"You're lying! That's not funny, Mum!" I screamed and ran straight up the stairs, heading for my bedroom. Once there, I slammed the door hard behind me and fell on to my bed in a sobbing heap. It's not true! It can't be true! Karly loved her life, and me, she would never do anything like that. She always said she never wanted to die, so why would she do it on purpose? I rolled on to my side and picked up a photo of Karly and I, which had been taken on her 17th birthday not two weeks ago. I looked at her huge smileÃ¢ÂÂ¦she looked so happy, what went wrong? Just then, I heard a gentle tapping on my door. Mum. She carefully opened the door and peered in. I looked up at her with my weepy, blood-shot eyes. She looked at me with deep concern - a sympathetic frown that only appears on her face when something really bad has happened.
I knew she hadn't lied.
She carefully dodged her way over my bedroom floor which was strewn with all sorts of miscellaneous items - clothes, books, CD's - and sat on the end of my bed. I could tell she was nervous - well, didn't know what to say at least - because she was playing with the tassels on the end of my bedspread, which she only did when she had something important to talk about.
"RachelÃ¢ÂÂ¦" she began "I think we need to talk about this. I know it's hard. But there are some things you need to know. To help you through it. Maybe to help you understandÃ¢ÂÂ¦" I gave her a half nod, and expected her to start one of her mundane, but nevertheless comforting episodes about how everything that happens in life, happens for a reason. And it was Karly's turn to go, and she will no doubt be looking over me, wanting me to live a happy life, and bla bla bla. But instead, she said "Renae is down stairs. She wants to talk to you." Renae is Karly's mum.
"IÃ¢ÂÂ¦I can't, Mum." "Please. I think it is important." She brushed the hair back from my face, took my hand, and proceeded to lead me down the stairs to the lounge room, where sitting with a blank expression on her face, was my best friends' mother. I ran over to Renae, and she stood up. I wrapped my arms around her and hugged her as tightly as I could. I couldn't even breathe properly. But it didn't seem to matter. Nothing mattered.
We sat down on the couch, and Renae began to speakÃ¢ÂÂ¦ "My only daughter. My only child. Is dead, goneÃ¢ÂÂ¦Not even by accident. How could she do this to me? How? It's just not fair!" I put my arm around her thin, frail shoulders. "She slit her wrists. In her bed. I went in to wake her up this morning. AndÃ¢ÂÂ¦" Renae burst into tears, then I joined in, and then mum. When all the crying had subsided, Renae reached for her purse. She pulled out a small blue envelope. That was Karly's stationary, I'd given it to her when she was about 10! She never was one for writing letters much. Renae handed me the envelope, and motioned me to open it. On the front, printed neatly in Karly's perfect hand-writing "Jo".
Dear Jo, I'm sorry to leave you there without me, but I know you will be alright. We will be together again soon, I'll wait for you, I promise! Thank you for being my best friend in the whole world, you did so much for me. More than you'll ever know, and more than I can ever thank you for. I only wish I could have been a better friend to you. I'm sorry for all the times I yelled at you and was moody. I never meant any of it. Please don't think you've let me down by me leaving you. I think it was just something I had to do. As your Mum would say, it was meant to be kiddo! I know you know how much I loved my poetry book, and how many hours I spent writing in it, trying to write the perfect poem. Well I want you to have it. Hey, maybe you could get it published for me! Well, anyway, I wrote this poem for you: Too tired for any fun Too sore from eyes to the ground Got another pointless feeling That's only bringing me down It's all happening too hastily Sometimes life is only a lie That's why I don't give a damn Cos I'm not too young to die I'd prefer not to see stuff happen Than live this pathetic way But I'm just a tiny coward So I'm leaving on this day But you're so much more special than me So much braverÃ¢ÂÂ¦just like Jon So stay there and live and be happy And do what he always says, "ride on" I'll always be with you in your heart, Never think that you're alone We'll meet up in heaven one day soonÃ¢ÂÂ¦but until then You've gotta ride on, just ride on Love always and forever, Rachel I don't know how literally I was meant to take that 'just ride on' statement. But after the funeral I went over to Jon's and asked if I could borrow his bike.
The wind felt good against my skin. I knew I would never forget Karly. She was a very special person. But while she was gone, I thought I'd take her advice and just "ride on".