(second version of a previous story)
Jordan Abbey is hit by a car one day and is killed. However, he is surprised when he wakes up in the afterlife, a mystical, magical place hidden in the clouds. He is prepared to live a new life and thought that Earth was behing him. He couldn't have been more wrong.
I found myself unable to focus once again as science class began. My mind continued to drift to what I was going to be doing later that night: my friends and I were going down to a bowling alley just to chill out for the first time this year. It had been forever since I had seen them outside of this concrete prison, and all I could think about was having a good time. Freedom from homework and the usual high school drama was all I ever dreamt about.
I found myself completely focused when my teacher, Ms. Tierna, slammed a book on my desk with such force that the desk vibrated and bumped my head. My hand rubbed the side of my head where I had been hit, and I looked up at the teacher with an obvious look of annoyance.
“Jordan, stop daydreaming. That’s all you ever do in this class” Ms. Tierna said strictly, matching my glare. “I don’t want to have to write you up for this”. She was a petite woman with white hair and a face full of wrinkles.
I sighed. “Yes Ms. T” I responded dully, pretending to comply. Throughout the lesson, whatever it was, I still paid little to no attention.
Up to this point right now, my life in a few words is living, breathing hell. That’s not a dramatization; from birth to the day I turned sixteen, my life had given me no breaks whatsoever. First off, I had been teased and beat up plenty of times in my elementary school years. And here is the best part about it; none of the teachers ever noticed or seemed to care! This continued on until I reached middle school, where the teasing turned into fighting and the beating up into knives. Once I got to high school, the fighting turned to knives, and the knives turned to guns. So far, the ugly side of high school was all that was visible to me.
I wasn’t much of a stand-out individual either, save my five-foot ten height; I was defined by brown, messy hair, turquoise eyes, and a face that had somehow managed to go unblemished during the awful high school period of having your body decimated by changes. Of course, I had different problems to worry about.
My friends? I have little. We had always stuck together, that is, until high school, when we were all split up. As my cruel fate would have it, I was on a team that shared nothing with the ones my friends were on. I have lunch with them, and that’s all. Figures. Just freaking figures.
Every day the only thing my mind seems to drift to is how awful my life is. It’s just plain terrible. I had stood on a windowsill once and held a blade in my hands contemplating my reason of existing. Melodramatic, maybe… but I was not feeling satisfactory that particular day. So far, the only motivation I have to not go ahead and kill myself is that I don’t want to have the feeling of a knife going into my chest. I also seemed to have some twisted thought imbedded inside of me that eventually everything will get better and I’ll rebound from this hole I had been buried in.
Not many things kept me going other than that. I’d like to stay with my friends to the end, but recently I have been rethinking that. In fact, I have been reviewing my situation multiple times recently. It was starting to become an unhealthy habit that needed to be stopped.
Hopefully all of these thoughts will be cleared out when I head out for tonight. I looked up at the clock as though it was nearly time to go, but I knew that it was only second quarter. I guess I was just praying that the clock would jump forward another six hours. Then I would be driving in my car down to the bowling alley with not a worry in my head.
Ms. Tierna walked beside me again, giving me an evil stare. I matched it, silently saying “Don’t bug me today”. She walked back to the front of the room after believing I was finally focused.
I never really was.
My attention soon fell on the kid laughing in the back row. At first glance, judging a book by its mangled cover, you would think Hunter Feworth was an unpopular, bad-looking boy with no sense for hygiene. His black hair was cut short, dark blue eyes that were constantly in an angry squint, and a roundish face that was dotted with skin blemishes, albeit small ones. Oddly enough, he was completely popular and girls flocked to him for seemingly no reason at all. Honestly, I’m not sure what they see in him.
Most of the time he just sits in the back of the classroom (even if his assigned seat isn’t back there) and just BS’s with his cronies that look just like him and act just like him. I never got to know their names, and I don’t want to. I’m comfortable calling them Mini Me 1 and Mini Me 2.
Ms. Tierna did nothing about Hunter or his idiotic cohorts. All he did was kiss up to the teachers so that he would look like a perfect model student. Behind the scenes, all he did was beat up those who he believed were on a lesser level then him. To Hunter, there was his level, and then everyone else. Sometimes I wonder if he knows the feudal system had long since been destroyed. To me, in my system, there is the dumbass level and everyone else. Guess which one Hunter falls in?
