After Ian's death, Shawn's whole world came crashing down. Laur refused to speak to him. After being released from the hospital, she immediately spilled all the details of the situation to their friends. She fed them the same false story that she had given Ian, and they believed every word of it. She convinced them that it was all Shawn's fault.
Shawn was too wrapped up in other issues to deal with Laur's lies. He had been charged with manslaughter. Ian's parents were distraught over their son's death, but took into consideration the fact that Shawn had been one of Ian's best friends for the duration of his life. They tried to push their emotions aside, and although they were heartbroken and distressed, they tried to keep in perspective that Shawn had not murdered their son.
That was the difference between murder and manslaughter. Murder is an intent to kill. Manslaughter is a tragic accident. Although Shawn had been the one to cause Ian's death, it was not considered murder. The Warburton's tried to be as forgiving as possible towards Shawn, although that was extremely hard to do.
Because of their understanding and sympathy towards Shawn, his penalty was not as harsh as it could have been. He did not have to spend time in a juvenile detention center, but would be required to perform community service for the next year and a half, along with assisting the Warburton's with anything they asked. Shawn was lucky to get such a light sentence.
It was also a gift that Laur had not been involved in the legal consequences bestowed upon Shawn. If she had repeated her false recollection of how her realtionship with Shawn had began, he could have been considered for more legal charges such as sexual harassment. Laur told her friends that she didn't want to tell the police about Shawn "attacking" her because she felt sorry for him.
"He's going through so much already," she would tell Mel when she insisted that Laur take the story to the police. "Being called a murderer is punishment enough." She faked slight sympathy for him. But in reality, Laur knew she couldn't repeat her story to the police because of the chance that it could be proven wrong, and everyone would realize that she had been lying about the whole thing.
Deep down inside, Laur knew that the whole situation was her fault. She knew that if she hadn't had tried to hook up with Shawn, or if she had at least listened to him when he had told her no, none of this would have happened. Of course, she didn't want to admit that to herself. She also didn't want anyone finding out that she might have been the one to bring upon Ian's death.
Instead of letting the guilt eat her alive, Laur mentally piled the blame on Shawn. In order to prevent anyone finding out the truth behind her hook ups with Shawn, she convinced herself and everyone around her that Shawn Mendes was the reason Ian was dead. Everyone's view on Shawn quickly became distorted.
The community no longer saw him as the sweet, innocent boy that they had known since his birth. They didn't remember the boy that they saw playing his black guitar on his front porch or wobbling around on his skates at the ice rink. No one saw the boy who had made the honor roll for the past four years. They ignored the fact that he loved his parents and little sister more than anything. Instead, they saw a killer. Everyone noticed the somber faces of Ian's parents as they did their weekly grocery shopping. They watched a group of friends walking down the sidewalk, a smaller group then they had seen in the past. The town noticed all the negative changes, and believed Shawn was to blame for them.
Soon after Ian died, his funeral was put on at the local funeral home. Shawn didn't attend. He couldn't.
"What was I supposed to do?" he said. "Was I supposed to sit in that room surrounded by all the people who loved Ian? Was I supposed to listen to them give speeches about how he was an incredible boy whose life was taken too soon? How was I supposed to stand there and watch Mrs. Warburton cry while her son's casket is lowered into the ground? I killed him. Everyone knew that I killed him. I couldn't go through with it."
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"Stay away from Shawn Mendes." That's what everyone keeps telling Grace, who recently moved from the bustling New York City to the quiet town of Pickering, Canada. She has no trouble making new friends, but everyone she meets keeps telling her the...