United Kingdom

18 (sadly :( I don't want to leeeaavve noooo)
pronouns unspecified
that's for you to decide I guess
physics student with a
tiny dream of being a writer too so
enjoy my words or something :)

Message to Readers

I feel as though I use a lot of short sentences so any feedback on how you thought that affected the flow would be appreciated. And anything else you can think of!

The Killer We Raised

July 8, 2019

Teenagers in jeans and shirts and ties and hoodies clutch at cups of cold tea. We stare without seeing - at our hands, at the carpet, at the breezeblock walls - and wait for water to boil. The bell rings for who knows what period. Today the universe stands still. Lifeless.

Everything is heavy and nothing is real. We pass biscuits and boxes of tissues and offer each other hugs and trembling smiles. We wait for the water to boil. Blotchy-eyed teenagers sit two to a seat and squashed up on benchtops and tables. There must be thirty of us in here. There should be thirty-one.

Gone. He’s gone.

It was an asthma attack. They told us he’d passed peacefully but there’s no such thing as peaceful suffocation. I think of rasping airways fighting for life, hear his desperate, gasping breaths and remember the nightmare of desperate, gasping breaths of my own. I think of adrenaline shots in an ambulance that came too late. I think of the disease in his lungs.

The disease in my lungs too.

I see my sister in the corridor and thank God it wasn’t her (thank God it wasn’t you). I see his sister in my mind and I cry. I hold my friends’ hands and watch his friends’ lights extinguished by their grieving tears. I love you all I say, but words are not enough to bear this heavy load.

More hugs. More tears. More seconds and minutes and hours spent in a dream. We watch as the rest of the world goes on without him. From a school room window thirty pairs of blurry, blotchy, bloodshot eyes look out across the city: its buildings merely silhouettes amongst a haze of grey. I think of idling car engines and factories and power plants, of the black inside my lungs and his, of six hundred thousand people who do not see their smog.

We see it: the room is thick with the stuff. It is in the air we breathe and the tears we cry and it is in his lungs. Teenagers (kids, we’re just kids) face to face with the killer we raised and you raised without thinking. And now we will carry the weight of it for a lifetime.

Later I watch a boy light a cigarette, and know that the world’s gone mad.
Rest in peace Alan. You have not been forgotten and your story will live on.

This piece is a true story. It doesn't feel as though its real but it is. I would still love feedback on my writing, but please be gentle.


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