include_once("common_lab_header.php");
Excerpt for The Unfortunate Losses by , available in its entirety at Smashwords








The Unfortunate Losses


By: Brent Vaughn









___________________________________________________

“There’s something between us; a sort of pull. Something you always do to me and I to you.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Presumption

___________________________________________________

“I love you, and that’s the beginning and end of everything.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

___________________________________________________

“All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Tender is the Night

___________________________________________________





I dedicate this book to Stefan Farquhar, Jordan Chavez, Kamerin Witschger, Mateo Dorantes these people helped me survive the many horrors, hurdles, and dramas of high school.

The Beginning

Chapter 1

I stretched my arms skywards and arched my back against my seat. I was assigned a seat near the back of the classroom. I set my mind free to wander my vast imagination and explore the many possibilities of what this year had in store for my life. My mind dropped from the clouds like a rock when the loud and obnoxious class bell rang.

The teacher stood up from behind his large oak desk, and promptly walked to the middle of white board mounted to the wall at the front of the room, turned to the board, and wrote Dr. Thomas Theseus in large cursive letters.

He then turned back around and looked up at the several rows of seats that lined the half-cone shaped room. Each row back was lifted just a little.

Dr. Theseus stood silent at the front of the room for a brief moment scanning the large room to make sure that he had most of everyone’s attention. He gave a slight nod when satisfied with the amount of people paying attention.

“Good morning class.”

Dr. Theseus had a thin Van Dyke beard, eyes of amber, a shiny bald head, and a voice that quaked and quavered but always held firm.

Nobody responded to him except me, which earned me a nice smile. I have to admit that I’m not the best student, but I’ve heard from multiply teachers that I’m a joy to have in class. Which is usually followed by “and if he applied himself he’d be an straight A student.”

He raised his voice and repeated himself, “Good morning class.”

“Good morning.” Most people in the class had a melancholy expression.Just then a new girl opened the door next to Dr. Theseus’s desk. She walked with a small hop in her step all the way to Dr. Theseus and whispered in his ear.

I looked down at my laptop and zoned out my surroundings as I started working on the classwork.

“We just happen to have a new student.” Dr. Theseus motioned to the girl that just walked in. “Can you please tell the class your name? Preferably loud enough for everyone to hear.”

“My name is Elizabeth Parkers.” she stated just loud enough for me to hear while stuck in my own world.

My eyes inched its way along her curves and features of the girl with a voice of honey. Her voice was smooth, sweet, and made my mind absolutely melt.

Her hair was a honey blonde, and her eyes were bright green which sparkled like gems in the sunlight. She was wearing the usual boring standard school uniform for the girls which was a knee length blue plaid skirt. a blue and white sweater vest, a red-gold tie, and plain black flats.

I had zoned out and got lost in the cloudy maze of my imagination and didn’t realize that Liz was making her way up the steps of the narrow aisle adjacent to my seat. Just like when the bell had rung earlier, I came crashing back to reality when Liz held her open hand out to me.

“Hi. I’m Fynn.” I said as I returned her handshake. Her hands were soft, but she had a firm country girl handshake.

“I’m Elizabeth, but everyone calls me Liz.” She let go of my hand and took the seat right in front of me.

Day after day, I sat behind her daydreaming. I knew close to nothing about her, but somehow I began to fall in love with her.

Later in the year I tapped Liz on the shoulder, but in the heat of the moment I froze like a deer in headlights. I couldn’t stop stumbling over my words. She turned to me with a spark of curiosity in her eyes.

“What’s up?” She was nonchalant.

My mind fell silent as I couldn’t remember anything despite the full hour I used to practice what I was going to say that very morning. I started to panic because I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of Liz. My heart slowly started to beat faster and faster picking up speed quickly until it was beating faster than I ever would have thought possible. Now, I had really screwed up, I was having a panic attack while face to face with Liz.

She had a worried look on her face which means she knew something was wrong.

“Do you have a bag? Paper or plastic would work.” I asked having to pause in between words as I tried to control my breathing.

“I have a sandwich bag. Is that fine?”

“That’s perfect.”

Liz grabbed the nylon webbed haul handle on her backpack and lifted it up off the ground. She then placed it on her lap with the front facing up. She unzipped the front pocket, reached in, and pulled out a sandwich bag with a sandwich in it. As she took the sandwich out of the bag, She took the sandwich bag in the other hand and handed it to me.

I accepted it, and I breathed in and out of if. After about ten in-and-out’s I was able to slow my heartbeat down to a reasonable pace which allowed me to move the bag from my lips. I took a big sigh filling my lungs with good, cold air and released all of it out while bending so that my head was between my knees so I could ease up the hair-pulling and sledgehammer headache.

Her eyes shone with worry, as she put her hand on my shoulder.

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah. I have panic attack quite often, because I have Katagelophobia. Which is the the fear of ridicule, being put down, or embarrassed.”

Another day I asked her for a pencil because I had left mine at home on my woodworking station along with my dremel. So she turned around to hand me the pencil, but didn’t release the her side of the pencil when I went to accept and grab it.

“Wanna join my study group?” she asked keeping a firm grip on the pencil even though I tried to pull the pencil out of her hand.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” I replied trying to end the conversation.

“Why is it not a good idea?”

“Uh...um.”

“Exactly. We have a lot in common and you need a lot of help in this class.”

