A Year Without Johnny

Harry Mitchell is a young boy whos best friend commited suicide. Since the event, even more terrible situations have come to pass and Harry is left making heart wrenching decisions. This is his letter that lets you into his life, his thoughts and feelings, as he lives a year without Johnny.

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9. Eight months without Johnny

This was truly the second worst month of my life, not quite touching when Johnny jumped. I recall it was my mother that burst into my room with the news. She was the first person to tell me that Lizzie was on top of the building, ready to jump just like her brother did. I arrived at the building and, after a mighty struggle, they let me go up to see Lizzie.

In a moment of insanity, I stood up next to her, shaking.  My feet were peering over the edge. I had such a high fear of falling, which sounds so stupid now, but I didn’t want to die.

The first thing Lizzie said was that she knew I hated her, which I did not, and that she hated herself. She said she wouldn’t be bothering me any longer as she finally fully understood why Johnny jumped.

I asked her what Shane would think and she told me all about their break up, and the blonde girl she saw him with. I believe her exact words were:

“The sane blonde whore, so pretty and so nice and so not me.”

Shane was one of the reasons she was up there which she claimed meant she and Johnny did had something in common. I know what she meant by this now.

Though it may have been considered an unexpected thing to do, I gently began to sing. I sung the chorus of Autumn Leaves, Johnny’s favourite song, and Lizzie was quick to recognise it. She smiled for the first time in a while thinking of her brother.

That was when I made her a promise, outstretching my arm to hold her hand. I had her attention. I told her that if life didn’t get any better within a week, then we would go back up there and I would jump with her. Of course, I was lying. I just wanted her to give life another go, even if that meant lying to her about us and Johnny being together again.

“You’d jump for me?” She said without moving an inch. I stepped back onto the safety of the building top, holding out my arm for her to step down too. Repeating what I had previously said, I urged for her to join me. She asked me what was wrong with her, crying softly. My only reply was that she was fine.

“Harry, do you know that you’re my best friend?” She asked and I nodded in response. “That means I know everything about you including the fact that you would never jump, even if you promised. An empty gesture is meaningless.”

“I’m sorry I haven’t always been there to help you,” I said in pure desperation, “but I will be from now on. Let me help you, just take my hand.” Lizzie took a moment before eventually nodding, and my heart felt like it had been fixed after all that time. She turned swiftly and reached out for my hand.

Given normal circumstances, if a person’s foot were to miss a curb or slip, then their fall would be broken by the ground. This time was no different. As Lizzie’s foot slipped off the edge of the building, her body tumbled through the air and the ground did indeed break her fall, as well as all the bones in her body.

I can’t tell you how much I screamed out as she slipped away from me. How many times, within that short period, I prayed to god, to anybody, to save her.

To this day, I still don’t understand why nobody did.

One thing I never got is how the heart can hurt. You can feel a void slowing sucking you in from the inside and yet, you still remain in tack. I feel there is only one explanation. You see the brain sends messages to all of your body, telling them what to do, this includes you heart. I think when you’re sad, even your brain can’t handle all the damage, so it just channels it all to the heart.

After Lizzie had fallen, I came down and out of the building to be greeted by multiple microphones being shoved into my sodden face. Ricky pushed his way through all the reporters and dragged me off away from them all, to Jessica and Michelle.

I told them everything but I failed to tell them that she slipped. I didn’t want it to seem like she did an idiotic thing and died, but instead, that she jumped because of what people had done. I wanted the people that had hurt her, Shane and Hayley especially, to see what they forced her to do.

My eyes were unable to divert away from my hand for the rest of that day, that hand that should have caught Lizzie, that hand that should have saved her life.

Jessica told me that love killed Lizzie in the end, almost as if it were a normal remark to make after someone had just committed suicide. I do agree though. I think that love kills us all. We will do so much for that one person, no matter how extravagant or ludicrous it seems. We would give our life for someone, in mere hope that they would do the same for us.

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