Did You Hear About Avery

“Did you hear about Avery?”

“Who?”

“Avery Philips, the kid who sat in the back in art class.”

“Did he have brown hair and glasses?”

“Yeah, and he wore that purple coat in winter.”

“Now I remember, that was the worst coat I had ever seen. Probably picked it up in a dumpster.”

“Don’t talk like that!”

“Why?”

“He’s dead.”

“Dead?”

“Dead, man! He died yesterday!”

“That’s not funny.”

“I’m serious, man! He. Is. Dead.”

“How?”

“They said he killed himself.”

“Who’s they?”

“Everybody!”

“Everybody who?”

“The teachers, the principal, everyone in band, seriously everybody.”

“Wait, if I didn’t hear about it how did you?”

“Jennifer told me.”

“Jennifer Rayer?”

“Yeah!”

“How’d she know?”

“She lived next to him.”

“No way.”

“I’m serious!”

“What’d she say?”

“She said she woke up and there were all these cops outside his house. So she went out, because everyone else was, and saw his mom crying. And apparently they were friends or somethin’ because she told Jennifer that Avery went and killed himself.”

“How?”

“You’re gross man.”

“You probably asked too.”

“A gun.”

“How’d he get a gun?”

“Everyone has guns around here.”

“So, like, a hunting rifle?”

“I guess.”

“Just like that?”

“Yeah.”

“Overnight he decided to kill himself?”

“I guess.”

“No one knows why?”

“Someone said it’s because his parent’s got divorced.”

“Man, my parent’s got divorced and I haven’t killed myself.”

“Well Avery did. Guy takes a rifle and BAM. He’s dead…forever.”

“Did he leave a note?”

“A what?”

“A note! They always leave a note.”

“I think…Jennifer said somethin’ about it.”

“And you weren’t listening?! A kid kills himself and you weren’t listening?”

“I didn’t think it was important.”

“You’re retarded.”

“Well he’s dead, right? It’s not like listening to some girl talking about a note is going to bring him back or anything.”

“You’re sick.”

“Well it’s true.”

“Do you remember anything about the note?”

“I think…I think it said somethin’ about how lonely he was or whatever.”

“Lonely?”

“I know, right? How can you be lonely when you’re in this town? There’s like, two billion people here.”

“Shut up.”

“What?”

“He’s dead, man. He’s dead and you’re being a jerk.”

“What? Is he gonna haunt me?”

“I said shut up!”

“All’s I’m saying is how can a guy be lonely when you’re here? People in Alaska get lonely.”

“Man, you’re telling me you’ve never been lonely before?”

“Are you serious?”

“Just answer.”

“Once I guess.”

“When?”

“When Katey dumped me.”

“So you were lonely when you were in school, right?”

“Sure, I dunno it was a year ago.”

“But you were lonely.”

“Yeah…but you were there, right? Like, the next day you set me up with Liz and I haven’t been low since. So
what’s the big deal?”

“About what?”

“About him killing himself? I mean, even if you get lonely, you have friends to talk to, right?”

“Did Avery have friends?”

“Course he had friends, everyone has friends.”

“Did you see him with anyone?”

“I think…you used to hang out with him.”

“Yeah, back in fourth grade.”

“Oh… where’d he sit in lunch?”

“I never saw him in lunch.”

“We probably had different hours.”

“Maybe... but he was always alone in art.”

“Because he was a loser.”

“Shut up, man!”

“What?”

“I…I just remembered something.”

“What?”

“A week ago…the guy, Avery, asked us if we wanted to shoot some hoops. Remember?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Why didn’t we?”

“I told him he was no good.”

“You did?”

“We both did, man.”

“Oh…oh yeah.”

“What’re you thinking?”

“Nothing, man. I just want to stop thinking.”





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