I let go of my end of the pencil, and finally gave up on ending the conversation.

“Give me one reason it’s not a good idea.” She had a matter-of-a-fact tone.

“Because.”

“Because is not an answer.”

Tired of beating around the bush and slightly annoyed at the fact that she tried to force me into a uncomfortable situation. “I like you. Is that you wanted to hear?” I accidentally snapping.

Liz just sat there frozen and speechless with a bright blush creeping onto her face. I then saw tears gathering at the bottom of her eyes.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you.”

I was so embarrassed that I had snapped at her. My heart rate started to rise. I tried to walk to the teacher’s desk as calmly as possible.

“Dr. Theseus, may I go to the library?” I asked him while studying my white and black shoe laces.

“Yes, you may.” Dr. Theseus replied without even looking up from the several papers he was grading.

I left the room in a hurry.

I looked back as I walk down the white hall lined with doors on either side and in the distance I saw the silhouette of someone. The person was too far away to identify, but for a split second a flower of hope blossomed in my heart. The hope was that Liz came after me despite the fact that I snapped at her, but the flower bud of hope failed to bloom when I looked back. I saw the figure which I had hoped was Liz turn and enter one of the band rooms.

I had finally reached the library, and I opened the door with my right hand. I walked into the library with my right hand at my side and my left hand in my pocket. I looked at all the tables scattered around the library and didn’t see a soul. I decided not sit at a table because I always felt uncomfortable stilling at tables. I ended up choosing the corner of the library opposite of the front door, because it was secluded.

I was huddled in the corner trying to forget about Liz’s tears, her blushing, and me snapping at her. I was in a ball with my knees tightly tucked against my chest. A shadow fell over me as someone walked up to me and stopped when we toe to toe. I buried my face deeper into my knees when she sat next to me. She was close enough to me that we couldn’t help that our arms rubbed against each other.

The library was deadly silent, and it smelled like old leather and parchment. I could hear her deep slow breathing. Liz put her arm gently around my shoulder to comfort me, but I looked away moving my hand to block my face from her to hide the tears on my cheeks.

“Now let’s try this again.” Liz had a understanding and sympathetic voice. Her voice was like and I wanted to drown in it. She whispered the question into my ear. “Why can’t you join my study group?”

Her warm breath tickled my ear causing my whole body to feel warm and relaxed. It calmed me down and allowed me to slowly process the question, and think about my answer thoroughly.

Now that the tears had dried, I moved my hand away from my face. I then asked her a question to answer her question.

“Will it only be me and you?”

Liz slowly nodded yes.

“Ok. I’m fine with that.” I was so relieved and excited. “So it’s like a study date?”

“Pretty much.”

“Cool. One more question.”

“What is it?”

“Back in class, why didn’t you say it would be just you and me?”

“I don’t know. I guess that was my bad.” We sat there in silence for what felt like eternity. We were hold each other for support and understanding. She gave me a small kiss on the cheek before getting up and leaving the library.

Now two to three times we meet up either at her place or my place and listened to smooth jazz on the radio as we worked on our missing assignments and current homework.







Below the Love Tree

Chapter 2

“Hey, Liz. You down hang out after school?” I asked Liz concentrating on her senior math homework.

She didn’t respond to me because she had music blaring in her headphones. This is one of the reasons that I liked her. She tuned out everything except for her work and music.

I tapped her shoulder, trying to get her attention. When she looked up at me with large confused eyes that always made my heart beat falter. I repeated my question while moving closer to her, “I asked if your down to hang out after school?”

“Sure, where would we be going?” she asked raising eyebrows.

“That is for me to know and you to find out.” I booped her nose leaving her curiosity to climb.

Before I knew it the last bell rang, and I met up with Liz at the library. We made our way off campus with our arm linked together. The first place we stopped was Dairy Queen which was halfway between the school and the park. We ordered two small chocolate shakes from Dairy Queen. Liz and I started walking towards the park while holding hands.

We arrived at the park exhausted from our long hike, so we sat at the base of the large oak tree that I had brought her here to experience. She laid her head in my lap and listened while I explained the many adventures that me and my brother had in this tree. About how I came there to think and talk to my brother Tom up in the highest branches of the tree.

I looked down at Liz, and her eyes were huge and filled with fiery passion for adventure. We locked eyes and I knew it was the right time. I whispered, the three words I had never said to anyone, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” She leaned up to kiss me and I met her halfway.







The News

Chapter 3

The next day started like any other Saturday. It was filled with constant bickering with Robbie, my younger brother, and with Tom, my big brother, who always took my side. I usually got away from it all by chilling on the porch, and reading my favorite book. I had left to the front porch in order to get away from the drama and bickering, when I noticed Liz running up to my house. When she reached the bottom of the steps, she sat down to rest from running. I got up and sat next to her and let her catch her breath. Before I could say or ask anything, she took my hand and lead me to my bedroom. Surprisingly the house was overwhelmingly quiet. On the way to my room we didn’t run into anyone. We arrived at the door to my room, but I didn’t get to warn Liz about the mess in the room. The mess didn’t seem to phase her. We both sat on the edge of my bed as her eyes began welling up with tears and she looked at me searching for comfort within my eyes. I could tell something was terribly wrong, but I was afraid to ask what it was.

“We need to talk.” She bluntly came out with.

I dreaded her response, yet I still asked “Is everything alright?”

