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Kate The Great
KateTheGreat18: Hey Marcus, you still awake?
MarcusTheManiac: Yeah. Since when did you talk to me at midnight?
KateTheGreat18: Since I needed the homework for Trig.
KateTheGreat18: Do you have it?
MarcusTheManiac: Actually, I wasn't there today, either. Sorry Katie.
KateTheGreat18 has signed out.
People around school know me as “Kate the Great”—the pretty prep girl who comes from a rich mommy and daddy. The one everybody likes, or at least pretends to like.
Marcus was a nice kid. Let me just say that right now. A little quirky, yes, but definitely nice. He didn't have a mean thing to say about anybody, ever. I always admired that about him, but I never let him know it. Him and I were, in some sense, too close to say anything cheesy like that.
He was the type of kid to overdress for school. His wardrobe consisted of polo shirts and khaki pants, and that was about it. Like, who wears just that? Marcus did. But you know what? He wore it well. He was a very slim boy, and honestly (in the right lighting), a little on the attractive side. Would I ever tell him that? Again, too cheesy.
Come to think of it, to his face, I was a complete jerk. I was just messing around, because we both laughed about it, but really, I said some pretty offensive things. I called him names that I can't repeat here...I just can't bring myself to repeat them. I always drew with marker on his arms and his face. I took his books and papers and threw them all over the place. But you know what? He never lost that little smile of his, ever. No matter what I did to him, he just laughed it off.
KateTheGreat18: What's up, loser?
MarcusTheManiac: Well, hello there!
KateTheGreat18: Do you have the Trig homework for today?
MarcusTheManiac: Do you write down anything in class? Good God...
KateTheGreat18: Just shut up and give me the homework already.
MarcusTheManiac: I'm working on it, settle down...
KateTheGreat18: Well, where is it?
MarcusTheManiac: Page 117, problems 2-27 odd.
KateTheGreat18: Thanks. See you tomorrow, bright and early! Be ready to be tortured!
MarcusTheManiac: Oh, I look forward to it.
KrazyKate18 has signed out.
I remember this one time I messed with him so much that even the teacher noticed.
“Katie, what are you doing with Marcus's book?” Ms. McCullen asked when she caught me pulling it off his desk from the corner of her eye.
“I, uh...” I was stumbling, and now in the spotlight for the entire class.
“No, it's cool, Ms. McCullen. She was just trying to compare answers,” Marcus grinned at her. She smiled.
“As long as you aren't cheating, Marcus...”
“Never,” he said, and she turned back to the board.
“Thanks,” I whispered to him.
“You so owe me,” he replied in a hushed chuckle.
He was absolutely right! I actually thought it was pretty cool he covered for me. You know what's really funny? This wasn't the only time he saved my happy butt from sure trouble.
Once, him and I were walking in the hallway after the class bell had gone off, meaning teachers were crawling around the building searching for students like us –“tardies.” I had forgotten my book in my locker, and I saw him passing by, so I grabbed him by the collar and convinced him to stand with me.
Of course, a teacher stopped us.
“Do you guys have a pass?” he asked menacingly. Marcus took him on like a true charmer, like he always did, flaunting his cute, toothy grin.
“Yes sir, we do.”
The man wasn't biting for any tricks.
“Can I see it then, Mr. Smiles?”
He froze. We didn't actually have a pass, and the three of us knew it. Normally, I would've just accepted defeat, but Marcus was too smart for that. He kept flashing his pearls, even during turmoil.
“You know, sir, I might've misplaced my pass. Let me search my bag.” He took off his backpack, flinging all 20 tons of it onto the floor. You could see the teacher wasn't amused with this act.
“Hurry up, kid. I don't have all day.”
“Trust me, it's in here somewhere. Just give me a sec.”
This little number lasted a total of seven minutes before the teacher just gave up. “I don't even care, kid...just go to class!”
“Wow, good save,” I told him later on.
“Thanks,” he grinned again. “I try.”
KateTheGreat18: Hoooowdddyyyy loser!
MarcusTheManiac: What's up, friend?
KateTheGreat18: Oh. I just needed the Trig homework again.
MarcusTheManiac: …page 125, all problems.
KateTheGreat18 has signed out.
