"Cassy don't!" I screamed, lungs gasping for air after my long sprint to the bridge. The rainy wind whipped my hair in all directions and the bitter cold tore right to my bones. I stumbled over one of the railroad's wooden trackers. "Cassy please! You don't have to do this!" She was still pretty far off but I was sure I could get there in time. If I just kept her talking I would get her down everything would be fine. No one used this bridge except a few scares trains that came in and out of the area.
"You don't know!" She called back at me, and by the slight crack in her voice she was crying. "You don't know what it's like to live like me! Anything I do! Anything I say! It isn't good enough!"
I took a few steps towards her but stopped when she moved closer to the railing. One strong gust of wind and she would fall right over whether she wanted to or not. "You're good enough for me! You're good enough for Blake! Isn't that enough?"
Her expression faltered but she made no move away from the edge, "You'll get over me! You and Blake! I don't matter! Once I'm gone you'll go on with your lives as if I was never even there!"
I blinked away tears, "You're wrong!" I started to walk forward slowly, hoping it wouldn't scare her over the edge. "It could never be as if you were never part of my life! You're my best friend! I can't imagine my life without you! More people will miss you! You're family! You're friends! Blake! They'll all miss you if you do this!"
Cassy clutched the railing with both hands and cried, "I don't care! They'll get over it! They'll be happy when I'm gone! The only thing I ever do is bring people down!" She climbed up so she was standing on the railing and spread her arms. She locked eyes with me and mouthed silently, "I'm sorry Keira" before leaning back and falling. I ran to the edge and reached out for her helplessly.
"Cassandra Smith will forever be remembered as..." The priest giving the service spoke about Cassy like he knew her. He stood over her open casket in front of a church full of people who barely knew her more than he did. Her parents sat in the front crying harder than anyone else, but I knew that they only cried for show. After the service they would get back into their car, drive away and forget this ever happened because it wouldn't be that different to them. They wailed and cried and blew into their tissues. Everyone else sat in silence, listening to the priest and praying that it would soon be over. And then there was us. Blake and I. The ones who knew Cassandra Smith. Not the girl with perfect grades, not the girl who's never gotten into trouble or spoke out of turn or tried to shine or, or, or, or...No. Blake and I knew her better than that. We knew her as the girl who tried so hard to be noticed, who did everything she was told to seem like the best child in the world, the girl who never said no, who laughed at the most ridiculous things and cried when no one was looking. This is the Cassy Smith we knew, and as we sat at the back of the church, where no one could see us, we let silent tears fall down our cheeks.
"Keira!" My mother yelled at me from the living room, while on the phone with someone. It had been three weeks since Cassy had killed herself, one week since the funeral, and six days since Blake was reported missing.
I ran to the top of the stairs and yelled down, "What?"
"The phone's for you, you're going to want to take this." I walked down, took the phone from her and watched as she walked away.
I put the phone to my ear, "Hello?"
It was a man on the other line and his voice cracked when he spoke, "Is this Keira?"
"Yes, who is this?"
"Hello dear, this is Mr. Donovan, Bla-...Blake's father. I'm calling because..." I heard a sob and knew exactly what he was going to tell me. I clutched table and waited for him to compose himself. After a few long moments he continued, "I'm calling because Blake was...He..." He took a breath. "Blake is dead." No matter how ready for the news I thought I was, I wasn't. The phone slipped out of my hand and clattered to the ground. My mother heard the noise and ran in. Taking no time to notice my blank expression she picked up the phone.
“John?...Yes she just dropped the phone, the news gave her quite a shock...Yes I'll let her know, we'll be by as soon as possible...Take care." She hung up the phone and turned to me, "Keira? Honey?" My body started to shake and tears spilled over my cheeks. "Keira, sweetie, sit down." She pulled me along and sat me on the couch. She then told me that there had been a letter found beside Blake's body, addressed to me, and that we had to go to the Donovan house.
I held the envelope in my shaking hands. The back of it, where the address was normally written, was covered in Blake's chicken scratch handwriting. 'For Keira Deirdre only! Secret! Do not open!' I opened it carefully and pulled it out. The paper was dirty, crumpled and torn. Everyone in the room stared at me, expecting me to read the note out loud as if it was for all of them. I took a deep breath and walked out of the room, hoping they wouldn’t follow. Once I was alone I opened the letter and read quietly to myself.
