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My inspiration is my life. I went through this myself, Marie being my best friend. I hope that people will understand how unique and complicated depression is. It has different roots in different people, and they way that it acts and people handle it are all unique. But I did include a few underlining truths to hopefully help in understanding why some people act the way they do. I sprinkled advice in there that I hope people will take.
My step dad shakes me awake and I feel terrible, not physically but mentally. I wake up with one thought on my mind: my father hasn’t called since August. It’s now December. Those four months show that my father doesn’t want me now. I tell my step dad that I’m sick and need to stay home. Since it is his birthday, he’s in a good mood and agrees. I go back to bed, trying to ignore the thoughts that tell me I can’t handle this.
When I wake up again, I immediately check my phone and see that it’s about ten o’clock. My phone dings and a text from my mom pops onto the screen. It’s a list of chores to do if I feel well enough. I know I’m not legitimately sick so I drag myself out of my bed to start with the dishes. My house is quiet since I’m not up to playing any music. For some reason, I crave the silence. Allowing that thought to overtake me is a big mistake, a fatal mistake.
The silence is a perfect escape to allow my thoughts to be free. Thoughts of what my mom has done to me and my brother when my parents went through a divorce haunt my mind. I think about how she must have not wanted me then and question why she would want me now. I can’t come up with an answer, not a single answer. I can’t help but feel even more worthless. I go to my room and start crying, wanting to numb all of my pain.
Hidden in the far back corner, under my bed, I have a small wooden box. It contains the only thing I need, the only thing that can silence the overwhelming pain. I carefully pull out the sharp silver piece of metal and apply pressure. Once I start, I can’t stop raking it across my legs over and over. Red oozing from my body as I start feeling lightheaded. I love this feeling; it’s my own version of a high. Before, the only pain I felt was emotional. It was internal. Logically, I don’t understand how I can hurt so much with the only cause being my thoughts and emotions. Making the pain physical is almost satisfying. It’s a good pain. It feels right. Unfortunately, the physical pain isn’t enough to distract me from the thoughts crashing around in my head. I think about tomorrow, something I never want to go through.
I don’t want to accept the fact I was committing suicide but deep down I know what I’m doing. I decide it is best to leave a note in case my life does end. I pull out a notebook and a pen and let my thoughts fly onto the paper as if no one would read it.
To the finder of this note,
I just couldn’t anymore. I don’t fit in at school. It wouldn’t really bother me because I am quite introverted but this is different. Everyone at my school judges me. One thing that is eating away at me right now is Aurora. She is this girl in my class who is beyond perfect. She gets straight A’s, is athletic, and drop dead gorgeous. She’s got it all, covering the whole spectrum. Everybody wants to be her friend too. Not to mention she has both parents; I would kill for that, well not literally. I want both of my parents. This whole stepparents thing, it hurts. I shouldn’t be envious of her but I am. What makes it more of a problem? She’s my best friend so I can’t talk to her about it; I can’t hurt her like that. I wouldn’t want her to know I envy her. Everything is just piling up. School responsibilities, home responsibilities, family issues, loneliness, envy, everything. I just can’t do this anymore. Just know that it wasn’t anyone else’s fault. There is nothing you could have done to stop this. You’ll make it without me. I was just destined to die.
Next, I find myself in the kitchen, filling a glass of water. There’s a smooth round container in my other hand. I walk back to my room slowly, listening to the silence that I will soon be a part of. I open the container and pull out a pill. My thoughts are still bouncing around in my head as I swallow it. It’s not enough and one by one the pills slowly disappear into my stomach.
The more pills that I take in, the more the voice in my head tells me that I’m worthless. As the container gets lighter, the voice gets louder. I’m out of pills, but it doesn’t seem like enough. One last time, I crawl into my bed. The list of pains repeats in my head, over and over.
