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One Last Call


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It was a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon. The Clarks family had just come home from having lunch after their usual Sunday church services. The kids scrambled through the door, running off to play. The wife went in to the kitchen to prepare for the game day celebrations later that evening. The father sat down on the long sofa and turned on the T.V.

On the other side of town, Peter Greyson was frantically trying to complete some homework. His procrastinating nature had made him turn a two week project into an one night just-to-make-it-look-like-I-tried paper on the Harlem Renaissance. Peter was scribbling out notes on James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes when his phone began to ring in his pocket. Peter took his fourth break of the day and fished out his phone from his stonewashed jeans. It was his friend, James.

"Hey James, what's up?"

The voice on the other end chuckled, "Considering my situation at the moment, that was pretty funny."

"Ha, you must be high, huh?"

"Yep, I'm pretty high," James retorted, extending the word 'pretty' to let Peter know just how high he was.

"What's up with the static man?"

"It's nothing, just a lot of wind. Listen, you know the project in English class? The one on the Harlem Renaissance?"

"Don't even get me started dude, I've got maybe a fourth of the way done and it's due tomorrow!"

"That's not good man, you know procrastination is like masturbation, it's good for a while, but in the end your just fucking yourself," James quipped.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. I was going to get started yesterday, but Becky called and wanted to hang, so of course I went over to visit, ya know, get some other studying in," Peter laughed.

James laughed, "Well anyway, back to why I called. Do you know that one writer, Gwendolyn Bennet?"

"Yeah, she brought a lot of the prominent writers together and all that stuff. What about her?"

"Did you read her poem Secret?"

"Yeah, I actually have it here in front of me," Peter answered, pulling out the white paper with the centered words.

"Well," James paused, "when I first read it, It resonated something in me. It reminded me of something, something I hated, yet loved at the same time."

"Umm, okay?" Peter said confused.

"What I'm trying to say is . . . Peter . . . I . . . I love you . . . I love you so much, and I'm . . . I'm so sorry . . . Goodbye. . ."

Later, the Clarks family were setting everything down on the living room table in anticipation for that nights guests. It would only be a half hour before the guests arrived. Once everything was set, the husband decided to check the local news station to see what the weather would be like tomorrow. Taking the seat next to him, his wife snuggled in to the crook of his arm, their matching jerseys blending in to one another. After the commercials, the T.V. showed the News Team duo joking and laughing amongst each other. Getting back to business, the camera focused on the pretty blond anchor their town loved.

"Earlier today, a local sixteen year old committed suicide by jumping from a high rise building. Officials, as of this time, do not know why he did it. The chief investigator stated that there was no suicide note, and that the boy had no history of depression. In other news, there is tension amid peace talks in the Middle East. Muslim extremists killed eight people and injured twenty more in an attack outside the U.S. Embassy."

"That's so sad," the wife said, interrupting the silence between the couple.

"What is, the bombing?" the husband asked.

"No, the boy. It's so sad, to die that young. Especially at your own hand."

"I know. It's selfish for anyone to do it though, even if you are that young."

"I wonder what he was thinking?"

"I don't know," the husband said, "I'm sure if he knew the thoughts of those he left behind, though, he probably wouldn't have done it."

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Sad. I like your 'interpretation' of the Secret poem though. It puts a wonderfully new perspective on it.

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You know, you read about teen suicides in the news or hear about them on the radio or TV, and the vast majority of time there is no information about the 'why' or even if a note was left.

That's probably just as it should be, nobody's business but their own, but you have to wonder. Given the percentages of the teen suicides that we do know about, through survivors and other information, that are due to sexuality issues, I have to wonder just how high that number might be. Chilling thought.

Now you have to wonder how Peter will cope with knowing his friend jumped right after that call. Indeed, how he'd feel not catching the multiple double-entendres that gave possible hints about James' predicament.

Thanks Spac-Tic.

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