Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
Short Story of the Extended version. May spoil the story line for those reading the Extended. --- Mika's never had a friend before, until she met Axium. Axium's never had a friend before, until he ...
Nobody ever noticed me, which is what I wanted. Well, what a part of me wanted. Deep down inside, I had yearned for at least one friend. And Axium granted that wish. We hadn’t really met in the way I would’ve liked, but all that mattered was that we met. Axium had changed me. The day we met started out normal. I woke up to the annoying sound of my alarm clock, ended up killing it by throwing it, it’s guts spilling across the wooden floor. I just ignored the mess, got ready for school and caught the bus.
The ride to school only took a few minutes and soon, I found myself shoving through crowds of people. Nobody noticed me, as usual. After a bit of struggling, I made it to my locker about the time the hallways started clearing out. That was a sign the bell was about to ring. I hastily put in the lock combination and threw open the door. Instead of metal hitting metal, there was a thunk and I looked over, wide-eyed.
“Ow.” The guy I had unintentionally hit looked over while rubbing his head. Moss green eyes met my grey ones. I quickly started apologizing, hoping the guy wasn’t the type to beat up people like me.
“I am so sorry! I didn’t see you there! Usually the locker next to mine is unused. I-”
“It’s fine.” He said, starting to laugh a bit. I blinked hard and flinched as if his words had hit me. If he noticed, he didn’t say anything about it. Instead, he kept talking even as the first bell rang.
“Actually, I’m new to the school, so this locker is mine now. It took me a while to find it, so I’m worried about being able to find any of my classes. Maybe you could help me?” he turned back to his locker, pulling a few things out of his bag and putting them into his locker. He glanced over when all I did was stare. Great, he probably thinks I’m retarded now. I couldn’t help it though. Not many people talked to me. It was as if I was invisible. He raised a dark eyebrow and immediately I was jealous. I had always wanted to be able to do that.
“Are you going to get your books?” he asked, closing his locker as the minute bell rang.
“Oh…um…yeah. Hold on.” I turned back and shoved books for my first four hours in my bag. I closed my locker and shouldered my bag.
“What classes do you have first?” I asked, reaching out for his schedule. He handed it to me, saying,
“Math, I think.”
“Yeah, Algebra 2 with Mr. Reese. He’s a good teacher. You’ll like him as long as you do all your work. I have him for Geometry third hour.” I said, heading down a hall that led to Mr. Reese’s class.
“We have second hour, lunch and seventh hour together. You like art?” I asked. Seventh hour was an advanced art class. The guy laughed and shook his head.
“Not really, but I’m good at drawing I suppose. My mom said I should take the class.”
“It’s not that bad. The teacher tends to talk most of the time though. Second hour is American History with Ms. Summers.”
“Is she a good teacher?” the guy asked as we stopped in front of Mr. Reese’s room.
“She makes class entertaining. She has traveled a lot and tells us stories.”
“That sounds cool. The teachers that I’ve had weren’t that great.”
“Where did you used to go to school at?” I asked.
“I was home schooled. My parents paid for people to come in and teach me.”
“Have you ever been to a public school before?” I inquired. Before he could answer, the last bell rang. I groaned internally. Now I was late.
“This is Mr. Reese’s room. I have to go. I’ll see you second hour.” I quickly said, turning to go.
“Wait. Where’s second hour?” the guy asked. I paused a moment.
“Almost directly upstairs.”
“I didn’t get your name.” He said, as I started walking.
“Mika.” I called over my shoulder.
“I’m Axium.” He called back as the crowd of stragglers swallowed me. First hour seemed to drag by. When it was finally over, I grabbed my stuff and headed upstairs, expecting to see Axium again. But, as the minutes ticked by and students filed in, I saw no sign of the wild brown hair or its owner. With a dejected sigh, I settled down and prepared to take notes.
Everything seemed to have changed when Axium moved into this small town. Before he came, I had had no friends, nobody even noticed me. My life consisted of going to school, doing class work, catching the bus home, doing homework, then whatever I felt up to doing until I went to bed. I looked down at my un-bandaged wrists, at the scars that were scattered up and down them and my forearm. The product of my free time. No fresh cuts marred my pale skin though. Ever since he caught me cutting, I was afraid to do it too often. It didn’t blow over well with him. I had always thought that I did it, hoping my mother, or someone, would notice. Then Axium found out. I had never seen anyone so mad but worried at the same time. It wasn’t until after he left that I realized why I really cut.
My mother wasn’t coming home for Christmas break. I was alone again. I looked down at the bloodied blade and the fresh cut on my forearm. It had gone a bit deeper then usual. I drew the blade across my other arm after a minute, watching the fresh blood bead once it reached the surface. Suddenly, the door flew open, causing me to jump.
