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Grade
7

"so i hear the freak committed."

 

that. that was all. that was why calvin was standing on a tree branch - a hundred feet off the ground - a daisy chain in his hand and a broken heart in his chest.

 

memories and emotions flooded his already-heavy heart.

 

aaron had loved to dance.

 

aaron had loved to sing. he couldn't carry a tune for the life of him, but he always sang along to whatever calvin had stuck in his head.

 

aaron had love to do his own hair; it was naturally straight, but perpetually looked wavy from the complex braids he had created that morning and torn out in a bout of fear and self-loathing.

 

aaron had loved when calvin played ukulele.

 

aaron had loved so many things that others just couldn't see.

 

and calvin had loved aaron.

 

~Five Months Prior~

 

"hey... calvin, right?"

 

"i, i, yeah, my name's, my name's c-calvin. yeah."

 

"right. i'm aaron. you sit three rows beneath me in ms. sawyer's safety class? i need notes, please."

 

"it, it was literally a presentation on bomb, on bomb safety?"

 

"your point?"

 

from the first time they had met, aaron had been obsessed with the shorter boy. the calm aura he radiated.

 

calvin had been obsessed with the sense of safety he had felt.

 

both had ached for another hit.

 

it had been doomed from the start.

 

calvin was looking for someone to take care of him.

 

aaron was looking for the same.

 

nothing good could come from the two of them together.

 

not like anything was ever good for either alone.

 

calvin took another cautious step further along the tree branch he was perched on.

 

11:11 was a magical time - if he was going to flicker out, he was going out with a bang.

 

even if no one would ever know.

 

just like no one ever knew aaron.

 

~Two Months Prior~

 

they had started dating three months in.

 

two broken boys, lending each other their shattered pieces so they could make themselves whole.

 

calvin had lent too little.

 

aaron had lent too much.

 

their first kiss had sent sparks flying through their bodies, hands twined together and bodies pressed so close together they could hear their hearts thumping as one.

 

their first time had been just as - if not more so - magical, like their entirety had become one entity, like in thousands of years scientists would find one singular body, their brains drenched in loved and fused into one.

 

~One Month Prior~

 

aaron had started getting worse again.

 

calvin was there to hold his hand, kiss his cuts, and bandage his wounded soul.

 

calvin couldn't be there enough.

 

 calvin wasn't there enough.

 

"aaron couldn't be helped," is what his therapist said, "it was his decision. while not the right one, it was still his."

 

"so i hear the freak committed."

 

"so i hear the freak committed."

 

"so i hear the freak committed."

 

"so i hear the freak committed."

 

that's how calvin found out.

 

not by being there with him- being in the room- watching him flatline like a good boyfriend would have- saving him-

gossip.

 

jessica and claire made a card and got the entire school to sign.

 

they couldn't find his gravestone.

 

he didn't have a gravestone.

 

no one knew how he had died.

 

some didn't even know if he had died.

 

calvin knew.

 

by the hole in his heart.

 

aaron had carved out a place for himself so deeply, that without him calvin couldn't survive.

 

but

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he had to.

 

he just had to.

 

...but did he, really?

 

did anyone really have to survive?

 

what was the point of living in this world of pain and numbness, half alive, and broken inside?

 

~Four Weeks Prior~

 

calvin had wanted - needed - to start smoking pot, to calm himself, remind himself of aaron. The familiar smell wafting from others lockers alone was enough to make him cry.

 

but his mother didn't have the extra cash that the mendall's had.

 

he turned to his anxiety medication.

 

it started out slow. one pill turned to two, two to three, three to four, four to five, five to six, six to seven, seven to eight, eight to nine, nine to ten, and calvin was hopelessly addicted.

 

he almost started sleeping around in hopes he might recapture that spark.

 

he couldn't bring himself to do it after he was raped in a dark alleyway after walking home high.

 

he was five weeks from graduation.

 

~Three Weeks Prior~

 

desperately, calvin threw himself into any and all ways to get aaron off of his mind.

 

medication- check.

 

after school clubs- check.

 

hanging out with jared- check.

 

making oh-so-beautiful crimson patterns on his arms with a shiny, shiny, silver ribbon- check.

 

but nothing worked.

 

he was in agony.

 

he lived in agony.

 

waking up a chore, going to sleep an even bigger one.

 

he wasn't there the day aaron returned to school.

 

he was in a tree.

 

a very tall tree.

 

~Present Day~

 

calvin steeled himself.

 

calvin tied the rope to the branch. smiling, he thanked his time as a ranger for the intricate knots he was able to create.

 

calvin looped it around his head and tightened it.

 

calvin checked his watch.

 

calvin smiled.

 

calvin plummeted into the returning embrace of his love.

 

~aaron~

 

"have you seen calvin?"

 

it was all he could say.

 

it was all he could do.

 

it was all he could ever do.

 

"where is he, sid?"

 

"dude, everyone thought you were dead."

 

"where is he, eleanor?"

 

"aaron mendall? i can scarcely believe it!"

 

"where is he, violet?"

 

"is that really you, ron? i missed you so much- never thought i'd say that."

 

"have you seen him, helen?"

 

"no..."

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

aaron had failed.

 

he finally dragged himself to the orchard, where he and calvin had gone on their first date.

 

he saw a beautiful trail of rose petals.

 

on the ground, there was a note.

 

dear mama carsen,

 

it saddens me that i had to write this, but i simply cannot go on.

 

my heart aches to be near him again, mama, you could never know the pain.

 

as i depart from this world and into the next, please don't be mad; rather, think of me fondly, and smile as i finally get my wish.

 

use my college funds to buy yourself something nice for once- you will find over 5,000 in cash under my bed. use it for yourself, mama.

 

i used you too much, i used you all too much.

 

i'm so sorry mama.

 

sincerely,

calvin carsen.

 

aaron looked up.

 

he screamed.

 

there, like a morbid christmas decoration, was calvin's body, swinging from a black rope.

 

 

 

 

calvin's punishment was to die.

 

aaron's reward was to live forever.

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48105