Worried whispers rustled across the classroom as the teacher stumbled in. Her face was pale and her lips were pursed. Along with her green grading book of death, she had a stack of papers cradled to her dull gray sweater.
The whispers drifted away, and the class fell silent. The only audible sound in the science lab was the hollow click of Mrs. Goldstein’s heels clack upon the stark, white tile floor.
She slapped the papers on the lecture podium, and with a subtle sigh of relief made her way to her desk. She warded the grimace etched upon her face away, and forced a faulty smile.
She jabbed the swollen power button her Stone Age computer—a Pentium II, wheezing out its last few beeps in boops in the year two-thousand and four—and set her gaze upon her class.
The room was lit up like an autopsy room. There were three rows of scared black lab desks, with two seats each, and five desks in each row. All of the seats were full, except for David’s.
“Class,” she began, pausing to clear her throat, “I have a letter, from the principal, and I was—
The intercom clicked on and Dr. Peacock’s booming jazzy voice exploded out of it, “Attention staff, I would like to remind you that if you have not already checked your box today, to send a student down and pick up the letter, which was placed in all staff boxes at 6:45am today.” He paused, the rustle of papers and the thump of a coffee cup could be heard muffled in the background. “Teachers, if you have a first period class, I would like to remind you to pass out the letter, read it, and essentially leave it at that. We have brought in extra counselors in case anybody needs to talk about the incident, and we are encouraging all students who are concerned or confused to come up to the office and speak to our trained counselors.” Another pause, the subtle slurp of coffee, and then, “Have a nice day, and be safe.”
The intercom clicked off and died like a swatted fly. Then there was silence, as though the classroom fell into another dimension, one where sound was nonexistent, and fear and despair were prominent.
The students glossed, and sunken eyes stared at the teacher. She stared back, cleared her throat once more, and began to read the letter.
“Yesterday, at approximately seven-twenty, one of our students took their life. The cause as to why he did it is unknown, and is being investigated. The student, David,” Mrs. Goldstein coughed, to cover up her tears, “David Sanfre, had a short history of psychological problems, yet they were not deemed severe enough to imagine he would commit such a tragic act. All I ask is that you do not do what immature high school students would do when a death occurs—spread rumors. He had problems, he couldn’t deal with them, and bottled them up—he was lost. I want you to take his life and make it your own, live to the fullest, help those in need, say hi to a stranger, and eat lunch with a different crowd. Be friends. We are a family, and we have lost one of our beloved members. Remember him for who he was, not for how he left us.”
She set the her paper down—it was stamped with the Auburn County seal and signed by Dr. Peacock—and began to solemnly pass out the student copies when a soft voice spoke up from her left side.
“Mrs. Goldstein,” it whispered.
“Yes,” replied Mrs. Goldstein, beginning to hand out the papers, not looking up to see who was speaking.
“Is he in a better place?”
Tragedy at Rockwell Drive
It was a somber day today at our local High School, Rockwell Drive, from the first chirp of the morning bell until the closing one. Yesterday, Sophomore David Sanfre took his life at his home, at approximately 7:30P.M. He bled to death from self inflicted wounds. Toxicity reports state that he had approximately 40mg of Oxycontin in his blood.
David Sanfre was not a football player or a jock for that matter. He was a quite boy, who was naturally intelligent, and equally motivated. He obtained high marks in all of his courses, and even held a job at the local pharmacy, Auburn Drug. On the outside, he appeared to be a responsible, stable adult. Though that all seems far from the truth after one look at his death letter.
The room was lit only by his lava lamp, and the CD player was on repeat, with a song that the mourning parents, Steve and Marilyn Sanfre, wished not to be published—or ever hear of again for that matter. Marilyn Sanfre became worried when her son did not come downstairs for dinner when she called, and found him dead on his bed minutes later. She screamed, and her husband came running in. He says, “David never seemed like he had any problems, he was intelligent, and had a future. I can’t believe this happened.” Mrs. Sanfre refused to comment.
It is truly a tragedy to lose a young child, yet is it for the better? The suicide note can be the judge of that. It was full of hatred and anger, mainly focused upon his high school, and his peers. It spoke of Columbine, and bloodshed: no guns or weapons were found in his house, besides the knife he used against himself.
David will be put to rest on Thursday at Auburn Hill Cemetery, at 6:00P.M. a viewing will prelude this, starting at 4:30P.M. at the Gates Memorial Home morgue.
For better or worse, rest in peace young David, rest in peace.
Ariel, a big girl for her age, zipped her backpack and snatched her notebook off her desk. She waited for the rest of the students to clear the room—scared she would run into somebody or knock a chair over with her girth—and then exited into the hallway. In five years she will be a slim 133 pounds, with the same beautiful eyes and smile, and she will have a master’s degree in secondary education—but she wasn’t thinking about that now.
She merged into the hallway traffic and made her way to her next class. All she was thinking about was getting to her next class—without any incidents. She didn’t’ want to run into anybody, drop anything, or get snickered at as she walked by, she just wanted to get to her class and do her work. Is that too much to ask?