The weather is as sunny and bright as it can possibly be. The sunlight caresses the trees gently, making their leaves shine with a brighter hue than usual. Dogs walk around, pulling their pet humans along with them. People who don’t have a master run around freely, without a care in the world. The birds sing along with the melody of the wind.
Such a cruel day to have a funeral.
The funeral house was too small to fit everyone in, so they all gathered in groups of thirty to pay their respect -and disrespect, whichever they had towards him-, and leave. Most of the students were present there since it seemed like the right thing to do. I, on the other hand, was there for entirely different reasons. While others came for closure, and respect, I came seeking answers.
Sonny is standing outside, waiting for me, her eyes fixated on my face; the same eyes that stared at me for hours the day we heard about what had happened; the same eyes that were locked on me instead of the board for the first time;
The same eyes that wouldn’t let go of mine.
I also suspected the same thing when the news hit. That the poem I had found belonged to him; that it belonged to Oscar Peto, the boy who left behind a piece of himself on my desk. I don’t know why he did; He probably knew I wouldn’t care, and was only looking for a chance to say his final words to someone, no matter who.
Or maybe he wanted me to care. He wanted me to look for him and stop him. Maybe I was responsible for yet another death.
If I was a normal person, I would have been broken the very second those thoughts penetrated my mind that day. However, my drugs made me quite resistant to despair, and immune to myself. Of course, I felt guilty and sad, but at the end of the day, I was able to get myself together and attend the funeral.
I didn’t know Oscar. I didn’t even know he existed.
A boy named Oscar Peto, was a myth.
“Did you check the note?” Sonny shatters my thoughts in half. Yesterday, when they announced the news, I immediately thought of the note I had disposed of several days ago. Since Sonny was the one who miraculously remembered the exact poem, she gave me a copy, and thus, I became a temporary detective.
“Yes; and I did find traces of suicidal thoughts and intentions in it.”
“And what you mean is, his intentions were all over the place and it was obvious what that note could possibly have been, and yet, you were too absorbed in your whatever to actually give a crap, and ignored that possibility entirely, am I right?”
“Now that’s going a bit too far.”
“Is it though?” Her sudden icy tone caught me off-guard.
“You read it as well, didn’t you? Why aren’t you blaming yourself too?” I take a defensive tone. Why am I the only one being blamed? I wouldn’t have even known.
“I have already done that, a lot more than I wanted to.” She glances away. I know she already has. She always blames herself first and foremost. That’s what it means to be polite in her dictionary. That’s what it means to be considerate. “Now, it’s your turn to be hurt, and considering your personality, I was kind enough to do it for you instead, because you always tend to hurt yourself more than I do.”
I catch her intentions immediately. My thoughts did go from “I was responsible for a death.” To “How should I have known?” During that conversation. On a subconscious level, it somehow changed something. What she did, was make me build up my defenses again, but it didn’t really matter in the first place. Although, Sonny and I are both more than aware that I’m not a normal person anymore. I’m immune to despair, and to myself. Even if I was to hurt myself with my thoughts, it wouldn’t actually change the way I feel about myself, and everything around me.
Her eyes let go of mine once more, and this time, she leaves for the campus. With no obligation to follow her, I walk away in the exact opposite direction. I just feel like a bit of distance is needed after that talk.
I never got into a fight with Sonny through the three years I have known her. No matter how many times I insulted her or told her to screw off, she always laughed it off and never got mad at me. I guess witnessing my indifferent face at a boy’s funeral whose death was connected to me, finally put her off.
Last night, I spent hours working on that poem and any possible code it might contain, hidden within those letters. Having found nothing, I decided to rely solely on its content, and the meaning behind it.
“Came with a shattered body, going with a heartful of sorrow,”
A usual, almost obvious description of birth and death. The way one is born with the fragile body of an infant, and the way one goes away with another fragile body, that just fails to work any further, and with a heart full of sorrow; No.
Not a heart full of sorrow.
A heartful of sorrow.
The tremendous amount of sorrow a heart can possibly contain in itself. Using the formula of the noun spoonful, that was what Oscar called a “Heartful”.
A completely made-up word that just felt right.
We always care about what a person’s words mean after we lose them.
I sigh. Naomi’s words were more complicated than this. I wish she was simpler to figure out. I wish…
In other words, I just wanted her to…
“It’s a tragedy, isn’t it?” Black hair; brown eyes; a blue shirt that simply said “Cat Person”
The head of the literature group. A young-looking boy with an eccentric surname.
