Stairwells

May 9, 2012
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Here I am, sitting in the same place I always sit.

It’s quiet here, and empty. Everyone is in class. They stopped caring what I do at this point. The mark me present then stop caring what I do. They realize how hard this is for me. They’ve tried to get me to talk to counselors, but, honestly, that just makes it worse. So I come here. The view is the same it’s always been, but duller without you here. I’m alone to think or cry. No one is around to bother me or ask me how I’m feeling, which is an amazing change from what I experience when I walk down those stairs and through that door.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen your face, but when I sit here, you’re all around me.

I see you sit down next to me. I hear you laugh as we talk. I smell the warm, familiar smell of your hoodie. I feel your hand curl around mine. I taste your lips as you kiss me.

But when I open my eyes, it’s just me sitting in a stairwell alone. I know you will never walk through that door again. You’ll never sit with me on the stairs and make me laugh. You’ll never hold me or kiss me. You’ll never write “I love you” on the window in the fog. You’ll never surprise me with snacks. You’ll never help me make crazy plans for after high school. You’ll never whisper your amazing dreams.

As I think about it, tears start to roll down my face. I push my headphones harder against my ears and turn up the music. If I’m lucky, I’ll drown in it. This would be how I die—in a shower of loud piano and guitar solos. Believe it or not, it the music actually helps. I’m numb at I sit here with my face pressed against the cold glass. I open my eyes and the bright blue sky is blinding. There’s not a cloud in sight and the baseball field is your favorite shade of green. It’s a beautiful day, warm and sunny. This is be the type of day where we would go to the park and sit on the cliffs overlooking the river or spend the evening laying on the football field staring up at the stars.

The lunch bell rings. I glance down at the parking lot. Students come out of the school in groups, laughing and talking. Four boys get into a green truck and drive away. Four girls and three boys wander down to the baseball field to eat lunch in the grass. Three girls sit down on the steps by the main doors. A couple settle on a bench under a tree. They’re all so happy. I notice a figure step out from between the cars. He walks to a gray sedan, his tie flapping in the breeze. My heart skips a beat. He looks just like you from this distance. As he opens his car door, he glances up to where I’m staring at him from my second story. Even though he can’t see me, he knows I’m here. I’m always here. After a long last look, your brother gets into his car and drives away.

I know exactly where he’s going.

He’s going to your funeral.





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