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This isn’t a story of love or hope. This story isn’t supposed to inspire you or make you believe that there will always be a happily ever after. This is my story of how I led an innocent girl to her tragic downfall and how I’ll never be able to forget it.
I met Alison at the beginning of the most unforgettable summer of my naïve, teenage life. Destiny led us to be at the same gas station at the same time on that blazing hot June afternoon. After fixing the air conditioning in her car and then going out to lunch with her, we became friends. When I first started to get to know her, she seemed like your average teenage girl who had her whole life planned out. Get perfect grades, go the college, get married, become successful, and retire wealthy- that was her basic plan, like most suburban high school girls these days. But whenever she talked about the future her eyes would wander off into a sad gaze, making her look lost in anything she talked about. After awhile of knowing her, I realized she wasn’t as confident with her life as she let off. I decided to try to help her in order to see her happier and hopefully more sure about herself.
I’m a big believer that we control our own destinies and that we need to live our lives to the fullest, but in order to do these things, we need to know who we are. I thought that if Alison found herself, she would be happier with her life and more confident in whom she would become. To aid her in doing this I just introduced her to things she never truly tried. I wanted to replace the daily rut she was stuck in and encourage her to do things out of her norm. Little signs from Alison showed me that my help was working positively for her.
Together, we looked at the magnificent pieces of art in our city’s art museum. I could tell the paintings spoke to her because of the spark in her eyes when she gazed at them. Her favorite was Monet’s Butterfly. I think that’s because it reminded her of her childhood, a time when she was free, a time when she could be herself and not worry; that carefree attitude that she missed is what made her eyes light up whenever she saw it.
We also did things like volunteer work that showed her a different perspective on how life can be for different people. Volunteering was very rewarding for her view on life. Her favorite was when we went to a children’s homeless shelter to babysit the kids during their free time. Her face glowed brightly with a warm smile when she was playing with them.
I introduced her to other things, but these two are the most important for my story. She did enjoy the other things, but the volunteer work made her more confident and complete. The children majorly impacted her and filled her with a happiness that she wanted to keep for the rest of her life. After a lot of strenuous discernment, she decided she knew what she actually wanted to do with her life. First, after high school, she would go on a mission for a year that she found online that helps children in impoverished Brazilian communities to have a better life. After the mission, she would come back to the states and earn her Master’s Degree in education and teach young children from bad neighborhoods in America. When she told me these plans, she was bursting with excitement about the joy this life would bring her.
But then she told her parents. I always assumed that her parents were you’re typical twenty-first century suburban parents: giving their children what they want, believing in their children’s dreams, and supporting them along the way. But Alison’s parents were more close-minded then I thought. They completely shot down her idea of going away for a mission because they wanted her to go to college right after high school and go into a professional field that guaranteed financial success, like law or medicine.
Alison felt completely lost again they disagreed to her plans. I wanted to scream at her parents for doing this to her. How could they not support her? How could they not realize she would be completely happy doing these things? How could they be so selfish?
I didn’t hear from Alison for days after that happened. I tried to text her and call her, but she would never answer. I started to think that I did something wrong, but I couldn’t figure out what. One Friday night, right before I was about to go out, I got a text from her reading “remember that you’re my best friend”. I texted her back asking her if she wanted to hang out with me, but she never responded.
It turns out that that was the last time I would ever hear from her. I got a call the next morning from her parents telling me to come over to their house. They told me in blood shot eyes with tears rolling down their faces that Alison was dead. She committed suicide by overdosing on pills last night. I was completely shocked. My mind went blank and an empty hole started to form in my stomach. Her mom was screaming at me that it was my fault. I started to believe her.
If it wasn’t for me, Alison could have lived the normal, plain life that was meant for her. The moment that I got to know her brought her downfall. I meant to help her with her life, not destroy it. I wanted her to be happy, not dead. Every day I think that Alison could have lived if it wasn’t for me, but the way she was going along in life, trying to please everyone else, wasn’t really living. I tried to change that, but I’m starting to think I shouldn’t have interrupted her life at all.
The walk home from her house, after hearing the news, was the most miserable walk I have ever had in my life. I went slowly and tried to ignore the feelings that I wanted to show. But those emotions were starting to burst out of me, and tears poured down my face. I had to stop to compose myself in order to not collapse from depression. As I was about to start walking again, a butterfly landed on my shoulder. I smiled as the tears rolled down my cheeks. I will always miss her.