“Alright, so were going to the movies, and then were going to Mark’s place for some beers and fun, you in Craig?” Mark’s voice came through Craig’s headset with a bit of a crackle, they had been making plans for the last half hour, in-between playing a first person shooter online together.
“Sure thing man, just as soon as I frag you a few more times, you’re really off your game today.” Craig sniped Mark’s character as he said this, just to rub it in a little more. “Alright, I’ll meet you in front of the theater in twenty minutes bud, and please help me” the last part coming out in a scream.
Mark signed off, and Craig turned off his console placing his controller onto the charging dock, and then stretched; he had been sitting down for a few hours. Picking out some fresh clothes to wear and putting on some deodorant he whistled a little melody to himself, then walked down the hall, and down the stairs. He could hear his mom in the kitchen, cleaning up some dishes, and decided he should probably let her know where he was going out to.
“Hey Ma, going out with Mark alright? Cool, see ya.” Waving his hand at her, he knew she despised it when he did this, and she knew he got a kick out of doing it. “be back before dawn”
“Alright, your blanket will be on the front porch, don’t wake us when you get home, say hi to Markus.” She said not looking up from her dishes. “oh, and if you get in before ten you’ll find the door will still be unlocked, have fun, and keep your cell on you.” Craig started to pat his pockets, making sure his phone was with him, same with his keys. They were.
“Yup got ‘em mom, love yah. Save me! I can’t escape this!” The screams came out again.
“Love you too, dear.” She blew him a kiss, and continued to clean the dishes. Craig walked out the door and down the street. Whistling the same tune, it was a song he had heard on the radio three days ago, and it just wouldn’t leave his head. He walked past some neighbours and school friends, waving and saying hi, and every so often the screams came out. Help! Save me! I can’t take this anymore. After a while he saw his girlfriend Katy walking down the street. He speed walked down the street, sneaking up on her.
Coming up behind her he grabbed her around the waist and started to tickle her. Katy’s elbow came out and caught Craig right in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. He fell to the ground gasping for air.
“Craig! What the? I am so sorry, are you okay?” She got out between fits of laughter, she reached out her hand to help him up. “Where you going anyway?”
“I’m….wheeze….going to the….wheeze… movies with Mark. Wanna come?” She shook her head at this, he wasn’t sure if she really cared to be around Mark; she never came with when Mark would be there. “Naw, im going to Carol’s right now, girl stuff, unless you wanna come with me; I’ll do your hair and your nails. You’d look fabulous!” She winked and flashed her nails at him.
“Hah, I’ll have to take a rain check on that one, have fun anyways.” He gave her a kiss, then took a second to sneak one more in. “I’ll call you tomorrow, let’s go for a picnic or something okay? I’m on the brink, please take my hand, help me!” again, the uncontrollable screams for help.
“Alright, but don’t call too early, I’m going out with my parents for breakfast, but after that I’m all yours, sweetheart.” She kissed him one more time, holding his hands, then walking away holding one hand until the last second. If I’m going to get married ever, I want it to be to her. Craig thought as he watched her walk away. They had been dating for two years now, and things were getting pretty serious.
Craig walked away with a big smile on his face, thinking about his girl, and how attractive she was; before he knew it he was already at the mall, where the theater was. Friday night, and it was packed like usual. Now all he had to do was find Mark. It didn’t take too long, he was at the concession stand, buying candy, which was no surprise at all, and the first place Craig thought of to find his friend.
“All that licorice is going to make you fat and sluggish, just like the way you play video games.” Craig said, snatching a licorice from his hand, and licking it so Mark wouldn’t take it back.
“You snake! You owe me, like a dollar!” He grabbed what was left of the licorice and ate it. They had been best friends since they were children, and now they acted like brothers. They knew pretty much everything about the other, and a little spit didn’t bother Mark. “Your turn to buy the tickets man, I got them last time when you ‘forgot’ your walled” Making air quotations in the air as he said it. Craig laughed, because it was true, and walked over to the counter to buy some tickets.
“two tickets for Eternal Thunder 2, please, look at me, im near the end, please, please help!”
“Twelve fifty please” She said as she printed and ripped off two tickets for the flick. “Enjoy the show.” Emotionless and bored, she must have been sitting at that desk for hours and hours, her eyes looked completely joyless. Craig took the tickets and walked towards Mark, waiting at the hall to the theaters many room. Craig flashed the tickets and smiled, “They were sold out, were seeing that romance flick, Letters to my lost love.” He couldn’t help but smile at this.