1. I’m worthless.
2. My mother doesn’t want me.
3. My father can’t even bother to call.
4. The pain continues to build up and I can’t handle it.
5. No one understands enough to take me seriously, my pain is a joke at my school.
Finally, the voice begins to fade away and my thoughts clear. There is silence.
Marie wasn’t at school. I was a little worried because she kept telling me she kept going to the hospital in the middle of the night for the past couple days, mostly from passing out. I thought it was just from malnutrition. I texted her but no reply. History class started, nothing different from the usually stressful, mind-throbbing class. Next I went to gym. Everything went as routine calls but something felt off, felt wrong.
I met up with Lizzie for lunch, as I did on a daily basis. Walking to our spot, it was eerily silent. We sat at our spot, the small round table in the middle of the library. That little ill feeling seemed to grow by the billions every second there was silence.
I broke the silence, “So where’s Marie?”
“I don’t know,” Lizzie replied. “Although, in French class, Madame asked her stepbrother where she was and he said he doesn’t know. I thought that was odd considering they live with each other so I think he knows but just won’t tell anyone. I heard some girls joking around about her killing herself.”
I was speechless. I couldn’t imagine my life without Marie. I felt sick, all of a sudden light-headed, and headaches, and stomachaches. Everywhere hurt. Lizzie noticed that and told me we don’t know that for sure so just to stay calm. I just nodded. I tried to breathe, but my breaths were too shallow. Everything was so surreal, so fake. I was so confused; I couldn’t organize my thoughts. Every possibility, every outcome of life without Marie raced across my mind, each carrying a red flag. No green flags. I don’t usually journal but I had to for this because I need to try to organize, organize something, anything.
Here is what I know:
- Jenna, my oldest sister, was admitted to the hospital a month ago, because as my mom put it, “She isn’t emotionally well…” Gosh it annoys me how people try to sugar-coat the fact that my sister is suicidal. Either way it isn’t okay. I had visited her a couple times and her scars from self-harm on her wrist stood out like a diamond, not a glamorous one but definitely catches your eye. I didn’t say anything; you should never point out scars.
- I know that I myself am going through emotional turmoil. It is hard to keep your head high when everyone around you is going through trouble and I feel the need to help everyone else at the cost of my own well-being. A mix of stress from school, low self-esteem, and not allowing myself to get the help I need is causing me to feel so down. I’ll just keep quiet though.
- My aunt and uncle died in a car accident 2 years ago, and that is still haunting me. They were such a big part of our family; we were very involved in each other’s lives. My mom took the accident very hard because she was very close to her sister and even her husband. They had a daughter that we adopted into our family, and that is Lizzie. I was very fortunate to get along with her very well so we are best of friends.
- Now this. Marie is in the hospital, or possibly dead. No answers. I’m so lost and confused.
I showed up to school early as called upon by routine. Sitting there with an overenthusiastic smile on my face (not really, it’s school), I waited for my day to start so it could end. I noticed that Marie had not come in. She had told me 3 times this week that she was in the hospital during the night from malnutrition.
8:20 hit, and the morning announcements came on. The robotic voice was so easy to drown out. I do that like every other mindless student in the school until I hear, “Lizzie and Aurora Nicholls to the guidance office.” The monotone voice kept rambling on names and locations as Lizzie and I made eye contact with fear and shock spread across our faces. I glanced at Marie’s seat and she matched my expression of concern. We walked down there, too fast. My heart paced, mind raced. I couldn’t control my shaking fingertips, my emotions or thoughts, anything.
We walked into the office of this foreign being that is said to fix all of your problems. The office was small. Her desk was very organized; her walls painted with inspirational quotes that made me sick to the stomach. There was a strong sense of lavender, usually sweet but that was overpowering. Her desk was empty in front of her so there aren’t any papers she had to give to us. In the space where a computer or paper or something should be, her hands were placed in the middle. They looked calm, almost too calm.
