Matt wanted nothing to do with him, Jason was certain. He'd always been jealous of Jason - Jason got the lead role, got into Notre Dame, got Ivy (when he didn't even really want her), and Matt came in second place. When Jason was gone, Matt would probably be happy.
"I'd like to start with just a..." Matt closed his eyes, trying to think. "If we could take a moment..."
If he hadn't said anything to Ivy about Jason and Peter, if he hadn't just blurted it out in front of everyone... If he had bothered to say one word to Jason to let him know he didn't hate him for it... If he'd done anything, Jason might be alive, and the valedictory address wouldn't be replaced by a memorial.
If, if, if...
Lucas didn't care about anything, everyone knew that. It was the reason everyone liked him, what made him so carefree and fun to be around; it was the reason he'd been at St. Cecilia's for five years now. And despite kind words on that night, he wouldn't give a shit if Jason lived or died.
Lucas sat quietly at the back of the room, head bowed, eyes lowered. He was silent, all but unheard of from the class clown of St. Cecilia's. And no one would look at him, not even the teachers. No one blamed him, but they all knew just who'd put the poison in his hand. He probably would have found another way, if he didn't have the drugs. Knowing that didn't ease Lucas' conscience in the least.
iii. sister chantelle
He was just another student. Sure, Sister Chantelle would feel bad, for a little while, but when it came down to it, she didn't really know him, did she? She might care, sure, but not enough to really hurt.
Peter seemed like he'd needed the talk, but she'd never guessed Jason might be the one to worry about. Jason was confident, outgoing, maybe not sure of himself but sure to find himself, head of the class, and anyway, she never saw the opportunity to talk to him.
None of her students in the years after ever asked about the picture of him she kept in her classroom. They all knew, whispered about it, made up stupid stories that he haunted the theater. She ignored it, and tried to pretend never having seen it coming didn't make it that much worse.
Ivy would be better off if he were gone. Then she'd have someone to point the finger at, someone to blame, and who would stand up for the father who'd killed himself rather than face up to responsibility? It wouldn't be her fault. It was all he could do for her.
Ivy cried into her pillow the night he died, unafraid to be seen, unashamed because Nadia had vanished and wasn't likely to be back in the next few days, let alone tonight. It wasn't just Jason that had died. It was... possibility. Hope. She could have been happy with Jason, he could have learned to love her. She could have been a mother, with him around. With him gone, she was just a scared little girl.
Peter didn't care. If Jason thought he cared, he wouldn't be doing this. If he thought there was the slightest chance... But running away with Peter had been his one chance of... well, anything. And Peter had turned him away, told him he couldn't. He didn't have a choice.
It wasn't true, what they said. If your roommate killed yourself, you didn't get automatic As in all your classes. Peter got five As, one B, and one B+. He got into Columbia. He got away from everything that could possibly remind him of Jason - St. Cecilia's, their dorm, all of Jason's things.
And all of that seemed hollow and empty when the memories wouldn't leave him alone, when he closed his eyes and there was still the image, repeating over and over, Jason falling to the stage and never again rising.