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A girl I didn't know, from my town, commited suicide a few days ago.
That option is now officially off my 'Ways to Escape' List.
I am guilty of thinking of suicide as an option more than any teenager should. If I had another of many bad days, I would just think about everything that had gone wrong, that day, yesterday and what was still to go wrong. And when I thought of everything, I was tempted by the black abyss, by the slithering voices calling my name. By the time I snapped out of it, there was already a knife at my wrist...but I had the luck to stop myself. For poor Lexi, it is now too late.
But one day, I was struck with an epiphany, a revelation. It was on March 25, 2010, two of my friends' birthdays and my parents' 15th anniversary.
It wasn't when we watched "Paper Clips" in English. It wasn't when I said "Happy Anniversary" to my mom and she hugged me. It wasn't during the birthday celebration that my friends and I had at lunch. It was when my grandma came and picked me up from school.
Everything was the same, like everyday. Her car still had that "new car smell" and 'Jekyll and Hyde' reverberated throughtout the whole car. Except that when we crossed under the green Union Boulevard trussels, there flew a gallantly blowing black banner for all residents and visitors to see. It read, in neon pink lettering:
WE LOVE YOU, LEXI!
I must have only seen it for a second but it still unleashed genuine tears from my eyes, even though I hadn't even known or seen Lexi. I di know, however, that she had been a senior in high school, a fantastic soccer player, and was even supposed to go to play for Dowling College in the fall. I didn't say anything to my grandma; she didn't even notice I hid my despair so well. Instead she started telling me of what had happened that morning, when she had dropped my little sister, Julia, off at school.
"You know how her friend always comes up to me and says 'Hi Julia's grandma. You're so great. I like you.'?" She asked.
I nodded hoping she'd get me home soon enough before I exploded with tears. The banner still flew mournfully over our grieving town. Inside me, I knew that we would keep it up until it was completely torn down by every force of Nature.
"Well, Julia must've been jealous because today, when her friend started to come up to me, Julia grabbed him by the wrist and marched him right into that classroom." She started to laugh. I tried to laugh, but it was like the black banner was a winmill just trying to blow the tears farther down my face. I trembled trying to keep them out of sight.
"I tell you," my grandma said. "She's a winner, that one."
"Yeah." I managed.
That right there was my epiphany, my revelation.
My sister. Julia. I couldn't follow those voices forward, without hearing my sister's behind me. Believe me I've often thought about how everyone always says the cliched "There are people who care about you, How could you do that to someone who loves you?" And I'd never beleived it until then.
Sometimes I wonder, 'How can I say that? She's bossy, needy, selfish, etc.' But... I just couldn't.
Sometimes I laugh. 'Yeah. Without me, who would she steal food from?' or 'Who would clean her room for her when she refused to?'
I wouldn't do that to anyone, nor wish on anyone.
We all have our parts in the Ladder of Life. If a rung is abruptly removed, all shall collapse. Only a long slow ejection of the oldest rung will leave the ladder where it stands. Getting up may get harder, but you'll make.
Yes, you will make it. I guarantee you that if Lexi had kept going, she would have been to the top before any of us, and higher. Even though she didn't, you will and I will.
Whether you make it for yourself or someone else I'll meet you at the top. I'll meet you. I may never meet Lexi, but I'll meet Lexi's friends and family. And most of all I'll make it, with Julia.