“Hey girls,” she said in a very sweet, honey voice. “I wanted to sit you down and talk to you about a situation with Marie.” There was an uncertain hesitancy in her voice that built anticipation with every word. “Now from my understanding you two are fairly close to Marie?” We simultaneously nodded. “Okay, I’m going to try to put this as lightly as I can…” So much hesitation, each second caused the temperature to rise in the room. “Uh, last night she had overdosed on her antidepressants. Her family took her to the hospital as soon as they found her. They tried everything to get them out as soon as they could, but it wasn’t fast enough. Unfortunately, that took her life. I’m so sorry.” All I could do is look at this foreign being and hate filled my heart from top to bottom for her. I hated her. No! She must have been lying, it couldn’t be true.
The rest of this delightful meeting was quite foggy. My mind left; I was no longer me. I watched as one of the girls sitting in the office got up with tears in her eyes deliberately scream, threw chairs across the room, and excessively cried. I was snapped back into reality when Lizzie pinned me down, and said, “Aurora, Marie committed suicide. She’s gone.” I stopped. I looked at Lizzie as my muscles relaxed and simply said, “Fine.” That line, what she said to me will forever ring in my mind. I will always remember the look on the foreign being’s face as she struggled to tell us what happened; I will remember the look Lizzie had as she had to snap me back to reality. The expression of worry, sadness, and sympathy. An image forever imprinted in my mind to haunt me every waking and sleeping moment of the rest of my life.
The foreign being started talking again. “Now girls, if you would like we have great therapy programs because it is a lot to handle.” I wanted so bad to be gone, it to be an awful dream. I wished the worst for this “guidance counselor.” Yeah, guiding me to my worst nightmares. I said, “I’m fine.” As I stormed out the door, I overheard the foreigner calling my mom and recommended she talk to me and Lizzie about it. I went the rest of the day with that line on repeat.
When I got home, as expected, my mom was on the swing and told me to come talk to her. “How well did you know Marie?” She asked.
“Uh, not that well. We worked on some projects but I didn’t know her that well.” I responded, expressing little to no emotion.
“How are you doing?”
“I didn’t affect me that much. I’m fine.” I said. I didn’t want to talk about it, especially with my mom. I just don’t like talking to my mom, she always blows off my problems like it’s my fault. Everything is my fault anyway. What bothers me the most is she believed my most said lie, “I’m fine.”
As many thoughts were scattering around my head in a rush, I did notice one in particular. It said, “Antidepressants are supposed to help people handle their depression, but it is what killed her.” I went to my room. I just sat there, locking the door to my heart. All that was left was a hole, but it is better than the emotions.
Aurora, Marie committed suicide. She’s gone.
Aurora, Marie committed suicide. She’s gone.
Aurora, Marie committed suicide. She’s gone.
I worried all weekend, trying to distract my thoughts from the possibility of Marie being gone. I walked into history and waited for Marie. Each minute brought a new horrifying thought.
8:13. There is still time, unless she’s dead.
8:14. You survived another minute without Marie, just millions more to go.
8:15. A minute alive, is another minute closer to death.
8:16. She suffered such a painful death of loneliness; why didn’t you stop it, Aurora?
8:17. Prepare to bury your best friend.
8:18. Time is running out. No, it’s already gone. Too late.
8:19. My heart and mind was racing, not sure which is going to crash first.
I hear footsteps. I hear a slight sigh of relief, come to realize it is my own. Marie looked a little lost and shaken as she entered the large classroom. I asked my history teacher if I could go talk to her. He agreed sympathetically. We went out the door and stood there in the vacant hallway, with that one kid who taking his sweet old time to get to class. There was silence for a couple of prolonged seconds. I decided to break it.
She wouldn’t look me in the eyes, she kept her eyes fixated on the white tiles. The hesitancy in her answer lasted centuries. I took in everything. There was a strong smell of my history teacher’s coffee; there was no one in the hallway. Every little noise, creak seemed like an airplane on my ear. I didn’t want to remember anything from this moment but I felt I needed to.