While trying to hold back the tears that were now streaming down her cheeks she softly began to explain that had just been told that she was diagnosed that very afternoon with stage three lung cancer. Through all the sniffling and crying she looked up at me searching for a warm supportive hug. I couldn’t move as my heart sank into my stomach. I had a blank expression. My mind finally caught up with what she was telling me, and I dove head first back into reality. I wasn’t able to compose myself. It’s socially wrong to cry in front of girls, I couldn’t help but have a massive mental breakdown right in front of Liz. As soon as I came back to my senses I told her that I wasn't going anywhere. I would stay by her side. I would be there for her no matter what.

Without me even having to ask our eyes met again as she blurted out “I only have fifteen months left,” answering the question humming in my mind.

“Then I’ll make these months the best months of your life. I promise,” I said with a certain zest that lit a blazing fire of hope in her eyes.

The remainder of the day was filled with fun board games and trips to all the places around town that Liz had never seen or been to.












Returning to the Tree

Chapter 4

Terrified of the hurdles we faced in our relationship after she told me the news: I reached out to my youth group and began a prayer train to pray for Liz as she went through the horribly long treatments. Even that didn’t seem to be enough so when I saw Liz during school the next day I asked “Can you meet me under our tree after school?”

“Ok I’ll see you there.” Liz had a spark of curiosity.

Later that day I stood underneath the tree that Liz and I had our first kiss. I stood there for a good half hour before I saw her come over the hill. She had the same cool multi colored bandana in place of her hair. “Hey Liz,” I said as I stood up with a huge smile on my face.

“Hi Fynn,” She said, hugging me tight. It seemed as though she would never let go of me.

“How are you Liz?” I asked fearing the truth.

“I’m great since I’m with you.” She said, her smile full of sunshine.

“How is the treatment going?” I was hoping for the best.

“The doctors ended the treatment yesterday.” She was looking at the ground.

“That’s great!” I lifted a great weight off my chest.

“Well…” Liz started as she was examining her shoes.

Not wanting to waste another minute I cut her off, “I want to ask you something,”

“What is it you want to ask me?” She had sad confusion in her eyes.

“Since you’re getting better I wanted to ask you something.” I said as I got on one knee. “Will you mar-” I stopped mid sentence at the sight of her crying. “What’s wrong?” I asked her, fearing the answer to come. “Is it something I said?”

“No, you did nothing wrong.”

“Then why are you crying?” I was confused at the situation.

“The doctors ended the treatment early because I’m not getting any better.” She said in a soft whisper between heavy sobs.

I pulled her into me, and held her there till she stopped crying and fell asleep on my shoulder.
















A Meaning Between the Lines

Chapter 5

That dark night I had a nightmare. Liz and I were skiing. We were enjoying ourselves by going up and down the mountain until the ground started to shake. I looked back up the mountain and saw an avalanche coming down the mountain threatening, but not fast enough to catch up to Liz and I. As if in slow motion I saw Liz trip in front of me, but before I could pick her up my vision was filled with a blanket of the white unknown.

Despite the cold feeling that the dream gave me, I woke up covered in sweat. I noticed that my mother had opened the long dark curtains. When I sat up and saw the dull, mellow sky outside. I forgot about the haunting nightmare at the moment. I’m worried about Liz. She was getting a scan in order to find out how much the cancer has grown. I called her up immediately, although when she answered I could hear her sniffling. I had decided to break the ice.

“Hey Liz, h-how’s it going?” I asked, stumbling over my words.

“I’m not doing so well.” Liz replied softly between several rough coughs.

“Why? What’s wrong?” I asked knowing the answer immediately.

“Nothing.” Badly shrugging my question off.

“Okay, do you want me to come down there?” I inquired to her urging for a yes.

“To be blunt n-no.” She said, assessing her options.

“Why?” I asked, abstruse by her answer.

“Just not now!” she stated with surprising hostility, although still indecisive.

“Oh ok, I'll talk to you later.” I said disoriented.

“Ok.” She said hanging up.

I didn’t know how to respond so I need to contact a person close to my heart. He had always been there for me and I needed right him now.





Asking for Advice

Chapter 6

I looked through my phone contacts and saw his name on speed dial and immediately called him up.

“Yo, what’s up?” Jake said ecstatic that I called him.

“I was wondering if I can get some advice from you?” I asked.

“Sure, who do you need advice about?” asked Jake.

“How did you know I need advice about someone?”

“Come on dude we are practically brothers. I can tell when it’s about someone.”

“Oh, ok. It’s Liz.” I said.

I told him about her condition and how she didn’t want me there. Jake just sat there and listened patiently.

“I want to talk over some coffee. Is that all right?” he asked after I finished.

“That sounds good I can do Friday.” I replied hoping that Liz would last that long.

“Cool. see you then.”

“Cool. Bye.”

I hung up the phone and thanked the lord for such a understanding and caring friend.

After I got off the phone, I immediately got another call. So, of course I picked up the phone.

“Hey Mom.” I said in a soft voice.

“Sweetie, come down to the hospital straight away.” She sounded out of breath.

Without her saying I knew that it was Liz. My mom knew we were dating. She would always keep me up to date on the happenings with Liz.

“Liz doesn’t want me there.” I was still confused by the conversation with Liz..

“She won’t stop asking for you.” My mom replied sternly.

