Sorry / Jeff Atkins & Zach Dempsey
Requests are open.
Warning: Emotional content
She was absolutely breathtaking, I couldn’t help but just stare at her- her eyes were bright and filled with kindness, her lips were slightly parted as she concentrated, her hair fell to the side of her neck and scent smelled heavenly, God, I cant help myself - she is beautiful in many ways that I cannot even express; she was my definition of perfect and no one could tell me otherwise. Each day I spent tutoring her was like a day in heaven, she was my muse and the reason my heart was beating everyday but I watched as she fell for my friend, He is a great guy to be honest and I don’t even blame him for falling for her but I just wished I had the chance to make her mine.
“Zach, is this correct?” she snapped me out of my trance as she held her notebook in front of my face.
“Yes, it is actually” I smiled but it was fake, not fake for her but fake at the meaning of smile.
Watching as her expression switched from confused and concerned to being happy and seeing her smile was my greatest achievement, Her mere presence was enough to kick start my day.
“Baby!” she squeaked and kicked back her chair as she stood up and ran into the arms of another, my heart was crushed but I had to play it cool.
“Hey Jeff” another fake smile spread across my lips.
I couldn’t do anything but I simply woke up from the chair and headed towards the exit before my heart crumbled, this life was not meant for me, this thing called love was oblivious to my existence. I walked over to my locker and pressed my head against it to collect my thoughts and push it aside for a while, taking in a deep breath to control myself from feeling this way and then returning back to reality as I opened up my locker to collect my things and shut it lock, I turned around and saw them once more- Her smile was wide and she held his hand that hung loosely around her shoulders as he pulled her closer and pecked a kiss on the side of her forehead, I watched them as they walked by and my heart literally broke down and I felt the tears form but I never let them slip down.
“You love her don’t you?” I heard an unfamiliar voice from beside me and I turned to see Hannah Baker standing there.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” I spat
“I know that look more than anyone here, that is the look of love and admiration and it is also the look of secrecy and loneliness” she spoke and each of her word sounded a little too familiar because it was the truth, it was my truth.
“He is a good friend of mine and they make each other happy. Who am I to stand in the way of that?” I sighed and eventually gave in to what she spoke of, I couldn’t hide it anymore and I felt the need to share my loneliness with someone and maybe they might understand.
“Will you go out with me?” I asked
“No Zach, I will not go out with you, just because you cant have the person you want does not mean you can use me to get over her.” her words came out harsh and with the emotions I was harboring, I couldn’t contain myself from feeling absolutely pissed.
“screw you” I walked off in such a hurry after I had punched the locker and probably caused a scene but I wasn’t thinking straight and I regret my words.
In the Present…
My mind has repeatedly gone back to that moment when my whole entire world fell apart, it was around 1AM after I had already headed home from Jessica Davis’ house party, I knew I shouldn’t have left but my parents were strict on curfew, I left Jeff behind and that is my biggest regret.
I can still feel my phone buzzing from under my pillow as I slept, I can still remember waking up and hearing the cracked voice of Clay over the phone as he informed me of the devastating news that Jeff had left us that early morning. I can still feel numbness that shot through me in that split second and then feeling everything crashing down on me all at once. The sound of screams and cries still echo through my rooms and down the hall of the house as I fell to my knees with plenty of tears streaming my down my face- I can still feel the burning of my throat and lungs as I screamed.
For days I couldn’t sleep, I had been brought to the hospital under mental health care because I was consumed to major depression which is the absolute worse- it creeps upon me at night when I least expect it, all those negative thought drown me until 4am when I am able to sleep after crying hours upon hours. I would hyperventilate and rock myself back and forth like a mad person but that’s how I felt, He was the nicest person I had ever had the pleasure of meeting and the world took him from me- he was my person and he deserved better than that. I was on medications and was prescribed to see a counsellor four times a week for Psychotherapy and it actually did help, they weren’t exactly what I imagined but it was aiding my mental health until I seemed normal again and I had a different view of life.
After Jeff’s death I had gotten closer to Zach because I know apart from Clay, he was the next close thing to Jeff and he was having some difficult times to wrap his head around things ever since that night. He was extremely supportive and with the recent passing of another friend- we had each other to be strong with and I cant tell you enough how I appreciated this, it took me about 2 months to seem normal again but with his help it had been such a load off.
“Hey how are you doing?” Zach asked
“I’m doing well enough now, thank you” I smiled
“I know this might seem too soon but I was wondering if you would like to go out sometimes?” he asked but he was too nice to say no to and part of psychotherapy was that I had to accept the past event and let it be the past, I had to move on from what made me suffer and not look back to it.
“yes, I would like that” I felt ready but terrified.