Was he the one who put the note there? He always puts papers in my bag or the places I regularly visit, as his way of inviting me to his cult. The only way to figure out is to test my theory.
“Fancy seeing you here; although I was actually expecting this meeting since I didn’t receive one of your “love letters” this week.”
If he was the one who put the note there, he should at least react to it, thinking someone else took it.
It’s not good enough to work, but it’s good enough to start something.
“Well, I decided to give you a break for this week only.”
No reaction, huh? “Highly appreciated, Will.”
“What should I do to make you stop calling me Will? It sounds like a generic name for a villain.”
“Doff thy name, Will. I don’t like it.” And with that, I receive the VIP seat for one of William’s childish tantrums.
“I would never. I have the same name as my master, William Shakespeare. What makes you think I would doff it away just because some random dude doesn’t like it?”
Doff it away? Is that even how “doff” works? Did this guy even graduate high school? Who the hell let him study English? “Oh. You mean that fat British dude who wrote Helmet?”
“It’s Hamlet. How can you say that wrong when you’ve literally studied it? Did you even graduate high school? Who the hell let you study English?”
How ironic. “Studying something doesn’t mean I like it, alright? Even I can write something better than Helmet.”
“I know you’re trying to work your wicked magic on me in order to make me want to beg you to enter my small club, but insulting the one person I admire the most will not help.”
I roll my eyes.
The William-obsessed William.
As annoying as he can be, he still doesn’t abandon what he likes. William Warren easily gets emotionally attached; quite commendable, and pathetic at the same time.
“I would never work my magic on you to manipulate you into begging me.” I feign an innocent tone. “That would be so Prospero of me.”
“You are the incarnation of Prospero, you manipulative bastard.”
“Indeed. And I have a naked Ariel at home, awaiting the return of her master.” I shoot back. Will rolls his eyes once more.
“We both know how pathetically lonely you are.”
“Thank you for that kind comment, sir.”
Several minutes pass with nothing else exchanged, until finally, Will gets to the point and asks the one question he has been wanting to ask of me all this time. I wish he’d just get to the point without the disgusting small-talk.
“Did you know Oscar?”
I hesitate. I need to be careful in case he was the bearer of the note. “What makes you think I would know a person other than the three people I’m associated with?”
The campus is not that far away. If I keep stalling him, I’ll be able to avoid unwanted questions and conversations. We walk, and he inhales, and looks at me as if he wants to say something, then looks away at a random tree.
My mind is absolutely blank. I can’t think of something to change the subject. I hate myself for being so terrible at stalling.
“Me neither. He was a part of our group, apparently; but he barely showed up. I knew who a person named Oscar Peto was, but I didn’t know Oscar Peto. I did talk to his family. They told me it was the result of loneliness. He was socially inept and couldn’t communicate his problems. His only way of doing so was writing. His stuff was not that good, but they felt alive as if he was writing his everything. I’ve also heard that there were attempts earlier in his high school days.” The character of an idiot, described by another idiot. “They said that he decided to off himself once he lost a relative and broke up with his romantic partner.” We reach the campus; the separation point I was desperately waiting for. I try to escape William’s grips by saying a quick goodbye and running away as fast as I can.
“Hey,” Will shouts. I turn my head to see his face. This is the last dialogue before separation. These are usually important stuff; especially if they start with HEY.
“What is it?”
“I just wanted to say that if you don’t want to join, it’s still okay if you come and visit us sometime. We both know how pathetically lonely you are.”
“Thank you for that kind comment, sir.”
“Don’t act dumb. We both know where I’m going with this.”
I sigh. I am.
“Fine. Sorry; you don’t need to worry about me. I won’t end up like Oscar. I’m not an idiot. Loneliness cannot be a reason for death.” If it is, then why am I still standing?
“Then promise me you’ll find a friend no matter what.”
“I’m not really planning on doing that at the moment.”
“Stop being a moron. Even the little prince domesticated the fox so he can have one single friend. And look at you. What the hell are you doing?”
“You’re the one who’s an idiot, and the little prince literally talked to a flower. So, he’s not any better either. If having a friend at all costs means taming a wild animal that can attack me at any moment, then I refuse to have any friends. I prefer being alone to getting constantly hurt by the ones I know.”
“Well, I don’t know.” He takes a step away, leaving more distance between us. This time, William is the one running away. “But being hurt by others is at least less painful than being hurt by yourself. Keep that in mind.”
And with that, without a goodbye, he leaves. I thought he would snap at me once more for insulting his ninth favorite novel, but I guess just seeing him wince at me like that was enough.