“I don’t remember. I remember getting ready for bed and next thing I know I woke up in the hospital. It was scary. I felt so alone and lost. I didn’t remember what caused me to get there but I remember feeling hungry. My stomach was empty. So was the room. No one was in there other than the nagging doctor that kept asking me questions.”
I sensed that she was leaving something out. I confronted her but she said that was all she remembers. I nodded. It’s her right to decide what to say and what to leave out. I tried to keep her talking but she gave short, quick answers. I knew silence is a killer because it lets those thoughts, not good thoughts, come. This is clarification for why some people blare their music. We use it to drown out the voice in our head holding us down. This is also why we give the silent treatment when we are mad. It’s not always that we are ignoring; it’s just our minds are racing trying to figure out what is wrong, the aspects and emotions, and how to fix it. I decided she wasn’t going to talk about it so I told her let’s get back to class.
At lunch, I couldn’t find Lizzie or Marie so I decided to go wonder. I found them but they didn’t see me. I overheard, “Does Aurora know?” I decided to eavesdrop. It was a little loud but their conversation went something like this:
“Does Aurora know?” Marie asked.
“I didn’t tell her but I think she figured it out.” Lizzie promptly replied.
“Oh great. I’m going to tell you what happened because I really need to get it out but don’t tell her. If she ever found out, she would freak and put security regulations on me.”
What? What doesn’t she want me to know? She is right about the last part. I care about her so much, I am kind of the protective mother of our relationship. I’m that type of person who cares and loves because I don’t want anyone to feel that emotional pain. I try to be there for everybody. That is why she refers to me as school mom. I kept following from a distance, enough to hear but them not notice. Despite the hollering voices and strong smell of fake pizza, it was easy to drown out.
“Well, I wasn’t feeling so good when I woke up so I asked to stay home. I was home alone and the silence ate away at me. I went to my room to cry and cut myself. But it wasn’t enough so I went to the kitchen and grabbed my antidepressants I haven’t taken in a couple weeks. It was full but soon it was empty. I woke up in the hospital. It was so scary. I had a pounding headache. The room was so empty. There weren’t any windows or chairs. It smelled grossly clean, almost like they painted the walls with hand sanitizer. The IV was so tight around my arm. The doctor came in and asking me questions like ‘would you ever hurt someone or an animal?’ and ‘how are you feeling? Why did you take those pills?’ I couldn’t answer anything; I was shaking violently. The doctor moved me inside a small, isolated room with a camera. It was so scary. The thoughts seemed so much worse in there. I question why they saved me. I wanted to die so bad.”
When I heard that, time froze. No voices, no smell, no movement. Everything stopped. The next 30 seconds went in slow-motion. I must have gasped or shrieked because Marie and Lizzie turned around; their faces enveloped in shock and shame. I couldn’t think. I immediately ran away, with tears pushing roughly against my glued shut tear-ducts. I didn’t know where to go, just away. While pacing, Ryan grabbed my arm.
“Whoa. Slow down there, are you okay?” He said full of concern.
“Okay? No.” I said short of breath.
“Want to talk about it?”
“No. I mean yes, but not here. Not now.”
“What are you doing after school?” What an odd question, why would he care?
“What? Oh, nothing.”
“Okay, meet me at my locker after school. We are going to go on a little walk.”
“Okay, thanks so much Ryan.” I kept pacing around, avoiding Lizzie and Marie. I even forgot to eat, but it didn’t bother me. I’d rather focus on my hunger than the pain in my soul right now.
After school wouldn’t come fast enough. Ryan and I took a nice walk around town. The weather was perfect, it was silent. The peaceful silence, not the killer silence. He first warned me that he is not really good with advice and he’s not really the person to talk to. I just told him that it was okay; I just want him to listen. I’m so alone. At this point, I don’t care about people understanding or helping. I just want someone to listen. I explained to him what I overheard Lizzie and Marie talking about, describing the betrayal I felt that she wouldn’t tell me, and how it was awful way to find out. I explained my desire to want to sit down and talk about everything but at the same time avoid them. Ryan didn’t say anything. He, like promised, listened. It was nice to get it all out to someone who cares.
