Something that sadly occurs. I do not own NeverShoutNever's song, 'What is Love?".
He was standing near a small girl , with tiny, dark pigtails shaped like Mickey-Mouse ears atop her head.Their second grade teacher,Mrs.Loh, wandered about the room, checking papers. Her skin gleamed a deep chocolate almond brown in the harsh floodlights of the building.She clutched the deep red covers of a book in her tiny, long-fingered hands.
"What are you reading?" he sniffed, his eyes shadowed. She hardly glanced up, " Dragonology."
"What's it about?"
"Because dragons are cool."
"What's your name?"
She glanced over the edge of her book, he dark brown eyes glimmering.
"I'm Gridge. Wanna be friends?"
In fourth grade, he tugged her along by the arm.Everywhere he went. " Where are you taking me!?" " He glanced back grinning." The jungle gym."
" Why?!" She hissed, digging her heels into the blacktop.
" Because," He turned, his eyes shadowed," You can't just sit on the sidelines all the time. " He tugged her along.
A girl with long, red hair skipped toward them , her eyes narrowed. " Hey Gridge, want to play with us? Red rover is gonna start in a few minutes." She clasped her hands behind her back. He didn't stop for a second. " No. I'm gonna play with Michi."
"Don't call me that!"
Demet watched them slip away , her face paling. Her little hands clenched into fists that wouldn't unfurl for years.That would loosen their grip on him until then.
"Hey ! Michi!"
" Don't call me that!"
Highschool brought with it nothing particularly new. At least not for them. Not Yet.
She stomped away from the lunch table, tray in hand. " Oh , come on , why not?"
"Because peo-people will think..."
He grasped her arm ,pulling her closer to him.She turned away.
"Peo-people will think-"
"Gridge, some of us are going to the rink after school, you in?" Demet shimmied up to them, her red hair tossing.He glanced down at Michigan. She avoided his gaze.
"Great!" Demet's words were swirled in chocolate and sugar.
The next day , he sauntered into science, Demet dripping from his arm. " Ttyl." She murmnured dancing to her seat. "Ttyl." He smiled. The waiting for her had chipped away at him. It was better this way. It was better to not talk to her at all, like Demet said. She'd be fine, being alone.
He settled in to his seat near the front, that smile not fading. He glanced back at Demet, waving at her when she noticed him.
" Do you love me?" She mouthed.
" I love you." He whispered back. " I love you a lot."
"Good." She turned back to her friends, smiling, and laughing. Smiling and laughing.
He hadn't seen Michigan doing that.He hadn't seen her in a while...
He swapped his thoughts, instead wondering what the teacher was doing.
She was still hallway, chatting with the principal. He caught bits of the conversation, nodding his head along with a little song in his head:
What is love?
What is love?
Is it giving up?
" Do they know why?"
He saw Principal Howers shake his head, and turn away , waddling down the hallway in his usual fashion. Who are they talking about? He thought.
Mrs.Dumle slunk to the front of the class, her face drawn. " Class...Michi..."
Cause that's not how you raised me
He smoothed the hair from his face. That thumping thing inside stuttered,tripping over that nickname. She's fine. He thought, trying to trick himself. There are lots of kids nicknamed Michi.There are lots of kids named Michigan...
Yeah, but how many from this school?
"Michi...Michigan has had an accident..."
The thumping stutter of his heart filled the room with red, and those others, Mrs.Dumle, Jen,Hamel, Demet, and the rest, heard it tremble, and cough. They heard the little truths, the little feelings, the little thoughts,crumble.They heard him die.
His chair tipped backward as he thundered out into the hallway,his dark hair pasted his jaw, and to his scalp. He didn't stop until he was near the thin , green metal door of an isolated locker, marooned among the various classrooms of the hallway.He leaned back against it,panting.
Another Michi...another Michigan Packarrdd.
He turned, and punched that nearest locker, the one that he had been leaning against. Gridge King took a faltering step back, and revolved, watching as the changing cielings of the four connecting hallways bubbled, and melted together. He paused, tilted his head to let the long, brown bangs fall from his eyes and kept walking. There wasn’t anywhere to go, but to his next class; Lunch. One of her favorites . He winced.There was no where to go. There was nothing else to do, just forget. She wasn't real. She never was.