A new journal appeared in my message box as I logged onto my account. As I read it, the messages in it didnt seem to be good; in fact, they were terrible:
"...I hate my class. The girls are noisy; they are arrogant, same as my parents. Maybe I am too bad for everything, they dont like me; I dont think anyone would like me too. Why do I even bother to stay alive?
There were many comments that were designed to cheer him up, but they all seemed alike in their content - dry platitudes. Maybe it would be better to be ignored totally. I tried to cheer him up by telling him that hes a good person and that he need not to care what others think of him. I hoped it would help. It didn't.
He didnt feel better.
The journal was still there, but more depressed. All of his replies to people's comments were the same thank you, which ended everything neatly and quickly. His reply to my comment was no different. I tried to elaborate further on what I had said so at least someone would be chatting with him. After that, I called my friends to find his phone number. I figured the best way to cheer him up would be a real conversation.
I had plenty of time to waste on the Internet, so I looked through art gallery again. While not a great artist, his work was decent; at least he could draw everything simply and clearly without getting flamed by sarcastic commentary. That was his first journal entry...he said little about himself, as if he were a hermit, avoiding being involved in everything or allowing people to get to know him. Ironically, he posted his artwork there. I find this interesting when people who seem introverted share artwork - almost like seeking some kind of attention. Anyway, he and I shared a class together, so I knew a little about his character, which might make it easier for me to approach him.
Several hours later while I was eating someone called me, saying that he had the phone number I sought. After writing it down, I went to calm myself down so I would be ready to talk to him in the phone.
...Hello? He answered my call emptily, like a person without any spirit left.
Its me, Tim. Do you still remember me? I asked, trying to sound unaffected yet concerned.
...Ah Tim," he replied blankly,Yeah, of course I do remember you. What's up?
Well, I wanted to call because you haven't seemed yourself lately. Not to pry, but whats wrong? Is everything okay?
Uhm...well...not really," he seemed to hesitate in his response. "It's cool, I dont feel good lately is all.
Oh," I answered, not sure what to say next. "Well, be cool, alright? I am sure you'll get through everything okay.
...Yeah, okay," he answered, unconvinced. "I hope so. Anyway...thanks dude.
We ended the call, and when it was finished, I felt that I may have helped save someone from depression...or something.
I was wrong.
He was dead - a crumpled heap on the ground and his face was no more. The news in the paper was shocking enough. I began to blame myself for not noticing the serious problem he had. Instead of focusing on that, I turned my mind to my studies. Still, I was not in the mood for anything, so I tried to cheer myself up in the artworks of others, yet his journal entry continued to haunt me.
It was the same journal entry, edited slightly. He hadn't bothered writing a new one. I noted that almost every comment in the later section of commentary were filled with irritation. People seemed annoyed with his dramatic journal. They seemed to think he was just attention seeking. They didn't realize he was dead. Before bothering to inform them, a thought came to me: Maybe I should call his family.
Hello, Mrs Jones. I'm sorry about Timothy. My condolences to you and your family.
Oh its you Tim, her voice was weak but kind, Timothy told us about you before, but that was a long time ago; he hardly spoke to anyone, including us...
I'm sorry to hear that, Mrs Jones," I said, unsure what else to say. "Well, I've gotta go..." my voice trailed off.
Thank you for calling, was her soft response.
I will probably never know why he died. That doesnt really matter now, since it has passed. As I laid on my bed thinking about his death, I wished that I could have just ignored him...or maybe have forgotten even about his existence. His pathetic act to end his own suffering now clung to my negative mood...and to the negative moods of others...
No...he was my friend. But now he's dead...