LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

And All That Could've Been by TrashFoot

1

I had 4th period free that year, and every Tuesday and Friday I’d see him. Slouched on the large window sill in the corridor, staring at the wall in front of him, looking lost and confused. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but today there was something more there. I’d sit on the floor nearby and draw in my sketchbook, usually working on stuff I wasn’t able to finish up the period before in art class. We never talked to each other, until one day, with no more inspiration left in me, I decided to test the waters.


“Hey, I’m Mike.” I said, suddenly turning to him. I almost couldn’t catch a glimpse of his face from the angle I was at, but was able to see that my words flew right past him as he didn’t even turn his head to see where they were coming from. “Ah, can I... draw you?” More silence, but at least he turned his head. With eyes glazed over, he looked at me. Stared at me, really. He was trying to connect the dots between why I’d want to draw him and the empty sketchbook page in my hands. It took him some time, but he responded with a nod of his head.


As I drew him, I was able to see something in his face. More than just confusion, or being lost, or that expressionless thousand-yard stare he’d sport the most. I found what I couldn’t find earlier: He was sad. Or at least he looked it. The bell rang, making me jump. “Thank you, uh...” I searched for a name, but never got one before I had to rush off to math class.


*******


Friday, there he was. Like clockwork. I was finding something that I liked about this guy: despite him being somebody I’d normally avoid hanging around, he was growing to be a constant in my life. Always there in same spot, same blank look on his face, same 2 days a week. Like an unmoving statue. As Tuesday went on, the day blossomed into a crazy week, and by today I was starting to enjoy this— I was looking forward to it— the one time and place where I could sit and relax in comfortable silence with someone else.


“Hey.” I said approaching him, a smirk placed on my face. Even with a small smile I felt I was coming into this situation too happily, but I didn’t care. “Can I draw you again?” He turned his head to me, examining me through his glasses.


“Yeah.” I blinked at this for a second. It was the first time I heard him speak, and it blew me away.


“Thank you.” I told him, and I sat down right there in front him and drew. After a few different sketches— attempts at his whole body, lazy attempts at his shoes, his arms, close-ups of his hand and as many of the little scars on it that I could find— I felt the want to say something to him. As I continued to sketch, I thought about what I wanted to say enough that the words came bubbling to the surface. “You know, the last time I drew you, I showed it to my art teacher, and he said it was one of my best works... in terms of the human figure.” I was left in silence, but I didn’t really care. I was fine with throwing that information into the abyss that was the boy slouching in front of me. Then I got curious. Curious enough to make me stop sketching. “What’s your name, by the way?”


“Chester.” And with that, the bell rang. I packed up my stuff and got myself ready for another round of math class with my friend Rob, the only person who made it bearable for me.


“Bye, Chester.” I said before taking off.


*******


Over the weekend, I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world. I got to hang out with friends, play video games with my little brother, see my girlfriend Anna. It was one of the best weekends I could ask for. Coming back to school on Monday wasn’t any fun, but when is it? Monday came and went, and by the time I walked into school Tuesday morning, I was already looking forward to 4th period.


But when I reached that stretch of corridor, it was different. There was no life there. Just another empty corridor in another school on another Tuesday. Chester wasn’t there. I had the usual thought students think when their friend is missing from class; oh, they’re home sick, I guess. So I sat alone, against the wall, not daring to touch Chester’s spot because, well, what if he’s just late or something? I kept looking up and down the hallway for him, half-expecting him to be there, walking towards me, towards his usual spot. But no. As the bell rang, he hadn’t shown. I guess he really was home sick.


That’s what I thought, at least.


“What’s up, Mike?” Rob said in a cheery voice, catching up with his friend on the walk down the hallway to their classroom. As soon as he caught a glimpse of his friend’s face, his cheeriness went away. “Oh, did something happen?”


“No, it’s just—” I bumped into someone on my way into the classroom and apologized quickly. Placing my backpack on my desk, I continued my thought, “Remember that drawing I showed you? Of Chester? The slouching guy in the window?”


“Oh yeah!”


“He wasn’t here today. It kinda threw me off.”


“Mike, didn’t you hear?”


“Hear what?”


“He died over the weekend. They said it happened because of a heroin overdose.” A beat of silence would’ve come between us, if it weren’t for the second bell alerting us that we should be in class by now. It was about as loud as the rush of thoughts inside my head. “Dude, you didn’t even know him.” Rob said as he made his way to his desk. But I was hoping to.

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