give her a look that said, yeah right, and we would both burst into laughter.

Everybody loved her, especially me. Captain of the cheerleading squad for 3 years, yearbook editor, the best saxophone player in the school, student body president, valedictorian, and she had the biggest heart in school. Always doing extra service hours for school and always smiling. That was my best friend.

Until last week.

Now everyone hated me. I felt a hot tear roll down my cheek but I wiped it away before anyone could see it and put my face in my hands to hide my shame. The prank was my idea. I killed Danni.

Then I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I looked up, eyes red and angry, and saw Mason Fredrickson hold a slip of paper out to me. I had never really paid attention to Mason before. He was one of those thoughtful, quiet, witty guys that you don’t notice until they’re right in front of you and giving you a note. His dark eyes remained expressionless when I took the paper, but he stood there and waited for me to open it once it was in my hand. I unfolded it slowly and the five words scrawled on it almost stopped my heart.

It was not your fault.

I looked up at him, tears brimming in my eyes and nodded. A simple gesture, but a lot of things passed between us at that moment. Without taking his eyes off me, Mason grabbed his books, sat them down on the lab counter, and pulled up a stool. I could feel more tears welling up in my eyes and soon I was letting them fall into my lap, warm and wet through my jeans.

“Everything will be okay.”

Then without warning, I shuddered and burst into tears in front of everyone. I could feel Annaka staring at me with a smirk, but I didn’t care. What Mason had said struck a chord in me because he had said it with sincerity.

“Thank you.” I gasped. Then I leaned forward and hugged him. “Thank you for your sincerity.”

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This article has 10 comments. Post your own now!

old friend said...
Jun. 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm
hey stranger!!!!! that was amazing, when you write a book, that makes it to......everywhere in the world!!!! im going to be one of the first people to buy it!!!! =P
Afton P. said...
May 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm
This is awesome! love ya so much...see around our little town!!
potentialgurl replied...
May 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm
Thanks Affy!!!
xodistantdreamerxo said...
Mar. 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm
Wow, that was like a slap in the face. Super emotional. Keep it up!
TheProphet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 8:53 am
Every cloud has a silver lining then? :)
Honestly depressing as heck because kids aren't supposed to die gruesome deaths, but I tip my hat to rule breakers.
potentialgurl replied...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 10:15 am
lol thank you. I don't usually write that kind of stuff but this time I made an exception to see if i could do it to begin with. Thanks for reading it! (ill post something happier)
A_Dreamer said...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm
I loved it, it was so sad though!
I love how you made it feel like you were inside the character, how you could feel what she was feeling.
Keep up the good work. :)
potentialgurl said...
Mar. 6, 2010 at 10:38 am
Please comment! I need to know what to improve on!
Nikiblue replied...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 12:12 pm
That was so sad, but so very well written. Very good job. (:
potentialgurl replied...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm
Omg Thank you soooo much!
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