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Tearjerker / Skippy Dies

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  • The end of the second volume, when Skippy's inner monologue reveals how he died: Every bad thing in his life had been overwhelming him and he couldn't take it anymore, so he took an overdose of painkillers to end it all.
    • Even worse are the last words we hear him say in the book: "Well, maybe today's my lucky day."
  • Skippy and his parents. He has a very strained relationship with his father, and he wants so badly to be able to tell his dad about his problems and ask for some help, but is so afraid of upsetting him any more than he already is due to his wife's cancer that he just can't do it. And his mother has severe cancer that is not improving at all. It's so bad that Skippy can't even see her or speak to her anymore, because she's usually either asleep or too weak to talk. The poor kid has nightmares about his mother's sick form.
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  • From the first volume, Skippy starts sobbing while talking to his father on the phone, upset that he can't speak to his mother. His father (who presumably didn't know what to do, couldn't handle it, or both) pretends not to hear.
  • When Halley accidentally runs over a dog because the brakes on the car were broken and Howard (who was supposed to get them fixed) didn't do anything about it. She tries to help, but it's too badly hurt, and she feels horrible, especially when she's faced with the grieving owner and her wailing young daughter. She confronts Howard about it when he gets home later, and tells him, "You have to fucking commit to things, Howard!" Hearing that, Howard looks pained, closes his eyes, and says "I can't do this anymore. I'm so sorry," and confesses how he cheated on her with Aurelie. Poor Halley feels like she's been punched in the gut, and she breaks down crying.
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  • The impact Skippy's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it has on the whole school in the final volume, Ghostland. I'm not exaggerating, it affects everyone. All the boys and most of the teachers just become so confused and angry and depressed, and it can be assumed the majority don't understand why or can't articulate it. They're broken, especially Howard, Lori, and Skippy's small circle of friends, and it's heavily implied that they'll never fully heal.
  • The end of Skippy and Lori's second and final date. Everything was going great, then Lori gets a phone call. She answers, and neither Skippy or the readers are told who it was, but it's heavily implied it was an angry Carl. Whatever he said, it upset Lori enough to make her closed-off and distant for the rest of the date. It's the first sign that Skippy beating Carl in a fight and seemingly winning the girl is not going to make everything all right.
    Skippy doesn't know what's changed but everything has.
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  • Skippy being so traumatized by his swimming coach molesting him in the hotel at their last meet that he can't talk about it and no one gets what's really going on until it's too late. He tries to quit the swim team, but his coach tries to make him stay, unnerving him badly. When he's in his meeting with Father Foley (the extremely ineffectual school therapist) and possibly tries to tell him something happened, Foley doesn't understand him, and when he says he's quit the team, Foley cheerfully says that they'll get him right back on, making him freak out and start shouting, but instead of trying to find out why he's so against it, Foley yells at him until he starts crying. In the end, the poor kid ends up killing himself because of it, on top of Lori cheating on him and his mother's terminal cancer.
  • The fact that Skippy's father's last words to him were apologizing for him and Skippy's sick mother not being able to be at his race, again.
    Skippy: You're not going to come.
    Dad: We can't, Danno. I know I promised we would, and I feel terrible. But Dr. Gulbenkian's saying it might be unwise. Just at the minute he says he couldn't advise it. And I don't...I don't want to be away from the house right now. I'm sorry, sport, I really am. But you don't need me to have fun, do you?
  • When Lori cheats on Skippy with Carl, the aftermath is this for both of them. Carl takes a video of Lori blowing him on his phone, and by the time she realizes what he's done he's already sent it to god-knows-how-many people. Whatever you think of Lori and whatever she did, she's only fourteen and that's an awful thing to have done to you at any age. And on top of that, she's so freaked out by it and by thinking she might have gotten pregnant from it that when Skippy, who's seen the video, comes to her house devastated and looking for an explanation, he can't get one word out before she's screaming at him to get out and she never wants to see him again, making him run away. She does it barely realizing what she's doing, and the next thing she knows her friend Kelly Ann is calling her from the donut shop to tell her he's dead. Her immediate thoughts are, I am so sorry I am so sorry Daniel I am so so sorry!
  • Hours before Skippy's death, Howard runs into him playing frisbee in the middle of the road. Skippy looks at him with a hollow, desolate expression, and knowing what happens after it's likely he was trying to get hit by a car. But Harold, who was tasked with keeping an eye on Skippy and of all the adults is the one closest to him (though not by much), doesn't notice Skippy's distress and just yells at him, sending him home to overdose on pills. If Howard had paid more attention at this moment, he could have helped Skippy and saved his life, but he just doesn't.

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