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Take It Away

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“I know that we all agree suicide is a bad thing.” The speaker enunciated too much. “I understand that someone here, with us, tried once.” The officer looked over, straight into the stands, straight at me. I hid, ducked deeper into my black jacket. “Xena-“ I dashed, leaped over about 5 rows. Scott looked at me, and intervened, catching me right before the gym doors. “Xena Feld, please come up here and tell your story.”

“NO! It’s-It’s…” I struggled out of Scott's tough grip. My hood falls down, showing my dark black hair with blood red streaks. “It’s not worth it. It was a secret. It was supposed to stay that way. I’m not going up on that stage to tell everyone a stupid sob story they don’t care about. I had a choice. I made it, and nobody wanted me to. So now I’m stuck. And now I’m leaving.” I flipped my hood back up and untangled Scott’s arm from around me. Everyone was stunned, to say the least. I look up only to Galen, who stares back. I slipped out of the gym and slipped in my headphones. Dr. Steel blasts into my ears, and I don’t hear Scott sneak up behind me.

“Xena. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“What?” I respond even though I can hear him clear as day. He glares at me. I look up, his eyes as blue as the sky.

“Don’t play with me. I can’t, I don’t understand how you kept it a secret. Or why. Why, Xena? Why would you want to do that? Your life is great!”

“ Don’t act. You don’t know anything about my life. You will never understand. You have the perfect family.”

“Is that what this is about? Family? Yes, let’s go to that competition.” I thrust my fist into his stomach and push my headphones back in. He coughs up blood, but I don’t care. I never have. I gave up caring about people and things along time ago. The final bell echoes throughout the hallways. All the 9th graders file out of the gym. I hang back, watching as the crowds laugh and join friends. Scott mingles in disappearing into the crowd. When it finally clears out, I stroll out, fling my back over my shoulder, and start the dreadful walk home. Galen is right in front of me. Suddenly, gravity takes over. My bag flies over my head and my feet slip backwards. I land face-first in a puddle of mud. Galen’s shoes appear in-front of my head.

“Need a hand?” His hand grabs my bag off my back before I say anything. He drops it on the ground then helps me up. I push the mud off my face. “Here.” He puts my MP3 playing into my hands.

“Thanks.” That’s all I can mutter out. He was the only one there when I tried. He was the only one who didn’t yell at me to stop. He just stood there.

“So, Xena, I’ll see you around, I guess. And, umm, here’s my number.” A piece of paper drops onto my player. And then he’s gone, as quickly as he appeared.

I finally make it home. No one’s there. I go into the kitchen. I see the forks, the knife, just sitting there. It would be so easy. So simple. But I push the thought back. I finish my homework, and cook my supper before my dad finally arrives back home. The first thing he does is comfort me, naturally. I shrug him off, and go to my room. My mind wanders to Greg, and I can smell him. I breathe in, but he disappears. Oh, I could join him. He’d be in my heaven, with me. As would Mom, and Lulu too. All my fault. How did this happen? How did I kill off three people I loved, but not myself?

“Take it away.” I whisper. “Take the pain away.” I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone. The paper flutters to the floor. “Why not?” I type in the number and hit dial.

“Yo.”

“Hey, Galen. Its, uh, it’s Xena.”

“Oh, hey.” His voice perks up.

“So, uh, what’s up?” ‘Well, this is off to an awkward start.’ I think.

“Just hanging out, on my bed, thinking, mostly about, umm, mostly about Greg, like I normally do.”

“Oh, cool.” This is an interesting way to bond. “So, yeah, I guess then-“

“Xena. Did you really want to end?” He interrupts.

“Yes. Yes. I want to take it away. Take it all away.”

“Tonight. Schoolyard.” He responds, then hangs up. I flip the phone closed, confused, but I agree. I want to take it away. So an hour later I’m standing in the center of the football field, and he walks over to me.

“Come.” He grabs my hand and tugs me to his car. We drive, about five miles away to the a bridge. He helps me out of the car, and then kisses me, tight and rough. We release, and walk to the edge of the bridge.

“Ready?” he whispers, holding tight onto my hand.

“Yes. Just take it away.” We bend our knees, and leap, screaming out “OH LORD, JUST TAKE IT AWAY!”




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