The Last Few Days

Betterthanaslushy:
It’s not that bad, Nicole, really. If you use scissors, and cut a ways up, you can’t do any major damage. It’s not that bad.
Shaant_Rox:
Marie, it is that bad. Why are you doing this to yourself?
It was Saturday morning, and in a few short hours my best friend Marie and I were going homecoming dress shopping. However, while I should have been sleeping, I had been up all night and most of the morning talking with her about her recent depression issues and how she was coping with them. What Marie had told me was pretty shocking, and now I was spending the remainder of my morning thinking of what I could do to help.
*****


“There’s a story at the bottom of this bottle…” The song blaring through the Suburban stereos ended, and I heard the last couple seconds of my ringtone before the next song started. I sang along with my Marie as I flipped my phone open to see who had called me. My phone read, “One Missed Call: Cindy Funderburk.”

It wasn’t hard for me to guess why Mrs. Funderburk was calling me. A couple of days earlier I had sent a couple of hysterical texts to her phone pleading for help. Not long before I had tried to get a hold of her, I had found out that Marie had been cutting herself, and had been thinking about committing suicide.
I continued messaging Mrs. Funderburk about what Marie had told me as we got to Alexandria and made our way into the mall. Mrs. Funderburk sounded just as worried as I had been at the time, and told me that while we were dress shopping today, I needed to check her arms and legs for any kind of marks.
As Marie and I were sitting at the food court talking, I continued to text Mrs. Funderburk as to how I could discreetly check for marks on her legs. As I snapped my phone shut, Marie grabbed it and pulled it out of my grasp. I reached over to grab it back, just as she moved away from my grasp and flipped through my pictures. It was typical of Marie to randomly decide to grab my phone and look through it, beginning with my pictures and ending with my text messages. However, this time, there was no way she could see my text messages.
After a few minutes of wrestling, I retrieved my phone, and deleted my messages. Marie saw this, and looked angry. I lamely covered with, “Christmas…” and a weak grin. She didn’t fall for it. She grabbed Lance’s hand, and stormed off. I threw my trash away, and frustratedly strode into the Barnes & Noble, with Kade trailing behind me.
As I sat down on the floor of the book store, I got a text from Lance. “I don’t know what your problem is, Nicole, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself friendless in the near future.”
*****
We drove home with everybody giving each other glares filled with nothing but animosity, and complete silence. When I got home, I called Mrs. Funderburk to ask her what she thought I should do.
“Mrs. Funderburk, I just don’t know what to do. I’m trying to help her, and they’re just ticked off at me. I figured that she would get angry, but over a cell phone?” Mrs. Funderburk cut me off as I began rambling about the events of the day.
“Sweetie, you just have to tell her mom. I know it seems hard right now, but it’ll help,” she said rationally.
“If you say so…”
“I do. Now go talk to Mrs. Angie. I love you, you’re doing the right thing.”
I got off the phone with Mrs. Funderburk and decided to do exactly what she had told me. I called Marie’s mother. She answered her phone with her typical cheerful, “Hello,” and I could practically hear her smiling on the other line as I began to talk.
“So…” I began. “Is Marie still mad at me?”
“I don’t know what to tell you. All I know is that we got home and she was crying, and telling me that it seemed like there was a fight every weekend.”
“She didn’t tell you what happened?”
“No. What happened?” asked Mrs. Angie.
I took a deep breath. I could practically hear the smile beginning to falter. “Well… We were sitting in the food court, and Marie tried to look at my phone, and she’s angry because I wouldn’t let her read my text messages. She couldn’t read them, though, Mrs. Angie.”
Mrs. Angie asked why she couldn’t read them, and it seemed as though every conversation I had had in the past two days was streaming out of me. I finished speaking, and she was silent. I sat on my bed waiting for a response.
After what seemed like at least five minutes, Mrs. Angie broke the silence. “She’s been cutting herself?” She sounded on the verge of tears.
“Yeah, she has. She told me not to tell, but I’m so worried about her… I just don’t know what to do. She’s going to hate me now. What do I do?”
“I’ll talk to her when I get home. Just wait and I will call you later.”
Later that night, I called Kade. I instantly broke down as I started to tell him about everything.
“Kade, I just don’t know what to do… She was hurting herself, and I, I just wanted to help…”
In the middle of my rant, my phone beeped with an incoming text message. I flipped it open to find a message from Lance.
“What is your problem? She trusted you and you’re going to do this to her? You think it was the right thing to do? Everything was fine until you messed it up, Nicole! Remember what I said about losing your friends? Well, you just lost two more, Nicole! I hope you’re pleased with yourself! Oh, and I know this is probably going to make you cry, but I don’t care. Go cry. You’ve been pushing it for a long time and now you blew it you self-centered girl. I hope you know what you’re putting her through. You’re going to regret what you did for the rest of your life because you just lost the best friend you ever had.”
I began bawling harder, and Kade scrambled to understand what was happening.
“Baby, what’s going on? What’s wrong? What happened?” asked Kade frantically. I was crying too hard to respond.
My phone beeped yet again, but this time with an incoming call, and I managed to choke out that I would call Kade back in just a minute.
It was Mrs. Angie. She asked me to forward the messages that Lance had sent me, and then put me on hold while she called him. She got back on the phone within a few minutes. “I told him that even if he had to delete you out of his phone, he was going to quit texting you,” said Mrs. Angie with an assertive tone. “You were willing to lose your friend to make sure that she was okay, and he did nothing. I’m pretty angry at Lance right now.”
I talked to Mrs. Angie for a few more minutes, and then got off the phone. I told Kade good night, and got a text from Marie. “I don’t hate you. Right now is just not the time I want to talk.”
I went to sleep thinking about the sharp contrast between homecoming dress shopping this year, and homecoming dress shopping last year. I thought about how happy and carefree we were as we walked through the Lake Charles mall, browsing every store until we found the perfect “Alice in Wonderland” dress for Marie. We seemed so inseparable then, so on top of the world. It was hard for me to understand what had changed.
A few days later, I received a text message from Marie as I sat in my Biology class. I discreetly opened my phone, and looked at it.
“In case you didn’t get the memo, I just wanted to let you know that we are no longer friends. Quit texting me.”
I stared at my phone in disbelief wondering what had spawned such a ruthless text. I couldn’t remember texting Marie since the day at the mall, nor had she texted me. I had no idea what was going on.
I began shaking so badly that I couldn’t hold my pencil. I covered my face with my bangs, and suffered through the rest of the class. As soon as the bell rang, I ducked out of class and whipped open my phone to text back.
“Marie, what are you talking about? You said you didn’t hate me?”
“We’re not friends. I changed my mind, other things have been brought to my attention.”
“Marie, what are you talking about?”
“Curiosity killed the cat…And satisfaction didn’t help. It’s still dead. Therefore you would not be satisfied, or you would be dead. Either one. We. Are. Not. Friends. Anymore.”
I walked into work service wiping off tears and dodging questions from my concerned supervisors. I sent Marie numerous texts asking her what she meant, and what had changed, and received nothing in reply. I spent days waiting for my phone to ring with a text reading, “Just joking,” or “I’m sorry,” in vain because that was the last time I heard from my best friend.





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