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25th June

“Shut up, Dette.”

That was the last I saw of that person before the big funeral. As I stood in the cemetery, I looked at the wreath that I was holding. “Dette, the guy never really liked you, so why bother?” I thought to myself. I had no answer to that...

That fateful lunch, Eugene sat at the cafeteria in the French school. “Hey, I forgot my bag all the way upstairs,” he exclaimed all of a sudden. However, he needed someone to guard his phone and his ID card. All around, everyone else was busy checking out the new poster about the sites in France, making me the only one unoccupied. I didn’t expect him to bring them to me though; everyone in the school knew that Eugene did not really like me for reasons that were explicit to him alone. But I still wanted to help him so said: “Eugene, I can keep it.”

Wrong move.

I was greeted with: “Shut up, Dette.” Shocked, I watched him leave the cafeteria, reassuring a girl he gave his things to that he will be back soon…

But he never did; Eugene fell from four flights of stairs and immediately lost his life.

As he was lowered into the ground, I felt nothing but grief and real pain, because he was no more. Many of my friends were surprised when I showed these signs, as he never liked me. So after the funeral, they asked, “Uhh Dette… why do you care again?” I wiped the tears off my face and just stared at them. They were right, why did I care at all? I turned to my right in hope of an answer, and suddenly saw Eugene’s sister weeping and looking immensely heart-broken. Instinctively, I walk towards the dead boy’s sister, and hug her. Suddenly, the mixed flow of emotions that she felt inside channeled through my body like a sudden boost of adrenaline. I felt the transfer of all she felt- her immeasurable anguish, her huge loss and her loneliness. Irrespective of the fact that the boy did not like me, his sister clearly needed someone to soothe her and share her sentiments. As an individual, the least I could do was to be there for her, and forget the problem her brother had with me. “I mean, if she was dying and I was the last person on earth, I definitely would not have left her hanging, would I? That is just plain heartless, shallow and immature,” I thought to myself.

It hit me then. That is it; the answer to their question. Leaving the poor sister to her parents, I walked over to my friends and uttered just three words: “I grew up.”

Leaving their side and going to the graveside, I made up my mind about my earlier dilemma: I laid the wreath of roses on the grave and smiled.





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