the short story project


Last Night

Jay lies there with a blissful smile on his face. Sleeping like a baby. His arms are spread at either side of his head. He is lying on his right cheek, his left curled up a little into a smile. As though it were a cradle, he lies in the lush lawn patch outside his parents’ home. The grass is wet from the wee hours’ dew and it’s slowly dampening his polo shirt. Who falls asleep outside their house adjacent to its 9ft roughcast boundary wall? Jay would.


We had been drinking way too much the last few weeks. The first months of university are just party after party after party. There is nothing like it. Young lawyers in the making, out of the death grip of our folks: we felt on top of the world, invincible. We knew it was getting out hand, but what was the harm? Everyone did it.


We stared at Jay on the ground. Smile still on his face, illuminated by the security light.


It had seemed harmless. We did this every night. After a rowdy night out, Fredo dropped each one of us off at each one of our homes in the one car we had between the five of us, till he parked his dad’s old, beat-up Camry in his driveway at 4am to catch a nap before we awoke the next day to do it all over again.  Tonight, we had dropped Rob off at his mom’s flat and were at Jay’s. Fredo had killed the engine and we had rolled silently to his folks’ gate.

Kenny had implored Jay: You’re high man, bribe the guard.

Out of cash and cocksure as usual, Jay had rejected the notion: Naah… I’ll scale the wall and sneak in, I got this.

Friday you almost fell man!

I’m steady!

And we watched him start his climb.


Jay lay there motionless. Smile still on his face. But now, a growing pool of blood had become visible in the wet grass. The three of us just stood there, shaken sober but unable to move. Tears rolled down our eyes, every one of us.


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