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“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do” Voltaire, a French Philosopher said that a tome time around the French Revolution. It never realty meant much to me, but I had a test in philosophy that day.
The day started like any other. The waking up late, the rushed shower, the skipped breakfast, the cold morning air as I walked to school. All this happened a million times before, but that day was different, that day I was going to ace my test. The school I went to was nothing special, a small school in a small town not even on the map; at least, not before that day I had a test on Voltaire. “Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do” I was supposed to remember that, surely it would be on my test.
I got to school just barely before the bell rang, when it did, I followed the sea of people walking to class. I remember the pity I felt for the few salmon trying to swim upstream, taking a different path to reach the same destination. Those brave souls.
My first class was English, not my worst subject but I could never help being distracted, for my crush sat only a couple desks away. She was 5’3” with dark hair and brown eyes and I loved her, well as much as anyone could love someone they haven’t talked to. It was depressing, I had always heard my friends tell stories about all of the things they had done with various girls and yet I lacked the courage to simply say hello! Instead, my method was to try and smile whenever she looked my way and day dream about one day confessing my love to her and finding out she always felt the same way and living happily ever after. At least until the bell rang. But that day was different, that day I would actually talk to her. I got my chance while everyone packed their things near the end of class I took a second to gather what bravery I could muster and I walked over.
“Hey” I remember saying.
“Oh, hi!” She said in her perfect voice.
“How are you today?”
“Um pretty good, I’m tired though.”
“Yeah, Mondays are always rough.”
With that, the conversation abruptly ended, the bell rang and she was gone. Perhaps it was a sign that she was gone so fast, never the less, I was ecstatic as I left the class room.
I remember my good mood didn’t last long., and not because my philosophy test was in my next class. All I had to do was remember “Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do” and I would be okay. No, the thing that ruined my mood was a sad and familiar sight. In the hallway I saw the weird kid walking by, with his odd twitch and his sad, desperate eyes. From what I had gathered, he didn’t have any friends. Perhaps it was because he was kind of awkward, or maybe it was that he never seemed to change his clothes. I watched as someone pushed him against the wall while they walked, calling him some name as they walked off. It was sad to watch, but what could I have done, what could anyone have done? Nothing as far as I could tell, So I kept walking to my Philosophy class. Remember reciting in my head “Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do”.
I remember seeing the blood spill in front of me before I heard the screams. I don’t remember any pain though. I managed to twist my body as I fell to look at my attacker. I remember seeing the weird kid with a gun in his hand; he appeared to be firing at random. I guess he had had enough.
“So that’s the last I can remember before I woke up here.” I said. I was in what appeared to be a subway station, but I could see no entrance and no exit, only the tracks and a few signs, along with rows and rows of benches with people waiting. The sign hanging from the ceiling above me read “Tragedy” thought the light on it kept flickering which made it kind of hard to read. I looked to the cute yet sad girl sitting next to me, her wrist still bleeding.
“I’m sorry you never got to date that girl, or even take your test…” she said to me. I have a shrug as I heard the train coming in the distance. It would arrive soon.
“Don’t you get it?” asked the soldier with one leg that was still dripping with blood. “He took his test, and he failed.”