He called me “friend.” Seriously? Was I considered his friend? After all the mean, cruel things I had done to him, he had the nerve to call me friend. How was I supposed to respond to that? Outside of class, I never considered him a friend of mine, so why was I a friend to him? I guess the idea of it freaked me out just a little bit.
He brought it up the next day in class. “Hey, Katie, I'm sorry I called you 'friend' last night. It was kind of weird...”
And then, I said the meanest thing of all. It was immature, and quite teenage-like, if you ask me, but I'll never forget it.
“Marcus, it freaks me out that I'm your 'friend.' I hardly know you! It's creepy! I just want to get the homework, sign out, and I sure don't want to be anybody's friend right now.”
His fiery eyes went cold, the green pools drowning into blackness. The smile he wore began to fade away slowly, right before my eyes—and I loved it. I loved that I had finally gotten Marcus to stop his stupid smiling.
That stupid smiling was what had made me fall in love with him.
Yeah, that's right, I said it: I loved him. It wasn't until that minute I knew for sure, but I had my suspicions. And it was all because of that stupid, stupid, stupid smile of his. I hated those beautiful green eyes, and those attractive polos. I hated the khaki pants he wore; they made him look very slim. I hated that I loved him, but I needed to face it. The only way to stop loving him was to get rid of him.
“Wow, Katie,” he sighed, and he turned away. He rose from his seat in class and went to another, one on the opposite side of the room.
This was what Marcus would remember me for.
The rumor started the next day, and had progressed so much that I was hearing so much of it that I stopped believing it altogether. It really wasn't until the announcements at the end of the day that the whole event was confirmed:
“Attention, students. it is my unfortunate duty to inform you all that in the last 24 hours, we have lost one of our own: Marcus Alltower.”
I could feel the goosebumps form on my skin. It couldn't be true. Not at all. Not Marcus. Not the boy I loved.
“Marcus was involved in a severe car accident late last night. He is survived by his mother, and his mother alone. We ask for a moment of silence to recognize Marcus, the wonderful student who we lost today.”
My mind raced in that moment. There were tears all over the school. Some of his best friends were in my homeroom. I talked to none of them; I wanted no condolences, and I wasn't offering any, either. I was really just in shock. In fact, I didn't even cry.
Well, I didn't cry until I got online that night; not until I typed him the message that he'd never get to read, but I prayed he'd see:
KateTheGreat18: Marcus, I know you won't read this. I really wish that you would, though. I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. Sorry for all the mean, terrible things I've done to you. They were jokes, and I hope you know that. I never wanted to offend you with anything that I said, even though I'm sure that I have, especially after the whole 'friend' incident. Which, by the way, Marcus, you are truly my friend. I can say that truthfully from the bottom of my heart. I love you, Marcus, and I'll never forget you. I'll never forget the polos, the khakis...any of it. But most of all, I'll never forget that beautiful smile of yours. I'm sorry it had to be this way. Please take care, Marcus.
Tears were strolling down my face as I clicked “Enter” on the chat. This was the last thing I'd ever get to say to him, and the worst part was, he'd never get to read it. Ever.
Then, something amazing happened:
MarcusTheManiac: No, sweetie, this is his mother, Carol.
KateTheGreat18: Oh. Right.
MarcusTheManiac: My son left his chat online in the window and it started flashing...I'm glad I caught you. Did you know he talked about you quite frequently?
My tears stopped for just a moment, and my heart sank. Was it bad?
KateTheGreat18: No....I didn't. What did he say?
MarcusTheManiac: Only nice things. He even called you beautiful once.
KateTheGreat18: He...he did?
MarcusTheManiac: Yes, yes he did. You meant a great deal to him, Katie.
KateTheGreat18: Well, he meant a great deal to me, too.
MarcusTheManiac: And I'm glad...he would've appreciated this message, Katie.
KateTheGreat18: You think so?
MarcusTheManiac: I know so.
And just like that, my heart melted. Everything I ever wanted to say to the kid had been contained for too long, and although it was too late, what his mother had said actually helped me a great deal. I still miss Marcus, I do. And I still love him. And every now and again, I expect to see him sitting next to me in Trig class. But you know what? I'm glad somebody has finally heard my story.
KateTheGreat18: Thank you. Thank you so much.
MarcusTheManiac: No, Katie. Thank you.
MarcusTheManiac has signed out.