Just something I made for literature class. I guess it would be rated PG-13
The Tell-Tale Eyes
“We just really have to thanks this great and wonderful man for doing what most people thought was impossible. Mr. Zachery Taylor c’mon stage!”
“Thank you Oprah.” I said with that soothing voice I’ve been practicing for years. “It’s an honor to be here.”
“Well it’s an honor to have you.” Ms Winfrey said with that soothing voice she was born with. “Now tell us Mr. Taylor, what’s your story? What made you feel the need to accomplish this task?”
What’s my story? My eyes grew dark and haunted as the memory of everything that had happened rushed into my brain. I don’t want to answer. My story is painful. Every time I tell it. Just because Oprah is in front of me won’t make anything different. But I’ll tell her anyway. I always do. I have everything to hide, but no heart to hide it in. So I’ll tell it again, and again, and again.
In 8th grade, I was the most popular kid in school. I had everything a 13 year old could ever want. I had money, cool parents, friends, and even a girlfriend. Yep, I had it all. But the most important thing to me was my reputation.
It was 3 days before the end of school before it actually happened. Before the first bell rang while everyone was sleepily milling around, I saw Marcus pound on this little kid.
“Hey man, lay off.” I said with the calm voice I was beginning to practice.
“Naw man, this punk’s just too much fun.” Marcus replied with his usual tough guy attitude.
“Alright, fine.” I was too tired to dabble in the affairs of bullies that morning. As I turned around to walk away my eyes caught the blue eyes of the kid getting pummeled and for one, almost non-existent second I felt his pain. His eyes then grew huge and blue. They were able to somehow sparkle in the dull, dead glow of the hallway’s florescent lights. Those weird sparkly eyes gave me a sort of pleading look as if he was asking me to say something else to soothe his tormentor. I pushed the thought out of my mind and just walked away.
It’s not my problem, I think I tried to lie to myself. Besides, there are only 3 more days of school. He can handle it. Ha. I went through the school day as Normal, but I couldn’t help but notice that kid staring at me in all my classes with that same pleading look he gave me this morning. Up until now, I never knew he had any of my classes let alone all of them. He was pretty small for an 8th grader.
When the final bell had rung everyone was rushing like maniacs outside as if they’d just realized there was a pox on the school. Sad-Eyes (as I had appropriately dubbed the kid with the blue eyes) took his time though. We both got picked up by car. I had a fairly new 2010 model Bentley. It was waxed everyday, so it shined bright silver in the nearly-summer sun. No, scuff marks or any visible indents could be seen from this angle so it was anyone’s’ guess how old the thing was. On the flip side, there was Sad-Eyes’ car. It was a God-knows how old model Corolla. It was a dark green color with white cuts everywhere. The hood was banged up beyond recognition as if it had recently been in a crash with a Landkreuzer P. 1500 and, quite frankly, just seemed like a screaming metal death trap to me.
But even going home didn’t seem to cheer up Sad-Eyes. But going home cheers up everyone. He had to be seriously depressed not to be at least smirking by now. He just looked so pitiful it broke my heart. The familiar call of my chauffeur snapped me back to reality. But I couldn’t leave just yet. I had to say something to him.
“Hey kid,” I yelled above the noise of a hundred pubescent children with something to prove. “What’s your name?” He looked at me as if I had asked him why the sky was yellow.
“Umm… Timmy?” said Timmy with a gerbil-like voice I could barley hear.
“Oh cool. Im Zack.” Then Timmy’s eyes gave me that pleading I’d come to know and despise. Those wide, blue eyes would seemed to take up most of his entire face and that thought alone would haunt me for the rest of my natural born life. I just couldn’t stand to be in that gaze any longer. Why were those eyes tearing me apart? Just what was it about them that brought me so much fear?
“Well bye. Tim,” I said. “See you later, I guess.”
I guess he guessed that too because all of a sudden his eyes stopped begging and did… something else. “What the hell is wrong with this kid’s eyes?” I thought to myself. “He seriously needs to get them checked or something.”
I got into my car and drove of trying not to think about today’s events.
I was in a bad mood the next day. I had a nightmare Tim’s eyes ate my face.
“Hey Zack.” said a familiar yet somehow different voice. I then turned around to face Sad-Eyes who ironically seemed happy. This wasn’t the only drastic change in him. For some reason he seemed 2 feet taller than when we last met. And his voice was different. It was more confident and mature. Who was this kid? He couldn’t be Sad-Eyes, could he?
“Is that you Tim?” I asked quite awkwardly.
“Yeah, why?” he replied coolly.
“Umm… No reason.” How is it I could feel so foolish in front on an anti-social geek?
“There’s actually something I wanted to talk to you about.” He approached shyly.