I woke in a haze. I mindlessly got ready. I had a Spanish test today, totally forgot about it until this morning. It’s a morning class too so I couldn’t study during lunch.
I went to first block. I caught myself multiple times staring at Marie’s empty seat. Next was Spanish. I couldn’t stay focused, couldn’t write, couldn’t think. I would refocus my brain for a split second before my screaming thoughts grabbed my attention. Aurora, Marie committed suicide. She’s gone. I couldn’t help but think it was my fault. That I should have noticed, should have listened more. There was more I could have done to stop it. I did that to her. I made her kill herself because I wasn’t there... Aurora, Marie committed suicide. She’s gone. That line was on repeat; it wouldn’t shut up. It was like a freakin’ fire alarm that won’t stop sounding its siren till you stop it. Sadly, the only thing that would stop this fire alarm is death, and I’m not going down that road.
Spanish test, right. “Translate the follow quote: ‘Està bien ser feliz.’” It’s okay to be happy. Not right now, I can’t be happy. There is no such thing as happiness in high school when everyone wants to die, and one got away with it. I started scribbling my paper fiercely in anger.
“Aurora?” My Spanish teacher said. “Aurora!” I snapped back into reality.
With my hand relaxing and my mind realizing what had just occurred, I replied, “Yes, sorry Senora.” She looked at me sympathetically.
“Why don’t you go take a breather?”
“Yes. Okay, thank you Senora.” I got up, everyone’s judging eyes following my slumped body out the door. I stood in the hallway, not exactly sure how to calm myself. I remember reading about a grounding exercise that is supposed to calm you when you are anxious, so I tried it.
Name 5 things I see:
1) dull, blue lockers,
2) a teacher teaching English with an overenthusiastic smile,
3) white tiles mapping the floor,
4) a day of the dead skull on Senora’s door, and
5) stairs leading outside to the fenced softball field.
The exercise was sort of helping, I just had to remember to breath. In, out.
Next, 4 things I feel:
1) my twitchy, sweaty hands fidgeting against each other,
2) my achy legs struggling to keep me upright,
3) my back leaning against a locker, the lock digging into my shoulder blade, and
4) my temple pounding simultaneously with the beat of my racing heart.
I remembered that I had to calm my heart, so I slowed my breathing. In-2-3-4, out-2-3-4.
3 things hear:
1) heaters heating up the school while snow is threatening the skies, and
2) that one teacher that is always yelling to get the hyperactive teenagers to pay attention.
As I was listening to name a 3rd, I overheard a conversation between two girls around the corner. A sassy, high-pitched voice said, “Yeah, I heard Marie killed herself.”
The other one replied with a chuckle and mockingly said, “Such a shame.” Both laughed. Each word, each laugh haunted my brain. Before I knew it, I saw them turn the corner. I didn’t recognize either but both had a malicious smile on their face.
“Yeah, her brother doesn’t even know where she is.” The high-pitched voice said. “At least that is what he said in our French class. Everyone was joking about it, but really though. She is so worthless, there is no real big loss here.” Anger, that is what I felt. I started walking towards them. The protective inner side of me was starting to take control. She never really comes out so I’m not sure what she is fully capable of doing, but I think I’m about to find out. When I came an arm’s length away, I raised my right arm with my fist clenching. I punched the girl with the high-pitched voice right in the face before either of us could process what happened. My arm kept punching, back and forth. All around me, students were gathering to see what was going on. Teachers are trying to restrain us, no me. Protecting her, but restraining me. I just fell into a blank mindset that kept telling me to hurt her.
