He raced toward his high school, which was not too far away. His name, Timothy, and though he was a little on the dorky, quirky side, what with is black hair, brown eyes, and thick glasses, he would never harm a soul. At least, he thought he would never cause harm.
His group of friends was small, only three, but they were tight. Jane, a girl with a bobbed hair style, brown, with a hint of gold, with green eyes that flared when she was angry. Next, there was Jacob, grey eyes, blond hair, which he kept shoulder length. Finally, Eric, a tall, lengthy boy with curly brown hair and eyes to match.
“Hey Tim!” Jane said to Timothy
“What is it?”
“Have you heard of the rumor about the true love dating app?”
“Oh really now?" Timothy questioned with suspicion. "What is this ‘true love dating app’ ”
“Hey don’t say it like that.” Jane retorted.
“It’s supposedly an app that tells you who your true love is…"
"As if that’s true” Jacob said as he kicked a rock with his shoe.
Timothy gave him a half-smile before turning back to Jane, “that’s an odd one... Has anyone else tried it?”
“The dude that left our class a while back tried it but he left before anyone could ask him if it was true or not” Eric answered.
“He probably left because he found his true love!” Jane said confidently.
The bell rang, each of them made faces, and rushed off to their classes.
After a long day of school, Timothy, out of curiosity, took out his phone. He delayed, but only for a moment, and checked his App Store to see if this 'True Love' was real. He traced his fingers through his hair and sighed, it was there, simplistic as it was with only a heart icon, he felt compelled to download it. He glanced around to ensure he was alone.
"There's no way this will work," said Timothy quietly to himself. He was confused, and almost frustrated that he downloaded it. He walked home in an attempt to ease his apprehension.
The app finished downloading just as he arrived home. He walked straight to his room, sat on his bed, and looked down at a white screen. He sighed.
“I should have known.” Timothy mumbled before turning off his phone and falling back on his bed. He groaned, covered his face with his pillow, and dozed off.
He forgot to delete the app.
Timothy was running late this morning, he didn't even have time to eat breakfast. He rushed down the street, not really paying attention until he made it to the grounds of the high school. The parking lot was abuzz with people gasping, whispering, and a few sparse groups of girls crying. It took him a moment to understand, but when he did, he nearly fell backwards. A girl, fairly attractive, with short red hair, stood on the edge of the roof. It was clear she was going to jump. He took a few steps forward before recognizing that it was Emily, a girl he had once had feelings for.
Just as the crowd began to lose hope, and sirens were heard in the background, Emily's sister appeared on the roof. She jerked her twin back. The crowd collectively sighed. Some cheered. Timothy couldn't take his eyes off the roof, a sense of dread overtook him. The police and firetrucks arrived, and just as the people started to walk toward the front doors of the school, a wind picked up and both girls raced to the edge then jumped.
Someone in the crowd screamed, others joined, but Timothy couldn't hear them, his ears could only focus on the horrendous noise the bodies made as they thumped on the ground. Splat! He swore he heard splat. His stomach churned and boiled, he was going to be sick. He fell to one knee, his upper lip trembled, and before he knew it, he was vomiting over and over again. His ears suddenly rang, and the world seemed to stop.
"Why? Why?" he managed to choke out.
He could feel his phone vibrating. Caught up in the daze of the trauma he felt, he pulled his phone out to see a notification from the True Love Dating App.
He read: "We have found your perfect match. From here on in we will be helping you to locate your one, true love."
"We?" He pulled himself up, "No, no, it doesn't matter."
"Young man, did you hear me?" Timothy slightly jumped, startled by the tall policeman standing in front of him.
"No, sorry sir."
"School has been canceled. All parents have been notified by text. We need you to at least leave the premise, though there are a group of councilors and students gathering across the way at the park. It may be a good idea for you to go over there."
Timothy nodded his head, but didn't go to the group. He couldn't think clearly right now, and the last thing he wanted to do was be around a bunch of people who wouldn't understand what it was like to like someone, never tell them, and then watch as they jumped to their death. What now?
Timothy had wandered aimlessly for more than an hour, not really sure if he was going home, or avoiding it. His phone vibrated once more.
The True Love App had notified him. He read: "Hey, Tim. Can I call you Tim."
