May 31, 2010

This is a story I don't like to talk about. Not to anybody. And by writing it down, I'm hoping that it will make some of the pain go away, and let me push the confusion aside, allowing me to free myself from discomfort. Although only living with this for a few months, coping is hard. I try to deny all the facts, pretending like it never really happened, but life doesn't really work like that, does it? Your brain tricks you into thinking that everything will be okay, but the reality is, things like this just never go away. They stay with you forever. Thinking about it now makes me feel sick to my stomach. But that will never change. This story is very much a mystery. Most questions are unanswered, and always will be.

Late October, I was sitting at my kitchen table, doing a project that had me thinking about my family. I was home alone. My parents had gone out to dinner with my grandparents. As I was working, my house phone kept ringing. Since I don't answer the phone unless it's for me, I didn't think anything of it. As the third phone call came in, I decided to finally get up and see who it was. My aunt's phone number came popping up on my caller ID. What could she have wanted? Honestly, I didn’t care. I just kept on working, and I didn't answer it.

Soon after the phone calls came, I heard a knocking at my door, and once I saw who it was, I became extremely confused. It was my Uncle Don. Now you see, my Uncle Don never comes over unexpectedly. Never has he ever done that. As I approached the door, he seemed frantic. "Ashley, something terrible has happened," he said. I didn't know how to react. At first, I thought it was my parents. I thought something drastic happened to them. I started to freak out. “What happened," I screamed. Nothing. He wouldn't tell me anything. He just left me standing there, as my heart began to break. "Call your mom," he said, “I need to talk to her." A feeling of relief came upon me. I started to gain strength again. Knowing that my parents were safe, made everything better, but little did I know, bad news was still about to approach me. Still not knowing what happened, I was waiting for my uncle to tell me. But still, nothing.

When my mom answered her cell phone, is when I overheard the bad news. All I remember is the hesitation in his voice, and the three words he said. "Billy is dead." No. I thought to myself. No. That isn't real. I just stood there with the blankest expression on my face. I had no words. "Billy is dead." No feelings. "Billy is dead." No emotion. I just stood there blankly. To be honest, I didn't know how to feel. The first thing that came to my head was how? How could this possibly happen? Did he get into a car accident? No, that wasn't it. Heart attack? No. He had been murdered.

And the worst part of that is, he had murdered himself.

I was in complete denial. My cousin, Billy, only age 25 has taken his life away? Impossible. No way. That can't be real. The fun loving boy I know. The happiest person I have ever met was withholding a huge secret that he told nobody about. I began to feel like a coward. I felt like in some way, if I just would have known, I could have helped him. I would have done anything to keep him from doing what he did. But it just didn't turn out like that. So many things were going through my head. I went from not feeling anything at all, to being on an emotional rollercoaster. I began to cry. I was hurt. Usually, I never show emotion. I keep everything bottled up inside, but for this, it just wasn’t like that. I was crying, and screaming, and getting mad. I was mad at Billy. How could he have done this? “He’s selfish.” I just kept thinking that. “He’s selfish.” I kept thinking about all the negatives, and all the reasons I was mad at him. Then again, I felt like a coward. I was getting mad at a person who was no longer alive to defend himself. Maybe he had a good reason for doing it, and maybe not. I’ll never know.

Billy didn’t leave a note. He didn’t leave anything in regards to what he did. He left his family and friends behind. He left all of us living on earth with questions that will never be answered. He left us with insanity. He left us with grief, pain, and unhappiness. But then again, he left us with amazing memories that will always stay close to me, and taught me to always have a positive attitude.

When I went back to school in November, nothing was really the same. I sat in classes without saying a word. I would stare and just think about Billy. Sometimes I would cry, but I’d have to hide it. I was failing tests, and not turning in my homework. Honestly, at the time, I didn’t even care. School wasn’t my main priority. Billy was.

I miss him. I go and see Jennifer two times a week to try to get over my loss, but I still feel the pain that I felt on the day he died. Therapy doesn’t really work though. Like I said before, I don’t like telling this story. Not even to her. I hold back like no other because nobody can really relate to what happened.

Still to this day, I don’t know why he did that to himself. I have some theories, but I’ll never really know. I’ll never know the truth, and that’s what gets to me the most. I just want to know why, and have some of my questions answered, but they never will be.

Billy was the first person I ever lost, and the most unexpected. He was the first funeral and wake I went to, and he was the reason I saw my dad cry for the first time. Nothing can ever replace the memory of him, and still to this day, I miss him. He has left a huge hole in my heart that can never be refilled. I just want to go back in time, and tell him that I love him one last time, before I had to say goodbye.

As feelings of displacement took over his being, he stood subordinate to an iron-monster, infixed upon two infinitely parallel tracks. It was on October 28, 2009 that Billy let the CTA blue line determine his final fate.

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