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We called her Blue Eyes. You would think that we would have been able to think of something a little more creative than that, but that what she was dubbed. Simply, Blue Eyes.

We had a problem with Blue Eyes. On the outside, she looked like everyone else, blonde hair, small figure, and deep blue eyes that seemed to go on forever. But on the inside, she was different.

We knew this because last year she was our best friend. My best friend, especially. We did everything together, we boated in the summer, we went sledding in the winter, we picked berries in the spring. Everything from my past had to do with Blue Eyes, every picture I had ever hung on my bulletin board or tapped to my mirror. There she was, smiling, her blue eyes going on to infinity.

We knew how much she hated them. We knew because she’d tell us that people could tell what emotion she was feeling just by her eyes. She’d say, “Ms. Allen asked if I was upset. I asked her why she thought that, and she said she saw it in my eyes.” We’d laugh, and call her Blue Eyes, as a joke. She’d come to the lunch table and we’d say, “Hello, Blue Eyes” and she’d laugh along.



But she changed. She started acting differently at the end of the school year, she never showed up at lunch, and sometimes she’d leave in the middle of class, crying. The boys would laugh and the other girls would whisper, but we worried.

One day, she told us she was cutting herself. When we asked her why, all she said was that it made her feel better.

The next day she said she was contemplating killing herself. Once again, we asked why. She just shook her head slowly and said life was hard.



But we had our own stuff, too. We didn’t have time to listen to her cry or play victim in class. We grew impatient listening to her medicine cabinet horror stories. We no longer cared about what happened at therapy. We stopped listening when she told us how many marks she’d made on herself.

I never stopped. I always cared about her, even when she wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. But, although we were best friends, they decided she was a freak, and I guess that met I did, too.


She came in the first day of school the next year, wearing new, cropped hair, a new color. We saw her in our A.P English class first period and we all smiled and said, “Hello, Blue Eyes.”
The look on her face killed me. Her eyes light up with excitement, as if the later part of the previous year didn’t happen. As if she was still our good friend, old Blue Eyes.

But she wasn’t. And she quickly realized that when one of them taunted, “You gonna cry this year? You gonna claw your skin out?”

She was quiet then, her eyes filled with horror and sadness. She turned her back and sat as far away as possible.


It continued, through half the year. “Hello, Blue Eyes” we’d say, every time we passed her in the hallway, every time we saw her in class. She was yet to run out in tears, and she was yet to show a mark on her skin, but she was still a freak to us.

One day, she told the social worker she was being bullied. She named all of our names.
We were called up, talked to, and dismissed with a warning. We didn’t dare say anything to Blue Eyes after that.

But one of them started talking about her behind her back, and we all joined in. We watched her make friends with the new kids, and snag a boyfriend. They had a problem with that.

We gathered her two new friends in the hallway after lunch, and asked if they knew what a freak she was. They shook their heads nervously, and we told them to walk up to her and say “Hello, Blue Eyes” and then see what she did.



The next day, Blue Eyes wasn’t in school. She wasn’t in the next day either. On the third day, we were all called to the auditorium.

“You all know Jessica Kidman” the principal said into the microphone, her voice shaking.
Blue Eyes. Yes, we all knew Blue Eyes.

“She killed herself last night”
The room was silent. I could feel my stomach in my throat. Blue Eyes had killed herself.

“Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last May, as some of you may know.” the principal continued, her voice growing weaker.

Her mother had cancer? That was why she was acting like that?

“ And, apparently, she was dealing with issues of bullying here at school.”
Once again, we were silent.

“You know we don’t tolerate that. You know who you are.” Her eyes welled up with tears. “I need to speak to you in my office following this assembly.”



We had presenters come and talk about suicide signs. We had presenters talk about bullying. We had ever kind of specialist come and talk to the school for an hour on the dangers peers can do. But I don’t think that anyone felt as bad as I did. We were suspended for a week as punishment, but I further punished myself by going to her funeral.

Her mother looked weak and fragile in the church pew, clinging to the strong arms of her father. They both looked at me, as if this had all been my fault.

I walked toward them, and whispered my apologies.
I saw her in her open casket, her blue eyes closed forever, and I leaned down and kissed her cheek.

“I’m so sorry, Jess.” I whispered.





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