Disclaimer: I don't own Catcher in the Rye.
I wrote this a couple years ago for an english class assignment! Rated for cursing obviously, and a tragic scene.
Please review! :)
If you really want to know, I'll tell you. About what the hell happened to me after I was in that goddamn crazy place and about the school I joined the fall after. After I left that weird place, I got really sick and everyone thought I was going to die. They really did. But I knew I wouldn't. If you want to know the truth, I actually thought I was going to die too. But I didn't. It's kind of nice being sick and all. Having everyone get you what you want and all. When ever you want. D.B came down and stayed a while. He probably thought I would die too. Old Phoebe was so scared. It killed me.
We went to the doctor and all and he said I had the goddamn benign prostatic hypertrophy disease. He said it was strange because only men over the age of 50 get it. But I didn't care. If you want to know the truth, it kind of depressed me. It really did. After I was sick and all, I joined the Fordham Preparatory High School. Fordham prep is a high school in New York somewhere. If you want to know the truth, everyone there was phony. Well most everyone I mean.
I roomed with this one kid named Steven Beckman. He became one of my best friends there. If you want to know the truth, I told him damn near everything. I told him about Jane and all. About the pawns way the hell in the back of the board and all. That killed him. He used to always ask me if I loved her. But I never answered. I told him about Allie and his glove. How smart he was. I told him about Pencey Prep and all the damn phonies. About Stradlater and Ackley. About Mr. Spencer.
I sort of miss them all. We didn't talk about it much. It sort of depressed me. He told me everything too. How he had a little sister like Phoebe. Her name was Karen. They lived with their mom and his dad was always working. So they didn't talk much. That got me so damn depressed.
One morning I woke up and Steven was just sitting on the chair staring out the window. He seemed upset. If you want to know the truth, it kind of scared me.
"What's up, Steve?" I said. I was so goddamn scared.
"Nothing," he said. He didn't even look at me.
"Are you okay?" I asked. He was really scaring me.
"Yeah," he said. He lit a cigarette.
Steven never smoked. Especially not in our dorm. I knew something really was wrong.
"I already told you. Nothing," he said. Boy, he never raised his voice at me.
We've never had an argument. I don't know why he was acting so crummy. I was sort of afraid to even chew the rag with him for a while. I just wish he'd tell me what the hell was wrong with him. I lit a cigarette. The first cigarette in about four months. Steven finished his and put it out slowly. His eyes didn't move from the window. I was so goddamn scared.
"Really?" I said. My voice was sort of shaking.
Steven got up and walked out the door. I didn't know what to do so I just sat there. If you want to know the truth, I was kind of in shock. I was pretty goddamn scared too. I looked out the window and saw him just standing on the street. It was almost winter so it was snowing. There was a blanket of snow. It was below freezing out. He wasn't even wearing a goddamn jacket. I just watched him stand there. He was looking out towards the lake. Just standing there. I decided to just wait for him to come back. I lit another cigarette and continued to just watch him stand on the goddamn curb.
A couple hours later, he came back. He was so cold and wet looking. He sort of looked like he had been crying too.
"What the hell is wrong with you! Just tell me what is wrong with you!"
"My mom called," he said
"Ok, good. What'd she say?" Steve had been waiting for his mother's call for a few weeks now.
"She told me…" Steve's voice sort of broke off. When I looked up he was sitting in his chair slouched. His head was in his hands. I got so goddamn scared. If you want to know the truth, that depressed me. Just seeing Steve like that and all. It depressed me.
"Steve, what did she say?" I put my hand on his back.
"My mom said that my d-dad…my dad was just, just killed in a train accident," he said. My stomach dropped. I didn't know what to say.
"Steven," I said. He looked up at me and his eyes were so goddamn red. I flashed to seeing me right when Allie died. I got so damn depressed. I patted his back again.
"Holden, I didn't talk to him as much as I wanted to. Last week I was supposed to go to his goddamn house and stay," he said. "He invited me. I turned him down damn it."
"I know, Steve. I'm sorry," I said. I felt so bad. He was my best friend.
