Chris didn’t get up for school in the morning. This being really weird for Chris, Mom knew something was wrong and felt bad for him. She offered to let him stay home, but Chris declined, claiming that he hadn’t missed a single day of school this year and didn’t intend to “foil his perfect record”. However, he slept in and missed the bus, so Mom drove him to school. Maybe I should try being depressed; I wanna sleep in.
We were in homeroom and I was talking to Alice, when her face fell.
“Oh, no…” She said.
I followed her gaze. Chris had come into the room and he pretty much looked like he had gotten drunk, let Mabel dress him, and gotten hit by a bus. He was wearing a black turtleneck under a black button-up shirt, which was buttoned wrong; Very unlike Chris. He was wearing black jeans… Inside out. I was just glad that he put his boxers on before his pants. His hair was a rat's nest and he had dark circles under his eyes, probably from staying up all night crying about Geoffry. The poor kid looked sicker than I had ever seen him.
I exchanged a look with Alice and she shrugged.
I stood up and walked over to Chris, putting my hand on his arm, “Chris?”
He looked at me, but seemed to be gazing right through my face.
“Hey,” I said, “Here, sit down, Sweetie.”
Alice pulled out a chair and I sat Chris down, kneeling down beside him.
“Still upset about yesterday, Sweetheart?” I said gently, starting to re-button his outer shirt.
“Nooo!” Chris wailed, pawing at my hands, “Don’t expose my innocent virgin skin to the world!!!”
I backed off and said, “Dude, you’re wearing like five shirts! Don’t worry, no one’s gonna see your skin.”
“Three.” Chris corrected, wailing, “WHO’S NO ONE? DON’T LET HIM SEE ME!! No One’s a pervert, isn’t he?”
I glanced at Alice and she shook her head.
I took Chris’ head and said gently, “Chris, it’s okay. You don’t have to give up just because Geoffry… Was rude.”
Chris started bawling and put his head on my shoulder. He wailed out something along the lines of “I can’t believe he did that. Why would he do that to me?”, but it was hard to tell.
Chris wiped his nose on his sleeve and said, “My life is ruined.”
“No, it’s not.” I said as the bell rang, “Come on, buddy. Time for first hour.”
Chris, Alice, and I walked out into the hall. Geoffry passed by us and Chris raised his voice.
“I hate my life,” Chris said loudly, “And life hates me. Why, Angie? Why? Why can’t someone just come and shoot an arrow through my heart? Oh, wait, someone already has!”
Geoffry either didn’t notice Chris’ comment or pretended not to. I just wanted to hang that jerk from the ceiling by one dreadlock, I’m telling you.
Chris stood by a locker and hit his head against it, “Ow.”
“No duh.” I said, trying to pry him away from the lockers, but he held on, “Come on, Chris, this isn’t you!”
“Yeah? Maybe that way people will stop ruining my life.” Chris said flatly.
I tried not to roll my eyes. Geez, this kid was taking it rough. I thought nowadays teens were supposed to be okay with their boyfriends being sexual…. Okay, I take that back.
During English class, Chris sat through the entire thing, staring off into space. Even Leo noticed.
“Hey, Ange.” He said, “Is something wrong with Chris?”
I nodded and said back, “I can tell you about it later, but you’ll probably find out. He’s been going on about it all day.”
Leo nodded and went back to his work, which Chris was failing to complete, scaring me. What if he was really sick?
I was scared to leave him for math class; that and History were the only classes we didn’t have together. Chris honestly wouldn’t need me, being a brainiac and all, if he wasn’t so… Clingy.
After third hour (Math), I saw Chris in the hallway. He was tripping over his shoelaces, which he hadn’t bothered to tie.
I sighed and walked over to him, “Here, I’ll help you with that.”
Chris didn’t say anything as I bent down to tie his shoes.
I gave him a look and said, “Chris? Where did you find these shoes?”
They were black converse that were about three sizes to small and half torn open.
Chris sighed, “They were in the bottom drawer of my dresser. They’ve always been there.”
“Why do you keep them there?” I said, looking at his shoes, “Dude, I haven’t seen these since, like, sixth grade!”
Chris shrugged, “That was a decent year. I loved these shoes.”
“Not very orderly.” I teased, smiling.
Chris kept a straight face and sighed sorrowfully, “Well, we should go to class, not that it would change anything. My life is already ruined.”
“You know Chris,” I said hesitantly through clenched teeth, “You didn’t technically break up with Geoffry, you don’t have to, you know.”
Chris gave me a ‘what have you been drinking’ look and said, “Oh, Angie. Untouched, innocent, Angie. Of course you would say that because it didn’t happen to you!”
Usually, Chris would then hold his head high and stomp off, but he just slouched over more and dragged his feet to the French room.
Chris was pretty much catatonic for the whole day.
At lunch, Mouse studied him and said, “Is something wrong with Chris? As in, like, more than usual?”
Chris scowled at her and didn’t say anything.
Mouse continued, not really knowing what was wrong, but simply poking fun at Chris, “Oh, I see. Boy troubles? Sucks to be you.”
Chris turned and slapped Mouse in the face, surprising all of us. That took a lot of guts, which (as you know) Chris has none of.