“Ok.” I said wanting to get off the phone and head down there right away, “I’ll be at there as soon as possible.” I started to lock up the house while still on the phone.

“See you here,” my mom said as I hung up.

I got on my bike immediately after I got off the phone began pedaling as fast as possible for about a minute. After I got tired of pedaling I just let myself drift down the streets of the small town I’ve alway lived in. As I coasted I just let my mind wander to the many possibilities of things going wrong with Liz, which in turn caused my heart to start pounding so violently I believed that it would’ve explode out of my chest. It felt like the whole world was sitting on my shoulders, weighing me down as I rode. I had that sinking feeling you get in your gut when you know something is wrong.

Halfway to the hospital, my bike wheel got caught in a pothole and I was thrown over the handlebars, face first into the asphalt. I sat there for a moment, my head pound away with different thoughts and feelings bouncing around in my skull as if they had been knocked loose by the hit. I had to shake my head a little bit to realize that I had somewhere to be.

I got on my bike and continued on my way to the hospital, ignoring the warm sticky blood that ran down my sweaty face. I used the throbbing pain in my head to drive my body to continue despite my head threatening to split open. I continued on my way concerned faces flying passed me in a blur as I rode my heart to it’s very end.

When I arrived at the hospital I was spent and had to lay down on the concrete. I spent no time chaining up my bike. I walked into the waiting room of the hospital. I stood in the doorway of the waiting room looking for my mother. I saw my mom dressed in scrubs standing next to the help counter, looking at her files and mumbling to herself. She looked up to see me standing there and rushed to me in such a surprising speed that I stumbled backwards.

“Honey, you’re bleeding.” she said wiping aside the blood-matted hair stuck to my forehead.

“It’s nothing.” I quickly shrugging off the concern in her voice. “Where is Liz?”

“She’s in her hospital room, but first, clean your face.” My mom sternly replied.

“Yes, mom.” I agreed, still out of breath and tense.

As I walked into the bathroom, I was surprised by the man staring back at me in the mirror. I was poorly dressed, and had several long dried trails of deep red blood all down my face. It took a few minutes to get all the blood off. I suspected that I would end up having to get about five stitches on my head.

I left to look for my mother, but I couldn’t find. I walked up to the front desk and asked the woman behind the desk, “What room is Elizabeth Parkers in?”

The lady behind the desk looked through her clipboard of the assigned rooms, and looked up and recognized me as one of her coworkers sons. She told me, “She’s in room 388B, but I’ll have to contact your mother first.”

“Ok.” I sat down in one of the waiting room chairs, and my ADHD got the better of me causing my knee to bounce rapidly.

“Your good.” The woman behind the desk said.

I got up to fast and for it I received a wave of dizziness.

“Thank you.” I replied, in a rush but still appreciative of her help.

I was terrified of what she was going to say when I had got there. I finally found her room in the mass maze of doors and hallways, as I put my hand on the door’s cold brass handle I froze. I had came to the realization that I hadn’t been ready for any of this, but it was Liz’s strength and attitude that fueled me to keep me going. I then was sucked back out of my own thoughts as the cold smooth metal of the handle sent a shiver down my spine and into my finger tips. It took a moment in order to calm my frantic heartbeat. When I had successfully slowed my heart down, I cracked open the door to see Liz laying on the white sheets of the hospital bed. Liz looked terrible. She had dark bags under her eyes and she was extremely pale.

“Thank you so much for coming!” Liz said this with such energy that I felt a jolt of energy run down my spine. “I really needed you here.”

Her smile filled me up with energy that made me feel like Hercules. I felt like I could run a marathon five times in succession and then climb Everest twice. Nothing could stop the great feeling that I had pumping through my fast moving blood.

Just then the energy drained out of me as I listened and watched as Liz started coughing and got paler with each heavy cough. As the spark that had once been a flame died down to just an ember. I was left feeling useless like life without purpose. I eventually gathered together enough energy from deep down to drag my feet to the door. I reached for the shiny handle with a unsteady hand and turned it slowly. I pulled open the door and looked back at the pale fragile figure on the hospital bed. I walked through the doorway on my now unstable legs, and closed the door behind me slowly. When the door finished closing I crumbled to the ground hitting my back against the door, and I cried every thought and feeling as a flood of sadness and emotional pain washed over me. I stayed in that seated position for a long time, and as I ran out of tears to cry I was left with a feeling of emptiness. I hoped that by some godly miracle that Liz could come from the room in order to comfort me. I very cautiously got to my feet in order to prevent my legs from collapsing from the weight of my body. I opened the door to the room and saw Liz laying completely flat. I walked in feeling stark and bereft of life.




A Peaceful Ending to a Sorrowful Day

Chapter 7

I began to move to the chair next to the hospital bed containing Liz. I lower myself into the chair slowly. I took her hand in mine and told her, “Everything will be fine,”

Liz opened her eyes and asked, “Fynn, do you remember that time when I broke my arm and you said the exact same thing? I was having nothing of it and kept saying that I was dying?” She gave my hand a light squeeze with a loose grip.

“Yes, what about it?” I asked not knowing where she was going with it.

“I actually thought at that time that I was dying.”

“Ok, but you weren’t even close to dying.”

“Yes, but now that I look back to that moment, I realized that moment was a low point for myself. You had helped me through that low point. Thank you...” she said, holding the last syllable for longer than necessary.

