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A Negligible Tribute

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I never met him. And one day, poof! Gone? I find that unfair. Life’s unfair.
I deciphered long ago that school is no safe haven. More like a dark alleyway where there are pairs of glowing eyes that peer down at you from no height man could ever reach but still visible, gleaming. At least that’s how I felt. However when you get into all that grime in the corners, you’re just the same as the rest of them—no different. I heard he was special. That’s why no one knew him till that day.

I never saw him. What I caught from those twisted sadists, hypocrites, and power-hungry banshees who passed me every day was little. He wore long sleeves and baggy jeans, a hat and a grimace. The third finger was a given. No one talked about his eyes though, because I bet they were pools of darkness, something you never wanted to awaken but keep it at a musty bubbling brewing inside of him.

I never heard him. We studied several famous Americans over the course of our tedious gloom-days, including Washington and Lincoln, but I’ve always wanted to hear their voices. Was Washington’s voice deep and guttural like thick molasses, or high and valiant like an eagle? With all of Abraham’s good ol’ speeches, I’d like to imagine what the tall man sounded like. And his gait? Gestures? Habits? I’d like to know what his were, too. Whenever I attempt to visualize any quirks about him, all I get is screechy feedback, or the slimy backwash after a storm in a black sea.

I never knew. What pain the poor child was going through while I immersed myself into the blindness of it all. What fools we were. The authorities and administration who call themselves welcoming counselors. The students who can spit and smirk but never smile. Absolute idiots. If I had known him, I would’ve grabbed his scrawny arm as he winced with pain, shoving up his sleeve only to find scars and bruises. I would’ve cried for him since he thinks it’s “not cool,” brainwashed by those guile-filled creatures who spitefully told him what to do and what to not. Then they laugh. Because they know he’ll never be like them. Because they know when he goes home, he won’t have anyone to lean on; no arms to accept embrace while they do. I would’ve been the one to take the demon bottle from his father’s generous, violent hand and to silence the wailing mother. I would’ve brought him a coat whenever he was forced to sit out on the curb, people staring their eyeballs out. Peering at him scornfully. Is that why they’re called peers? They influenced him into a recourse he never should’ve taken. Down he went the slippery slope until he took a gun to his head and ended it there, wasted and indifferent, thinking he would go to the safe haven now. I would’ve made a sanctuary where he could escape all the torture and pectators. I would’ve no matter what. But…but…I never knew him.




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