A.dymn’s I.nner M.aelstrom
I stared at myself in the dusty full length mirror. I was running late as usual. I twisted and turned my body to make sure I looked at least normal. It was sophomore year, October, and as far as I could tell it was going to be a long, dreadful year. I was wearing blue jeans and a sweater that I never liked, but it was freezing and gray out so I just threw it on. I sighed, “Guess this is as good as it’s going to get.” I grabbed my backpack and walked down to the end of my street to wait for the bright yellow school bus that brought those without cars to the high school. Walking down the hill, my stomach hurt and I didn’t feel very well. “Great,” I thought. “Now I’m getting sick, this is going to be a wonderful day.”
I continued downward and thought about how much I hated the sweater and how frizzy my hair must be. The stupid yellow bus pulled up and I walked on. My best friend at the time, Jess was sitting in our usual spot, two seats before the back. Something was up, I could tell from her face; the scrunched down eyebrows, the small upside down U, the watery eyes. I swung my bag off my shoulders and plopped down next to her. “What’s up?” I asked. “Did you watch the news this morning?”She asked. I remembered Mom was and she told me someone was hurt from school, but didn’t know who or any details. I was so focused about getting to the bus stop on time I didn’t think too much upon it. “My Mom was this morning. She said someone at school got hurt,” I replied. “Well, um… someone shot themselves on the school steps last night and well, um… they think it was Adymn.” I sat back on the puke green seat, shocked. “I just talked to him last night. She has to be wrong. I don’t believe it.”
Adymn and I were friends off and on throughout our school years together. We didn’t have in-depth conversations with each other, but we talked daily and helped each other out from time to time. In fourth grade during recess he was playing football and he must have gotten upset about a play or losing, but he ran all the way to his grandma’s house which was just past the small baseball field. I remember watching him run, his legs making him fly, his arms swinging in perfect form. From then on during gym class when we had to run around to the “far yellow pole” in the baseball field, he would be the first out and the first back, he was incredible. He was a cute kid, he had blue eyes, brown/blondish hair, and big ears, which I thought fit him well. He was maybe a little small for his age, but still taller than me. He played football, but didn’t play in high school. He loved it though. I guess he just didn’t have enough skill to make varsity or didn’t want to ruin the plain fun he had when he played pickup games during recess. When high school started he was having a lot of trouble with the work and started to give up. He just stopped passing in homework. We had a few classes together, but not sophomore year. I didn’t see him as often, so we chatted at night on AIM and we sat together at lunch. I used to sit across from him and he would wiggle his ears to make me laugh. I can picture it now, his baby blue eyes crossed, tongue out and ears wiggling. He always knew how to make people laugh.
As the bus pulled up to school, there were cameras and reporters everywhere. We were all herded into the auditorium. I sat in the back with my group of friends. I was still really shocked. “Hey Abby, what exactly is going on?” I asked quietly. “It’s Adymn; he shot himself in front of school last night,” She replied to the whole group. I didn’t speak; I just sat feeling numb waiting for instructions from the teachers. We all sat there, the whole school, chatting, very loudly. No one told us about anything except, ‘go to your first class’. So, I trudged up the stairs, listening to the other students talk about Adymn. Some were intensely angry, upset, or had blank emotions. I got to the second floor, I sat in my usual seat and we were silent. No one took anything out of their bags, no one moved, we just sat in silence. Our teacher, Mrs. Galvin stood at the front of the classroom, waiting in silence. She spoke. “Listen guys, we don’t have to do anything today. We can talk about what happened or I can find a movie to watch. Does anyone want to talk? I took out my journal and wrote: “Adymn killed himself last night. I’m here in English crying, not even trying to function. Our teacher is being really understanding and letting us talk and do whatever helps. I want to go home. I’m seriously thinking of calling M to take me home. I need her. I just don’t know what to do. Stillness, until we hear Cait start to cry and say, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe he would do this.” This got me crying. I wiped my nose on my ugly sweater and put my head on the desk. “Cait and Keri how would you girls like to go to the library and find a movie for us to watch?” asked Mrs. Galvin. We both nodded and stood up. Mrs. Galvin went to her desk and filled out a pass. We left and proceeded down to the library. We didn’t talk much, a few sniffles here and there, a little small talk. When we got to the library, the librarian didn’t have any movies for us and she didn’t seem to get what was going on. We went back to the classroom and then the principal came on the loudspeaker explaining what had happened, which got Cait and I crying again. Cait asked if she could go to the office and asked to go home. Mrs. Galvin gave her a pass and I asked to go too. I felt bad for leaving my classmates there, stuck in silence, but I needed to get out.
