A Light Bulb for his Birthday

We weren’t exactly friends. We had that tenuous friendship that only existed in empty hallways and secret notes; whispers and secrets that we told only to each other, simply for the fact that no one would believe we ever talked.

Your death came as a surprise. I never learned the whole story, too embarrassed to ask your “real” friends, scared that they would make fun of me, say “You didn’t even know him.”

But I did know you. I knew about the poems you wrote in history class. I remember the time the teacher asked “What does Lauren have on her face?” and you said “A pimple.” And everyone laughed at me. I remember disliking you so much that I pretended to be a witch, cursing your name. I still worry that it worked.

Someone said your parents had given you a lightbulb for your birthday, and that had been the last straw. We protested when the teachers refused to put a memorial to you in our yearbook. They claimed it would glorify suicide.

There’s no glory in a bullet to the brain.

I wish you were still here.

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