John loves Margaret. Margaret loves John. They don't know it.
| Let me start off by introducing you to John. John is average in most ways--brown hair, brown eyes, around five-foot-eight, and he had a C+ grade average. His hair was dark, long, and felt like silk. His skin was darker, too, as though he had a permanent tan.
Poor, poor John. He had a disease, the kind that could not be cured. Love. A sophomore in high school, and John was sure he'd met the one girl he wanted to be with for the rest of his days. Sophisticated, beautiful, and incredibly unique, he had fallen for her sooner than he'd ever believed possible.
Her name was Margaret. She believed herself to be average, while John viewed her as anything but. Where she saw average, he saw angelic. The beautiful, brown-eyed girl would pierce the thoughts of this average, brown-eyed boy every night for the rest of his days.
He was devoted to her. When she didn't notice, he would glance at her and smile. When she was noticing, he was busy trying not to be noticed. He knew he loved her, but he was so scared of rejection in any form.
Margaret was in love with John too. She pretended not to see him checking her out, or writing about her in his diary. In fact, Margaret had even heard a song he'd written about her as he sat in the bathroom. With her heart and soul, she loved him.
But her method of getting him to tell her his feelings was twisted. In some way, her idea may have had logic, but in too many ways it lacked. Margaret wanted her knight in shining armor, but she needed to be a damsel for that to happen. So Margaret took the first step into the biggest mistake she had ever made.
Mitchell "Sloppy" McDaniels was the rudest, most vulgar, awful man to exist. Abusive both physically and mentally, a drunkard at 16, and dumber than a hollow rock, Sloppy was infamous for the bruises left on every girl he ever dated. What better a way to force John to come forth as a savior than to date the evil prick that was Sloppy.
But her plan backfired. The moment she asked Sloppy out, he decided to become a decent person. John looked on in horror and depression as the once most-hated man in school made a complete turn-around. Margaret could not believe it, but she didn't complain. She loved John, but maybe his jealousy would make him act. In the meantime, she'd enjoy this new Sloppy.
John had different plans entirely.
The alley by his house was cold that night. Snow covered the ground. The rusty old truck that belonged to Mr. Smith was sitting around the way. John's father kept a pistol in his bedroom, and he wouldn't be home for several hours. It was all too easy.
John put the revolver in his mouth and waited. He took a deep breath. A life without Margaret, his angel Margaret, was worse than no life at all.
Sally Quartermaine stopped him. She had done to John what John had done to Margaret--fallen in love.She stopped him and then John realized that maybe--just maybe--Margaret wasn't essential.
Sally and John began officially dating on January 16th. They were happy as they could be. They went on dates, wrote each other poems, and texted to the ends of the night.
Margaret was not happy. For six months, she watched her true love with another woman. Sloppy and Margaret ended after two weeks. Then Margaret had to painfully watch, every day, as he and her became more and more of a couple.
The night of June 5th, two things happened. In an argument over Sally's weight, the two broke up. John was angry and afraid, and when he went home, he refused to turn on his cell phone.
The last call Margaret made on her cell phone was to John. After she hung up, she took a step forward and fell to the bottom of the river.
John cried and cried and cried. Forty days and forty nights. John pondered his mistakes, his dumb decisions, his wrongs. He thought of all the things he wished he had done. Of all the decisions he wish he hadn't made.
A familiar alley, with a familiar snow. John had gone to this place so long ago. He cried as he walked, with his gun in his hand. He planted the barrel firmly in his mouth--he figured his note would be found soon enough. For a life without Margaret, his angel Margaret, was worse than no life at all.