Down in the office Cait and I weren’t the only ones who were calling their parents to go home. I dialed M’s number. “M.” I said sobbing into the phone, “can you please come get me. I can’t handle it.” “I’ll be right there,” She replied. I sat in a red cushy office chair next to the sweet secretary Carlie. She let us call her that. She was like everyone’s grandma. We talked a little and she comforted me. I stuffed the tissue she had given me deeper into my hand. I thought about the last time I saw and actually talked to Adymn. I was getting ready for an away soccer game, sitting on the curb waiting for the bus. “Hey, Keri.” I turned around and smiled. “Adymn, what’s up?” “Nothing, happy that school is over, well for the today anyway,” He replied. “Ha-ha, yeah. Did you take Galvin’s quiz?” I asked. “Yeah, she’s so tough, but then again I didn’t read the book.” He said. “You know you’re so smarter than that!” I said, pretending to be mad. “Yeah, yeah. So soccer tonight?” “Yes, unfortunately. I have so much homework. What are you doing tonight?’ I asked. “Playing some pick up football and then I don’t know. I might hang out with Amber.” He replied. “Cools, well I have to run. Talk to you tomorrow,” I said. “Ok, laters.” Amber was his girlfriend and they were a really cute couple, but now that I looked back on it, it wasn’t as magical as everyone thought.
“Keri.” I looked up. M! I rushed into her arms, never wanting her to let go. “It is ok; everything’s going to be ok.” She said comforting me. I noticed then that she was wearing pajamas! My hands shook as I gathered my things and filled out the dismissal slip. We walked out of the school her arm around my shoulders, leading me toward her car. Inside I see little Ann, still in her pajamas as well, looking very happy. She was so excited to see me and my school. She was kicking her legs and chatting nonstop. When we got home M made me stay with her. She made me hot coco and let me lay down on her couch. I felt safe and comforted. As I sipped my hot coco, I thought about the last AIM that Adymn sent me. We were chatting about the usual things, school, homework, and activities. Then, we talked about who we liked, but mostly me because he had Amber.
“Do you know if anyone likes me?” I typed.
“Yea, actually,” He replied.
“I’m not going to tell you,” He teased.
“Oh, come on! You have to tell me!”
“Give me a hint. Please?”
“Alright. You’ve known this person for a while. Plays football and his number is 51.
He signed off right after he said that and I smiled. He played football and his lucky number is 51. I still have that AIM conversation saved on my computer. That night Amber broke up with him and he decided to end his life in front of our school steps. Maybe that was the last straw, maybe he went to school because school made him feel stupid. Sometimes I wonder what our lives would be like right now if he wasn’t gone. When he died I didn’t really understand the reasons why he did what he did or why God would let something like that happen. Is there a reason for everything that goes on? Perhaps, but for a long time I just plain said no. There is no reason for young deaths to happen, but now that I’ve experienced life more I realize that sometimes there is and sometimes there isn’t a reason. Maybe it was to teach us a lesson, to watch our friends more, make sure they are ok and if not try to get them help. It wasn’t as if Adymn was psycho, no. He was charming, intelligent, and hilarious. Something inside him just snapped. I wish he was still here. I wish I could talk to him one more time. Our lives could possibly be completely different, but at least he would be alive. I can remember my friend Lauren who was even better friends with him. She walked with him to school every day both ways for all of elementary and middle school. I remember her just breaking down and spilling out all these emotions and I couldn’t do anything. Just silence. Silent crying, silent everything. I changed a little. I had a rough time of it after the whole thing. I got into something’s I never want to revisit and feelings I never want to feel again, but probably will. I guess Adymn’s death reminds me to be strong and talk to people when I feel bad or unhappy. Not to do anything to hurt myself, nothing drastic. I wish I didn’t have to lose him for that lesson. I remember getting so mad at God, too. I didn’t speak to Him for a while. I felt like I couldn’t pray, what was the point? But that comes with death and the whole cycle of things. I slowly began to become myself again and I began to appreciate my friends, family, teachers a lot more for their daily support and love. If Adymn was still here, he would be begging me to get off my bum and go play touch football.