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French class. I thought she was weird; she thought I was a b****. Never did I ever think that we would be best friends. Our French teacher had pulled a guilt trip on both of us, talking us into walking in the homecoming parade. I swear that he had some sort of secret plan to make us friends that we just didn’t know about.

The dancer in her spoke when she stated, “We have to come up with some sort of fun choreography for this.”

“Obviously.” I smiled and laughed. That was when “Walk, walk, run, run, run, run, pivot, pivot,” was born. Something that only the two of us (and maybe Mr. Russell) would know about.
That day we learned that we were more like each other than we would have ever expected. She was always smiling and laughing, but the better we got to know each other, the more I learned that her laughter was a kind of cover.

In December I first noticed the small cuts that lined the insides of her arms. Her motivation faded; all she ever wanted to do was sleep. Getting out of bed to merely go to school became a challenge.

One day at lunch I finally worked up the courage to ask her what was going on.

“I’m diagnosed with clinical depression. I had recently been able to deal with it pretty well, but lately I just can’t take it. No one wants me here. There’s just no point anymore.”
I never thought I would encounter those words coming out of her mouth. “That is entirely untrue. You have so many friends and family members that love and care about you. Don’t worry about stupid people. You shouldn’t give two shits about what they have to say.”
She shook her head and looked down.

The subject quickly changed, and that was the end of the conversation for that day.

Every day she would slowly and reluctantly open her Facebook account only to find terrible messages from her peers. They lived to make her miserable. A single tear rolled down her face as she read, “The world would be better without you. Just end it already!”

At this point enough was enough. She was in such a dark place. Time after time she had to crawl out of this darkness, but this time the blow was too hard, and she was in too deep. She had one person who she felt cared, so she messaged him goodbye.

It was the perfect set up. It was the middle of the night, her parents and brother were fast asleep on the second floor of her house. Her sister away at college, and she knew that if she was going to do it, she needed to do it right then.

She slowly but eagerly made her way to the kitchen to find the Xanax that was prescribed to her for her depression. She screwed the top off and swallowed the contents of the bottle. She grabbed her neck. She felt the pain of the mass of pills rolling down her throat as she made her way to the living room and sat down in her favorite chair. Her dog ran across the room and jumped into her lap. She could slowly feel herself slipping away. She was happy. She was ready. This was what she had wanted all along. She believed all of her peers would finally be relieved of her burden on society. She felt her eyelids getting heavy.

Suddenly, there was a huge crash at the front door and four cops bust threw it. Everyone in the house woke up. She heard the piercing whine and saw the lights of the paramedics pulling up in front of her house. The paramedics were running in with a stretcher and their big bags of fancy equipment as her family ran down the stairs. She was quickly loaded onto a stretcher and removed from the house.

She looked back to see the cops talking to her family. Her mom was shielding her face in pain and had her arms wrapped around her husband. Her brother looked like a ghost. Tears ran down her face as she realized what she had done. Then she blacked out.

Slowly she opened her eyes to an all white hospital room. The hot sun was beating on her face and irritating her eyes. She realized that she was alive and well.

“What happened? How did the cops find out?” she asked her mom as she lay weak in her hospital bed.

“You messaged your friend goodbye, on Facebook, remember?”

She played with the bed sheets between her fingers and looked down.
Reluctantly, she spent the next few weeks in the hospital and met many kids around her age who were dealing with the same things as her.

“So how have you been?” I asked when I want to the hospital for a visit. I looked down at the hospital bracelet on her wrist.

“Better. I met so many new people dealing with the same things as me.” She smiled.
“I’m so glad to hear that!” I smiled back.

“As time goes on, I will get better and better. I just need to start focusing more on the positives in life and a lot less on the negatives.”

“That sounds like a great plan to me.” I smiled. “So what’s the food like here in the hospital?” We both laughed and reminisced about the days of “Walk, walk, run, run, run, run, pivot, pivot”.

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