Shaynne was different though. I was
twelve when he died, so I remember him even better than Martina. He was still
the same Shaynne, still telling me all the dirty jokes he learnt from his
friends, though I didn’t really understand them at the time and just giggled
uncertainly whenever he did, still the same Shaynne who mocked the people on
T.V if he thought they were talking rubbish, which most of them were.
Then one day, a Friday in fact, he’d
gone up to his room after school, as he normally did. He was up there for ages,
but we didn’t take much notice. He was always up in his room, listening to
music, doing homework, putting up posters, that sort of thing.
When mom called him for dinner, he
didn’t come downstairs. She thought he had his I-pod in, so she went upstairs
to go and get him.
Me and dad had been at the table. I
was telling him about school that day. Then we heard a scream that was
strangled by a sob.
We went running upstairs to Shaynne’s
room, to see mom kneeling next to his dead body, sobbing. She’s said “It’s
happened again!” a lot of times. I hadn’t seen her cry, even when Martina died.
With Martina, we saw it coming. With Martina, she’d given mom a horrible time
for ages. With Martina it was counselling, school meetings, self-harm, bulimia,
anorexia, I could go on for pages describing everything that was wrong with
But Shaynne was her only son, the
happy ‘normal’ one.
I have this tiny, secret suspicion
that I could have prevented Shaynne’s death.
You see, all the time he was up in his
bedroom, I was downstairs in the living-room, writing. Lyrics and poetry had
become my way of coping, numerous notebooks stashed in various places all
around the house, shed, and even the garden!
I was looking for a pen though. I
couldn’t find any of mine that worked, except for a silly, yellow gel-pen that
didn’t show up properly on the paper of the notebook.
I had considered going up to Shaynne’s
room to see if he had one numerous times, but eventually found one in some
remote corner of the kitchen countertop.
In my sort of logic, if I’d just done
things the easy way and gone to ask for a pen, I would have caught Shaynne
before he killed himself and maybe prevented it. Sometimes, late at night when
I can’t sleep and it’s too late to read or write, I can’t help thinking over
and over again about it, wondering if I could have prevented Shaynne’s death.