The name of the person who had used the computer before me,
Had been Hunter McDonald.
There I was in the computer lab,
Sitting in front of my assigned computer,
And your name was on the screen as the last person who had logged on.
Now, I can’t tell you exactly why your name stuck with me,
It was just a name to an unknown face,
But I remembered it.
I had exited the screen and signed myself in.
Your name was no longer there.
The mark that you had left in that high school computer lab
Was gone, replaced by me.
The next time somebody used the computer,
It would be my name they saw, not yours.
To any other person,
It would be like you were never there at all.
I remember that it was the last class of the day.
In a few minutes the bells would ring
And students would poor out of classrooms,
Smiling, laughing, rushing past in a hurry to get home.
I remember thinking that the minutes
Were ticking by so slowly,
And that the end of the day couldn’t come soon enough.
It would seem that I had something important planned,
But when school finally did end,
I just went home and did my normal afternoon routine
Of taking my life for granted.
The next day in gym class,
A girl was sobbing as her friends tried to console her.
Beside the array of whispered words
And soothing pats on the back,
I asked a friend of mine what had happened.
She said that the girl’s boyfriend had died the night before,
That he had went home and killed himself,
She said that his name had been Hunter McDonald.
I had never known that a heart could break
For someone you had never met,
But when I heard your name fall from her lips,
My heart fell with it.
It dropped to the pit of my stomach and shattered.
But then the gears in my head finally fell into place,
And it clicked.
I had known that the girl’s boyfriend’s name was Hunter,
I had seen you all together,
And I had even seen you walk out of my last period class as I was going in,
But my mind had never noticed the connections
Between her Hunter and Hunter McDonald until just then.
Your death hit me really hard.
I hadn’t even known you, and yet, I went home and cried.
I cried because I felt that in my own little way,
I had known you.
I had sat in a chair that you had just gotten out of,
I had seen your name on that screen and had known
In some part of me that you were important enough to remember.
I cried because as I had sat there erasing your name from the screen,
You had been hours away from erasing yourself from existence,
And nobody had known.
I cried because you had felt that to die
Would be better than to live,
And no one should ever feel that way.
And to think that I had wished for time to go faster.
Maybe if I had known, I could have wished for time to stop.
I could have gone out of the lab and found you
And told you that you weren’t alone,
That you shouldn’t kill yourself,
That your girlfriend would be devastated,
And that a girl you didn’t even know would go home
And cry because she had seen your name and had known
You were worth remembering.
And not in the way of remembering someone who’s gone,
But rather, in the way that the next time she saw you,
She could recall who you were.
But I hadn’t known,
And time hadn’t stopped,
And there would not be a next time that I saw you.
I am so sorry that I prayed for time to go faster
When you only wanted it to stop.
You do not know who I am,
But I remember you.