“Hey, Mika. Your front door was unlocked and I thought you…wouldn’t…mind. What the hell are you doing?!” he shouted the last part, looking down at me as I sat on my bedroom floor in shock. When I didn’t do anything but sit there and look at him through a curtain of my auburn hair, he disappeared down the hall and came back in with some rags. He pressed the rags to the cuts as if I were going to bleed to death.
“They aren’t that deep.” I muttered. Axium ignored me. Instead, he asked,
“Where are your bandages?”
“On my bedside table.” I mumbled. Axium grabbed them and wrapped my wrists. When he was finished, he asked,
“Why do you do it?”
“That’s not an answer, Mika. Why?”
“I don’t know.”
“Of course you do. Why do you do it?” he pressed. This time I just shrugged.
“Mika!” he said my name in frustration and I felt like a horrible friend. Still, I kept my mouth shut and stared at my lap. I felt like I did when I was little and had done something wrong, my father staring at me in disapproval.
“Are you trying to kill yourself?” came Axium’s quiet question.
“No!” I cried, frightened. Why would Axium think I’d want to do such a thing?
“Then. Tell. Me. Why.” He demanded. He was so angry, yet I could tell he was just worried. I mumbled my response.
“I didn’t hear you. Speak louder Mika.”
“It takes my mind off things.” I repeated, only a bit louder.
“It-It takes-Mika!” he cried, eyes flashing dangerously, and grabbed both my shoulders, giving me a shake.
“I don’t want you doing it anymore. Do you understand me?”
“Yes. Yes Axium, I understand, but I can’t promise you anything.” My voice got stronger as I spoke. Axium stared at me a moment then ran his hand through his brown hair, making it messier then it had been.
“As long as you try.” He said at last. I only nodded. If I promised him and cut later, I would hate myself more. I didn’t want to lie to Axium, or to disappoint him. I wanted to tell him everything, how alone I was, yet something inside me held me back. It always held me back.
A hand fell on my shoulder, startling me out of my reverie. I looked up from the freshly filled grave and into moss green eyes. My heart jolted a moment at the familiarity, but it was only Axium’s mom. The pain of loosing him shot through me again. He’ll never come back.
“Thank you for being his friend. I always worried about sending him to a public school. Just the slightest thing might have caused an attack. But I’m so glad I did. I’ve never-I’ve never seen him so…so happy. Thank you so much.” The woman pulled me into a hug. I didn’t want a hug. I had been doing so well at holding back my tears. However, as Axium’s mom hugged me, I caught sight of his dad talking to my mother. Axium’s dad was the kind of tough man who didn’t show his emotions often. He currently had tears streaking down his face and my mother was shaking his hand.
Suddenly, the impact of it all hit me. Axium was dead, and he was never coming back. We wouldn’t play anymore games of soccer at his house. We wouldn’t have our silly little sleepovers on the trampoline in his backyard. I’d suck in math again, because he wouldn’t be there to teach it to me. He wouldn’t be there to laugh with, or cry with. I found myself clinging to Axium’s mom, crying just as hard as she was. I don’t know how much time passed, but soon we both stopped crying and my mother came over.
“Come on Mika. It’s time to go home.” She said softly. I nodded and wiped my eyes on my shirtsleeve. They felt dry and swollen, and were no doubt red, like the rest of my face. It probably didn’t look very nice, but I could care less. The two of us were quiet until we got into the car and were a half mile away from the cemetery.
“I’m going to stop at the store and pick up some things for breakfast, okay. You can stay in the car if you want.” She told me.
“Why bother? You’re going to be gone in the morning anyway.” I muttered, not bothering to keep the coldness out of my voice. There was yet another silence, then my mother said something so quietly, I almost missed it.
“No. I’ll be home for you this time, sweetie.” She looked over at me as I froze.
“Thanks…mom.” I whispered after a moment. I felt her staring and I gave her a questioning look.
“You called me mom.” She choked on the last word. I thought she was going to cry, but she didn’t. Instead, she was silent until we reached the store. She stopped the car in the store’s parking lot. I was left to my thoughts for a while and found myself thinking of the day after Christmas. Axium and I had been playing soccer outside at his house, his mom was inside on the phone with someone and his dad was at work.
I remember in the middle of a game, he stopped, suddenly crying out in pain and dropping to the ground. I think I had screamed his name because only moments after I knelt next to him, his mom was there too. He looked up at us, his face grey and covered in sweat. We called an ambulance and he was taken to the hospital. Nobody told me what was wrong with him. I finally asked his mom two days later. His mom knew, but she simply said to ask Axium. I was happy to see he was awake. Everyone left the two of us to talk.
