Michael, a neglected, lonely child. An outcast at school and hated by his peers meets his one and only friend, Evan. But something goes very wrong.
By Adam Dickinson
The hospital bed was uncomfortable. That was all I could think about, probably because I didn’t want to think about anything else. I had quite a few tubes going into my right arm, I could feel them but I did my best to ignore them. Memories can be horrible things sometimes. People kept telling me that what had happened wasn’t my fault, but I couldn’t believe them, no matter how hard I tried I always came to the conclusion that I was to blame.
My alarm went off and woke me with a start, seven o’clock every morning. It was so I had just enough time to relax before school, and properly wake up. I always had to be extra quiet on school days because my parents were still in bed. They worked afternoons and nights see? So there wasn’t any need for them to be up. At least that’s what I kept telling myself. Even on my first day at school I had to wake myself up get myself ready and go. They didn’t even get up to see their only son off at what is one of the scariest moments of a child’s life.
I did all the usual morning stuff, staring at my reflection. My scabs and scars were very prominent, made more visible by my pale skin. My thick brown hair covered my left eye, the pupil was nearly grey. The doctors said they were surprised I wasn’t blind; to say I snuck out while my parents were asleep would be a lie because it wasn’t difficult. Kind of wish I was blind. I’d rather be blind than have terrible vision in just one eye, and no one needed any more material to use against me. I went downstairs to make myself a mocha coffee; it was the only coffee I liked. After I’d cleared the sideboard of empty bottles and cans, and sorted the pill boxes back into the cupboard I started the kettle up and just as it was about to finish boiling I heard a bang from the top of the stairs.
“Ah Christ” I said to myself. Realising that I had somehow woken one of them up with all the noise I had made clearing up the bottles and by the sound of the bang it was my dad. He came up to me with a tired look in his eyes and smacked me across the head then turned and walked out. I quickly learned to tidy the bottles away first because if I did wake him up and there were still bottles out he’d hit me with one of those. My mum was usually unconscious more than asleep, sleeping pills and the like. So she rarely woke up. I shook my head and returned to making my coffee. My hands had been shaking too much to choose a channel so I left it on the default, the morning news, same old things; death, poverty, destruction, and a few puppies saved or something to end on a light note. Just like every morning. I finished my drink and started to get ready to leave.
Like every other child I hated school, but most kids hate school because they can’t be bothered. I hated school because I had no friends, no acquaintances, not even those people that you talk to in school and never see out of school. And those who didn’t ignore me either beat me up or tried to steal from me, they never got anything though, I don’t own very much.
Then one lunch break I overheard a group talking about a new kid. My heart almost flew out of my chest; finally, someone who I could talk to who would have no idea about my reputation.
The day came when the new guy arrived; I waited for my chance when no one was around to mess things up.
“Hi I’m Michael you must be the new guy.”
I tried to sound as cheery as possible.
“Hi Michael, that’s right, I’m Evan.”
I had succeeded in making conversation. From then on we spent most of our time together. It turned out that Evan liked event planning, same as me. That’s what I wanted to do, be an event planner. So one Food tech lesson we came up with an idea to plan a gig for the city centre, because neither of us gave a toss about Food and we decided we’d take the idea to the council and we’d see what they thought.
We worked on perfecting every aspect of the event for weeks; we got the councils backing, the entertainment, sponsors, lighting and sound, the works. It was amazing. It was the best time of my life. Then about two weeks after the show Evan didn’t show up for school. Illness, I thought and went back to being socially discarded. But as time went on he was still missing, I asked around but no one wanted to talk to me, so the next best thing was to ask a teacher. Miss Williams told me he’d been sent into hospital. I grabbed my stuff and rushed to the bus stop, I knew which bus to get because there had been a few occasions where I’d had to take myself or drag my half-conscious mother to A&E.
After a seemingly endless bus ride I rushed up to the main entrance of the hospital and asked for Evan. The lady on reception said he was in Floor 3 Ward 2, thanking her while half moving away at the same time, I ran to the lifts. Of course they were out of service. So off to the stairs for me, I took three steps at a time so it didn’t seem too bad a climb. Coming up to the ward I bumped into a doctor, the giveaway was the stethoscope. Out of breath I tried to ask about Evan’s whereabouts, he got me to take a seat and sat down himself. He explained how if I wanted to see Evan it was too late; he said he couldn’t put it any other way.
“Evan just passed away, multiple stab wounds, I’m sorry.”
He got up and walked away I just sat there and slumped with my head in my hands, and cried. I had just lost my best friend, my only friend, but to stab wounds? I couldn’t understand it. That night I drank myself to sleep. Learned behaviour I guess. Next morning my alarm went off, but I stayed in bed. About four hours later I thought I’d better go into school at least. When I arrived it was lunch. One of the older guys from across the field shouted.
“Your friend got whacked because he was cheeky, and because he talked to you! Do the world a favour!”
I despised the human race from that point on. I wasn’t upset, I was tired. Ready to check out, so I got a bunch of different pills from mum’s extensive collection and took them all. I didn’t care what they were or what they did. Nothing apparently!
So a trip to the shops was in order, to get more drink, more pills, I didn’t care. However halfway there my insides started to churn. Then a huge burning sensation in my stomach and I collapsed to the floor. I started coughing violently, blood spewing out of my mouth. I blacked out. What happened next was a mystery because when I woke up I was in the hospital myself, just like Evan yesterday.
This hospital bed is uncomfortable. I wonder whether my parents even got out of bed to see me, or even if they know. I don’t really care. All these tubes going into my arm, following one of them leads me to a beeping machine. Life support? The plug is in reach. I could end it all. Evan’s death was my fault. It’s logical. I’m cursed. I reach over and although it’s incredibly painful to move I’m inches away from the socket.
“Here goes.” Then I hear…
“WHAT’RE YOU DOING?”
“Hey, remember that Michael guy?”
“What the one who was alone constantly then tried to kill himself?”
“Yeah, do you know what happened to him? Did he survive?”
“No idea mate. Who cares? C’mon lets go to that event in town, it was great last time.”