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Looking back on my life, I guess I could have helped myself to realize the danger in being friends with Tammi, but back when I met her she was as innocent as a baby butterfly.
It all started about five years ago when I was hanging at a party in the middle of town. Tammi walked in all alone and approached me looking for some friendly conversation. We started some small talk, learned about each other, and by the end of the night we had exchanged phone numbers with plans to call each other later. After that, Tammi and I were always together; anywhere one of us went the other one followed. Tammi and I had been friends for two years when we met Gabe, the sweetest boy I had ever met.
Two months after we met Gabe, he asked me out. Of course, I said yes and we started to grow the strongest relationship known to mankind. That was when Tammi started with the drugs, which is the first clue in my story. She started acting out every time she was with me and Gabe, like she was an animal that just wanted to break out of her cage into the wild, but neither of us noticed. We were blinded by our love when really all we needed to see was the hurt that Tammi was feeling. That was the past though, and now the real story you all want to hear is the story of my junior year, the year I was murdered.
Before I go on, let me explain the afterlife to you. I feel cold, and abandoned. I always feel like curling up and crying; nothing makes me feel good. Looking back on the good times I had doesn’t help, and neither does just lounging around. When I think about my time spent with Tammi that just makes me feel worse. Just remember that. Don’t think that the afterlife is a good, fairy tale place where all your dreams come true, because it’s not, at all.
Once Tammi was on drugs regularly, it got harder and harder to tell how she really felt. She started to close herself off, not talking to Gabe and me, but that was the first time we noticed her hurt. We thought it was something that was going on at home; it never crossed our minds that the problem was us. Until that dreary April day, when we were all sitting in her basement.
“You guys just don’t get it, do you?” Tammi questioned us. She had been on crack all day so we weren’t sure how to answer that question
“What exactly don’t we get, Tammi?” Gabe snapped back, like he was fed up with her tone.
“The fact that you guys p*ss me off so much that I can’t even talk to you without smoking first!” Tammi was angry, and her voice told us that.
“That sounds like your problem, not ours! Now sit down, and shut up!” Tammi had officially ticked Gabe off and I was pretty sure he was going to get up and leave any second.
“Tammi, calm down,” I pleaded. “You’re going to regret this later!”
“Shut up! I don’t need your advice; you have no idea what I am going through right now!” Tammi exploded in my face.
“Tammi, you are just being a mean person!”
And then, it was like the world stopped moving, I saw her hand clenching as she raised it to my face, but still I stood there, not moving away. SLAM! Her fist hit my face in a matter of seconds, and right away I could feel the pain. She just stood there, acting like she had done nothing wrong, but deep down inside I could tell that she knew she had.
“Don’t you dare touch her again, Tammi!” Gabe roared, anger in his eyes.
“Get out!! Both of you!! Get out of my house, I don’t want to either of you anymore!” Tammi shouted.
So we left. We picked up our stuff and walked out the door. After we had walked a few miles down the road, Gabe broke the silence,
“What the heck is wrong with her? She thinks she can just get mad all the time and no matter what, we are going to be there for her. Not anymore. I don’t want to go near her until she pulls her act together.”
“That wasn’t her speaking, it was the drugs. You know that, Gabe.”
“Yeah, well it seems like we hear an awful lot of that lately. What has gotten into her?”
“I don’t know, maybe she likes you?”
I could tell that the conversation was over, so I just stopped talking and continued walking.
A few weeks later, Tammi approached me and attempted to apologize. She said she was sorry, and it was just hard to always be around Gabe and me together. I thought she was being sincere, and then she went all crazy on me:
“You better let go of Gabe, or you are going to pay for him.” She was being serious, and she was scaring me.
“What do you mean, pay?” I questioned Tammi.
“I mean exactly what I said, break-up with Gabe, or you are gonna pay!”
“Whatever,Tammi.” I walked away, stunned that that she could be telling me what to do. I thought about what I was going to do, but in the end I decided that she was messing with my head.
The rest of the day, Tammi wasn’t in any of her classes. Gabe and I looked for her, but she was not in the usual places we found her. Gabe asked me if I knew anything so I decided to buck up the courage and tell him about the conversation.
“She said what? When we find her, I swear, she going to regret saying that!”
“Gabe, calm down, I think she was kidding, she had to be. I mean, seriously she can’t threaten me and think she will actually be able to follow through with anything.
“Well, I don’t think so. Make sure you are careful; I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“God, Gabe, you sound like my mother!! Well, Mom, like I say all the time, I am always careful!” That put an end to him talking, for now. We walked home together, and studied at my house.
Pause. Right now, and listen to me. Have you ever been trying to find someone or something that doesn’t want to be found? It’s hard, right? There’s that pull in your heart and you think that if you don’t find the person, the world is going to come crashing down on your head. Well, that was what it was like trying to find Tammi. I felt awful, I was thinking that maybe when I found Tammi I could apologize. I thought that she would have been in class today if I hadn’t gotten in a fight with her. At that point in time, all I wanted to do was find her. I needed to talk to her.
Gabe and I went to school early the next day for student council, and Tammi was sitting in the meeting like she always was. At the end of the meeting we walked to Algebra together, the three of us, just like old times. She said nothing, until we were right outside the classroom door.
“Wait, you guys follow me, I have something to show you” She sounded nervous, like she was going to tell us something really important. She kept us walking down the hall, the clock staring at me because I was never late to a class. She finally stopped, and I realized we weren’t even in the school anymore. We were outside under a huge willow tree that sang in the wind. It was such a lovely day: warm sun, soft breeze, and birds flying over our heads. Soon though, that day would turn dark, and I would slip through the cracks of death, and be gone forever.
“Tammi, why are we here? I want to get to class. We can’t miss the mid-term,” I said.
“Trust me, you are definitely going to miss the mid-term, this year and the next!” she sounded mysterious now, no longer nervous. I guess she had just wanted to get out of the building.
“Come on Tammi-“ Gabe started.
“Shut up!” She reached in her bag and pulled out something wrapped in a cloth.
Slowly, she unwrapped the cloth revealing an object that scared the cr*p out of me, a gun. Shiny, black, and fully loaded.
“I told you to let go of Gabe, but you didn’t listen! You never listen to me, so now you are going to pay!” Tammi had a small smile on her face, like she was pulling a funny prank.
“Tammi, put that down. You don’t know what you are doing!”
BANG! The gun shot and faster than I could react, I was gone, drifting away into the darkness. Before I left the living and transferred into the afterlife, I heard Tammi say one more thing,
“Caitlin Danielle Jameson, you have been dismissed!”
Well, needless to say, that hurts to hear. Unfortunately, that is what I hear on repeat in my head all the time. Now, I am done, done with telling you my story- wait somebody is coming! Never in my time being in the afterlife has anyone visited me, so why now? Who could be coming to see me? As the figure steps closer I realize who it is,
“Gabe, what are you doing here?”