I realized that I was watching the life slip from her limp body. I look around the room for someone to help. Nobody was in the room, and when I looked back at Liz she had a bright shining smile, but wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t believe this. The only person that actually knew me had left me in a world of unknown possibilities, and the only person that had been keeping me alive throughout the torture of high school. My vision started to darken with all the different feelings and emotions swimming in my head causing a swirling vortex of emotions. It came to a quiet standstill, as a thick black veil of silence fell upon my mind.












A Confusing Morning

Chapter 8

When the veil lifted I found myself in my bed with a major headache. It felt like someone was beating my head in with a hammer. I got out of bed and found myself still fully dressed. Confused, I walked to my bathroom to freshen up and looked in the mirror. I was shocked to find a fresh set of stitches on my forehead. I sprinted downstairs to find my mom standing at the stove, and I noticed that she was still wearing her scrubs. Everything came flooding back that happened the day before. My regular headache changed from a normal hammer to a sledge hammer hitting my head. I broke down into a sobbing heap on the kitchen floor. I stayed in that position even when my mother brought my food over to the kitchen table.

“Honey, please eat before you pass out again,” my mother said, trying to calm me down.

But I wasn’t having any of it and sat there sobbing with my head in my arms.

After a period of time I stopped crying, but didn’t say anything. I was too afraid of what might end up coming out of my mouth. I slowly got up off the floor and moved to the kitchen table.

“Now, please eat, honey,” My mother insisted concerned at the bewildered but pale look on my face.

I started to eat, and when I took the first bite, I finally felt how hungry I was. It ended up only taking twenty minutes for me to scarf down four meals fit for a full grown adult. When I finally finished eating, I looked around for my mom but I couldn’t find her. I had later found out that the reason I’d passed out was because of the faceplant I had taken on the way to the hospital had given me a concussion.

I called people seeing if they wanted to hang out at the nearest diner. I got about 7 people together and told them of what happened. I found that the more people I told about the situation, the easier it was to accept the fact that Liz was gone. No matter how many people I told or asked I couldn’t figure out why Liz’s smile had shone so bright at the moment of her death.

The next couple of weeks was a blur of motion and to keep up with what was around me I started a journal. I received so much support from Jake at times that were emotionally overwhelming for me. I spent most of my time with my head in the clouds, zoning out the world around me. I barely noticed when it came to the day of the finals which I happened to pass with flying colors.

I walked to the podium in my cap in gown but without realizing it I had walked past the podium. I barely realized that I had when the entire crowd had gone silent. I had all eyes trained on me waiting to see what I was going to do.

When I had finally cleared all of the clouds from my head, I looked at my surroundings. I realized what I had done and walked back to the podium beat red. The principle was waiting for me with a diploma in hand. As I walked back to my seat, the cheering started back up.

The rest of the ceremony went by like someone had put it on fast forward. Until the principle said the name that instantly brought a flood of tear to my eyes.

“Elizabeth Parkers.”

Everyone went silent. “She couldn’t be here with us but she should be an inspiration to all of us. She battled both cancer and school. This diploma with be given to her closest friend Flynn.” After that he went on with the rest of the ceremony, which flew by.
















A Shot in the Dark

Chapter 9

Today is the worst day of the week. This particular terrible day was Monday, the first of classes. I’m Fynn, and I’m a Freshman in college this year. I am terrified of what is to come from this year of college, which is like everything.

I turned out to love all my classes and my teachers were amazing, sometimes. I don’t have a large amount of friends, but I would say that the amount of friends I have is acceptable if only having one friend is acceptable.

I stop writing in my journal because of a hammer-hitting-my-skull headache. I leaned back in my chair rubbing my temples with my middle finger and my thumb trying to relieve the pain in my head. I looked around me at the nearby tan oak tables but there wasn’t anybody near me. I then noticed my only friend Jake walk through the door of the library. Jake was that typical SoCal beach boy. He wore loud flip flops and a bright blue Hawaiian shirt. He had long, dirty blond hair, light blue eyes, a medium sized blond beard with a nice mustache to go with it and a smolder that girls would die for.

“What are you up to, Fynn?” Jake asked about the binders of papers stacked on the table. He pulled the chair out from under the table and spun it around and straddled the chair.

“Sorry I’d love to hangout, but I’m absolutely slammed with homework...”

“Makes sense. It’s the middle of the year and midterms are coming up.”

“I know, but by the time I get these things done I’ll be in my coffin,” I said with the slightest of smerks, as I looking at the several binders of schoolwork scattered all over the table and the ground around me. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. Midterms are soon and there is going to be several big name parties I will want to go to. I also have to finish memorizing the music for band. Jake I’m freaking out.” As soon as I finish the sentence I start breathing fast and short. “I need a bag. I need a bag fast. I’m hyperventilating.”

“Come on, dude. You got this,” Jake encouraged while at the same time he handed me a paper bag that he had on him at all times so I could get my breathing slowed down and under control. Jake then begins to move around the binders in the order that was the best way to get them done.

“You know what? You’re the best.” I said getting out of my chair and moving over to give him a thank you hug. Jake refused to get up and return the hug. Since he wouldn’t get up I gave him a shoulder hug.

“Oh...dude you don’t have to be like that.” He says look down at the ground trying to hide blood running to his face causing him to blush. He we hiding the blush using his log long dirty blond hair as a curtain for his face.

