Authors note/TW: I don't know if this counts as a trigger warning, but school shooting plays a somewhat big factor in this story, so if you're sensitive to those topics, this is not the story for you:)
You nudge my shoulder and point to the window, snow flurrying past.
I grin and jump up, running over.
More kids follow and we crowd around the smudged glass, ignoring Ms. Wrights’s lesson completely.
She reins us in and we sit down, but I can’t take my eyes off of the snow.
Each snowflake looks exactly the same and I can't imagine seeing the tiny differences between each one. It just seems so, magical.
I drown out Ms. Wright’s words and don't take my eyes away from the window, the snow sticking to the grass below and creating a clean sheet of white.
Your voice pulls me out of my thoughts and I snap back to reality, stories of snow fleeing my brain.
You raise an eyebrow and I shrug, following you out of the classroom and to our lockers.
“You could have warned me before the bell rang,” I say, looking at my watch.
We were already seven minutes late for lunch.
You laugh and shake your head, shoving your science books into your locker.
“You seemed very preoccupied with staring out the window?”
“Like it was your job.”
I laugh and grab my lunch, heading towards the cafeteria.
“Did you even listen to the lesson?”
I roll my eyes as I sit down in one of the chairs, and you plop down next to me.
“When’s the test?”
I bite my lip and you grin.
You shake your head and pull out your sandwich.
“In two days.”
I almost choke on my chips and start to wish I had paid attention. You laugh louder and I make a face.
“C’mon Gray, cut me some slack. You gotta admit snow is absolutely wonderful.”
“Absolutely wonderful, huh? Must be some snow.”
I stick my tongue out at you and you shake your head again.
You fiddle with a strand of your black hair that falls over your eyes, neither of us care to say anything else.
This is the usual lunch.
By third grade we’d run out of things to talk about, considering we’d been best friends for like, ever. So every lunch now, we just end up saying nothing, but the silence feels...comfortable?
Lunch flies by, even though we say nothing.
We race each other back to class, the first one to history getting your last oreo.
I win, leaping through the door with a giant grin plastered on my face
You frown at my victory, but reluctantly hand over your oreo, and I make sure to shove it in my mouth right in front of you.
We make our way to the back of the classroom and I drag us all the way to the corner, right next to the window.
You sigh and shrug, sitting next to me as I start to stare out the window.
Mr. Curran’s voice fills my head and I pull myself away from the snow, deciding I don't want to fail another class.
I bury my head in notes and scribble down every word Mr. Curran says.
My eyes snap up at a loud announcement from our principal.
“Staff this is a lockdown. Initiate your lockdown procedures immediately. Be advised that law enforcement has been notified. If you are a visitor outside the building, please leave the property immediately, and call 911.”
A lump forms in my throat as everyone rushes to the back of the classroom. We had drills before, but I can pick out the fear in Mr. Smith’s voice. I can see the pure shock and terror in Mr. Curran’s eyes as he flips off the lights. I can feel my heart pick up as I slowly realize I can't find you.
I try to shake it off as I make my way to the back of the classroom, and I can feel my stomach churning with worries as I crawl under the table in the back.
I watch as Mr. Curran covers the windows and doors with black paper and comes to the back with us.
I can hear footsteps from the floor above us and nerves rise higher in my throat.
I look for you among the row of kids next to me. But I’m unable to pick you out in the dark. I lean my head against the wall and bite my lip, tears springing to my eyes.
The footsteps become louder and I can hear them clambering down the hall, the sound bouncing off the walls and echoing into our classroom.
Panic causes my hands to shake as I tuck my knees into my chest and swallow down tears.
I sit there, wishing you were next to me, and I can't control the fear of where you are, and where you could be.
All in a few seconds, the knowledge hits me, as a heavy, powerful wave of realization.
I can pick out your voice, from anywhere. And when I hear your horrified voice from across the hall, immediately followed by gunshots, my heart sinks to my stomach.
A hand goes over my mouth as I open my mouth to scream.
I close it and blink, staring blankly into the darkness.
Heavy tears roll down my cheeks and every emotion in my body crushed.
It feels like I can see my world shattering around me as more gunshots ring through the halls. My world crumbling beneath my feet as sirens and loud voices add to the chaos.
I wipe my face dry and straighten my back, the numbness taking over.
You couldn't be gone.
You wouldn't leave me like this.
You wouldn't leave me.
Weeks later and the dark blue forget-me-nots gripped in my hands as I shake in front of your grave cant make up for the gaping hole in my heart.
I have no words to describe how it feels, for I am numb inside and have nothing left to give.
Nothing left to say.
I persist with my life only because you would've wanted me to.
I stand here, my legs shaking on this frozen grass to tell you that I love you.
That I miss you.
That this isn’t your end.
This can’t be your end.
You had so much left.
I will hold in my anger, I will embrace this grief, and I will do all that I can to carry on your love towards others.
But I don't think I will ever be able to accept that you’re truly gone.
For I’ve lost all feeling, all trust, and all love.
I don't know how to be me again.
Because I honestly don't know how to be me, without you.