I walked into Axium’s hospital room. It was hard looking at him. Medical equipment was hooked up, attached to his arm. He was very pale and his lips had lost all color. His eyes, although sunken in, were still a sharp shade of moss green.
“Hey.” I said once I got to his bedside. I nervously played with the cuffs of my jacket.
“Hey.” He didn’t look at me, but up at the ceiling. His voice was raspy and sick sounding. There really was no other way to describe it.
“How are you doing?” I asked, lightly touching his arm that wasn’t attached to medical stuff.
“Yeah. I suppose being in a hospital would be boring and-”
“No, Mika. I’m really dying.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, drawing my hand back. Axium sighed and looked at me.
“Sit down, Mika.” His look left no room to argue. I went to sit down in the chair but he stopped me, gesturing to the edge of the bed. I sat there and he grasped my hand in a surprisingly tight grip. He wasn’t looking at me anymore.
“When we met, you asked if I had ever been to public school. Do you remember?”
“Yeah. The bell rang before you answered and I didn’t bring it up again. It wasn’t important. Why?”
“I’ve never been to a public school before. I was always sick as a child. My parents were scared of letting me out of their sight for too long.” He paused and swallowed hard. His eyes shined with unshed tears.
“Jesus, Mika, I’m so scared.” His voice quivered and I had to fight the burning in my eyes. Axium was always the strong one, but seeing him on the hospital bed, I knew it was my turn to be the stronger one. I wondered if I could manage that.
“What do you mean sick? Sick how?” I whispered.
“Cancer.” He said just as quietly. The room seemed to spin and I tightened my grip on his hand. It was silent. A minute passed, then two. Axium broke it.
“Say something!” he shouted. I jumped and bit my lip. A nurse poked her head in the door.
“I heard shouting. Are you okay, Axium?” she asked.
“I’m. Fine.” He grit out. The nurse hesitated a moment, reluctant to leave. Somebody in the hallway said something and the nurse nodded before closing the door.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked.
“I’ve been getting treated. For a while, it seemed to be getting better. In September, when we moved here, I asked my parents if I could go to a public school. I’d seen movies and I wondered if it really was like that. The day before I started, I began feeling pain in my stomach. It wasn’t bad, so I figured I was just nervous. But on my first day of school, during first hour, it got bad. That’s why I didn’t see you in second hour. I just told the nurse it was a normal stomachache, that I would like to lay down for a bit. She agreed, didn’t call my parents. It only happened again twice after that. I didn’t tell my parents either. They would have taken me out of school. Away from the only friend I’ve ever made. I could tell I needed her as much as she needed me.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.” I swallowed the lump in my throat.
“I knew you cut. I’d seen the scars and bandages a few times when we hung out. You always wear long sleeves, but sometimes I’d catch glimpses. The day I caught you hurting yourself, was when I planned to tell you about my cancer. I was going to tell you, but then I saw what you were doing to yourself and it terrified me. I got angry at you. I felt you had no right trying to kill yourself. I-”
“I told you I wasn’t trying to do that. Just cutting.” I interrupted, though I knew it was a lie. He did too and ignored me, continuing with his story.
“I was both angry and terrified, yet worried and curious. Here I was, dying of cancer, fighting to live, and you were willing to hurt yourself. Risk killing yourself even. I wondered why you did it. I still do sometimes. Do you still cut?” he looked at me again and it was my turn to stare at something else.
“I do, but not as often. I do it because I feel alone. My mom always works, my dad is dead. I didn’t have anyone.” I explained.
“But now you have me.” He smiled. I smiled back.
‘For now…’ I didn’t say the words, but I did think them.
Again, I was drawn out of my thoughts. My mom had tapped my arm and I realized that while I had been in thought, mom had driven us home. She let me go up into my room. I threw myself onto my bed and cried again. Cried for the loss of my best friend and cried for myself. Axium had died two days after I found out about his cancer, and all I could do was wish he had had more time. It always came down to that.
Soon, I couldn’t cry anymore. When I finally felt well enough, I stood up. A glance at my new alarm clock told me it was one in the morning. I pulled the top of my dresser open and dug out a small tin. I opened it up and looked at the blades inside of it. Many times, I had used them, but now…now I had no use for them. Axium had moved into my hometown and I was lucky enough to meet him. Axium became my friend, and he made me stronger. He had died, fighting to live. I had lived trying to die. I emptied the tin into the trashcan next to my dresser and returned to my bed, whispering a silent promise to the dark. One that only existed between me, my best friend and the shadows.