Sitting in front of the… things… was the one person in the world I probably couldn’t live without… and probably the best friend I ever had the privilege to know. My girlfriend… Amanda Hundson. She was incredibly intelligent, a rarity among this generation of idiots. She’s also… incredibly… beautiful. While she may not be so good-looking in the eyes of everyone else, she is to me; the dark brown hair that was nearly black, a perfect face with soft features, the exact same height as me… and turquoise eyes… just like me. I first met her in my middle school, and first talked to her when I thought my folder was missing and wanted to see if anyone had seen it (turns out Hunter had stolen it). A few sarcastic comments later and we began saying hi to each other daily. Asking her out more than a year later was one of the highlights of my entire life, and I didn’t even finish speaking before she hugged me and said that one-word reply that meant so much. Are there girls that look better than her? Possibly. Are they as nice and smart as her? No freaking way. Amanda is the most compassionate and kind person I have ever met, and that will never change.
She looked over at me, smiled… that smile that lit up my world… and then we both went back to being annoyed by Hunter’s disruptive behavior. If I ever got the chance to shoot somebody, there’s no doubt it would be Hunter.
After an eternity; I seriously think it was that long; the bell sounded over the intercom that the class had ended. I picked up my belongings and trudged out the door, intent on getting out of here quick. Before I could make it, Hunter intercepted my path and slapped my stuff hard enough to cause me to drop them on the floor. Afterwards he began kicking my supplies all over the place.
He bent down and punched me on the shoulder; not the hurtful type, meant to cause pain, but rather to get my attention and to piss me off. “Go fetch, dog” he snarled. His minions laughed at his attempt at being funny as they strolled away. I took a few deep breaths to try and calm myself down. Seeing that I couldn’t, I just began picking up my possessions. It would have taken forever if Amanda hadn’t come over and handed me two of my binders that had been scattered around the place.
I nodded. “Thanks” I said, continuing to relocate my things.
“No problem” she replied.
Ms. Tierna sighed. “Get moving or you’ll be late!” she said harshly. If there was a reason I despised Science class, it’s because of her.
I looked at her incredulously, stunned by her ignorance. “Your ‘perfect model student’ Hunter knocked my stuff out of my hands!” I exclaimed. She shook her head.
“You could have already been out the door by now, but instead you decided to try and pin the blame on a student that actually does as he is told”. She pointed down the hall. “Now get moving!”
Amanda had finished gathering my stuff and handed them over to me. I muttered thanks again, a bad mood in place already. I walked off towards my next class. Oh, what a shock; I was just about to be late again. Thankfully, the teacher, Mr. Northcutt, a small, bearded, balding man, kept the door open for me. He was the only teacher that seemed to have any sympathy for me.
“Careful now, you might be running late” he joked, giving me a chance to have a laugh for the day. He ran my Social Studies class, my favorite and best class.
I guess it was pretty clear that I wasn’t looking pretty good. “Hey, your day been OK?” he asked me.
I decided to just pretend everything was fine. I probably should have told him everything right then and there… but something held me back.
“Yeah, I’m fine” I responded. I walked in and took my seat. Just before I sat down, Hunter pulled my chair away and caused me to fall back on the floor. However, Mr. Northcutt had observed this play out and was quick to snap at them.
“Hey, cut the immaturity” he said calmly, but with an edge to his voice that made his point clear. He excited the classroom for a moment and began talking to another staff member outside.
I cursed, then shouted at Hunter. I had had enough for today.
“Back off, ok?” I shouted. Hunter simply shook his head.
“No fun in that” he laughed.
“You’re just nothing but a low-life bastard” I retorted. “When I get into the real world, I’ll be sure to drop a penny your way for your box house fund”.
A witty response such as mine (which wasn’t even that witty) seemed to be too complex for the idiotic boy to handle.
“What, you think you’re better than me?” he asked, though it didn’t sound much like a question. “You ain’t”.
“You can think what you want to then” I said. “Reality will slap you in the face once you get out of your fantasy world”.
“Let me just say eighty percent of the people in this room hate this kid” one of Hunter’s friends announced to all the students in the room, making them privy to our conversation. I felt as though a thousand eyes had their sights on me.
