I only looked into it when I got the news that a close friend of mine had killed himself. His name was Christian. He was a really... a really nice guy. Really cheerful and encouraging all the time. He never swore or picked on anybody. That's the kind of guy he was. I don't understand what drove him to commit suicide... maybe, I don't know, he had some problems I didn't know about. We weren't "besties" or anything, but I still expected him to tell me if something was wrong.
It took me a while to recover from the news, and my parents didn't see much of me for about a week. I spent all my time in my room, just watching Netflix or reading and trying to forget about what had happened. I was like that; I'd push my problems out of mind, and just keep them there. I didn't like addressing things head-on.
Christian was kind of my wake-up call, though, I guess. I decided I wasn't just going to push him away like he was a problem. I was going to let myself feel guilty for not doing something to help him, not seeing any signs. I needed to feel something about this.
Anyway, that was kind of when I started investigating. It was a difficult conversation, but I managed to talk to Christian's parents, who said that they had no idea anything was wrong with him. He had been acting completely normal as far as they could tell, and were just as confused and devistated as I was.
When I was over at his house, I decided to go up to his room, if only to relive some of the memories I had made there. It was a pretty standard room; white walls, a neatly-made bed (typical Christian), and a few superhero posters plastered on the wall. I sat down on the side of his bed, looking around the room and feeling increasingly sadder. It didn't make any sense.
Suddenly I noticed something sticking out of the thin shelf on his bedside; a simple black leather book. I pulled it out, opening to the first page and catching the word "Journal" before quickly closing it again. Christian's journal. I felt like a jackass for attempting to read it, but as I thought I realized that maybe he wrote something that would explain his suicide. And if he was alive, he would want me to know. I knew that.
I slowly opened it again, to a few entries in. The date read January 25th, a few weeks ago. I scanned through it, growing increasingly guilty until I came across a paragraph that caught my eye.
"I found a note in my locker at school today, it was weird. It didn't say anything except 'hello sinner.' I don't know why someone would leave a note like that for me. It's kind of stupid."
As I looked further down the page I realized that there was a crumpled piece of paper tucked into the journal, and as I took it out and flipped it over I saw that Christian had been right. There was nothing on it except the simple words; "Hello, sinner."
I didn't give it a second thought, tucking it back into the journal and flipping the page.
The next entry was pretty standard, however, I noticed that it was shorter than before, with less detail and seemingly less effort put into the paragraphs. As the entries went on, I continued to notice how unmotivated Christian seemed to write, until I came across an entry that slightly unnerved me.
The opening paragraph began with a simple sentence. "Today, I sinned."
It seemed like an odd thing to say, especially since he went into no further detail. The entry continued, rattling about his soccer practice that day and what movie he watched that afternoon, along with a few other random musings. It seemed... out of place, especially in a journal entry, and still stuck with me as I flipped the page.
The next entry was even stranger, and I noticed it was missing a date as the heading.
"Today, I sinned. Everyone in school thinks I'm strange. I wish they'd stop. They keep leaving notes in my locker."
Then the entry continued as usual.
I began to flip through the pages of Christian's diary, growing more and more disturbed. Every entry began with, "Today, I sinned." As every paragraph continued, the writing was more and more messy, like he had written it with his opposite and or with his mouth. It was so messy that I could barely read it, but what I could read was completely impossible to understand. He kept going on about how he had done something that day, seemingly wrong or against his conscience. This wasn't depression I was reading... this was completely insane.
As I turned the page with shaky fingers, I realized the next entry wasn't an entry at all. The scribbles had morphed into a jumbled heap, filling every corner of the page with one single sentence, over and over. "I am a sinner." It was written so many times I couldn't count, grouped together in differently-proportionized lettering, covering the page like a sick work of art. My hands were visibly trembling now as I forced myself to turn the page.
The paper was blank, except for one single phrase, written sloppily in the center.
"Sinners must die."
The most unnerving part was the red drops flecked on the page, like someone had sprinkled blood over it. They made the paper warp and wrinkle, preventing the journal from closing properly as I slammed it shut. I was angry. I was scared.
Suddenly a sound shattered the silence, making me jump.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
It was coming from within Christian's closet. I stood up, facing the two sliding doors as my heart began to pound out of my chest. I was still clutching the journal tightly in my hands as I took two cautious steps toward the closet. The silence was deafening, the blood pounding in my ears like a hundred drums. I reached out to the closet handle, a feverish sensation washing over me.
Another set of knocks, so loud it made me jump. I wanted to run downstairs, to throw away the journal, but I couldn't move.
Then, in a burst of courage, I flung the closed doors open.
I don't know why I didn't scream. Fear paralyzed me, froze my thoughts, my words. I couldn't think. I couldn't breathe.
I saw him go into the ground. I saw him in the casket.
But yet, inside the closet was Christian.
He was suspended from the ceiling by a single noose around his neck, making his corpse spin idly like a piece of meat on display. I assume it was his corpse because his spongy, crusting skin was rotting, peeling and cracking like dry paint, puss oozing from the gaps and dripping with the blood down into the carpet below him. His face was slack and white as bleach as he stared at me lifelessly from within the darkness, his eyes bloodshot and bulging. His mouth was twisted in a smile, stretched so wide it was unnatural, showing two full rows of yellowed teeth.
Then he spoke, his voice gargled and strangled, but somehow I knew he would have laughed if he could have.