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Every morning, was the same routine; the routine that went on for months, the one that led to his suicide. It could have been the routine that lead to his recovery. He was suffering and letting his life pass by him as his friends and family grew more and more worried about him. Walking slowly through the hallway with his head faced toward the ground, I realized that the chains of his depression had not been unlocked.
“Good morning! I presume you had a wonderful bus ride to school today” I said.
A fake smile to comfort me, but only for a moment, and then it vanished, as if it never appeared on his face at all. The daily examination of his face is my way of measuring his emotions. He was extremely upset, avoiding eye contact, too tired to think about the stress that he was going through, or the upcoming stress that school brought him. This morning he was on the brink of crying and, the way that his eyes were looking at me, searching desperately for peace. I knew he didn’t want to be asked about his morning.
We walked on the linoleum floor for about three minutes, not saying a word to each other. I felt that this time of the day was vital for Anthony. Some days, he used it to let his body breathe. That day, he used it to cry. He cried silently, the whole time. He cried at his locker, at my locker, while we were eating breakfast, and when we had to go to first period.
“I have to leave now; I’m going to be late”, I said.
“Alright, I’ll see you later then”, he stated.
My best friend wiped his tears, as his eyes begged for me to stay. I turned to my left, and his hand gently touched my right shoulder. The fabric of his sleeve was slightly scrunched; it settled in the middle of his forearm. The red, violent marks on his bare arm made my heart ache. Every time I saw them I felt like crying, and getting him help.
“I….I…”, he started “I’ll see you later”.
I gave him a hug, I had no choice. He just looked so broken, and I felt if I hadn’t held him together before he fell apart, he would never come back together.
“Bye,” I said, quietly.
The next couple of classes were the same as any other day, constantly worrying about Anthony. I thought about the recovery that he was going to go through, and how amazingly happy he would be when he was released from his depression. The school bell rang and I sprang out of my seat to meet Anthony at our lunch table.
I slowly pulled out my plastic chair to sit down, when I was interrupted
“I’m going to kill myself,” he said quietly, so that it was only audible to me.
This is when health becomes useful. My plan: notify an adult. Your friend will forgive you later. I immediately excused myself to go to the ladies room. I called all the hotlines, told my parents, and his, and called an ambulance. He was going to be hospitalized, again. I left the bathroom and walked quickly back to the cafeteria. I forgot that you should never leave a suicidal person alone.
“Do you have a plan to hurt yourself?” I said, worriedly.
“Yeah, I guess. Did you call someone about this?” he replied.
“What do you plan to kill yourself with?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“You know, I am always here for you, if need to talk”, I said.
“I don’t like to talk”, he whispered
“You don’t like anything”, I retorted.
I asked him the drilling and annoying questions, I wanted to be prepared to tell the paramedics something when they arrived. He seemed the same as he was this morning; no change except that he said what he was thinking aloud. This news was no surprise to me; he frequently had these thoughts, and following my response to those thoughts of his, he resulted in anger.
“Did you call someone about this?” said his voice, coldly.
“Do you feel you are not going to be missed when you leave?” I asked, avoiding his question.
“Madeline,” he said sternly.
I looked at him, carefully, so that I wouldn’t break eye contact. I waited. He said nothing, I said nothing. The bell rang, the students left, we stayed. I just had to stall him until the ambulance arrived at the school. Then, I wouldn’t be scared, and he’d be safe.
“God help you if an ambulance shows up here for me,” he said.
“You’ll be safe,” I said, quietly, breaking the eye contact to look down.
He abruptly stood up out of his chair, and stormed out of the cafeteria.
He ran away, that’s what his parents said. I tried looking for him, but found nothing. No note left, no leads or traces about where he went. The police never found him, either. I just hope that my best friend is safe, wherever he is.