So here I was. First day of senior year (again) at a new high school. My twelfth high school.
Never thought I’d get to say that number. When I stood on the lawn of Westerburg High School, clutching a bomb to my chest, I thought that was my end.
I’ve been through ten high schools and this one will finally end me.
But if there’s no bomb blast, what are you meant to die from?
Yeah, I shouldn’t really been surprised. It was me that Veronica shot, but the bullet hit the bomb too. And who even knows if the fucking thing would have worked anyway…
I don’t think about Westerburg. What ( who ) I left behind.
Here we are. Even though I’m eighteen and long past high school, considering we’ve practically been homeless for a year, I was enrolled at St. Madison's high school anyway.
When I walk through the front doors, I’m almost taken aback.
Because it’s Westerburg, well it’s not, but the people are the same.
The three head bitches, I quickly learn, are Hailee, Hannah, and Heather.
Yeah. Fucking Heather.
I mean, there’s no yellow scrunchie, but she’s practically the same person.
Is the world trying to drive me to suicide?
It’s all so normal.
So right .
I work in a coffee shop. I hang out with Martha and Heather, and surprisingly I’m happy.
I don't want to go off to college anymore. I'm happy to just be here.
Until somebody comes in wearing a trench coat and then I’m drowning in floods of memories…
Heather choking on the drain cleaner…
Ram definitely not being just unconscious…
Martha lying on the hospital bed…
JD’s bloodstained hands clutching my face…
The bullet that I shot ripping through his body…
His face as he clutched the bomb to his chest…
The bomb that never went off.
And then he left. Who knew where JD was now? And do I care?
That’s a question impossible to answer…
But what would I do if he came back?
Thank fucking god he hasn’t.
No exceptions to my rule this time. I don’t learn the names, don’t bother with faces. When everyone brands me as the ‘no name kid’, like they do everywhere, I don’t bother correcting them.
St. Madison's is like any other high school, I tell myself.
Well I stand corrected.
Today, the H’s (as they’re known) indoctrinated some girl named Megan into their clique.
Today, two jocks harassed some outsider until he shot two blanks at them.
And no, that person was not me.
But it could fucking well have been.
So I’m not staying there. I’ll get a job, somehow, anything to stop living senior year again and again.
I throw open the door. I don’t bother telling him I’m home (over the last year we’ve avoided speaking to each other so much that now we’re practically strangers living in the same house, like we weren’t anyway). But I stop short when I don’t nearly crash into the stack of boxes in the hallway.
There are no boxes in the hallway.
No duffel coat thrown over the chair.
No passed-out man lying on the coach (he turned to drowning himself in booze and to be honest I can’t blame him. We were gifted this house by my newly-deceased aunt, and no, I didn’t kill her.)
I throw open the door to our shared room (not that he sleeps there) but there's no bags, no boxes except the black rucksack I randomly stole last year.
That bastard .