“Whatever man, quit goofing off were going to miss the previews, you know they are the best part of coming here, heck if there weren’t any previews I would never watch a movie.” They walked down the hall, the smell of popcorn, and puke filled the air; Ahhh, the smells of the theater!
They weren’t in their seats for more than twenty minutes, when Craig exclaimed (and very loudly) that he had to piss, Mark laughed himself nearly off his seat as a couple in front of them turned around with sour looks on their faces at the remark. Craig walked down to the front of the theater and out into the hall.
Mark sat alone, watching the previews, and yelling at the screen. It wasn’t as much fun without his best bud sitting beside him, acting like a complete a*s as well. The movie started and went on for twenty minutes, and Craig still had not come back. Mark got a little concerned that something happened to him. Not that he would ever admit it to Craig, he would probably tease him about getting lost or something, but he decided to go see if he was in the washroom.
Walking down the hall towards the bathroom he saw flashing lights outside of the theaters parking lot, which wasn’t anything new, but these were red and blue, cop lights. Someone probably shoplifting again, happens all the time at the mall.
Mark opened the men’s washroom door, and peered inside; looked empty. “Hey Craig, you in here?” he called out, his voice wavering, this was starting to be creepy and surreal. Looking under all the stall doors just to be sure, he was pretty sure that Craig would jump out at any moment and scare the pants off of him. Standing in front of the mirror Mark looked at himself, wondering where in the world his best friend could possibly have gone. He watched as horror, fear, and realization flooded his own face in the mirror. The cop lights out front. Bolting out of the washroom, he ran through the theater doors, and was blocked by a massive gathering of people outside, between him and the cop cars.
“What happened out here? What’s going on?” He said through a dry throat, and cracked voice, pushing his way through the crowd. He heard some words that made his entire world seem to go hazy; dead, so much blood, suicide, mess, waste. Once he finally fought his way through the wall of people, he could feel all the blood draining from his face, he felt as if it was leaving his body to join all the blood of his friend that was splattered all over the concrete. “Craig! What happened? Craig get up! Are you okay?” He screamed, and dropped to his friend grabbing him by the shirt and shaking him. One of the cops grabbed hold of Mark, and brought him inside one of the cop cars, fighting to keep him under control, fighting to keep the kid from bolting back to the body of his friend.
“Calm down, its okay.” The cop said, trying to make him stay calm, and keep him from doing anything rash. Mark wasn’t thrashing around anymore, but there was a wild look in his eyes. The sight of the boy sitting there with blood on his hands, brought back memories of his own. He had gone into a store to grab a bottle of water for him and his partner. When he came out his partner was on the ground, shot and bleeding profusely. He got down and scooped his partner up in his hands, trying so hard to keep him coherent, but it was no use. He looked down at his hands, the ones that were once covered in blood. He could feel tears welling up inside, for the loss of his friend, and for this kids.
“Who did this? Why would they? Did you catch the killer?” Mark screamed, not meaning to, but it was the only tone of voice he could manage to get out, he still had not come back around to reality.
“There was no killer, son, he did this to himself. We found a letter in his hand, he took his own life.” The cop told him, a grave look on his face, remembering when the paramedics told him his partner was gone, the realization that it was over; A life was gone.
“You lie! He was fine, he was alright! He was always happy! Always laughing, and joking! There’s no way he would ever do this!” Tears rolled down Mark’s face, this wasn’t happening, this couldn’t be. “can I see the note?” The cop looked at him thoughtfully, he probably shouldn’t, but the boy was devastated, maybe it would help. He held up his index finger to Mark, and walked away towards another car. Leaning in he rummaged through some stuff, and came out with a plastic bag, letter inside. He walked over to Mark, still sitting in the car, and handed it to the boy. The tears began to roll as he gave it to the kid, both for the kid, and his dead friend, as well as for himself, and his dead partner. He read the letter, crinkled and splattered with his best friends’ blood, causing Mark to drop the letter and break down in tears, reality coming back into place. The cop bent down and picked up the letter in the plastic bag, re-reading the words again, and wondering why this young kid never asked for help. The letter contained only five words:
It’s alright. I helped myself.