JJ slammed her locker shut, slung her bookbag over her shoulder, and followed Stasi to their first class.
Suddenly, a shriek split the air...and so did the sound of a gunshot.
Whirling around on her heel, JJ glimpsed Austen, waving a gun, his face red. And perhaps matted with tears.
"Get down!" JJ screamed, grabbing Stasi and pulling the both of them down. Why, she had no idea. But she couldn't look conspicuous.
Horror filling her veins, JJ watched as Austen shot not one, but two of the popular kids that had so often called him names and slammed him into his locker.
And then, Austen was aiming the gun at her.
"Austen," JJ sobbed, "I never made fun of you!"
"Yeah, but you weren't nice, either," Austen retorted. His eyes narrowed, and it was clear that he was fighting tears. A sob broke in his throat. Within the moment, he was at JJ's side and had her at gunpoint.
"Austen, please," JJ heard Stasi wail.
"You should've known better," Austen muttered. A cynical smile graced his lips before he squeezed the trigger. JJ's body fell to the floor.
And then, in a fluid motion nobody could have predicted, Austen turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.
It all makes sense, though. The only person who people can blame is their own self.
After all...nobody wanted to talk to the boy who cried.