How am I supposed to live? How am I supposed to die? It seems that the society has already planned out everything for me even before I was born. Why is it so easy for everyone to just follow the crowd? Why being different has to be a challenge? Why life hates anyone who tries a different route to death? So many questions one has in life but in the end no one wants to be generic but at the same time everyone is afraid of being ‘the weird one’. This is the tale of that one “weird” kid that no one knows about.

Darin had a pretty normal life. He was born into a very reputed family in the hometown. But his parents moved into a city with the hopes of a better lifestyle. Even though the life in the village was not that bad, the city life attracted everyone. His parents were no different. They bought a nice and cosy apartment in a safe neighbourhood. The people there were nice and welcoming. Darin’s parents, Ryde Laine and Heather Laine, were well educated but not that high. His father was the bread earner of the house. His mother does the household work as that was the usual back in the days. His father earned enough for the family; they could afford more than the bare necessities.

Ryde enrolled his son to a very respectable school around 5 miles away from the neighbourhood. He also arranged the ride for his sons travel. The ride was a public school travel. Everyday Darin’s mother, Heather would carry him and get him into the school bus. The school consists of all types of kids, from all types of background. Even the bus had diverse students from primary to high school kids and kids who were rich to poor. The school uniform was a must so everyone had the same look despite their background. This system was great to some extent. At least he discrimination based on economy was not there. Moving on to Darin’s life in school.

Darin was a quiet boy who didn’t have any friends. Of course he had classmates who occasionally talked to him but never a friend. He was for most his time lonely. Even his parents due to their busy schedule had to neglect Darin. He felt alone for almost all the time. He tried his very best to make friends but somehow it felt like everyone avoided him. His loneliness took to worse turns when his parents fought. That just makes him angry and sad. He wanted to get out of all this. He started reading books instead of playing outside with the neighbouring kids. Even if he had three books, he felt like he was home when he reads the books. Even during the break time in school, he used to read books. He used to eat his lunch alone obviously but books gave him company. Most of the children at that age loved to play during the break except him. He was made fun of his peculiar interest a lot of times.

One day during the English lecture, the teacher advised the students to read some books. The teacher said, “Those who read have the brightest future. I’m sure Darin has a head start in life because of his hobby.” Some of the students didn’t like this. They hated Darin for receiving such a high praise from the teacher. They decided to destroy Darin’s future. They plotted to destroy Darin’s books, all three of them. Darin never left his seat and he always had his bag near him. So, one of the students told Darin that the teacher is calling him to the staffroom. Believing them, Darin left for the staffroom but was intercepted by another boy telling him that he needs help to find something in the storeroom without which the teacher will scold him. So Darin went with the boy to the storeroom. The moment Darin entered the storeroom, the boy locked the room from outside and left Darin alone in the room. The storeroom was pretty far from the main classrooms and voices from the storeroom couldn’t reach anyone unless the janitor was intending to take something. And to top the misery, the janitor comes around in the evening. So for next half of the school, Darin was locked in the storeroom. He screamed and cried out loud but nobody could hear him. The other boys were happy that their plan is working out just fine. They took his books, tore them apart and then threw them in the dustbin. Not even fate was on Darin’s side. Normally he would reach home at 1900 hours and his parents would reach by 2100 hours but that day he was still in the room till 9 o’ clock in the night; around when the janitor came to the storeroom for getting some equipment and found Darin locked inside. He asked him, “How he ended up there?” He lied and told him, “I lost something in here and while searching someone must have locked the room from outside.” The janitor said “Oh… You should call your parents and inform.” “Ok.” said Darin and he then called and informed his parents. His parents came to pick him up and asked about the incident. But he didn’t say more than he said to the janitor. His parents accepted it and told him to care in the future. His bag was still in the school. The other boys hid it in the locker. The next morning the other boys started teasing him and called him names. Those names stuck with him till high school. Later he found his bag in the locker and saw that his books are missing. He realised that those kids did something to them. He didn’t react and went ahead as usual as if nothing happened. The others were pretty bummed by his behaviour and they tried new and interesting ways to bully him. He pushed through it all and reached high school with excellent grades. The only people who had a soft spot for him were his teachers. Eventually, the teachers were more of a friend than the students for him.

