When I hear stories of tragedy that people suffer or witness, it’s like their brain takes a snapshot of that moment. They can recall that point in time with such clarity they feel like they are living it out again in real time. Recalling every horrific detail all at once.
A lot has happened since that morning on April 15th, but I can’t help but recall it like it only happened yesterday. Even though I wish more than anything else to be able to forget it, or to pretend like it was merely a bad dream.
That morning seemed like any other.
The sun was shining. The usual students loitered outside the school gate until the very last bell indicating the school day had begun.
We were in the middle of our first class of the day, advanced English. It wasn’t my favorite class, but I still worked hard to keep my attention on the teacher. I usually had a cheat for this class to help me pay attention. Our regular teacher, Mr. Ishii, always wore this strange blazer. It had these crazy geometrical shapes and lines all over it. He also had a terrible habit with speaking with this hands.
So I found that whenever my mind would start to wander, I could refocus by trying to see what images I could make out from the shapes on his blazer. That way I was always looking forward and at the teacher. And whenever he started lecturing on something particularly important he would wave his arms around enthusiastically. Breaking me out of my daze and made me make sure I had whatever he was saying written down.
Unfortunately for me, on that day we had a substitute who wore regular clothes but was somehow just as dull. I hate to admit it, but no matter how hard I tried to focus, or look for one interesting thing on his blazer, my eyes glazed over.
My desk was close to the window, and as the sun rose during class, the sunlight rested on me. In combination with the, less than compelling, lecture and the warm sun coating my face, I started to feel a little hazy. The weight of the early morning wake up call was weighing heavy on my eyelids. The sub’s soft voice and the gentle ticking from the wall clock above were pulling me into a sleepy stupor.
“Oh my god! What is she doing!” The girl seated in front of me shouted.
I lurched back in my seat. I hadn’t even noticed my eyes were closed.
“E-Excuse me?” The teacher stammered
I rubbed my eyes and tried to recalibrate to the sudden energy in the room. A chorus of squeaks sounded from chairs being moved as dozens of students ran towards my side of the room.
“What is she doing up there?!” A boy yelled
“Who is that?” someone asked
I couldn’t get out of my chair. Everyone had crowded around me pinning me to the wall of windows at my other side.
“Please sit back down! We are in the middle of class!” The sub tried yelling over the hysteria
“Yuuto! Yuuto! I think she’s going to jump!” Another boy cried
“Jump?” I muttered to myself and jerked my head to join them looking down at the courtyard.
I saw a student, I couldn’t recognize who, standing on the edge of a rooftop of a third-floor building. She was clinging to the chain-linked fence behind her and looking towards the ground.
Stood so still.
I placed a hand on the window. ‘J-Jump?’ Was all my brain could muster
“Someone go do something!” A girl screamed.
The teacher joined all of us at the window “My god-” he muttered
“I’m on my way!” One boy stated with authority and rushed out of the room with his friend.
But there was no time for anyone to do anything. Without any hesitation the girl on the roof simply… let go.
She swan dived down without any kind of hesitation. She almost looked like she was relieved…
I clasped my hands to my mouth to hold in my scream. My ears started ringing. I couldn’t hear anyone else. All I could see was that poor girl… just… lying there. On the grassy knoll in the courtyard. Unmoving.
My mind went blank.
Moments later a mob of students rushed the scene. All of them leaving a large semicircle around her.
I couldn’t stop staring. My heart pounded in my chest. I felt sick.
‘This can’t’ My brain searched vigorously for anyone strand of thought to cling to. ‘This can’t be happening. This isn’t real.’
Teachers were on the scene now. Trying to corral students back to class. Many students had their phones out to take pictures of the girl.
Then bright lights started flashing from an approaching ambulance. EMT’s rushed out and placed her on a stretcher. I saw that they were shouting, but my ears still refused to open.
A blonde girl pushed her way through the crowd. She was weeping.
The girl said something and the EMT’s loaded her up with the jumper. Then, just as quickly as it arrived, the ambulance sped away.
Though there was nothing there now, and the students had started filling out. I couldn’t stop staring at the patch of grass where the girl landed.
Where morning droplets of dew once sat was now replaced with a small pool of blood glistening in the morning sunlight.
‘This can’t be happening…’ Hot tears rolled down my cheeks ‘This can’t be happening…’