Mouse stood with her mouth hanging open and she glared at Chris. Leo and I got ready…
Mouse lunged for Chris and Leo and I held her back.
“You know what I’ve always wanted to do?” She screamed at Chris, “Rip that cute little button nose right off your face!”
Chris ignored her and turned to face the wall.
Just then, Geoffry came over to our table. He grinned and said, “Hi, Chris. What’s up, Sweetie?”
Chris turned to him, a look of disgust on his face, “What are you doing here?”
Geoffry chuckled, kind of uncertainly, “I’m here to see you, Honey! I-is something wrong?”
Chris laughed hollowly, “Is something wrong?”
We were all watching intensely now, even Leo.
Chris stood up, “Is something wrong?! What do you mean is something wrong?”
Geoffry looked so confused, it was weird. “What do you mean what do I mean?”
Chris scoffed and sat back down, “Just go away. Apparently your intelligence is no match for mine, which isn’t shocking. If you can’t grasp why I’m angry with you, than I don’t see the point of you being here at all.”
Geoffry looked confused, upset, and maybe a little offended all at the same time. He chuckled uncertainly again and held out his arms to Chris, “Can we hug it out?”
“GET AWAY FROM ME BEFORE I CALL THE FREAKING POLICE!!!!!!” Chris screamed at him. A little harsh, Chris.
Geoffry blinked and started to back away, “Chris, Honey… Are you feeling alright? I think something might be wrong with you….”
“Something’s wrong with me?” Chris yelled, unintentionally attracting quite a bit of attention, “Something is wrong with me? I think there’s something wrong with you, Geoffry Canning! All I did was confess my love and you took it way to far!”
Chris started bawling; that was my cue. I jogged over to my little brother and he, predictably, collapsed in my arms, sobbing. I patted his back, looking around nervously at all the other students who were staring at us. Well, who could blame them? Two guys (one of them being Chris, who will always and forever be at the bottom of the food chain) just had a loud, dramatic breakup argument that mostly consisted of Chris screaming like a madman.
Geoffry stood uselessly next to the table and, seeing no further use for him, Mouse gestured for him to scram. He walked off, looking more confused than ever.
Chris leaned on me, bawling.
I sighed and said, “Chris, you’re making way too big a deal out of this.”
Chris wiped his nose on his sleeve and said, “Not true. What happened yesterday was a terrible misfortune.”
“Did someone die?” Mouse asked casually.
Chris glared at her and said, “Yeah, Geoffry’s cat… And our eternal love.”
Chris shuddered and I sighed, wishing for once that my brother would act like a guy.
“Well,” Mouse said, “It doesn’t seem so eternal now-“
“Mouse!” I hissed, “Clam it!”
Mouse looked from me to Chris lazily and sighed, “Fine, I’ll lay off.”
I pushed Chris’ shoulder with mine and said, “Okay, time to get up, Buddy Boy.”
Chris shook his head, clinging to my arm like a leech.
At recess, I explained to Alice what had happened the day before. She shook her head and said, “Man, no wonder poor Chris is such a mess.”
I raised an eyebrow at her, “Come on, it wasn’t worth going emo for!”
Alice eyed me, “Are you kidding? I can’t imagine how scared Chris must have been!”
“But-“ I protested.
“Angie, it didn’t happen to you. You couldn’t possibly know what he’s going through.” Alice said.
I clenched my teeth and, managing to keep my temper, I said, “It didn’t happen to you either…”
Alice nodded and said, “Well, I’m saying that maybe you should give Chris a break. He’s been through a lot.”
I tried not to look pissed and huffed, “Fine.”
Chris and I got off the bus and walked home.
When we got to our house, Chris went straight to his room.
I sighed and sat down on the couch to do my homework.
Suddenly, the worst music I had ever heard started blasting through the house.
All I want is a little of the good life….
I covered my ears and yelled, “Chris! Turn that crap off!”
I stomped to his room, my hands still over my ears, and pushed the door open with my side.
I gaped when I entered Chris’ room. Clothes and books and CD cases were scattered all over the floor. Chris’s bed wasn’t made and he was lying on it, repeatedly throwing a rubber ball against the wall and catching it.
“Geez, Chris.” I said, “Was there a tornado in here?”
“My life is ruined.” Chris said in a monotone.
I turned off his radio and said, picking up a CD case from the floor, “What are you listening to? The soundtrack from a funeral?”
Chris didn’t answer and I said, looking through the Cds, “Three Days grace, Donnie Darko soundtrack, Coldplay…”
I raised an eyebrow at Chris and held up a CD, “The Smiths?”
Chris sighed sorrowfully and droned, “My life is a terror, why not listen to terrible music?”
“Alice In Chains, Chris?” I said, “Really?”
Chris silently stared at the wall, throwing the rubber ball again.
“Chris,” I said, crossing my arms, “This isn’t you.”
“Can you go now?” Chris said flatly, “I would like to be left alone.”
I rolled my eyes and said, “Fine.”
“Pain, without love. Pain, can’t get enough.” Chris sang loudly, “Pain, I like it rough ‘cause I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all.”
I groaned, “Fine, I’m leaving now!”
I closed the door behind me and walked back to the living room.