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Her Memory

I remember everything. I remember the jokes they used to make about Amanda, the things they said behind her back, the nasty pranks, her crying face.
It all started in middle school, Amanda and I were inseparable. We saw the movies and heard the stories. We were going to be popular, become greatest thing the school would ever see. I had no trouble adjusting to the school and was easily able to befriend the alpha upperclassmen, but Amanda was not so lucky. She sat in the back of the cafeteria all by herself, watching, waiting for me to call out to her. To be reached out to, to be invited, to join us in the light, but I was afraid. Losing my status seemed like the end of the world. My “friends” would have turned on me, but I did not know that I would be losing my one true friend. So, I ignored her.
It was around eighth grade when it got worse. My friends started picking on Amanda, telling her that her hair was stringy, her nose made her look like a pig, and she smelled like baby poo. I knew that none of what they were saying was true, but I did not stop them. I even joined in, claiming that Amanda’s mom picked out her clothes. It was true at the beginning of middle school, and it still seemed to be so, considering the long sleeved sweaters she wore even in the summer. If only I understood.
Amanda was not hated by everyone. I never hated her, and neither did her secret admirer. He was Galvin Kuask, the only guy in school that did not shower. I remember when my friends found out. They spent hours scheming how to reveal it to Amanda in the cruelest way possible. I was against it, but I did not stop them. They stole her gym clothes and gave them to Galvin claiming that they were a gift from her and that she wanted him to wear them the next day during gym. When he approached Amanda the next day wearing her clothes, thanking her for giving him a chance, she was mortified. She spent the rest of the day crying in the bathroom. I initially followed her, but when I heard the screaming through the sobs. When I heard her pain, her suffering, I stopped myself. What could I possibly say that would not make her hate me even more than she already did?
By the time we entered high school I knew what we were doing to her. We were bullying her. Every day at lunch my friends always loudly claimed how much they wished Amanda would kill herself. I should have said something then before it was too late, but I remained silent.
It was by chance that we became lab partners in Biology. I told my friends how much I hated spending 45 minutes every day in close proximity with her, but in truth; I had a lot of fun. It was awkward at first but soon we were talking to each other as if we had always been friends, as if I never hurt her. I even asked her why she always wore sweaters, Amanda told me it was because she was cold all the time and I believed her.
Our rekindled friendship did not last long. When my friends found out about us, they turned on me as well. They could not hurt me anymore because I finally knew that Amanda was my one true friend. Despite my indifference to their daily doses of humiliation, Amanda was still hurt. She no longer felt hurt for herself, but for me. She felt responsible for them turning their backs on me and shunning me as though I was always an outsider. No matter how many times I reassured her, she just kept falling deeper into the hole of her guilt. Nothing I did helped her.
Then came that inevitable day, the day I could have prevented. The day that Amanda died, no, was murdered. She was murdered by their words and their actions. And even my words and actions. They found her at the school, lying in a puddle of her own blood in the center of the stage. I finally saw her scars, all she endured throughout the years I spent ignoring her. The scars she felt when she thought she hurt me. This was my fault.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Jade.I.AmThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
today at 7:09 pm:
so sad ): omg!
 
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dragonsandthreeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 28 at 3:00 pm:
Amazing. Purely, utterly amazing.
 
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