Silence

Appreciate who you have today, because they might not be here tomorrow.

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1. Silence

The halls were quiet that day. None of the usual chatter and laughter rang through. Silence enveloped everyone and everything. The only sound to be heard the occasional squeak of someones sneakers bouncing off the walls. 

A sense of dread runs though the classrooms as the announcements blare through the loud speaker, confirming what they all knew. 

"Students and staff, I am terribly sorry to inform you that there's been a tragedy. One of our own has decided to take her own life late last night. We have instilled counselors around the school, please feel free to leave class and see one. Today is one of the saddest in this schools history. We must lean on one another for support. Take time out of your day to think of her, remember her. Thank you."

The speaker clicks off, leaving everyone in a stunned silence. They knew it had happened, whispers around the halls revealed it this morning. But it actually being confirmed by the principle brought a whole new wave of grief. The sobs of her best friend now ring through the school, leaking their way down the hall and into classrooms.

The principle had called her best friend into the office that morning, sure that she already knew. When he told her about the 'accident' he realized she had no idea. She broke down, then and there, into a heap on the floor and sobbed. She didn't understand why. 

She had told her best friend about the cuts, the sadness, the occasional pill, but taking her own life? She had never once brought it up. She pulled out her phone and read the last conversation they had had, just the previous night. 

-i cant do this anymore.

-Can't do what?

-this. 

-What are you talking about?

-everything. im done. i dont know what else to do.

-Uhm, are you okay?

-i dont know. i will be soon though. dont worry. im gonna go to bed. good bye love you.

-Uh, okay? Love you too.

She told me. Right there, she told me she was going to do it and I didn't understand! I could've helped her. I could've stopped her. She could be here right now with me, if I had just understood. She told me she was done. She told me she didn't know what else to do. She told me she was leaving. I just wasn't there to listen.

'It's my fault."

While her best friend cried, her child hood friend screamed. She screamed at everyone, telling them this was a sick joke. Telling them to stop crying. Telling them she's just sick. Telling them lies she so desperately wanted to believe. 

She found the crying mess of her best friend and that's when she knew. This wasn't a joke. She wasn't sick, she's gone. She stuck out her hand, pointed her finger and shouted at her best friend. Shouted that it was her fault. She didn't tell anybody about her problems. She didn't care enough about her to do anything. She didn't listen enough. If she just would've listened she'd still be here. 

When the tears started rolling out, she collapsed against the wall. She knew it wasn't her best friends fault. Her best friend did know about her problems, her best friend did tell somebody, her best friend did care about her, her best friend did listen as much as she could. It was her who didn't do anything. 

She told me everything and I chose to ignore it. I seen the cuts on her wrist getting deeper. I seen the bags under her eyes getting darker. I seen the way she was getting more depressed. I seen everything and chose to ignore it. She tried to tell me, so many times, but I didn't want to listen. I didn't want to hear about how sad she was. I wanted to pretend everything was alright. 

If I would've listened, just once, maybe she'd be here. If I had taken her by the wrist and told her to stop, just once, maybe I would've seen her in the hall this morning. If I had text her, just once, and asked if she was alright, maybe we would be sitting in Chemistry right now. If I had done something, just once, I would still have her. 

'It's my fault.''

Her boyfriend stared blankly at the binder in front of him, seeing her writing all over his things. 'I love you babe!' was plastered everywhere. The biggest one she had just written yesterday. She had taken his things right as class ended and ran out of the room, leaving him to chase her. He'd finally caught up and in big red marker was her messy, girly writing with little hearts everywhere. 

The memory made him smile and brought tears to his eyes. He had no idea this was coming. He didn't even know she was depressed. He didn't know about her razor, or her collection of her mom's pills. He was in the dark about everything. 

Why wouldn't she tell me? I could've helped her. I could've stopped her. She knew I loved her and she could tell me anything, so why not something that ate at you so much you committed? Why didn't I see it in her? Why couldn't I see she was lying when she told me everything was fine? Why?!

He stands up abruptly and chucks the binder across the room. Her sick, fake happy writing taunting him, mocking him. He storms out of the room and walks until his vision is blurry the falls against a locker and cries out over and over again.

'Its my fault.'   

Two days after she's gone the school hold an assembly in her honor. The students file in, one by one, not making a sound. Nobody has laughed, nobody has smiled, nobody has even talked since the 'accident.' It just doesn't feel right with out her. She was so happy all the time, making sure everyone else was to. 

Her best friend walks up to the stage and speaks of how great of a friend and person she was. She brings up the times she had made her laugh, the times they cried, the things they did, the secrets they shared. She talks about how sorry she is that she wasn't there for her, sorry that she didn't take her seriously, sorry that they won't be able to grow up together like they planned. 

Her childhood friend walks up next and speaks of all the memories they have together. She smiles through her tears as she talks about the awkward phase she had in third grade, the girl scout meetings they had in first grade, the many years of sports they had together, the way she was always there to listen, the way she's go out of her way to make her smile when she was upset, the way she'd do anything to spend time together. The smile fades as she apologizes for how selfish she was to her, never asking about her problems, never making her smile when she was down, never trying to spend time together, never listening when she needed her. 

Her boyfriend is the last to speak as he brings up what an incredible person she was, how no matter what time it was she was always beautiful, how she'd text him in the middle of the night when she couldn't sleep and leave him a hundred messages, how she encouraged him in anything he was doing whether it be athletics, school or even playing video games. He breaks down as he talks about how blindsided he is by this, how he should've seen it coming, how he would've helped her if she would've just asked.

They all finish their speech with the same five words.

"It's my fault. I'm sorry." 

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