“You’re not better than me” Hunter said with finality. “You’re not better than anyone. You’re the worst of the worst”.
“Bitch” he spat. He turned back to his friends and went back to being himself. I felt myself wanting to kill him right then and now. Acting on my thoughts, I took my scissors out of my pencil bag and clutched them tightly. Was I really going to do this? I was able to control my devious motives.
“Alright now, let’s get moving. Notes out, books out, and lots and lots of quiet! That includes the Chatty-Cathy’s in the back” said a voice from outside the room.
With this being said, Mr. Northcutt entered the room and started teaching his history lesson for the day. I couldn’t pay attention in this class either; all I could think about was the back-and-forth insults that had been shared just a minute ago. I hated Hunter. I absolutely despised him. If he ever died, I’d be the person crying at his funeral out of joy. Especially if it was I who killed him.
“We’re still on the American Rev today, and we got a lot to do. Lots of guns and explosions for the boys, no Twilight romance for the girls, sorry. So let’s journey back to where we left off at yesterday”.
Enduring through this particular class was just as difficult as science before it. My thoughts were flying around and ramming into each other and causing me to get a slight headache.
Eventually I heard the bell go off, a heavenly sound in my ears. I grabbed my lunch bag and walked down to lunch, the only time I can see my friends. I sat over at our usual table; the third one down from the lunch line. Jack and Brant were already there.
“Rotten day, as usual” I lamented, implying that that’s all I had to say on the matter.
“You too? I got buried with homework, and I still have two classes left” Jack replied.
Brant nodded. “Likewise” he said.
I shrugged. “You don’t have airheads surrounding you twenty-four seven. I’ve had enough of them for a lifetime”.
“Just ignore them” Brant advised me. “They won’t do anything unless you respond”.
I shook my head. “They’ll do it whether I respond or not. They’re persistent”.
“If the teachers actually did something for once instead of using their empty ‘no bullying’ words, maybe things would be a little different” Jack said.
“They don’t care” I responded angrily. “They think that everything’s fine”.
“Sheesh Jordan, let’s quit being so pessimistic” Brant said half-jokingly.
Sam sat down at our table, another one of my friends.
“Sup everyone?” he asked. We all shrugged.
“Just a normal day” I said. “Homework, annoying idiots, etcetera”.
He sighed. “School’s full of ‘em. We ought to stop complaining”.
“Let’s quit talking about depressing stuff” Jack suggested, going off of what Sam had said.
“Like where we’re going tonight!” Brant said happily.
I smiled. “Yeah! It’ll be the first time we’ve gone out this year. Getting away from this damned place”.
“It’ll be great. Harrison and Zach will be coming too, and we never see them” Sam chipped in.
“We can all go get high on caffeine and just relax” I said, leaning back in my chair as I thought of this. I love soda, and a night out with plenty of soda available is just what I desire.
“You guys won’t have too much fun, come to think of it” Sam said, grinning. “I’m the master at bowling”.
“Pfft! Yeah right!” Jack responded, challenging him.
“None of you have a chance against me” I said, chipping in my own comment.
Brant shrugged. “I extremely suck at bowling, so I have no room to talk”. We all laughed at his comment, especially since he wasn’t too bad at the sport.
The other friend that hangs out with my group, Quintin, joined us at our table.
“Hey Quintin” I said, waving. He nodded, a grim expression on his face.
“What’s wrong?” Sam asked him.
“I can’t go tonight” he said, bowing his head. “My folks don’t want me out at such a late time”.
“We’re there at six, you could at least stick around for a few hours!” I said.
“Well, you guys know my parents have always been too overprotective of me, and I don’t think they’ll ever stop” Quintin said. He sighed. “Sorry, but I’m not going”.
“That just plain sucks” Sam said, a hint of anger in his voice.
We were silent for a bit, a rarity at my table. We were usually pretty loud and having a lot of fun. Come to think of it, today had been going really unusual so far, and I began preferring the usual. Some bad atmosphere was in place that came in so suddenly.
How ironic it was when lunch seemed to pass by so quickly. If only my classes would be the same! Two more classes were still left in the day, and I did not want to sit through any minute of them.