“ZACK!!!” I was interrupted by Beth, my blonde haired beauty, before I could finish my sentence. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TALKING TO THIS LOSER!!!?” all of a sudden Sad-Eyes seemed to shrink back into obscurity. That sight enraged me. Sa… Tim was finally getting some confidence. And then Beth just comes out of nowhere to ruin everything. I had only known Tim for a day, but I felt like he was my best friend.
“DON’T YELL AT ME YOU STUPID…” I caught myself just in time. As angry as I was, it wouldn’t help the situation to start a scene. “Look, just follow me.” I led my seething girlfriend to a quiet deserted corner of the hall casting one last look at Tim’s panicking eyes. I tried my best to say “It’s gonna be fine.” in eye-language but all I did was give my self a headache.
Beth and I had an entire debate on the ways of losers. Her argument was that hanging out with Sad-Eyes would ruin my reputation no matter how much money I had and she was not going to date a perpetual geek. My argument was that made no sense. But she knew my weak spot. My reputation was the most important thing to me in my life. I couldn’t have that endangered by anyone. My pride finally overcame my logic and moral discipline and I walked away with Beth, far away from Sad-Eyes in cold, silence.
At lunch, Tim came back to me in the midst of all my friends. That was the biggest mistake of the rest of his life.
“Zack! I’m glad I caught you. Listen, I really need to talk to y-”
“Shut up.” That was the hardest thing I had ever had to say in my life.
“What?” Tim was aghast with fright. His eyes darkened and uncharacteristically grew smaller with another one of his magic emotions.
“You heard him loser. We don’t want you hear.” Beth spoke with disgust, but looked at me with affection, obviously happy of my decision.
“I’ll take care of this.” Marcus said as get got up and punched Tim right across the face, breaking his nose and knocking out a tooth. Blood was splattered over the concrete and gushed across his “I’m with stupid” T-Shirt. I still lie awake wondering why the hell he had an “I’m with stupid” T-Shirt. Sad-Eyes obviously got the message, picked himself up and ran off crying, leaving his bloody tooth behind. Me and my friends then engaged in hearty laughter. I was disgusted with myself. How could anyone take delight in what we had just done? It was the cool thing to do.
I didn’t see Sad-Eyes at all the rest of the day. When I got home I made a decision. Tomorrow I would apologize to Tim and discard all of my friends. They weren’t real friends. Real friends wouldn’t do something like that. Why did it take me so long to realize that? Was I so blinded by fame that I couldn’t see the lie that was the basic foundation of my life? My reputation that was so important to me meant nothing. He probably wouldn’t forgive me. I wouldn’t blame him. I wouldn’t forgive me.
The next morning at school, I looked everywhere for Tim but I couldn’t find him. Today was the last day of school and I wanted to make amends. Then the announcement rang out on the speakers.
“Today is a somber day for Almoner Middle School.” huh that was a weird announcement for the last day of school. Did teachers really like school that much? “Timothy Brown committed suicide last night.” I don’t remember anything else the principal said after that.
I didn’t know how to take this news. He committed suicide and it was my fault. Why had I sat there and laughed at the poor boy’s misfortune? That’s what he had wanted to talk to me about. He didn’t want to end it, but I was the only one who he could talk to. When I forsake him, the world had nothing left to offer but misery and torment. If I had it as bad as him I would have ended it to. Everyone was shaken by the news but I started crying. And not the badass cry when only one tear falls down and sparkles like and angel. I mean I started sobbing like a 2nd grader who lost his deck of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. It was absolutely pathetic. Everyone was looking at me as if I had leprosy. Not even Marcus had the courage to drag me into a dark corner and kick my ass. I was screaming like a Banshee.
When I finished sobbing, I personally discarded each and every solitary friend I had acquired through out the years. They were all surprised at my apparent change of heart except for Beth. She simply glared at me and told me “You have to walk the path you have chosen alone.” Well… maybe not in those kind words. It didn’t matter. After high school, I did a couple of minor unimportant things here and there. Now here I am.
My entire life after that ordeal reminded me of the story “The tell-tale heart”. Except in my story Tim’s heart, were his eyes. I saw them everywhere I turned. Soon everyone began to look like him. I couldn’t escape his gaze. That pleading gaze he gave me when we first met. I could never escape it.
As I finished my story, the studio audience gave me a big round of applause that lasted for maybe 2 minutes. Why do they always cheer? That story was one of regret. It didn’t have a happy ending. Sure I removed bullying from the school system and saved countless lives from suicide. But I was doing that so no one else had to feel my pain. Nothing I ever do could ever release me from my endless torment. The eyes still eat my face every night.
_________________"Echoes of past events, nudge the tiller on my present course. I await its reflection in the future."
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