Hi prominent smile caused me to smile as well and I stocked off to first period, I liked to get there before the class even begins but I bumped into a nerve wracking clay Jensen, his scars seemed to be healing but with a lot of time- his breathing was rapid and heavy, he had the look of derange in his eyes and he had bloodshot eyes.
“Are you okay Clay?” I asked concerned
“No, No I’m not- I have been going crazy with all these tapes and wondering when my name will come up” he stated but I had no idea what he was talking about
Furring my eyebrows in confusion I spoke up “What? what tapes?”
“You haven’t heard them yet? your name appeared to be in it but only once, would you want to listen?” he answered
“Of course” I replied concerned but at the same time I didn’t know what to expect and I am not sure of what or how to feel.
“You’re going to tell me this one’s no big deal but let me tell you about being lonely. Humans are a social species, We rely on connections to survive Even the most basic social interactions help keep us alive. Statistics prove the subjective feeling of loneliness can increase the likelihood of premature death by 26%.
If it sounds like I’m quoting from a school textbook I am.
Too bad nobody bothered to read it.
And let me tell you
there’s all kinds of ways to feel lonely
but let me tell you about that one specific lonely eyed boy I am talking about, my friend Kat had told me about me he was so sweet once upon a time, so sweet.
well, Zach Dempsey. Welcome to your tape”
I was so confused of how this was related to me but I kept on listening in hopes to gain more content
“See Zach, you didn’t take rejection all that well now did you? I saw how nice you were to me but I didn’t want to be your rebound after you couldn’t get the girl you wanted and Y/N if you’re listening to this tape then here you are, sorry Zach but she has to find out the truth eventually and here it is- my truth; See Y/N, Zach had always had a crush on you but he never said so to spare his friends feeling and I know you are probably wondering how this is relevant to my death which is what I will explain.
It was once specific afternoon after Zach had tutored you, I saw how he looked at you during your sessions and after you were done- I noticed how he admired you from the hallways but always had to turn away whenever Jeff said hello to him.
See, I confronted Zach on having a crush on you and he admitted to it but then had this wild thought that he should ask me out because he was lonely and I rejected him- he had negative comments to say and his anger couldn’t be controlled and I already had so much going on in my life that his negative words was another sign that lead me to doing what I did, it was because of you that he had his outburst but don’t get me wrong, you are not on this tape for me- you should know the truth just like everyone should, you were genuinely nice to me and your kindness helped me live for another day but sadly I couldn’t stay anymore but thank you and I am sorry.
As for you Zach, I needed you to be true and you failed me and now we will see how things turn out for you, well others will see”
The tape ended and I was in tears at this point, clay watched my features change and now I understood how he felt and what he had been going through while listening to this heartbreaking message from Hannah.
I had so many mixed emotions but I know that I couldn’t go out with Zach anymore, I feel like I don’t even know him at this point.
I spotted him with his clique as they spoke and laughed with whatever joke one of them made.
“Hey Y/N!” he smiled but then it dropped as soon as he noticed my tears
“I am not going out with you” I spat and earned some ‘ooh’ noises from his so called friends.
He pulled me aside and away from everyone “Why?” he asked shooting me a saddened expression, Hannah was right, he had loneliness hidden behind his eyes.
“I heard your tape and I cant believe all of this happened, I didn’t even know and Jeff was your close friend! Hannah tried to help you and you brought her closer to her death!” I cried and he tried to get me to lower my voice but no one had paid any attention to us.
“Please don’t do this, I didn’t mean to do anything to her but I saw you with jeff that day and something inside of me snapped, I regret the words that left my mouth but I cant change anything” his voice cracked “The only person who would know how to help me right now is Jeff and he isn’t even here anymore, everything in my life always turns to fucking shit and I end up lonely all the time, I am never fucking loved and you cant make me feel any worse then I’m already feeling right now. I’m fucking sorry” he broke down and I felt remorse course throughout my entire body and chills running up and down my spine. I had no idea he felt this strongly about everything.
“I’m sorry you have to go through this right now and I understand what it’s like to lose Jeff, he was my boyfriend and he left me and that night I regret going home and leaving him there but everything happened- I know he is in a good place but I still know he deserved so much better, but Hannah was only trying to help you and she needed helping of her own and she tried to reach out to you because you connected on feeling lonely and she hoped you would at least try to help her back- I think the only way to make up to her about this is to tell the truth and come clean before you suffer further from any of this.” I tried to calm him down
“You’re right and I need to tell the truth about this because it is eating me up alive, I owe this to her and we all received an interrogation slip to talk about her and it was picked at random, I am nervous about it but I know now what to do- thank you” he positively responded and it made me smile.
“I will meet you up tonight for that date and help you prep for your interrogation that’s coming up soon” I smiled back as I engulfed him in a hug, he wasn’t a bad guy to be honest, he just didn’t know how to respond to someone reaching out to him but I’m glad I could have a positive impact and change on him.