Without Any Parachute | Teen Ink

Without Any Parachute

May 12, 2011
By BlueCannons3030 GOLD, Alleman, Iowa
BlueCannons3030 GOLD, Alleman, Iowa
15 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pain. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
-C.S. Lewis

My name’s Luis Layyo. I’m a freshman at a high-school in northern California. But That’s not important. The story I need you to hear is this. The story of Arnold Kuller. He died last year. He killed himself.

I knew that he hadn't been feeling like himself for a long time. I should have been able to stop him. But I wasn’t. I failed him. I failed my best friend. And he paid the price.

The story starts like this. Arnold’s Grandfather died. Arnold’s parents died when he was about five. He lived with his grandpa up until last year. His grandma died when he was ten. His grandpa died when he was fourteen. He had three siblings. All younger than him. Rachel is now fourteen, she was thirteen when Arnold died. Danny Was eleven. He is still eleven. He is twelve in less than a month. And Ella was nine. She is ten now.

Those kids live at my house now. Like little siblings I never had. Always wanted. Not this way. Didn’t want them this way.

The death of his grandpa started his depression. Not to bad, but he wasn’t himself anymore. Then at school, kids are idiots. They did dumb things like call him orphan boy and grandpa’s boy. He eventually skipped school every other day. Maybe more. Maybe less. But they called my mom. His guardian.

If you met my mom, you would understand me better. But the thing about that is, she owns everything. That’s how her state of mind is anyway. She thinks that. Of course she understood why Arnold would skip, but she didn’t care. She screamed.

She did nothing to help Arnold. In fact, she made his life worse. His going to school again made him miserable. The shouts of “Orphan boy!” didn’t help.

The worst part is: Everybody did it. And I didn’t stop them. They were crowding his sanity, pushing him ever closer to the edge. Where he would eventually have to fall off.

And he didn’t have a parachute.

He had nightmares every night.

He would wake up screaming. My mom just told everybody to ignore him, he would be fine, then went in to his room and talked to him for about five minutes, then come back out. But his nightmares continued every time he went to sleep.

He started cutting a couple months before he died.

I don’t know how many times he cut, but i know he cut a lot. His shirts were stained with blood sometimes, or his jeans.

My mom never noticed. But I did. I noticed the knife disappear from the kitchen drawer. I noticed the blood on his clothes. I noticed his arms. But my mom didn’t. And I did nothing to stop him. And I think me and my mom doing nothing about his cutting pushed him even closer to the edge of his little cliff.

And he still didn’t have a parachute.

last year, during winter, we were just about to have two weeks off for break.


A time that should have been good. Should’ve made him happy again. Well, if you haven’t guessed so already, it didn’t.

His grades at school were plummeting. And my mom was not happy about it. She didn’t care that he was depressed. She never even noticed, until he died. Never talked to a councilor, a therapist, even just a doctor.

Mom was stupid. She made him go to a tutor for every day of break. The tutor wasn’t any better than the teachers at school. Weren’t any better than mom.

In all fact, they just pushed him closer to the edge.

Without any parachute.

And on Christmas eve, he killed himself. cut not at his arms but his wrists, ferociously, over and over.

On Christmas eve he jumped off his little cliff.

I shouldv’e been his parachute.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Aug. 19 2011 at 9:21 pm
BlueCannons3030 GOLD, Alleman, Iowa
15 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pain. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
-C.S. Lewis

thanks again! I'll take your suggestions to heart in further writing!

on Aug. 19 2011 at 4:52 pm
lovelycheese GOLD, Cupertino, California
11 articles 0 photos 136 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you have something to do, then do it. You can't get wasted time back." ~Ben Carson.

Reporting for a second critique. :]

I take a long time to read and write critiques, so sorry to keep you waiting.

Ah, me too! Haha. I'm going to be a freshman in high school in northern California. LOL. Just thought I would say. But that's not important, either. Moving on.

- 'But [t]hat's not important.' Lower case 't' in that's.

- 'Arnold's [g]randfather died.' Lower case 'g' in grandfather.

- 'Danny [w]as eleven.' Lower case 'w' in was.

Very nice twist of the story, having the kids live at the MC's house.

- 'Not [too] bad, but he wasn't himself anymore.' Don't forget the extra 'o' in too.

- 'But they called my mom - his guardian.' Sometimes, don't make your sentences TOO choppy. It cuts the reader off a bit.

- 'My mom never noticed[,] but I did.' Again, not too choppy.

- '[L]ast year, during winter, we were just about to have two weeks of for break. Christmas.' Don't but the extra paragraph break in there, and capitalize Last. 

I love the last ending. It reverberates in the reader's mind. Very good.

However, I think this story's title should just be 'Parachute.' It flows better.

Also, your prose here is getting choppy and too short. Have a certain amount of choppiness is good to inject the feelings of the writer in it, but too much can make the reader halt too many times and it ultimately becomes harder to read. Readability's always important.

When you write about the ages and the names of Arnold's siblings, I don't think it's relevant to the story. Maybe just but they all live in the MC's house now. 

I like the little surprise of how the MC's related to Arnold in little ways more than just friendship. You can also elaborate on that. I got confused about exactly why the MC Luis didn't do anything. If you're best friends, you look out for each other. Maybe he realized it was too late? Or was he convinced that his best friend didn't have a problem? 

And why did his mother adopt Arnold and his siblings if she believed she owned everything? Was it an act of kindness, what Luis wanted, or a promise she made? Also you can flesh out the relationship between Luis and his mother. Does Luis hate her for her know-it-all attitude? 

Why did Arnold kill himself that way? To feel the pain, to draw out his death, or was he carried away in cutting himself? 

The main question I want to know is why the Main Character didn't do anything. Why was he being a bystander. What did Luis learn after his experience? To what extent did he blame himself for Arnold's death?

Whoo, sorry for all the questions. This is how I, as the reader, felt after reading the story. Like Avery Tollin and That Old Man, I believe you have beautiful writing. You definitely have a good start. My advice to you is before you write, flesh out the whole situation to make the story seem more realistic. Both stories seemed slightly too predictable. Changing that won't be too difficult, but you're already ahead of the ball game with your writing style. I love it. Don't forget to keep reading! :]