He had sat by her for days, for weeks, for months. He had sat by her all year, she'd never missed a day. Now she was gone, and she wouldn't be back. "killed herself, so young..." the words echoed repeatedly in his head. He slumped onto his desk and stared at hers. For just a moment, he closed his eyes and pretended she was there. She was sitting right next to him again, smiling, chattering at him, laughing when he didn't.
"Why are you so cold? Why don't you talk to me? It's not like I'm diseased or something," she had once said, laughing nervously when he rolled his eyes.
He wondered now what would have happened if he had laughed too. If he'd smiled and said, "Sorry."
He remembered sneaking a peek at her from his periphreal vision. She looked like a kicked puppy, staring at the floor, but he just turned away. He ignored the little voice in his head, "She's beautiful, and she likes you. Give her a chance..."
When he rode the bus home, he saw the empty seat in front of his. "killed herself, so young, no friends..."
He bit back a sob. Just yesterday she had sat there smiling back at him, but he hadn't smiled back, just gazed sulkily out the window, pushing her away.
He got off the bus, and remembered her tentive smile from the day before. The last time he had seen her. The rain had flattened her hair. She had looked so alone, and he hadn't cared. "killed herself, so young, no friends..."
As he trudged home, her voice echoed so faint from the day before, "bye" was what he'd imagined she had said. "Goodbye forever," was what she had really meant. He had just shrugged and waved half heartedly even though he saw the pain of rejection in her eyes. "killed herself..."
He remembered the announcement over the intercom from earlier that day. He remembered the tale from other students about her killing herself.
He flopped on his bed now at home. "Why do I even care?" he asked out loud, startled by the sound of his voice.
"Because you loved her," the voice in his head whispered softly.
"No." he said, but he knew he was lying to himself.
He fell into a fretful sleep, and her face kept appearing in front of him. Rain soaked and sad, smiling so desperatly. Why hadn't he said somthing, anything? Why had he ignored her? Why hadn't he cared? "killed herself, so young, no friends..."
He sat up in his bed in a cold sweat. He remembered her last morning. She had tried to sit next to him, and he'd moved to another seat. How crestfallen her face was. "Your fault..." the voice whispered. "killed herself, so young, no friends..."
"Oh God," he thought. It was his fault. He'd been there, watched her, seen her sadness, her lonliness, like his... and he hadn't done anything. She'd tried to ger close, to feel wanted, and he hadn't allowed her that, hadn't saved her."killed herself, so young, no friends..."
The days blurred and the empty desk taunted him. Day after day, blaming him, forcing him to believe she was gone, but he could see her so clearly. As though she had just left class early. he heard her voice, and he saw her smile, and sometimes... he even smiled back now.
The voice haunted his sleep. Sometimes she was there too, smiling and holding his hand. Always leading him. But she always led him to the cemetary, to the cold gray stone. Then she would disappear with her sadness reappearing as she faded. He always followed though.
When he woke up, he would always stare sadly into the mirror. he would stare until he saw her face, and then whisper, "I'm sorry, so so sorry. I didn't know I loved you. I did though; I love you so much, but i couldn't let myself love you."
Then her sweet face would fade though and he'd be all alone again.
"You didn't have to be alone. You could have had her." the voice would whisper as he shuddered and held back tears. "killed herself, so young, no friends..."
He remembered every day, every conversation, every time he saw her, or every time he listened to her voice, and... every time he pretended she didn't exist.
"You should be happy. Now you don't have to pretend." the voice mocked, and he knew it was true.
He felt it inside. The heavy cold weight of her loss, how he'd never known her, how he'd lost his chance to really love her.
"If only I hadn't ignored you. If only I'd answered. If only I'd have let myself love you.
A tear ran down his cheek. "killed herself, so young, no friends..."
I wish I had told you. I wish that I had known you. I wish I had realized what you were to me before you'd... died. All because of me...
Because I knew knew i loved you.... And now I've loved you too late.