I was forced to the office to wait for my mom. The principal and the guidance counselors didn’t even attempt to talk to me. They knew what was wrong. Ryan walked by and looked at me empathetically. Sympathy and empathy are so pathetic. Probably why pathetic is in sympathetic and empathetic. They are just an excuse to hurt yourself trying to save someone else. People use it as an excuse to love someone, not love but think you love.
My mom came and got me, and as soon as I closed the door, my mom was rambling about discipline. I just stared out the window. She kept talking about how “violence doesn’t solve anything.” I just ignored her and for once since Marie died, I heard silence, and I loved it.
Christmas’ aren’t usually very exciting for me, but I was particularly excited for this one. I had made Marie a quote jar, which is a jar full of 365 quotes that had to do with self-worth, motivation, and attributes I see in her. I had wrapped it in bright blue wrapping paper because it is our favorite color. I had invited her over since her family doesn’t do much to celebrate Christmas. She heard her approach the door and a smile grew on my face as I rushed to grab her gift.
“COME IN!” I yelled. As she opened the door, I shoved the neatly wrapped jar into her hands. “Open it! Open it!” I rushed. She just laughed and smiled. She neatly opened it. She took her sweet dang time. Oh my gosh, it was so annoying. I looked at her with anticipation to see her response. She just looked at it. I couldn’t read her expression until she looked up with tears swelling in her bright blue eyes. She smiled as she choked back the tears.
“What?” I said eagerly. As I looked into her eyes, I could see years and years of pain allow a glimmer of gratitude and happiness to show.
She said, “Thank you so much! Nobody has ever done something like this for me. Thanks for being such a good friend.” It felt so good to be appreciated. It was such a nice feeling to know what you are doing and work so hard on is able to help someone. Life lesson: you have more of an effect on people than you realize. Use it to your advantage, don’t use it against you.
The rest of Christmas was just like any other with white snow blanketing my yard and the aroma of hot chocolate in the air.
I really hope these quotes help Marie.
Who thought burying a teenage girl on Christmas was a good idea?? I guess it was the only day around this time that worked for Marie’s family. Since the suicide was done by internal damage, they left it open casket. As I slowly approached that casket, Marie’s relaxed face was revealed. It was a new sight, almost comforting. There was no sign of pain. Her face was relaxed, no sign of worries of what others thought. Her shoulders were relaxed, no sign of anxiety. Her hands were still, no sign of fidgeting. She looked so calm and peaceful. As much as it was painful to see her, she was no longer in pain.
Next was the burial, a scene so depressing and morbid. It is so hard to describe what burying your best friend feels like. I can’t describe the pain in realizing the only person who keeps you sane and whole is now 6 feet underground. I’ll see you later, I said. This isn’t a goodbye.
Marie’s mom asked me if I would come over to pack up Marie’s room because she couldn’t. I understood what she was going through so I agreed. I went over and entered the familiar room. Silence. The echoes of gossip and laughter no longer bounced off the wall. It smelled like Marie. This flowery scent beginning to slowly fade. I could feel the cold breeze from the window.
I just stood there taking it all in. Where do I begin? I decided the night stand near the back, left corner of her bed. The top drawer was full of old school work. I saw the Napoleon storybook we worked on. She drew all the pictures and I wrote the story. We make such a great team. We made such a great team.
The next drawer had ribbons, medals, and other awards. She was so great at everything; talent was her middle name. Not really, but almost. When I was looking at the distinguished honor roll award, I saw a glimmer of light shining into my eye near the head of the bed. I found it was a clip on a small wooden box. I opened it. Tears swelled up. I found a ring. The ring that meant the world to her because it had a little gem containing a drop of her brother’s blood. She hasn’t seen him in so long. I put it on my index finger with such ease; it fit perfectly. The ring was screaming at me to keep it to remember her by. I bought into the temptation and left it on.