I’m sorry this is how you heard of my death but I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt so alone after Cassy died, even with you there. I tried to get over it, I tried to get my head straight, that’s why I ran away, but I couldn’t. Maybe now I’ll be united with her. Maybe now we both won’t feel so alone. I have a hope that maybe, someday soon, you’ll be able to say the same and be with us again. Maybe you’ll join us. Until then I guess we’ll just have to wait. Take care Keira.
I read and reread the note over and over. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know whether to cry or scream. My best friend, who was always there for me, had always protected me, wanted me to kill myself. I wouldn’t do it, obviously, but it was still shocking. My hands shook so much that I had to put the note down before I ripped it in two. After many long, deep breaths, I was calm enough to shove the note in my pocket and walk back into the room. I was watched like a hawk as I stood in front of my mother and Mr. and Mrs. Donovan. I looked down and cleared my throat, “Uh, would it be okay if I…if I went up to Blake’s room and said goodbye?”
Mrs. Donovan glowered at me but her husband cut in with a sad, reassuring smile, “Of course. Take as much time as you need.”
I nodded and climbed the stairs to his room. It took a moment to get the strength I needed to open the door. The doorknob turned, I walked in and was flooded with memories.
I remembered the day we all first met. Cassy was the new girl, walking with her books clasped tightly to her chest, head down hoping not to draw attention to herself. That didn’t last long. Blake and I sat out our usual table in the cafeteria that day and watched her as she walked in. We were the only ones who did. Her plain brown hair was draped over her shoulder in front of her face. Blake took one look at her and looked to me. I smiled at him knowingly, seeing the curiosity in his blue eyes, and nodded. Turning towards the new girl I waved her over and yelled, “Hey new girl! Over here!” She looked up, surprised, and trudged towards our table. Her eyes never left the ground, her shoulders slumped and her bangs fell over her face. As she came up I moved my books and made room for her, “Hey, what’s your name? Or are we gonna have to keep calling you new girl?”
She wouldn’t make eye contact with me but after a minute she spoke up in a soft voice, “Cassandra…Cassandra Smith.”
I smiled, “Well Cassandra Smith, it’s a bit long, how bout I call you Cassy?”
She simply shrugged and scuffed the floor with the toe of her shoe. Blake scratched the back of his neck, “So, do you want to sit with us Cassy?”
She looked up, cautious look on her face, “Really? You mean that?”
I smiled, “Of course, why else would we call you over here?”
She shrugged and slowly sat down across from Blake and I. It wasn’t long before we became best friends, and Cassy and Blake started dating.
I looked around at his room, the posters on his wall of famous hockey players and wrestlers I had never heard of before. My eyes landed on a photo on his dresser, it was of Cassy, Blake and I. I reached up and took the picture off the shelf, staring at it for a moment. Slowly, I turned and walked out of the room, picture in hand.
It had been a year and eleven days since Cassy had killed herself. I sat in a long, padded, blue chair in my therapist's office, thinking about it. Mrs. Medea had stepped out to make an important phone call in the middle of our session, leaving me to ponder my own thoughts. Any time I closed my eyes I could see Cassy and Blake. Cassy's face as she fell over the edge, watching me reach for her in desperation. Blake's lifeless body lying on some downtown street in the middle of the night, the note he had written for me, telling me he hoped I would kill myself to be with them, still in his hand. I could imagine them sitting next to me, holding hands and smiling, and then suddenly their faces turn angry and they start to scream at me. I can't hear them but I know what they're saying. "Why won't you join us?" "Why are you leaving us alone?" "Why do you hate us?" I closed my eyes against the tears. This is why I had been forced to see a therapist at least once a week. Everyone thought I would attempt to commit suicide just as my friends had. I wouldn't though. I had so much to live for. They did too, they just didn't see it. As much as I would hate to say it I'm not stupid enough to throw it all away like they had, even if it meant the trio being split up forever.
