It started off so exciting. Caps and gowns, sitting in the front row alongside the other class officers. That annoying Pomp and Circumstance shit blaring over the PA. Our chorus sang the national anthem, and I wondered if we were supposed to hold our caps over our hearts or something.
I saw Dave as we were walking in. He looked a little pale, but he was up and walking around. That seemed to contradict the worst of my fears.
As class president, I had to give a speech first. I had prepared two typewritten pages for the occasion. I was nervous, but I got over it as soon as I started speaking. I fell into a steady rhythm, even snuck a glance at Dave's girlfriend. I had just gotten to my G.K. Chesterton quote when I felt a hand on my shoulder. A smell like rancid shit curled into my nostrils. Someone in the crowd laughed. I turned.
It was Dave. He looked like hell. Veins were standing out on his neck and face and his skin was damp and grey. His eyes. His eyes looked at me, but they also seemed to be looking through me. Or they couldn't see anything at all. He looked like a corpse.
He opened up his mouth and puked black liquid all down the front of my gown, then fell to his knees retching. I took a step back in disgust and watched as he spasmed, tearing his gown completely off in his struggles. His shirt underneath was torn and I could see his chest. His skin was stained with sludgelike red blood. It looked like his abdomen was being held together with crude skitches made with a fucking bone needle.
He took a deep breath and started screaming horribly. A deep phlegmatic wail. Just one word. My name, over and over. It was all he would say until he died eighteen minutes later in the hospital.
They ended the ceremony. Diplomas and scholarships were mailed home.
I was questioned by teachers. Then policemen. Then EMTs.
All I could do was ask for my father. "Dad, dad, dad," over and over again. I didn't stop saying it until he put his arm around my shoulders and took me home.
I'm told I was catatonic most of Sunday. I can't really remember. A lot of people came to try and talk to me. I think I read some Punisher comics. I slept a lot, I remember that. And I dreamed. I woke up bleeding.
My dad kept me in bed all day Monday, and didn't let anyone see me. He had me talk to John on the phone about everything. I cried and told him how confused I was and all the stuff I'd been holding back. John told me it was going to be okay. I just needed to relax and I could get as much help as I needed. He asked if he should come over. I told him it was okay. He reminded me to call him if anything came up at all. I spent the rest of the day reading the book Pastor Paul gave me and trying to pray. It didn't work very well.
Last night as I was falling asleep I felt someone touch the back of my neck. I whipped around and in the yellow lamplight I saw a tall thin figure in the corner of my room. Then I passed out again. When I woke up at 3, there was no one in my room. I called John and stayed on the phone until it was light out.
John came over for breakfast. Him and my dad told me how they thought it might be a good idea for me to spend some time in a hospital. I wasn't sure. I got angry. They talked me down. In the end I agreed after John mentioned the gashes I'd found on my forearm.
I must have done them myself, but I can't remember it. I don't know.
They let me come on the computer for awhile to say 'bye to people, since I might not get a computer in the hospital.
They told me not to say anything about Dave or what had happened on Facebook. They didn't mention Blogger.
I'm not sure how long I'm going to be gone. I won't have a phone, my dad hasn't let me see mine since Sunday anyway. I'll try to write things down if I can.
I'll be back.