They all went on the same as usual; Hunter being himself, his miniature actors mimicking him, my teacher being boring, and me getting extremely annoyed by the before mentioned dumbass’ antics.
Hunter seemed to be really out to get on my nerves. I guess it was all due to the weed he smokes outside during the lunch period. His cohorts, no doubt, had some of the stuff too. They claimed a rainbow shot into the room and turned somebody purple. All of his other friends prefer cocaine. They make me sick; just reckless individuals slowly wasting away. Sadly, there wasn’t any evidence that showed that they were using the mentioned substances.
As I began working on my math homework during some downtime in my current class (math obviously), someone smacked me hard on the back of my head. I didn’t even have to guess who it was.
“Your big head’s like an egg; I just want to crack it” Hunter joked. His friends, long-gone and high as can be, laughed like they were coughing out automobile exhaust.
I continued to do what I was doing, ignoring Hunter and his Lucy’s in the Sky, trying to take the ‘high road’ path. Of course, he decided to smack me again, with much more force. Just to irritate me.
“Damn thing won’t break” Hunter laughed, hitting me once more. Why is it that the teacher couldn’t see any of this happening?
I stood up and stared him down. I was of average height, as I’ve said, but I had an inch or two over the delinquent. Despite this, he didn’t flinch in any manner. “Get your bitching attitude out of my face” I said, pushing him away from me, sick of his mannerisms. Hunter smiled, seeing that he finally got to me.
“Oh-ho! So you wanna fight” he said, coming towards me at a fast pace. I ducked under his punch with ease--as I said, he was probably too wasted to hit a grizzly bear. Weed, various other drugs, and alcohol made one inaccurate, incompetent, and just all-around despicable human being that was a sorry excuse of a high school student.
The teacher, Mrs. Frellich, finally noticed what was going on and decided to intervene.
“What are you both doing!” she shouted, more of a demand that a question. Her face was burning bright red, but since she got frustrated easily, it really didn’t mean anything. Hunter just pointed at me.
“This kid started hitting me, and I didn’t know why. I just tried hitting him in self- defense” he replied, keeping a straight face as he delivered all of the blame upon my already burdened shoulders.
I shook my head. “Yeah right! You kept smacking me on the head, then I pushed you back in self-defense. You decided to turn it into a fight!”
Mrs. Frellich took a deep breath. “Both of you just stop it! If you two can’t behave properly in school, you can do it after school. Consider this your warning gentlemen”. She walked back to the front door of the room and started talking to another teacher there, but not before muttering “You’re lucky I’m not writing you up”. Hunter huffed, displayed his middle finger to the teacher’s back, and then went back to his seat. Naturally, he threatened me first.
“I’ll get you” he whispered to me. “I’ll fucking kill you”.
I said nothing to his response and went on with my work. Hunter still tried to make his threats make me flinch, but I dismissed his comments. A normal person would notice that I wanted nothing to do with him, but Hunter isn’t close to normal. I could still feel his putrid breath on my shoulder.
I finally decided to say something. “Could you move, please?” I asked, being as nice as I possibly could to that creature. He walked away, still looking at me. Rolling my eyes, I turned back towards the homework.
Hunter started talking to his friends and texting on his phone. While he did all this, he periodically glanced at me, putting me at a feeling of unease. I was probably just being paranoid, but I began to think he was plotting against me. He was definitely planning something, which was obvious. No doubt a night at a bar getting super drunk and then driving around the town. Often times I wonder how they are able to do that without being caught.
A crackling sound came over the intercom, indicating that the assistant principle was beginning to talk.
“Good afternoon, everybody. Here are the afternoon announcements”.
I decided to zone out and just wait for the bell that was about to give me the best news of the day. The announcements didn’t concern me anyway; it was telling jocks that their football practice was cancelled, track was still on (which would still be on if the Earth was on fire), and some other stuff I neglected to listen to.
I started packing the school supplies I required for the weekend as the clock slowly began to count down to my freedom. For clarification, I asked someone next to me if I had everything. Satisfied, I slung my backpack over my shoulder and stood up as everyone else did; they were just as ready to go as I was. The weekend was heaven to anyone in work or school.