We finally fell asleep that night. It was such a rough goddamn night. The next morning he was up before me again. This time his bags were packed. I jumped out of bed.
"What's going on?" I asked. My heart was pounding.
"I'm going to Atlantic-"
"Atlantic City?" I asked.
"Yes." He would always visit goddamn Atlantic City. Almost every other weekend. But never during the week. I sort of missed him when he was gone. He was my best friend. He never really told me what was in Atlantic City. I always thought maybe family or something. I never did anything while he was gone. Occasionally go on walks. Have a smoke. Sit in our room. To tell you the truth, I sort of didn't want him to go. I mean I never did, but this time was sort of different.
"Well what the hell are you going there for?" I said, sort of panicky.
"Just family, Dad's funeral," he said. "I'll be gone for a few weeks, so I'm going to need you to get my assignments for me," he said. We have the same classes.
"Yeah, sure." I said. I was really scared.
"My train leaves at four," he said, "want to go see a movie?" I don't like movies. Old Steven knew I didn't. That killed me.
"Let's go." I said. Better be a damn good movie for God's sake.
We got our coats on and walked out. We went to see "Strangers on A Train." If you want to know the truth, it was a good movie. It's about a Tennis Pro named Guy Haines. He killed me. After the movie, we took a walk. Smoked a few and chewed the rag.
"I've never told you this, but you're my best friend," he said.
"You're mine too." And he really was.
At about quarter till four, we headed back to our dorm. He collected his goddamn suitcase and headed out. As he was leaving, I was sort of crying.
"Hey Steven! Wait!" I yelled.
He turned around. "Yeah?"
"Here, take the number of the dorm and my parents house. If you need anything. For any goddamn reason. Anytime, day or night. Give me a call," I said as I wrote down the numbers.
"Thank you!" He was gone.
If you want to know the truth, I'd really miss him. He was my best friend. After he was gone, I really didn't know what to do. I lit a cigarette in the dorm. I didn't care if they got mad. I really didn't. I was sort of depressed, if you want to know the truth. I took a quick shower and got into bed. I heard the phone ring. Who the hell would be calling at this hour, I thought. I scrambled out of bed to answer the goddamn phone. When I answered my stomach dropped. I could barely speak. The man on the other end had said:
"Is this Holden Caulfield?"
"Y-yes it is, who the hell is this?" I was so goddamn scared.
"This is Dr. Richard Peterson. Your friend, Steven Beckman, was just in a train accident on his way to Atlantic City," he said.
"Wait, how do I know you're not pulling my goddamn leg?" I said, "How'd you get my number and know to call me?"
"You're number was in his pocket," he said.
"For God's sakes, is he ok?" I was sort of crying.
"I'm sorry, son. He's dead. Along with 16 others," he said. I heard myself get louder as I was talking. I didn't care.
"No, no. He's my best-"
"I'm sorry, kid, but-" he said.
"Listen you sonuvabitch, You must be mistaken. He was my goddamn best… he's not dead."
"Hey, look kid, I'm sorry but-"
"NO!" I hung up. He's not dead. How is that even... No. I started feeling sort of funny and all. Sort of dizzy, if you want to know the truth. But I didn't care. I decided I wanted to take a goddamn cab. Once I got outside, I had a hellava time finding one. As I was walking, it got colder and colder. Then I started sweating like a bastard. I figured once I found a cab and all and was sitting down and all, I'd feel better. I found one. I can't remember much of what happened after I got in. But what I remember most was giving the man directions to my parents' place.
I knocked on the door and old Phoebe answered. She was so surprised to see me. Old Phoebe, if you met her, you'd love her. What happened next was such a blur. All I remember was how the room started spinning like a bastard and my head felt so light. I heard old Phoebe in the distance sounding really concerned, saying "Holden? Are you ok?" I felt the sweat pouring down my face and my stomach was turning. I felt as if I was falling and if I fell was going to sink into the floor. Everything started going black. I could hear old Phoebe yelling for our parents. Then I heard my mom saying "Sweetie? Holden?" The concern in their voices was something I've never actually heard before. It was almost like a dream.
