Truth is Sadder than Fiction This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 22, 2010
“Did you hear? Jesse Greene committed suicide.”

A statement like that before class is enough to make anyone pause. I stop in the middle of my precalc problem and listen, staring at my paper.

“What? Really?” It’s two voices, and I recognize them both without looking- Jordan and Brody. I don’t like either of them- foulmouthed, rude, lazy, wannabe gangsters.

“Jesse Greene killed himself.”

For a second a face appears in my mind, but then I realize it’s the wrong one- I’m picturing Jesse Smithing. I don’t know Jesse Greene, never heard of him before.

I don’t know whether to believe this or not. I try to avoid gossip, and I definitely don’t trust this source. It does sound like a story started by some kids who thinks it’s a joke. But it’s awfully serious to joke about…

“Woah, dude.”

“Yeah. Over the weekend.” Today is… Monday.

“Dude, I feel bad.” Brody’s tone doesn’t support his words. Light, casual. “You remember what happened at that party last year? What we did to him?”

“Didn’t he like, leave crying?” Jordan sounds almost nostalgic.

“Yeah. I feel bad.”


A bright sentence now, like he’s asking how Jordan’s lunch was. “How’d he do it? Did he like, shoot himself? Or get a knife and stab?”

Short laugh. “I dunno. Didn’t hear.”

“Maybe he hung ‘imself. That’d be cool.”

A new voice. Lexi, maybe. “Jesse Greene did what?”


“Killed himself.”

“Jesse- Jesse Greene?”

“He’s dead.”

“Suicide. Suicide.”


“Do you know him?”

“Jesse Greene killed himself.”

The word sweeps though the room like wildfire. In ten seconds, everybody hears about it, whispers, sighs.

In ten more seconds, the conversation turns back to today’s anticipated homework. And so-and-so’s hair. And the party on Friday. Jesse Greene, dead or alive, is instantly forgotten.

I sit, staring at my homework, for a long time.

Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

NikkiJA This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm
beautiful imagery! i really liked how you managed to tell a story almost entirely through dialogue; the real emotion was sandwiched in between the lines
4qui133 said...
Jan. 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm
i think it would be redundant of me to say "great work" at this point. seriously, go get published. two lines i want to point out though--"Suicide. Suicide." this sounded almost sing-songy, even though you didn't add description. that might not be what you imagined/experienced, but i like how you leave so much up to the readers imagination. I happen to be a detail control freak. Then the last line: 'I sit, staring at my homework, for a long time.' this leaves the reader with in a sort of solemn... (more »)
AshTree said...
Dec. 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm
My friend had an experience like this. One of my friends said she went to the funeral of a boy she didn't know because he commited suicide and no one at school cared but her. It is very sad.
shywriter said...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 9:01 am
This is really sad, but it's true. I liked how you wrote it =)
this_is_myself said...
Sept. 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm
Loved it =)
GemValley250 said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 11:00 am
It's so sad hearing of anyone who commited suicide- or tried. It gives the family a real hard time, but a class who heard of the person or who kind of knows the person doesn't really feel all that emotional. I'd say most would have it forgotten pretty soon. You've got the right idea in that story!! Well done!
JRsingersongwriter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm
wow...deep dude. nice!
Macx14 said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm
This is a perfect simulation of how things spread. No matter what it is, it spreads and all different kinds of opinions are displayed. Nice work!!
Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
WOW!! This reminds me and others to be careful what they say when others are around because something that is private 1 minute may be pulic the next. Deep and well written.  
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