i’ve been thinking about her a lot this week. she’s like that scab you pick and pick until bloody all over again. you know you shouldn’t but you do. you get so engrossed you almost stop feeling the pain as an almost-healed wound is split open again. the saddest part is that no one knows her anymore. her name is a meaningless collection of five letters but they have the power to drag me under. (she was riptide.)
you see, i had three months with her. one hundred and twenty-two emails. i remember each one. i remember the day she told me she cut her skin like it was paper and the knife was a pen. i remember the day she told me didn’t want to each because she wanted to leave. i’ve never been enough to make anyone stay.
i remember the blurry picture she sent of hair she dyed with blue koolaide. she sent a heart face emoji. and what some people don’t realize about me is that i have always been selfish. i liked that i had the title of best friend and i believed she would quit. i believed my words sent digiatally were enough to make one girl see the light. and while i called it friendship her sexuality called it a relationship.
but things turned toxic when i couldn’t stop messaging her because i knew when i stopped the knife would meet her skin. i didn’t realize that i was fighting a battle i couldn’t win. i never realized she was selfish doing what she was doing. i never realized she wanted all of my attention and that my friendship wasn’t enough. i just never realized that her name had irony concidered how little faith she had in herself….and in me. the day i stopped being enough for her was the day that we met.
and i remember with vivid clarity the day she told me that she had set her suicide date. i never saw her telling me this as selfish, but i do now. i see it because when she told me this i cried for hours. i messaged her a total of sixteen times using the most pleading words i knew. i said i loved her and that she was my best friend.
when she replied her email was short and simple, and she just said she was sick of living. sick of feeling what she was feeling and sick of locking herself in the bathroom to escape her parent’s yells. and what they don’t tell you about a teenage girl living in a broken house with a broken family, is that she learns to hide her brokenness. you learns how to sloppily dye her hair to hide her sad eyes. she learns how to pull off long sleeves and jeans. she learns how to stud her clothing and dress emo just for parential attention which she doesn’t get. the day she stopped hiding her brokenness for me was the day she broke me.
and as i felt my heart shatter i told her to tell her parents. tell them she was broken and that she needed help. i don’t know if she ever did. my inbox dinged that night with her saying she couldn’t email me anymore. i still don’t know if that was her parents, sexuality or her talking. i guess i never will.
all i know is that on her suicide date i tried to contact her. i tried to sent her messages only to find all her accounts disabled and her email nonexistant. and as a girl who found herself rather broken, i blamed myself. my what’s ifs caused me to look at razor blades with a new kind of fear. and when i cut myself shaving for the first time i burst into tears as my blood mingled with shower water.
she left me because i wasn’t enough. my love wasn’t enough, my friendship wasn’t enough, and my newly broken pieces were not enough. she left the world because she saw it in all grey and as a colorful broken girl, she refused to live without color. and so she left in a splash of red.
i still cry how i never got to go to her funeral. i still cry because i don’t know were she is buried. i still cry because certain days of the year i think of her and i’m triggered.
and you remind me so much of her that it hurts. your smile is the same….sadness, hope and a little bit of joy. your story is almost the same. some days i almost catch myself saying her name instead of yours, typing her name in instead of yours. i think it is unfair for me to that to you. and i find myself concealing how much she broke me, from you. i find myself telling you the story once and never again. i find myself holding back the memories because you will tell me something. and you will sound exactly like her.
and i know it is unfair of me to compare you to her. but this past week all my brain has been chanting is that you are leaving me like she did. you will not be in the ground but you don’t be in my life either. and it scares me how easily i have let myself get attached to you and it makes me angry how easily you say that you are leaving.
and the biggest thing that you both had in common is that you both find it easy to leave me.