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First half of opening chapter

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What is one supposed to do? When you suddenly feel like you’ve lost everything and more in instants. That your whole world has crashed down in a matter of moments and you can’t seem to tell anyone because something-something indescribable-is holding you back. What would anyone have done? It seems like my fault. Doesn’t it always?




I met Ian through a friend through summer camp. A friend that my parents hated. They thought this friend was such a bad influence on me and that I shouldn’t associate with these people. The people who make even a single mistake. Yes, that’s my parents. So every time I would hang out with Ian and this friend, I lied. “I’m off to go hang out with Leah!” I would tell my parents. That wasn’t always a lie, Leah did come sometimes. I liked hanging out with the 3 of them, but I just got sick of it one day. I stopped, but Leah continued. It was like that for most of the summer. Until the end.

Leah called me around the end of the summer, asking me if I wanted to go to the beach for a week with her family. At this point, I was hanging out with camp friends I probably would have finished talking to at the beginning of the school year, but part of me didn’t want to go. So Leah took Ian instead.



I don’t really know why I never told my parents about Ian. I guess I was afraid. I’m one of 3 children, the middle child. My parents expect me to succeed like my older brother, who had just received a full scholarship to Brown. I also wasn’t as funny or adorable as my younger sister. My parents had all these expectations that I couldn’t seem to meet. One was friends. Their track records were more important then how they treated me. I never could find a friend that was perfect for my parents and myself until I met Leah. Ian was definitely not what my parents were looking for. I wasn’t going to make the effort of being close friends with him considering he lived a few towns away anyways.
Somehow those words still hurt. I didn’t know much about Ian, but I knew he was sweet. He might have acted out, he might have rebelled. But he cared. He wasn’t a bad person.




Ian died on that trip. An engine malfunction of a boat while he was right next to it sliced him in instants. Leah wasn’t there, He met up with other friends at the little town they went to at night time, not inviting Leah each time. But somehow when Leah’s parents got the call, Leah was at the hospital in moments, to hold Ian’s hand. Nothing was enough. He died.



My parents knew about it as “the boy from California who died.” They didn’t address it much. There were many deaths in our state, and in the country. I don’t know why, but I cried about it. A lot. We had probably 3 really meaningful conversations, and that’s all it took to make me want him alive again more then anything. Suddenly things felt different. I don’t know how to explain it.






I got sadder. I lied to myself a lot. Maybe I’m just sick. Yes, that’s it! I need to just rest. It’s normal to cry a lot when your sick, it’s because of the fever right? Yeah that’s it! But after about 3 weeks of a “bad cold that wouldn’t go away”, I stopped lying to myself. I cried and started driving myself insane. And I just assumed I was crazy. That there was something wrong with me. That’s what I told my parents.




I gathered them and said I had something important to say. When I started to cry, I think my parents thought it was about grades, that I was failing a class, and I saw their faces shift to anger mode.





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