Darin became a full-fledged introvert by the time he reached high school. He bought new books which he could indulge in. By this time he had already been in the shoes of a thousand characters. Enthralled by the books he read, he started writing. He wrote poems, songs, books, etc. He enjoyed it very much. He kept this only as a hobby though; he enrolled in the sciences in the high school. He was equally fascinated by the world of science and mathematics. Along with the studies, he had his hobby to live for. But there were times when he had difficulties to cope up with the studies; still he managed to pass through it all with flying colours. This is what all of the others could see about him. No one knew what Darin’s true self. No one tried to know more about him. Everyone was pleased to see his success from the outside but no one saw his pain in the inside.

During the time Darin grew up as a teen, his household was frequently in shambles. The frequency of the fights between his mom and dad grew. Most of them were due to their ego. His mother started earning when he was 9 years old. This developed a complex in his dad’s mind. His dad’s ego kept rising, so did his mom’s. In between these fights, they often forgot about their kid, Darin. They neglected him and forgot to give him love. Because of this Darin became an emotionless person. He started developing a disregard for life. Sometimes the parents lashed out their anger on their son. Which made Darin to start feeling sad. His constant sadness grew into the monster of depression. He was in no mental state to appreciate anything. He simply didn’t care. His lack of interest crawled into his hobby and passion of reading and writing. He stopped trying to being creative. The neglect from the parents and the society made him feel worthless. He felt like no one was there for him. He wanted someone to console him, he wanted a friend at the same time he didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. He didn’t know what he was going through was a disease but he tried his own methods to cope up. He started stealing his parents’ money to buy alcohol. He started abusing alcohol and became a tobacco addict. His parents didn’t care much about each other and about their kid. Heck! They even started to sleep in different rooms. Their family was in a complete mess. Nobody could mend the broken pieces.

In his feeling of loneliness, Darin found music. But it didn’t make him feel anything. He was losing himself to alcohol and cigarettes. One day he decided to end it all. He decided to end his stupid life. People will forget about him as fast as the next night. He will find peace. So he started to write his final letter. The letter read,

“Hey!

Whoever is reading this, I want you to know, you’re awesome and worthy to live unlike me. I am nothing but trouble to my parents and the society. I have not even a single redeeming quality. I cannot offer anything. I am just a burden. Nobody is responsible for what happens next. I take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for my DEATH. I love you mom and dad.

Thanks for helping me get through till now, alcohol.

Regards,

Darin Laine.”

After writing this letter, he prepared the rope and the stool. He placed the letter on the table, said his final prayers and hung himself. It was 18:45 in the clock. His parents were still at work. They reached home by 21:00 to find their son dead in his room. Both of them broke down and were shocked to silence. They eventually called the ambulance. The police also came to the scene. While investigating, they found the letter and the case was closed as “Suicide”.

Whose fault was it? Were the parents to blame? Or maybe the society? Or maybe Darin? Everybody is at fault. Maybe if the parents had given some attention to their only son, he would be still alive this day. Maybe if he had friends, he would be alive. Even if he had a single person believing in him, he would still be alive this day. But sadly, that was not the case. We are so preoccupied by ourselves that we forget about others. Little things we do to others may hurt or mend them forever. Our actions are to be blamed in times like this. No one was there for him. Sadly, this is the truth for many of us. If you look closely to your surrounding you’ll see many who are on the verge of self-destruction. If someone comes to you for help never let them go. Never let anyone go by themselves. Be always kind to everyone. Maybe just your smile can turn someone away from destroying themselves. You don’t have to pay to act kind. All you need to do is be there for them. Just by giving them a sense of belonging can save them. Be friends with everyone. Try to help everyone. On to the story after Darin’s death;

His parents were questioned by the police and after the investigation they realised that Darin was an addict. The parents were shocked to hear this. They didn’t know about his condition. The doctors said that he could have been going through depression which was treatable. This could have been avoided. This knowledge broke them even more. With the grief of losing their only son, they decided to go separate. They felt that being separate would remind them of this incident less. But that was not true. Still they had help to get through. Both of them had their families to help them get through it all. And about the classmates, no one truly cared about his death; after all he was a wallflower that no one knew.

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