Call me blind, but I didn't see it coming.
Everybody was running, I didn't hear nothing except gun blasts.
It happened so fast.
I didn't really know this kid, though I sat by him in class.
Everyone who knew Marcus Cummings couldn't say it was a surprise when the tortured, broken teen brought his dad's gun to school and blasted through the halls. Sure it was a tragedy, but no one could say that they didn't see it coming. There were over 20 deaths, and many more injured, all from a boy who was tired of being beaten and tortured. The last gunshot echoed the longest through the halls. Marcus claimed his own life, right there in front of the Chemistry lab.
The nation heard of the pain, the loss, the fear... but they couldn't really understand it. They couldn't fathom the feeling of watching your best friend, your sweetheart, your teacher being shot by a teen who had been pushed too far by too many. They would never feel the fear of being hidden away in a classroom, praying the boy, who wouldn't hurt a fly just a few days ago, would pass by and ignore the room. Not even a parent could realize the overwhelming regret of a life lost for a life saved.
First day back at school since the shooting. It's lunch, and the whole school is silent. No one dares speak a word, and there is a thick heaviness that hangs like dense smog in a large city. You have agreed to meet after school with a few other students to talk about something that no one is really sure about. But, it gets you out of counselling, and it sounds promising. You decide you've got nothing left to lose.
Leonard straightened out his sleeves then cracked his knuckles nervously. He was put together, as usual. He was wearing a black suit, a white dress shirt, a blue tie, and nice, black dress shoes. He looked different though. He seemed hard, like there was a shell around him now. The Leonard you would have met just a week ago was a happy, handsome young man who would work his hardest at everything. But on Friday, when the shooting happened, something changed in Leonard, and it was instant. He leaned against a tree and crossed his arms, then turned his face to the sky, taking in the last of the suns rays.
Aspen looked up at the tall man leaning against the tree. Her hair had been combed recently, thanks to the local church, but it was starting to get tangles. Her big, blue eyes blinked slowly, and she opened her mouth to speak, but no words came, as though her words were afraid to break the fragile silence. She looked over to the horizon, able to see a storm moving in from the east, and she sat in the dry, brown grass. She folded her hands in her lap, then looked at the boy.
"Where is everyone?" she asked, the silence suddenly gone. Leonard opened his eyes and looked at the dirty girl who was here. She was the first one here, besides Leonard.
"They're coming, or they chickened out and went to counselling," he explained, his rich, deep voice making little noise in the quiet of the empty park. Leonard then scratched his chin gently and tapped his pocket, feeling the cash in his pocket. It was a hefty sum, and he sighed lightly, covering his eyes with his hand. Lola softly grabbed Leonard's hand and licked her lips. She didn't know what was happening.
Aspen nodded thoughtfully, then looked around at the empty park for signs of life.