Tuesday, February 11, 2014

John and Jack

Consider if you will two very different high school experiences.

John lay on his bed.  Alone.  The twilight light seeping in the window cast a grey pall over the room.  The tension in his chest wanted to rip the sternum apart. 

Why!  Why.  Why do I feel this way.  Why.  I should be normal.  I should be happy.  I should have people I can call, that I can tell about this.  I don’t want to exist.  I don’t want to be here.  I hate it.  F--k it all.  I hate it.  It’s pointless.  I’ll text Shawn.  See how that goes.  Maybe he wants to do something.  Eff it. 

The room was dark, but full of  hidden excitement.  Any moment Jack would walk in the door.    Streamers adorned the ceiling waiting to be illuminated by the light as soon as Jack walked in the door.  Spencer stood by the stereo.  Ready to blast the music.  Katie, hid just out of sight in the study, ready to give him the best birthday kiss any boy had ever experienced.  Troy kept sneaking Doritos, the crunching chips the only noise in the living room. 

All told 14 people waited in the darkness.  Waited to give Jack the happiest birthday they could muster.  Any minute he’d be here.  Any minute the party would commence.

John didn’t cry.  He stared at the text screen.  Someone, anyone would want to hang out .   What was the point anyway?  Hang out for a few minutes.  A couple hours of fun, then back to loneliness.  Back to the room.  Back to the tempest in his mind. Whirling, beating violent thoughts into his soul.  What had he done to give place to his enemy in his head.  Why was it there.   Faggot, queer, F--king loser. It repeated over and over.  Food, friends, making out, all offered temporary reprieve.  But why, at what point.  Where was the meaning. 

Still no response. 

John threw the phone against the wall.  The screen might have cracked.  Oh well.  Fuck it all.

In the corner rested a gun.  A 12 gauge Mossberg.  How many times had John thought of it.  How many times had he wondered if it would provide peace.  He knew the place to put it.  His arms were just long enough to hold it in place. 

Any moment the party would start.  Three more had shown up unexpectedly, but they were welcome.  The dip was so tempting.  The cookies so exciting.  Troy, quietly worked on opening the Oreos.

A car drove up.

Silence.  The suspense was great.  All eyes on the door.  Waiting to love their friend.

But before the door opened, a strange noise came from upstairs.  A sudden noise.  Like a firecracker.


John “Jack” Beckstrand.  18 died Friday night. 

Student Body President, Captain of the football team, brother, son, friend.  He was always happy.  Willing to crack a joke to lighten the mood.  He was An eagle scout,  and sometimes flirted with the Honor Roll. 

He was suddenly taken from us.  While we do not know why, we know he is in the loving embrace of the Savior.  Services will be at the Old Tabernacle Wednesday at noon.  In lue of flowers the family has asked that a donation be made to the United Way. 

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