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Without Any Parachute
My name’s Luis Layyo. I’m a freshman at a high-school in northern California. But That’s not important. The story I need you to hear is this. The story of Arnold Kuller. He died last year. He killed himself.
I knew that he hadn't been feeling like himself for a long time. I should have been able to stop him. But I wasn’t. I failed him. I failed my best friend. And he paid the price.
The story starts like this. Arnold’s Grandfather died. Arnold’s parents died when he was about five. He lived with his grandpa up until last year. His grandma died when he was ten. His grandpa died when he was fourteen. He had three siblings. All younger than him. Rachel is now fourteen, she was thirteen when Arnold died. Danny Was eleven. He is still eleven. He is twelve in less than a month. And Ella was nine. She is ten now.
Those kids live at my house now. Like little siblings I never had. Always wanted. Not this way. Didn’t want them this way.
The death of his grandpa started his depression. Not to bad, but he wasn’t himself anymore. Then at school, kids are idiots. They did dumb things like call him orphan boy and grandpa’s boy. He eventually skipped school every other day. Maybe more. Maybe less. But they called my mom. His guardian.
If you met my mom, you would understand me better. But the thing about that is, she owns everything. That’s how her state of mind is anyway. She thinks that. Of course she understood why Arnold would skip, but she didn’t care. She screamed.
She did nothing to help Arnold. In fact, she made his life worse. His going to school again made him miserable. The shouts of “Orphan boy!” didn’t help.
The worst part is: Everybody did it. And I didn’t stop them. They were crowding his sanity, pushing him ever closer to the edge. Where he would eventually have to fall off.
And he didn’t have a parachute.
He had nightmares every night.
He would wake up screaming. My mom just told everybody to ignore him, he would be fine, then went in to his room and talked to him for about five minutes, then come back out. But his nightmares continued every time he went to sleep.
He started cutting a couple months before he died.
I don’t know how many times he cut, but i know he cut a lot. His shirts were stained with blood sometimes, or his jeans.
My mom never noticed. But I did. I noticed the knife disappear from the kitchen drawer. I noticed the blood on his clothes. I noticed his arms. But my mom didn’t. And I did nothing to stop him. And I think me and my mom doing nothing about his cutting pushed him even closer to the edge of his little cliff.
And he still didn’t have a parachute.
last year, during winter, we were just about to have two weeks off for break.
A time that should have been good. Should’ve made him happy again. Well, if you haven’t guessed so already, it didn’t.
His grades at school were plummeting. And my mom was not happy about it. She didn’t care that he was depressed. She never even noticed, until he died. Never talked to a councilor, a therapist, even just a doctor.
Mom was stupid. She made him go to a tutor for every day of break. The tutor wasn’t any better than the teachers at school. Weren’t any better than mom.
In all fact, they just pushed him closer to the edge.
Without any parachute.
And on Christmas eve, he killed himself. cut not at his arms but his wrists, ferociously, over and over.
On Christmas eve he jumped off his little cliff.
I shouldv’e been his parachute.