When I woke up, my head hurt like a bastard and I was in a white room with all these tubes on me. I got so goddamn scared. My eyes finally adjusted to the bright lights. Where the hell am I? I saw old Phoebe sitting there. She looked older.
"Where the hell am I?" I was so damn scared.
"Try the Arnot Ogden Medical Center, in 1960," Old Phoebe said.
"For God's sake!" I said. I could barely speak.
"We thought you were a goner," she said.
"I'm twenty-six?" I screamed.
"And I'm twenty," Phoebe said. She sounded so calm and intelligent.
"For God's sake."
"I missed you, Holden!" She threw her goddamn arms around me. "The doctor said you wouldn't make it! But I wouldn't let them turn off the machine." She was crying. Old Phoebe was still just as emotional as she was ten years ago. If you want to know the truth, she was sort of the same. She was beautiful. I can't believe I missed her grow up. I was sort of crying too.
"It's okay, Holden. You're okay," she said.
"Where are our parents?" I said.
"Dad's on a business trip and Mom is picking up D.B. and will be here soon." She was still sort of crying. I flashed to the time when she was on the carrousel reaching for the golden ring. She was so young and naïve. Now she's so grown up. So mature sounding and all.
"Are you going to school?" I asked. She nodded.
"Yes, I am. Barnard College. In New York. I'm still living at home," she said. "I couldn't leave your bedside."
"Thank you." I said quietly. The doctor came in.
"Holden!" He said. "Good to see you." I didn't say anything. I was still sort of crying. I spent a week in that damn place. They did tests on me and all. Finally when I was able to go home, my dad was waiting there. Boy, was he happy to see me. I wasn't supposed to leave the house for a couple of months. But I didn't care. I went on a walk.
Right then a thought came to my goddamn head, a thought that hasn't been there in a really long time. I decided to give old Jane a buzz. I actually felt like it this time. I didn't know if she had the same number, or even lived out here. But I didn't care. I walked up to the phone booth and dialed the damn number. If you want to know the truth, I was sort of nervous. Once the phone started to ring, I couldn't hang up. She answered. I could barely speak.
"Hello?" she asked.
"Jane Gallagher?" Boy, was I nervous.
"Yes, who is this?"
"Holden." I said. My voice was so damn shaky.
"Holden? Holden Caulfield?"
"That's me! How are you, Jane?"
"Wow," she said, "I am great! How bout you, Mr. Caulfield?" she asked.
"I'm good, just got out of a coma."
"A coma?" she asked.
"Yeah, I was in it for ten years."
"Oh my, Holden. Are you okay now?
"Yes, thank you. What are your plans for tonight?" I asked.
"How about a drink?" she asked. Boy, I was nervous.
"Okay, how about today. At five o'clock?"
"Does that old bar, down on 37th street sound good?" she asked.
"Sounds great, see you then."
"It was nice talking to you, Holden. Bye, now."
After that phone call, I just about ran home. I needed to change. Nice clothes. Wash my face. My hair. Boy, I was so goddamn nervous. If you want to know the truth, I really missed old Jane. A lot, actually. As I walked passed the movie theatre I remembered Steven. Boy, that really depressed me. I hadn't really thought about it until now, but I really missed Steven. He was my best friend. He really was. I wish he hadn't got on that goddamn train to Atlantic City. Now that I think of it, his dad died on a train too. And that movie…about a train and a tennis pro. I shouldn't have let him get on that goddamn train. I felt bad. I really did. What if it was my fault?
I couldn't help but to think of that on my whole goddamn way home. I missed him. I tried to think of other things so I wouldn't be so damn depressed when I saw Jane, but death just kept coming to mind. I started thinking of when Allie died and how upset I was. And how I shouldn't have let Steve get on that damn train. How I almost died, too. Boy, was I depressed.
Once I finished washing my hair and all, it was about quarter till 5. I headed down to the bar. I was so goddamn nervous. It was pretty cold out. I had a jacket on and jeans. It's all I really had to wear. I had a lot of dough on me. If you want to know the truth, I liked Jane. I really did. I walked up to the door and saw her in the window sitting there. She looked so pretty. Right when I walked into the door she jumped up.
"Holden!" she yelled.
