Pratisandhi

#AltEnd: 13 Reasons Why, It's Just The Beginning

(Background: Clay Has Completed All The 13 sides of 7 Cassettes. Now, He Is Winding Up And Getting Ready To Parcel It Further.)

 

THE NEXT DAY: AFTER MAILING THE TAPES

Today is no different, the same routine with the same faces but I can sense a spooky vibe surrounding me. I should be running away from it and not looking back. Last night was a rollercoaster ride; I was chained to that familiar voice continuously. The more I pushed it away the stronger it pulled me in.

I wish I could rewind time and hold your hand as tightly as possible, protecting you from all the ills in the world. 

Initially, I thought giving away those tapes would ease the tension in my muscles. But with every passing second, I notice myself getting more and more curious about others’ reactions. How are they going to face it? Do they have enough courage to hear about themselves? 

I have to go to school as if nothing happened. Stay calm, for at least it’s over now. I desperately need a coffee right now to shun away from these thoughts.

“Clay!”

It’s Tony’s voice. “Feeling any better?”, he asked. 

Although he is the last person I was expecting to meet right now, it feels oddly nice to see him. I nod with the glimmer of hope in my eyes.

As I approach the entrance of our high school, I walk directly to Hannah’s locker. I want to see it but I cautiously step away and start looking for mine. Everything seems to be back to normal but as soon as I open my locker, I am tongue-tied. There is a tape, a new one. Is this some sort of prank? What’s going on? How did it come here? Who did this? 

Tony.

He was the one who started it. I rushed to him. “What’s this supposed to mean?”, throwing it towards him. “I.. I don’t know.”, he says reluctantly. Finally, losing all my cool, I bellow “What do you mean? Have you never seen it before?”

“Nope,” he said, his eyes glued to the ground. 

“Let’s hear it”, he says, finally looking into my eyes. 

I swallow my spit, unsure if I can take whatever is going to happen.

Tony presses the PLAY button, I’m positive I hate him.

Hello, Clay. 

It’s that familiar voice again. It’s her voice. 

If you’re listening, you’re too late.

 

Written by: Prerna Panghal

Featured Image: The Conversation

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