"Keira?" I looked up to see Mrs. Medea had finished her phone call and walked back in the room.
I wiped the tears from my eyes and cleared my throat, "Uh, yeah?"
She frowned and sat in the office chair beside me, "What's wrong? Do you want to talk about it?"
I shook my head, "It's nothing." She sighed in response, and began trying to ask me a string of questions I wouldn't answer. I had been defiant with her from the start. She believed if she kept pestering me that she would make some sort of breakthrough, but I had no intention of letting her in my head.
My mother worried about me for a while but eventually stopped showing interest. She paid the therapy bills only because I wasn't allowed at school otherwise. Apparently having a student that may be suicidal attending classes is a liability. Not that the therapy did much. It would most likely be a reason why I did kill myself then a way to prevent it at this point. But that was a matter of opinion, of which mine did not matter to the school board. To everyone else at school though, it was a completely different story. I was suicidal whether I went to therapy or not. No one talked to me, sat with me at lunch or asked if I was okay. Though it had been an entire year since the event, they still believed it was only a matter of time until I offed myself. Like they would care if I did. I suppose some of my teachers may be saddened by my absence but other than that…
“Mom I’m going out!” I called from where I stood in front of the door, putting my shoes on.
My mother popped her head around the corner, “Alright honey, be back in time for dinner.” I nodded in response and headed out. I went for walks almost every day; a request from Mrs. Medea. She said it would help me clear my head. Little did she know that everyday my walk took me to the one place that kept my head far from clear. The bridge. I had started coming here a week after Blake was found dead. In all that time I had only seen three trains go by, though I could hear a few more from my bedroom window some nights. I’d stand right in the center, leaning on the bar and looking over the edge. I still imagined Cassy here. Sometimes I’d look down and talk to her, my delusional brain making me think that I could hear her responses. I knew that it was only my head messing with me but it was nice to feel like she was still here. This time I looked over the edge and a tear rolled down my cheek. “I miss you guys.”
It took half a second for me to hear a reply, “We miss you too Keira.”
I smiled halfheartedly, “We? So that means Blake is with you?”
Cassy’s sad voice answered after a long pause, “Not exactly. He is still here but not with me. You were the connection. Why won’t you come to us Keira? Why won’t you bring us together again?”
I squinted my eyes shut, “It’s not that simple Cassy and you know it.”
I could hear her sigh, her voice sounded like she was crying, “I know.”
That was the last response I got from her the rest of the evening. I started to walk home, walking in the middle of the tracks until I came to the road. Half way to the road a sound caught my attention. Amidst my thoughts I hadn’t realized that a train was on it’s way over the bridge and was now sounding it’s whistle at me to move out of the way. I spun around to face it and my eyes widened like a rabbit looking into headlights. At the speed it was going there was no way it would be able to stop in time. I tried to jump out of the way but something held me in place. I felt like someone was holding me back. At the last second I broke free and flew to one side of the tracks, just missing the train. It passed me without stopping and it took a few minutes to regain my senses. I scrambled to my feet, heading in the direction of my house.
"Keira, you're late." My mother complained as I walked through the front door.
"Sorry mom." I started up the stairs but she stopped me.
"Dinner's on the table, come eat."
I continued on without looking, "I'm not hungry right now. Thanks anyway."
I sat on my bed, thinking about what had just happened. Why wasn't I able to move? Why didn't I get off the tracks right away? Maybe my subconscious was telling me something. Maybe it was just fear. But I had this itching feeling that it was more than that. I felt like someone was holding me from behind, preventing me from moving. Maybe I was paranoid.
I left the subject for the moment and got changed. I looked at the picture I had taken from Blake's room, sitting on my night stand, and said goodnight like I always did. The comforter was warm as I snuggled into it. I would just try and sleep, forget the whole thing never happened.