"Hi, Jane!" She kissed my cheek. Boy, why was I so nervous?
"Our seat is over here, Holden." She pointed. We sat down and my hands started sweating. Just like they use to when we were younger and used to hold hands. We sat in silence for a while.
"I'm nervous Holden," she said.
"Wh-what? Why?" I said, my voice began to shake.
"It's been years since I've last seen you," she said, "I've actually sort of missed you. You look good, Holden."
"Thank you," I said quietly. "You do too."
"Ever since we were little, I've been waiting for you to call so we could catch up on things."
"I've been sort of busy," I lied.
"Me too, with school and all." I wonder if she was lying. We ordered drinks. I just got a goddamn coke. I didn't feel like getting drunk. I really didn't. She got one too.
"How are you and Stradlater?" I asked.
"Strad-" That killed her. "He's not my type," she said softly. Boy, was I relieved to hear that. I really was.
"What is your type?" I asked.
"Not him." It got pretty goddamn quiet after that. We finished our drinks and ordered new ones before another word was said.
"How did you end up in a coma, Holden?" She asked. I didn't feel like going into it. I really didn't. But I did. I told her the whole story. About my best friend and all. She took it pretty goddamn hard. That killed me. If you want to know the truth, I liked that she cared so much. I really did.
"I missed you, Jane," I said.
"I missed you too, Holden." I paid the bill and we left. We went for a walk. If you want to know the truth, I didn't want the goddamn night to end. I wasn't really depressed anymore either. Being with Jane took my mind off of all bad and death.
"Still keep your pawns in the back?" I joked.
"Oh my, I haven't played that in years, Holden!" Jane is the only one who can say things like "oh my" and not make me think she's phony. We passed the park and the pond with the ducks.
"When I was a kid," she said, "I used to always wonder where the ducks went during the winter." That killed me.
"No one would ever give me an answer, though," she said.
"I found out from an goddamn taxi driver." That killed her. We chewed the rag for a while, until it got really late and she had to go. I walked her home. At the door, she kissed my cheek again. If you want to know the truth, I got nervous again. I really liked her.
"Holden, I'd really like if you called me tomorrow," she said softly.
"I will." She smiled. She had a really pretty smile. If you want to know the truth, I liked her a lot. I really did. She kissed me. On the lips. I didn't know what to do. She's never necked me on the lips before. Every where except the lips. I was really nervous.
"What'd the hellja you do that for?" Boy, I was nervous.
"Holden, I like you. You're very different from when you were younger. But you're still the same and all, too," she said. I could barely speak.
"Wow, Jane," I cleared my throat, "I really like you too. A hellava lot." She smiled. I pushed her hair behind her ear and all, then kissed her and all. I liked Jane a lot. I might even love her. We stood outside for a while. Chewed the rag and all. Talked about moving in and all.
I could tell she really liked me. If you want to know the truth, it made me nervous. I don't want to mess up with Jane. I really don't. She's so damn special to me. We talked about marriage and kids. About jobs and nice houses. About cars and love. It was sucha goddamn good night. I didn't want it to end. I really didn't. As I was sitting there with Jane, holding her hand, I knew I wanted to be with her for my whole goddamn life. I love her. I really do. The sun came up and we were still chewing the rag. Just sitting outside. Just us two.
If you want to know the truth, I really liked necking with Jane. I really did. But it wasn't anything like when we were kids. It was sort of different this time. Now. Tonight. Just watching her sit next to me. Holding her hand. I didn't want the night to end, if you want to know the truth.
"Jane, I think I love you," I said. I was sort of nervous.
"Oh, Holden! I think I love you, too." We necked again. This time it was longer than most of the times we did tonight. I liked necking with Jane. I really did. I didn't have any worries with her. I felt as if she didn't care if I had bad breath. I loved Jane Gallagher. Right then I felt like carving it in a tree. So we did. The tree in the park, with the ducks and the snow. It said:
It was in a big heart. She loves that kind of stuff. If you want to know the truth, I really do too. Next month we're going to be moving to a cabin way the hell up in Vermont and Massachusetts.
She said yes. I love her. I really do.