Chazz's brothers stood, dressed in neat black pinstriped suits. Their faces were stained by tears, and the entire student body stood, neatly, watching them. Some girls, and some boys, cried on their friends shoulders. Jaden had crumbled against Chumley's shoulder, and Syrus was gently rubbing his arm. Atticus was holding Alexis, looking incredibly sad as Alexis cried, and Bastion was looking down at his feet. Zane stood apart from the other students, quietly.
"Students – my brother was a part of your family more than ours, I now see. We could have done so much for him – but we failed him as a family. It was your love…your love that kept him…kept him a-alive…" Jagger trailed off, tears running down his face, hiccoughing, "For as long as you did. For that, I thank you. Those of you to whom he wrote letters have already read them – I see them in your hands. Chazz was a free spirit, though he hid it. He lived his life in his dreams, and merely used his body as a shell to dream those dreams. To honor my brother, I will read one of his favorite lines from Hamlet.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Now let us all drop our letters into the water. He would have wanted the messages he left to be spread around the world, to be seen and heard by all those that wished to take the chance of plucking a stray piece of paper out of water. Our love is with you, Chazz. May peace find you in Heaven, in your next lives, in all your adventures." Jagger whispered, getting off the podium as the students dropped their letters in the water, the ones who had them, watching the tide draw the letters, sealed tightly in bottles to preserved them, away to new and exotic lands that no one had ever heard of.
'Dearest Brothers –
I'm afraid that this is the last time that you'll be hearing from me. I won't write a clichéd letter saying that it was all my fault or all your fault that I have done this. I won't say that I loved you, or that you loved me. I only wish to have both of you know that up until my final breath I viewed you with the utmost respect and reverence. I hope that in Heaven, I will be able to live up to your illustrious standards.
I don't wish to leave you a letter that is disturbingly verbose, so I will try to get to the point. You were the parents that I never had, and I don't want you to feel guilty for my death. Perhaps you pushed me too hard, but I never told you that I couldn't handle it. I welcomed the pressure – it was a chance to win your respect, a chance that I never took.
Despite all the hardships that we faced together, I still view you as the most delightful and influential figures that I have ever come across. You two were puzzles that I desperately wanted to crack. Perhaps in the next life, I will have a chance to encounter you. I will miss you, wherever I go after my death.
As you all know, the real world was far too much for me. I preferred to live within the dreams that I could make for myself, where everyone got along and where no-one fought each other. To quote a favorite line: If music be the food of love, play on. To you, my brothers, I give my unconditional love.
'Mon Cheri, Zane –
Our relationship was the highlight of my brief respite here on earth. Do not flatter or worry yourself – our parting was not what caused my death. We were obviously not meant to be in this life, perhaps in a next. To you I leave my diary – you are the only one who ever understood the way that my mind worked. You were the only one that ever saw that rather than the cold, brutal views I pushed on others, my true mind was filled with the gentle clouds of dreams. I leave you my favorite Shakespeare sonnet, make what you will of it. Understand only that my love for you was unconditional, both as a friend, a lover, and a brother.
Those lips that Love's own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate'
To me that languish'd for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
'I hate' she alter'd with an end,
That follow'd it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away;
'I hate' from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying 'not you.'
'My dearest friend, Jaden –
To be quite frank, our relationship was a mistake. A chance meeting of two straying hearts that collided and became one, grinding and melding together until they were too hard to separate. And I still love you more than anything, though not in the way a lover love's his soul mate. I love you as the friend that I never had, the friend that showed me that acceptance wasn't everything that mattered. You taught me that sometimes, standing out is better than blending in. Unlike the other letters, I will not leave you a line from Shakespeare, for I feel that you would not appreciate it. You do not need to: it was your blatant disregard of etiquette and rules that made you so attractive. I hope that perhaps my words will give you all the lines that you need to understand that you were not the cause of my death. You were, perhaps, one of the only barriers stopping me from it.
'To everyone else (Syrus, Bastion, Chumley, Alexis, Atticus) –
I'll just leave you all a short note. I never liked you all that much anyway.
Syrus – Get some courage, stop acting like a loser. You didn't contribute to my death, so don't give yourself any credit. You've gotten better throughout the year, though. I'll admit that.
Bastion – I still firmly believe that I am more intelligent than you. I will miss our playful banters almost as much as I will miss throwing miscellaneous items at you (among them, rocks) as well as the way that dueling seemed to bring an incredible light to your face. Pity you couldn't use that wit to get a girlfriend. I'll miss you, old friend.
Chumley – Stop eating and sleeping. You're worse than a damn koala. I have to admit that physically, you are incredibly intimidating. I respect people who can intimidate me. Goodbye.
Alexis – I always thought I had a crush on you. I always thought you were calm and serene. Then I realize I was gay, that that you were really quite annoying. Erm…it was nice knowing you? It was nice to know you, at least.
Atticus – I have always found you incredibly profound. I do not know you well…at least, I did not. I would have liked to become closer, perhaps to get to know you. I'm sorry if I ever offended you – I always looked up to you, quite possibly as much as I looked up to Zane. Good luck in your future duels.