Too Late

Karla Stephens, a classmate of mine, committed suicide and was buried yesterday, exactly one week after she was found bleeding profusely on her kitchen floor. I was told that there were only a few students at her funeral. She didn’t have many friends.

Currently, I’m sitting in my room, trying to avoid my mother’s multitude of questions as to why I showed Karla’s family no support in their time of need even though Karla and I were best friends. My mother has no idea just how right she is; Karla and I WERE best friends emphasis on were.  I’m also in my room because there is something I have to see, something I must see alone. There, in a box on my desk, is a letter, handwritten and tear stained from Karla. I’m scared to open it, but I know that I should because I owe her this much. Slowly, I unfold the pages and begin to read:

 

Dear Andre,

                Hi, it’s me, Karla.  I guess you don’t remember me even though we go to the same school lol. I was just thinking the other day about when we were kids. Remember the time we snuck into Mr. Adam’s garden to steal plums and almost got caught? Haha, those were good times. I remember thinking back then that as long as you and I were together we could face anything. After all, we had faced Mr. Adams and survived. We had promised to stay best friends that day too. But, I guess you don’t remember.

                Maybe I was just too naive, but I’d always trusted in that promise, but it was only on the first day of college that I realized that maybe I couldn’t believe in it anymore. I’m not sure if you had changed or if it was me, but somehow everything was different. I remember running to meet you when I entered the gates because finally, we were in the same school, just like old times. You were standing with your friends, and I think they were laughing as I ran towards you guys. I guess they were laughing at me, but I didn’t care, you would never laugh at me. Rather, you answered me, rather blandly, like you had to go and I just figured it was because you had a class to go to. I hoped.

                Then, another time, I was heading to a class and passed near to where your friends and you usually sit and was greeted by laughter the moment they laid their eyes on me. I tried to be optimistic. Maybe someone just happened to crack a joke at the same time I was passing.  But then one girl shouted out, “And she feel she looking hot!” and I knew it was me they were talking about. I know I’m not the prettiest person, don’t have the nicest hair, or the most appealing figure, but at least on that day, MY BIRTHDAY, I thought that I looked special. I stood there not knowing what to do for a second, and instinctively turned to you, my best friend, to defend me, to say something to them but instead you just kept laughing. That night I cried, wondering where my best friend had disappeared to.

                Eventually, I made a new friend. Her name is Sarah and she helped me feel better; the old Andre would like her, she’s funny. After meeting her I thought maybe things would get better, that I could ignore the being called “fat”, “ugly” and “weird”. It worked for a while until I realized that everyone was whispering about me and that every time I walked through the campus people would start laughing and saying that she and I were in a relationship. It got so bad that Sarah decided that she and I should stop hanging out so much because she didn’t want her reputation to be dragged through the mud. I survived it all, a few tears shed, but at least I was surviving.

The final straw came when there was a group project in class and I was paired with you. You have no idea how excited I was. I started imagining that we would restart our friendship like before and then college would be a paradise for me, but you ruined it, Andre! You never helped one bit, I had to do all the work. I would stay up night after night working and planning.  Whenever I would come to ask you to help, you’d say “Yeah yeah, tonight I’ll send some info”. I’m still waiting on the info, Andre! Then the day it was due, my computer broke down and I couldn’t get the project printed anywhere. To make matters worse, the teacher told me that if it was late the project would receive an automatic zero. I don’t know if that matters to you Andre, I’m not as good looking or popular as you are, all I have is my brains, and you ruined it, Andre. You took the one thing I had left and crushed it. Thank you.

Anyway, I just wrote this note to tell you, “thank you” for all the times we shared, the good the bad and the gruesome; because this is the last day you’ll ever have to torment me. I’ve decided that I have nothing left and I’m going to end it all. I just wanted to let you know. I figure my best friend should get the heads up. Have a nice life, enjoy for us both

 

I’m shaking as I slowly fold the letter back up, and crying by the time I put the paper back into the box. That was no suicide, it was a murder, a long slow murder and I had a heavy part to play in it. I’m in no position to give anyone advice right now, but if I may: Everyone is special and has a right to be treated that way. It may seem funny at the time to laugh at someone else’s expense, to crack a few jokes, but you have no idea how deep emotional scars can go. Please, don’t be as stupid as I’ve been. The name calling, the teasing, it all has to end, before it’s too late.