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11 what went wrong?

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I decided not to go and see Chris that afternoon. I decided that it would be better for me to just be alone, I wasn’t used to attention, any of it. I was either ignored or got bad attention but I never got used to it. I just stayed in my bedroom, I just sat. That was all, just sitting. As sunset began to fall on the valley I looked outside, was this what it was like for Gabriel? Did he kill himself? I knew if I read the letter I would probably find out. I looked down at the envelope once more, just staring at his handwriting.

Outside my house is a tree, it  had just started to grow leaves, a small bird perched on a branch, right outside my window, it looked at me for a second and then flew away. I watched it disappear into the sunset and wished that that was what I could do. I wondered if that’s what it felt like, death. Just like flying off into the sunset, into the unknown, standing at someone’s bedside while they die is an odd thing, I have heard them talk to me while they grow weaker, it is supposed to be like going to sleep when you are in a hospital, but what if you don’t get that? What if you don’t get the chance to die with dignity? Is it still graceful?

I went for a walk, I exited my house and walked in the oncoming twilight. I walked to the park and into the wood. I saw a crime scene, I supposed this is where he died, there were flowers along the barriers. I sat next to them, staring at the tree that was across from me, we used to sit there sometimes. I supposed that there used to be a bigger area, but if they have figured everything or almost everything out then maybe they don’t need to search such a big site.

I wrapped my zip hoodie around me, it was getting colder. I watched the shadows of the tree’s fall across the tree and decided to go someplace else. Aunt would not really notice, or mind. I decided to walk to a field, we had been given permission to use whenever we wanted, the man who owned it was old now and we used to read to him as voluntary work one summer and it made him very happy, it was more the schools decision to make us do that though. He knew what it was like to be picked on so he understood that we weren’t actually being punished for anything, he said he would say we had done our duty but we felt sorry for him, all he had was a border collie for company and a nice woman from across the street. We read him the paper and his letters because he found it tiring and he told us stories of his youth, despite what it may seem, he was an interesting man. He would treat us and was very pleasant. He used to be teased because he was a scholar in school even though he was like any normal child out of school and also that one of his arms was longer than the other and burned all over and some of his chest, he had tried to save his little sister from a burning building and he got trapped for a small while, but he had succeeded enough for her to stay alive another few years, but in a hospital. No one in his new town knew and he did not tell them, they just mocked him, he never thought that it would matter, why should he bother, it was their problem.

I walked past the old man’s house and into the field, I looked up, the sky was an amazing dark blue which made the moon shine a brilliant white and I could see stars glittering above me. Gabriel used to try and teach me about stars. It was one of the few memories he had of his parents, his dad would point out the stars. He said that his dad told him he was his little piece of sky, of perfect, of pure light, he was his star and when he was older he knew that he would shine so bright he would block out all the others in the sky. Gabriel used to laugh at this, but I always wondered, his dad said that he had greatness in him and I believed him, he did seem pure somewhere deep down, for he was a long time ago and it was still there, but it was buried so deep hardly anyone could see.

Everyone starts pure, everyone starts innocent, but then we start to want and need and ask and know and we get contaminated with thoughts and knowledge we shouldn’t know and we start to think in ways we know we shouldn’t and do things we know are wrong, and sometimes, those things are good because it means we are living our lives and it doesn’t matter because everyone has a choice and a right to live how they want but then, I thought, it also means they have the right to take life.

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