Next I pulled out a blade, so small. A blade no longer the bright silver it once was; it is now stained with red drops. The blood that the blade became a part of. It looked so harmless, yet it raked her legs thousands of times. It could map out her legs and arms because it knew them so well. I didn’t know what to do with it, the object that helped Marie feel her pain. It took her blood and in return left a scar to haunt her, to remind her, to kill her. I decided to put it back, it should never come out again. I moved onto the bottom drawer of the night stand. I found a bland, grey notebook. I opened it, which I immediately regret.
I was transported into an empty room, Marie’s mind. Multiple walls and mirrors, each with multiple phrases. The walls were covered in graffiti. “Worthless.” “Inconvenient.” “Better off dead.” “Nobody wants me.” “Goodbye…” The walls said that. The mirrors reflected as a reminder, there was no covering it. It haunted her mind and I saw them. I was in her mind.
I closed the journal fiercely. When I did, a paper flew out. I gasped when I saw my name. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone, or write down what the note said. I couldn’t bring myself to look at it ever again. Marie’s last thoughts were on that page, and it was based around me.
How can no one see it?? It was everywhere. It was hidden under the concealer on her arms, hidden in a wooden box under her bed, hidden behind 1/10 millimeter piece of paper. If I just noticed it, I could’ve helped her. I should have noticed; I could have saved her. This is my fault. She told me how strong I was, that I could make it without her but I definitely can’t. I can’t move on without her. I am so disappointed in myself that she trusted me to be strong without her but I can’t. This messed me, the “perfect” me she described is most definitely gone, if she ever existed. The best advice I can give everyone right now: suicide doesn’t get rid of the pain, it just passes it to another person. Please remember this. Suicide is something you shouldn’t joke about because it is an awful, touchy subject. You never know what anyone is going through. When you joke about it, it hurts. Please just don’t.
When I finished her room, I went home. I brought the wooden box with me to protect her family from ever finding it. That little clip is protecting the pain inside the wooden box, it’s small but it is going to have to do. That box will never open again.
I should have known myself better. Instead of that box never being opened by Marie’s family, it was opened by me. I saw that blade. No it didn’t cut me, but it snapped something inside me, everything inside of me. I was done. I closed my eyes, never to be opened again. I held Marie’s ring tightly between my hands. My arms will once again feel Marie in my arms, but my eyes won’t see another day. Which I am totally okay with.
Today is the end of this year, meaning tomorrow is a new me. The new Marie. I am going to change for the better and let nothing drag me down. To do that requires me to burn everything that would remind me of the past, the darkness. I invite Aurora over, not telling her what I am planning for our special New Year’s party. I tell her we have a special mission. It is 10:00 PM. She walks into the house quietly. We hang out for an hour and a half. Gossip of course is included.
11:45. I start gathering everything. I grab the small, wooden box under my bed, the journals hidden in my nightstand, everything. Aurora isn’t sure exactly what I am doing but she just sits there trying to get it out of me. I just avoid the subject because I am too excited and I want to surprise her.
11:55. I get the lighter and head outside.
“Oh I see what you are doing! Are you ready?” Aurora said. She knows me too well.
11:59. I tell Aurora to start the countdown to midnight.
“10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEARS.” We both yell as I light all of the memories of my dark past down in flames. We sit down on the grass, watching the ash carry away my memories. My list when I passed out on December 15th no longer exists. It is now replaced with a new list:
1) I am worth everything.
2) I may not mean something to many, but I mean the world to Aurora, my parents, and so many other people that I don’t realize.
3) I am super smart and talented.
4) I am strong. I will always make it through trials.
5) I will always have Aurora; she understands. And this one person makes it worth it.
This is a new year, a new me. The old Marie was burned up in ashes and is now replaced by a better, more positive Marie. I love it so much.
As we are sitting on the lawn, watching the ashes travel into the sky, I can’t help but think about boys. You can’t hang out with your girl without talking about boys. Aurora hates it. A smile grows on my face as I turn to her and say:
“So, how about you and Ryan???”