Timothy stared down at the text box, and simply shook his head.
Another text popped up, "Not going to respond, eh?"
He blinked a couple of times.
"That's fine, no worries. You should at least go home. Away from prying eyes, watching you, always watching you."
Timothy looked around, he didn't see anyone, nevertheless he couldn't help but feel as though he were being watched.
"No, look down the street, to your left, you'll see."
Timothy slowly turned to the left, a child, maybe five, maybe sic, sat on his bike. He was staring at him, his eyes almost seeing through him.
"You better get home."
Timothy slightly nodded his head.
"And we will have some more information about your true love when you get there."
As if on autopilot Timothy raced home, burst through the door, only to collide with his mother.
"Time, are you alright," She said pulling him back.
Timothy couldn't help it, he tried to be strong, but the tears welled up and he folded into his mother's arms.
"Sh, it's okay, it will be okay, your father is coming home."
That night Timothy was plagued with nightmares, he woke up in a cold sweat, his fever spiked. He couldn't shake her face. He could see her eyes as she fell to the earth. For the first time in years he was up before the dawn and ready to leave.
"Tim, I'll drive you." His dad said.
Timothy could only nod, he was tired, but the thought of going back to bed frightened him even more than the emotional toll the day was going to bring down on him.
His phone vibrated, it was the app. "Did you do it."
Timothy looked at his phone and nodded, he lightly patted the brown lunch sack he had packed. This caught his dad's attention.
"Son, am I able to ask why you brought a PBJ for lunch? You usually bring a variety of different things. Are you feeling okay?"
Buzz, it was his phone. "Make something up."
"I...I..." Timothy nodded. "I just wanted something different, no big deal."
"Good, good. I just remember you talking about Emily, a lot, and wasn't that her favorite lunch?"
Buzz, "Don't say anything, play it off. Parent's always asking questions. Always trying to infere with their kids lives, even when they aren't kids anymore."
"That was awhile ago day. Everything is fine."
Buzz, "Tell him not to read into everything you do."
"You don't have to read into it, it's just a different sandwich."
"Sorry champ." His father pulled the truck to the curve. Timothy jumped out without saying good-bye.
Fifth period marked the time for the assembly held to honor Emily and Olivia's passing, while also reaching out to the kids who may have felt suicidadle.
Timothy felt a lump in his throat growing.
Buzz, "Those people you're sitting next to, are they your friends?"
Timothy only nodded. He looked over and smiled at Jane, Jacob and Eric. They had always been here for him.
Buzz, "They aren't really your friends."
Timothy was about to respond in anger to the app when he heard Jane whisper to Jacob, "How much longer is this going to take?"
Timothy was compelled to say something, but he didn't have to, the app did all the talking for him, "look at that, that is why she would never find her true love. Does she even know what true love is?"
The assembly ended and Timothy clapped louder than he ever had before.
"Come on, let's go, I'm starving." Jacob said.
They all made their way to the lunch room, and sat down.
"So don't bother downloading that app: True Love." Jane said.
Buzz, "Go ahead, ask her why, you know you want to."
"Why?" Timothy asked as he pulled out his PBJ sandwich.
"It's nothing, just a bunch of ads. So lame."
Buzz, "See you are special, only some can find their true love."
Timothy smiled before gobbling up his sandwich. This was going to work. He was going to meet someone that would love him more than anyone else.
Timothy's mother placed a piece of chocolate pie in front of him. He nearly smiled, but was stopped short by that all familiar buzzing sound.
"Don't do it, you must be strong. Your love is waiting, she needs you."
Timothy felt a bit dizzy, though he couldn't know why. He had to force himself out of bed the next morning.
Instead of feeling the normal apprehension, he smiled, feeling almost complete when he heard the sound. He knew it would be the app, he knew it would be them.
"Your parents were in your room again."
Timothy looked around, nothing seemed different.
Buzz, "Look at your computer history."
Timothy sat down, hit history, and was horrified, someone was on his computer. His private space.
Buzz, "Didn't you pay for that computer."
Timothy slammed his fist against his desk before getting up. He had to go to school. School, yes finish school and he could get out of this place.
He walked to his closet.
Buzz, "Wait, you need to wear a black turtleneck with black sweatpants."