Mrs. Frellich complained and commanded us to sit down, but the bell sounded just as she started to say so. I seemed to leap to the door, the exit of school and the entrance in a good time. I wasted not one second running down the steps and walking as fast as I could to my car which was just across the bus parking lot. I didn’t even have the need to go to my locker.
I allowed my mind to drift freely without intervention; a good time was coming. It wouldn’t have mattered if I was jumping off of Mount Everest. I was going to be with my friends that I haven’t seen for so long. I smiled, a good mood coming on. I retrieved my iPod from my backpack, intent on letting some happy Beatles music drown out my thoughts. When I looked up, however, I noticed Amanda was waiting for me at the crosswalk; our cars were parked in the same section.
“Hey” I said, greeting her, happy since I had not seen her much today.
She smiled and leaned against the nearby electricity pole. “Hi!” she replied. She was kind of shy around normal people, but not with her friends.
“Gonna have some fun tonight” I said. “My friends are heading down to the bowling alley down on Huffrey”.
“Sounds nice!” she responded, nodding. “I can’t say I have the same plans”.
A thought popped in my head. “You should come with then!” I suggested. “We’ll have a lot of fun. Hannah and Anna will be there too”. Those two individuals were Amanda’s best friends.
She paused, since she didn’t really like my friends that much, but eventually shrugged. “Sure, why not? I’d like some time off”.
“Great!” I said, grinning. Tonight just got a lot better.
An audible shouting noised caused me to turn my head to see the source. It was none other than Hunter, talking as loud as he could with his friends. They held what appeared to be root beer bottles in their hands, but were actually filled with beer. They all packed into Hunter’s car, slamming the doors, and got ready to head off.
“Airheads” I said in disgust.
“No, they’re perfect model students, remember?” Amanda said sarcastically. “Shame on you for not knowing that”. I laughed at her Mrs. Tierna impression.
Seeing that the walking sign on the crosswalk showed the picture of a glowing stick figure, Amanda and I started crossing over, still talking about our lives and what happened today. We usually didn’t hold hands… but we did today. It felt nice, as though the day’s troubles mattered not in this moment. The load roar of an engine disrupted our conversation. I turned on the spot, rapidly alert. Hunter’s car was barreling right at us, and he wasn’t stopping!
Acting on instinct I pushed Amanda out of harm’s way as the car neared us; I had to save her. I tried to dodge the oncoming vehicle, but I was unable to; everything was happening so quickly. My limp body was sent flying in the air by the force of the speeding car, the feeling in my legs already gone. I guess I couldn’t save myself.
I landed with a loud ‘crack’-ing sound on the road. All of the feeling in my body was… entirely gone. My head had been busted open, and I could feel my blood trickling out; a weird feeling erupted from where the wound was located at. My vision started to become blurred.
Hunter’s car swerved around until it spun out of control and flipped over, sailing right into a sewer ditch by the road. Their drunken stupidity caused them to probably kill themselves as well. Even though I felt wrong about it, I hoped they actually had perished.
It was the least that could happen for me at this point. I heard the screams of students who had witnessed the crash. Teachers were running around, panicked, and each one was dialing 9-1-1 on their cellphones. Some kids were doing so as well. No one dared to check on my health.
I grunted as I tried to get up, but I gave up quickly. Pain wasn’t present until I tried to conduct any movement, in which case I was left powerless. It was too much for me to bear.
Amanda rushed over to my side. Her tears fell on my face, but I couldn’t even feel them. I couldn’t feel anything. Was this what it was like to die? Was this how my story ends?
“Please, no! Jordan, don’t-“Amanda said between her sobs. “This can’t be… no!” It was as though she too knew I was a lost case.
Other teachers at this point had rushed to my side. They tried to pull Amanda away from me, but she refused to move. They tried taking my pulse, checking my injuries, but I knew it was too late.
I decided to accept the fate that had been thrown at me like a curveball. I had become completely numb to all feelings, including my internal ones. I could no longer think; my brain had given up as well and shut down.
The blare of sirens sounded in the background, but they had no chance of reaching me in time. I had been murdered by Hunter. Hunter had killed me.
I was slowly slipping from life, a leaf ready to drop. Amanda was still leaned over me. Using all the strength I could, I lifted up my arm and brought her closer to me even though the pain punished me greatly for this movement; the last movement I would ever give off. Giving her one last smile, I closed my eyes…