The Kernel





The Big Long Now

As if being 13 wasn’t hard enough, now Thomas Markham sees his locker is haunted by some stupid ghost.

Thomas sighs, knowing he’s going to be even later to class now, and he doesn’t want to get ectoplasm on his new shirt (he was already being teased about his cheap shoes and wasn’t eager to provide more ammo for ridicule).

The dead eyes and sloppy bowl-cut reminds Thomas of someone though, and then it hits him… this is the ghost of Kevin So-and-So, that one kid who killed himself last year. The ghost is as quiet and awkward as he recalls the living Kevin to be, so he hasn’t really changed much.

Thomas remembers back when the school announced the suicide, and everyone was so sad… The school had a grief counselor come in, everyone had to talk about their feelings, and it was like a competition to see who could be the most inconsolable and heartbroken over it— and he knows none of them knew Kevin, he had no friends. They didn’t really care.

It felt like such a big deal then, though… but Thomas realizes he had pretty much totally forgotten about it until he saw the dead kid’s ghost was haunting his locker. He can’t even remember his last name.

Thomas makes a mental note to look in the yearbook to check on Kevin’s last name, but by the time he gets home he’ll have forgotten.

He closes his locker, deciding he doesn’t really need his math book, and runs to class.

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