“I’m serious you ha..” I had to stop mid sentence due to Jake shushing me and looking at me like I was a annoying younger brother and at the same time he couldn’t sit still.

Jake gets up out of his chair in a blur and spins it back around forward so it would go back underneath the table and he push it in hard enough to shake the table. “Fynn. You of all people should know that I hate when people are talking about feelings around me or directed to me. It makes my clothes begin too starchy and it’s really uncomfortable all day long.” Jake was speechless after he finished his sentence. He just played with the hem of his hawaiian shirt and fumbled with the lowest button on his shirt. The library was so silent that I could hear music from the dorms two buildings down.

“Sounds pretty reasonable,” I said trying to lift the thick blanket of silence that had seemed to mute the library.

I went to get up, and properly shake Jakes hand, when I heard a loud gunshot. I stood up all the way and strained my neck to see behind the tall frame of Jake. What I saw horrified me, the violent games that I played all the time could never prepare me for a real life shooting. The shooter was standing there with the revolver pointed straight towards Jake. He then turned the revolve towards himself, which allowed me caused me a sigh, from me, releasing the lung full of air that I didn’t realize I had been holding. The shooter pulled back the hammer so painfully slow that it felt like watching him move in slow-motion. Thoughts rushing, swirling, and bouncing around my skull echoing in the back of my mind and then leaving to never be heard of again. I frozen in place as I saw a single tear drop from his cheek and hit his tennis shoes with a audible splash. He placed the gun in his mouth. I heard another loud gunshot. I looked up at the shooter just as he fired. I was splattered with blood from head to toe. I moved my attention to the pile of bones and meat also known as Jake. I noticed that Jake has held strong and hasn’t fallen which is surprising given that a bullet just lodge its way into his back. I then watched as he crumbled into a heap next to the table. I pulled him onto the table so he he was on his stomach, his body was limp like a ragdoll. I tore open the back of the shirt and then tore a strip from the shirt that didn’t have blood. I pressed down hard with the strip scrunched up and to try and stop the blood gushing from the bullet hole. I pressed and pressed as yelled for help. I moved the now blood soaked rag, and saw massive amounts of blood flood from a rigged bullet hole in his back and run down his back as it stained his skin a dark red.

“Come on, don’t leave me,” I pleaded with him. “Please Jake don’t leave me.”

I felt for a pulse and found nothing; I couldn’t even a weak pulse so I turned him onto his back and gave him CPR. It was the only thing I could think to do. I gave up after a couple chest compressions, because by then it was basically trying to revive a dead man. I sat down on the ground, got into fetal position, and rocked back and forth crying.


















Giving Life a Shot

Chapter 10

Luckily the shooter got caught before he shot anybody else but he might have as well shot me through the heart. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Jake before he passed away. That day I had lost the person that made my life possible to live. He had been there since Liz had passed away, and even when I fell behind in my classes.

I stopped writing in my journal when I noticed the psychologist staring at me with beating dark blue eyes as if trying to read my thoughts.

The school-recommended psychologist all out of the blue with a sharp tongue asked,“Have you had any recurring dreams, nightmares, or trouble sleeping?” Her voice was quick and precise but can be manipulated to be slow and sweet like honey at her will.

“Yeah. I repeat that day over and over,” I said, my hands shaking as I tried to focus on my thoughts that I had laid out in my mind. I started using my hands to fidget with the bright blue buttons on my Hawaiian shirt. I ended up buying the same Hawaiian shirt as Jake had been wearing.

“My understanding of this situation is that you relive that day because you sincerely believe that it’s your fault he was killed by the gunman,” she said, grabbing my hands softly and tried to slowly coax my hands away from my shirt buttons. My hands were shaking so bad that I couldn’t hold a open class in my hand without spilling a lot. She held my hands in hers and tried to calm me down.

“I don’t think is my fault. I know it’s my fault,” I said yanking my hands out of hers and threw them up into the air. I was appalled at the thought of it not being my fault.

“Fynn, calm down I’m not arguing with you.” The psychologist put my arms down, and shushed me.

“No! This all happened because of me. I said something which made it uncomfortable for him to sit causing him stand.” I said explaining my point of view.

“What did you tell him Fynn?” she said giving up on calming me down.

“I told him that he was the best.” I’m now having a full mental breakdown as I remembered back to the moment I hugged him. I’m straight up bawling while rocking back and forth on the ground in a sitting ball position.

“Ok, thank you for answering all my questions honestly.” She came to a conclusion and diagnosis, and as if on cue my mother knocked a couple times on the the door.

The psychologist answers the knocks by yelling at the door. “COME ON IN.”

My mom comes into the room her nursing scrubs on, one hand on a hip, and one resting on top of her purse. She starts off by asked the psychologist, “So, what is the main problem with him?”and to joke a little,“I know he has some minor problems, but as I always say you can tackle one problem at a time.”

The phycologist replied with, “He seems to have a sort of pssd. Post Shooter Stress Syndrome. Which is causes sudden, loud, out burts. It can also cause lack of control in your hands, ”

“Ok, what should we do about it?”

“I’ll write him a prescription for some stress lifting medicine.” The psychologist finished writing the prescription for me. She then turned to my mother holding the prescription out. “Take this to a pharmacy and get the order filled. He will need to take two a day. One with breakfast and one with dinner, but as soon as he turns twenty two take him off the medicine.”