Timothy gave a strange look.
Buzz, "No, your true love noticed you, and she would love that."
Timothy quickly got dressed and walked to the kitchen to make his food. He was horrified to see that there was no bread, no peanut butter and no blueberry jam.
"Oh hi Timothy," His mother said in a shy, concerned voice. "I'm sorry, I've been so busy, I just haven't got to the store. Here, there is some fried chicken and baked potato chips, your favorite."
"No." Timothy said in a louder than usual voice. "I need my PB & J."
"You need?" She said walking closer to him.
Buzz, "No, don't tell her, just take the lunch, you have time to swing by the Market before class. You can't let her know. She'll ruin it. She'll ruin your chance at love. That's what mothers do. They can't tolerate their little boys loving. Where do you think the stereotype for overbearing mothers-in-law comes from?"
Timothy froze, he didn't know what to do.
Buzz, "Take the lunch, say thank-you and go."
Timothy grabbed the lunch his mother made, said, "Thank-you." And ran to the store.
Four weeks passed. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: Peanut butter, Blueberry jam, White Bread, Black turtleneck, Black sweat pants, and be mindful of who is watching. They are always watching, but so too is your love. She smiled yesterday, the day before she giggled, and the day before that she told her best friend that you were the one.
Suddenly, and without warning, the phone went silent. The first day was horrible, the next was torture, by seven days he couldn't sleep, he couldn't eat, where were they? And where was his true love?
By day nine, of hearing nothing from the app, and only feeling the ever glooming eyes bearing down on him, Timothy could no longer sleep.
Buzz, "So sorry Timothy. She no longer loves you. This is the termination of this app."
Timothy dropped his phone. The world was spinning.
"Those horrid monsters. All of them. The world. Monsters. Sick monsters. They deserve to die. Who are they?"
Timothy grabbed a kitchen knife.
He stood at the corner he and his friends. had met at the last six years. He gripted the knife that waited in his pocket.
“Tim hey! It’s been more than a month where you been?” Jane asked.
Timothy couldn't speak, he stood with dead eyes.
“Tim?.. Are you ok? You look like you haven’t slept in a while…” Jane said in a worried voice.
Timothy slowly walked up to Jane.
“I would like to talk to you and everyone else during lunch please.” Timothy said in a monotone voice.
"I have to go now. I'll see you then."
Lunch arrived. Timothy stood in the middle of the room. He could hear the clicking of the clock. Tick, tick, tick. The bell rang. Teenagers ushered in.
“There he is!” Jane cried out with excitement, she had missed him so much.
“Where’s Jacob?” Timothy asked though it sounded more like a statement.
“He said that he couldn’t make it to school, he didn’t say why though” Eric responded
“Well… It doesn’t matter… he’s just like you guys”
Before Jane could say anything, Timothy pulled the knife from his pocket. She was on the ground, he was on-top of her before he even knew what he was doing. And just like that, he plunged the knife deep into her throat. Her lips parted and made a gurgling sound.
Eric pulled out his cellphone to dial 911.
Another student shrieked.
Another life lost.
The floor was stained in red.
One more shriek, and then another. Students bolted toward the doors. Timothy's hand rose one last time before another student wrestled him to the ground.
Suddenly someone grabbed the knife from his hand and started to drag him from his arm.
"What the hell do you think you are doing?!" Timothy shrieked and cried.
The girl, or rather woman gave him a death stare as she pulled him from the room. She pushed a button, the door was locked behind them.
"Saving your life."
Their eyes locked, Timothy melted, her eyes were the color of crystals with a hint of blue.
"I am your one true love."
Timothy struggled to get up as she pulled him along, finally throwing him into the car.
"You are it, you are my one."
"Yes, yes, and you." She said as she placed handcuffs on his wrists and slammed the door behind him, "You, you are going to get me my one true love."
"What? What? I'm not your love? What do you mean?" Timothy was in tears, and for the first time he could see the blood on his hands.
"No, you may love me, but I love another."
"What?" The crocodile tears pored.
"I love the creature of My One True Love App." She jumped into the driver's seat. "You have talked to them the most, thus you will help me find them."
"What?" Timothy's world was crashing all around him.
"You will help me find my one true love."