The next day I went to school, ate lunch, got through classes, and went home. Walking in I noticed that my mother wasn’t home yet. I decided to go for a walk. It was raining out but I didn’t care. I got to the bridge before I even knew what was going on, leaning against the railing, looking down. For the first time in all the nights coming to this very spot, wind and rain lashing at my face, I felt compelled to jump. I had so much to live for, so much to look forward to, but I still wanted to end it. Maybe I should join my friends. Maybe that’s what was best for me. Maybe it’s really what I wanted. Would I be thinking it if it wasn’t? I shook my head, tears mixing with the rain, “What’s wrong with me?” I was only talking to myself, as if asking the question out loud would help me find some kind of answer. I wasn’t expecting a reply.
I looked around and saw no one, realizing that it wasn’t just anyone’s voice I’d heard…it was Blake’s. “Blake? Is that you?”
“Who else would it be?” Came the angry reply, “You’re alone and miserable, just like us, just like you left us! You deserve to be miserable!”
Tears once again filled my eyes and I looked back over the edge, “Of all people to tell me to kill myself, I never in my life thought it would be you. Why would you ask me to kill myself? Why would you leave my with that as my last image of you?”
“I did it to save you. If you had just done what I asked you wouldn’t be lonely. We would all be together.”
I shook my head, “I couldn’t do it. I can’t just leave my mom to this sort of grief.”
I heard him sigh angrily, “You think you’re mom will care if you die? Do you think any parents will care? All we are is a burden! All we do is take from them! They would love to have us gone!”
I huffed a laugh, “Is that so?”
“Yeah, my parents couldn’t care less.”
I shook my head and pushed myself away from the railing and turned, yelling at the air, “They did care! Your parents cried for months! No one could mention your name when they were around because they would burst into tears! You’re an idiot if you think that they didn’t care! You’re a moron for throwing it all away! You had so much to live for! You could’ve been so much and now all you are is dead!” I was suddenly thrown, back against the railing I had been leaning on before. It was like he was holding me down, hand clamped over my throat. I couldn’t breathe.
“You’re the idiot!” I was pushed farther so I was half hanging off the railing, over the edge. “You’re the moron! You left us! You forgot about us and went on with your petty life! Cassy and I can’t be together because of you! I can’t reach her! I can’t talk to her! All I can do is watch her cry! All!” He slammed my back against the railing, “Because!” He slammed me back again, “Of you!” I was so close to falling over that if he had succeeded in slamming me back for a third time I would have been dead, but I was able to get away. I used all my strength to throw myself forward so that I felt forward on my stomach, laying across the train tracks. I scrambled to my feet and started to run. I guessed that Blake had faded back into my mind because there was no hint of pursuit. Through the rest of the night I laid awake in my bed. I was disturbed. Not by the attack. Not by the fact that I once again could have died. But because death was starting to seem somewhat appealing.
All day I stared into space, barely registering anything being said to me. The morning before I left I walked into the washroom to inspect my back for bruises. It was black and blue. I opened the medicine cabinet and reached for the Advil, but instead grabbed the bottle of antidepressants. I had to take the antidepressants for the first few months after Cassy and Blake’s death, and most of the time I would dry swallow them because I absolutely hated drinking water. I looked at it in my hands for about two minutes before my mother cracked open the door to see if I was okay and I slipped the bottle into my pocket. I told her I had slipped and was a little sore, so I was going to take an Advil to get me through the day. She smiled and nodded and closed the door behind her.
Halfway through my third class I asked to go to the washroom. I walked out of the class, out of the school, and toward the train tracks. I didn’t bother taking my books, going to my locker to get my bag or my coat. None of it mattered anyway. I followed them all the way to the bridge, keeping to the edge as a small train with only around ten carts on it went by loudly. I looked down at the scene below and sighed. There was an uncontrollable urge to just jump, climb up and let myself fly off toward my death. I could imagine the feeling of falling over the edge, soaring through the air. It was wonderful. I could imagine the rush, the freedom, and then it would all dissolve into nothing. I took the bottle of out and emptied it into my hand. There were about seventeen capsules I put the first pill to my lips and swallowed it without hesitation. There was a voice at the back of my head, Cassy’s voice, telling me not to do it, but as I took more and more of the pills the voice drifted away. As I popped the last of the pills down my throat I looked over the edge, dizzy and disoriented. I closed my eyes and before I knew what was happening, I was falling.
(A/N this is my entry, hope you guys liked it. Word count: 3,845)