“Sounds like a plan. Thank you.” my mother replied grateful of the help of the psychologist.

After that day the medicine made me feel a lot better.










Off the Medicine

Chapter 11

About a month after taking the medicine my psychologist took me off it because of how much I was improving. To be completely honest ever since I have been off of my medicine I have felt like shit. I began having the recurring dream once again. I told the psychologist that I was doing good because that’s what she wanted to hear, and the medicine made me feel weird.

When I finished writing in my journal I set it on the nightstand next to the bed and got ready for school.

Luckily I only had one class today and it went by pretty fast. I left school and started on my way to one of the diners by the college where I usually stop on my way home for a smile and coffee. There is a server named Cara there she is also a freshman in college. She had blonde hair with faded pink tips, nice sapphire blue eyes. She always brightens my day with her big wondrous eyes and a sunshine smile.

I arrive at the front of the diner and walk up the ramp, and straight to the front door. I waited to be seated at one of the tables that Cara serves. I let at least three families ahead of me just to get a table where Cara waitresses. I follow a waitress named Trinity. We arrived at the table and slid into the diner booth. I looked around to diner to see if Cara was actually working today. She’s always working on a monday, but I had heard that there has been a bug going around. I started to get worried until I spotted her, but she wasn’t wearing her usual work uniform. I waved at her as soon as I recognized her, but it took Cara a little longer to recognize me and wave back. She probably couldn’t recognize my haircut because I had it done recently. As she walked over, I could immediately tell that something was wrong. When ever she was working she always had this bright smile and it always reminded me of Liz. Although, she wasn’t smiling today.

“Hey Fynn. How are you today?” Cara asked trying to start a small conversation.

“I’m the same as always, why don’t you sit down and relax with me? I also need to talk to you?” I asked already staring into her curious blue eyes.

“I’m down. I have nothing better to do.” She gave me a wink as she took the seat right across from me. She sat her elbow onto the table and used her left hand as a support for her sad and glum face. She was just staring at me with those bright blue eyes, which seemed to twinkle in the morning light.

“If I may ask,” I start, as I realized that I had been staring and partially got lost in her eyes. I had to physically pinch myself to return to the smooth, red, leather booth. “What seems to got you down where the watermelons grow?” I asked with a flat serious face even though I was trying to make a joke. Me cracking that joke earned me what I had been looking for. She broke into a smile that was large enough to reveal her pearly white teeth.

Although I couldn’t keep the serious straight face much longer after I had told the joke. As if we were children we both broke out laughing.

The laughter died down between us.“That’s what I like to see.”

“Nah... serious now. What has you so down in the dumps?” I really wanted to show interest in her day, and by the lack of the smile I would have to guess that her day hadn’t been going to good.

As I said this Cara’s smile faded away and was replaced with the melancholy look she had started with.

She put her face in her hands and. “I got fired today, and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have to pay for my dorm room, and I also have to pay bills.”

Not knowing what to do I sat there stuck in my mind’s memory file room looking for what to do for a minute or two. Then I started having a sudden flashback…

I remembered how Liz comforted me in the library after I had become the laughing stock of the classroom. I remembered how it felt to have someone being so supportive and caring.

...when the flashback ended I knew exactly what to do.

I slid out from the red booth seat and slid back in next to Cara. “It will be all fine. I will help you find another job. No matter what it takes.” I say to reassure her as I put my arm around her shoulder.

She sat there for a couple of seconds sniffing back tears, then she looked up at me with large green hopeful eyes. “You would do that for me?”

She had the most adorable and soft voice. Her warm breath caresses your cheek causing a warm shock roll down your back.

“Of course.”

She wrapped her arms around my chest which barely reaching all the around. She then squeezed me like a kid would squeeze a big teddy bear during a heavy thunderstorm. “Thank you so much!”

“No problem I’ll be there you no matter what.”

“I’m so sorry you have to see me like this.” She started rummaging through her purse. My guess was that she was looking for some stuff to fix the black tear trails that had been left behind.

“It’s alright. You actually look like someone from kiss.” I replied with a chuckle as she started head banging as she stuck out her tongue. Her hair was whipping all over the place. As. she came to a stop, It look like she had literally just gotten out of bed. We calmed down in order to not draw anymore attention than we already had.We sat at the booth talking and telling stories about our years in middle school and high school.

A bit later the manager of the diner came over to the booth we were seated at and said ,“I can’t have you guys just sitting here at a perfectly good booth if you’re not going to order food.”

We ordered a serving of fries just to be able to stay in the booth a bit longer. We spent the rest of the time at the diner sitting, talking, laughing, and munching on fries. The fries were okay. After we finished the basket of fries we decided to head to her apartment to hangout and look for a job in the newspaper.

We both ended up agreeing to the fact that if I brought a girl home, my family's entire nature would be extremely awkward and neither of us wanted that.

When we got to her apartment she excused herself to her bedroom to set down her purse. I stood in her small living room awkwardly. I didn’t know where to set my backpack down. I was starting to wonder where she went after dropping off her purse.

“Cara are you alright?” I yelled down the hallway towards the direction she left.

“Yeah. Sorry. I had to change into comfortable clothing.” Cara responded by sticking her head out into the hall. “Go ahead and make yourself at home.” She slid back into her room.

“Cara? Wear do I put my bag?” I asked down the hallway.

“Put it on the kitchen counter and then take a seat on one of the recliners in the living. It doesn’t matter which recliner. Just pick one.” She hadn’t bothered to stick her head out into the hallway to reply.







Job Searching

Chapter 12

I like Cara a lot but I don’t know if she likes me back.

I finished writing the shortest entry in my journal as Cara looked over the newspaper. She was looking through the newspaper for any good available jobs.

“What are you writing in?” she asked as she looked at me and wonder filled her emerald eyes. Her mind began to wonder what stories were written in the journal and Cara was absolutely glowing from mass amounts of curiosity.

“It’s my special journal. I have written in this journal since junior year of high school” I said looking at it and several memories pop-up in my mind and I flipped through about a hundred pages. I ended up stopping on my reaccountment of my so called minor bike accident that happened before Liz passed away. Not wanting to go through that tragic day again. I return my journal back to my bag. “You find any good jobs you like?”

“Yeah. There is only two openings at the movie theater.” She was radiating with ecstatic hope. “We both can get a job there.”

“I guess.” I was still kind of hesitant.“I have been looking for a nice paying job.”

“Really! We should work together at the movie theater.” Her bright wonderous emerald eyes were wide with happiness.

“That sounds like it could be a fun job.”

“Cool. We can send in our resumes together.”

“Sounds good,” I started to get up. “I have class in half an hour. I will talk to you later.”

“Bye.” she said still looking at the ad in the paper.

I left the room; I looked back once to make sure she was still there. I closed the door behind me as I left the room and already started to miss Cara.

I stopped outside of the building and stood there for a few minutes drinking in the scenery. I took a deep breath of the air and it smelt sweet and of floral plants.

The sun shone brighter and everything seemed to be more vibrant. I wanted to record this feeling and then I remembered I keep a journal.

I took my journal out of my backpack to record the feeling I was experiencing and I wrote…


I don't know how to explain my feelings right now I have this feeling of immense joy. It's a sense of happiness I've never felt before.


...I stop writing and put my journal back in my backpack. I put my earbuds in and started on my way to class. I swerving my bike to the beat of my music all the way to my class.

I got to the classroom and sat down in my seat. I tried to focus on the professor but I couldn’t focus. I left to head home and when I got there I went straight to my desk. I began to think over the past couple days and realized that I hadn’t eaten since Jake had past away. I didn’t think much about it. I began looking over the several pages I’ve written in my journal over the many months.



















A Surprise Spirit

Chapter 13

I stopped on the last page and read it over and over. My vision started to fade as I look over the pages in my journal I’ve written. Tears gathered in my eyes. I remembered back to the moments I lost the most influential and important people in my life. They had left me behind in the unknown land of the living.

I fell back in my chair fading in and out of conscience. As, I drifted off to the place in my mind where I stored my most important memories which included when I was with Liz in her hospital room. I could hear in a faint whisper my roommate back in reality calling my name trying to get me to stay with him.

It took me a little while to get my bearings the place, but I made up my mind to go forwards and not turn back. I continued through my deepest memories. My memories were behind a hallway of doors some of them locked and some of them aren’t. Some of the doors were black with a padlock on them; those doors are my fears and weaknesses. The reason that they are locked up, isn’t the fear of something or someone getting in, it’s the fear of something getting out.

I found the memory of the day my whole world got turned upside down. The door is a darker shade of pink. Which makes me wonder what color the actually means. I reached for the shiny handle and stopped short of the handle. The handle was as clean as can be even though the memory behind the door messed up the rest of my life. I shook my head free of that cloudy thought and grabbed the handle.

I pulled my hand away from the handle as a shock went from my feet straight to my head. The shock turned into a sharp pain in my head, and my vision in an instant became a black veil.

When I came to all I could see was white. As, the white slowly faded into a hospital room, I began to believe I was back in reality. I walked outside the hospital room, and saw a young man sitting against the door. His face was somehow familiar but somehow unfamiliar at the same time. I realized at once where I was when I went back into the room and saw Liz laying on the hospital bed. That person sitting against the door was me but somehow also a different me. It was as if I was a different person back then. I sat and waited for the moment I had came here to see. I didn’t have to wait to long because I saw my past self walk into the room with red eyes and his soft face tear trails streaking down. He got on his knees next to the hospital bed of Liz. He held her hand in both of his. I watched as they talked and I could see the aura around Liz’s body start to fade. I tried to wave and yell at my past self to go get a doctor. No matter what I did I couldn’t get the attention of my younger self. I could only sit back and watch in horror as Liz’s life draining from her. When Liz finally passed on I actually saw her spirit leave her body. Her spirit, despite what she had gone through, was smiling. The spirit suddenly looked direct at me making me jump. I went over to Liz’s spirit and asked, “Why are you smiling in a time like this?”

The spirit replied, “I now feel no pain, no sadness, and no agony.”

“You left me alone in the world.”

“I didn’t leave you alone at all. There are tons of people that will love you as I did. Here let me show you.” Liz’s spirit took my hand and asked, “Are you ready?”

“I’m as ready as I ever will be.” I asked curious of what was going to happen.

“Let's go then.” The spirit said.















A Deep Finding

Chapter 14

With a snap of her fingers we were in the Library, and I had a bad feeling I knew exactly when this was.


Continue reading this ebook at Smashwords.
Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-37 show above.)