AN: I'm really sorry if there are grammar errors. I wrote it in like three hours. I hope you enjoy it. ^_^
“You probably don't really know who I am, but I knew you. I was always envious of you. I didn't know this would happen though. I wish I had done more to stop it. I guess I saw the signs, but I couldn't imagine that you were abused. I mean, you were so open and friendly. Nothing like I was, so shy and always willing to please. I really wish I had done more.”
I had been thinking about what to say ever since I heard the news of her death. Makayla was such a sweet person. I looked up to her because, despite her popularity, she managed to be nice to everyone including me.
I don't really have any friends because I was so messed up. Both my mother and father had been very abusive and neglectful toward me. I know that's a bit of a contradiction, but it's true. When one was abusive, the other was neglectful.
When I was about twelve, my father overdid it a bit. He had broken my arm as well as left some horrible looking cuts on my face with a beer bottle. I told the doctor it was an accident, but my teacher pulled me aside the next day I went to school. I didn't mean to at first, but soon I had told her everything.
My parents were told they weren't allowed to come get me and a social worker took me away. I've only seen them three times since then and I've never been alone with them. My grandmother took me in and I've been better ever since. I still can't get over the shyness or my obsessive need to apologize, but my self confidence has recovered some.
Ah, but I'm getting off topic. This isn't my story after all. This is Makayla's story. She's not quite like me really. Her abuse didn't come from an adult. It came from her boyfriend. His name was Jarred and I never really liked him, but that was mainly because I was in love with Makayla.
I didn't really think he would hurt her. They seemed so in love and happy together. The longer they were together though, the less she talked to other people. She was especially withdrawn when he was around.
I always used to say hi to her, but as time passed, she stopped saying it back. The biggest signs came about a week before she died. I saw them, but I didn't believe them; I couldn't. I have to blame myself for her death, even if I wasn't that close to her.
She started walking through the hallways with her head always down, never making eyes contact. Clumsily, she would bump into people and fall over. One time, she tripped nearby me. I helped her pick up her fallen books.
Two thing happened then. The first was that I saw the bruises on her arms and her side were her shirt had pulled up slightly. The was also a deep cut on her right cheek. I didn't mean to, but I reached out and ran my finger over it.
That was when the second thing happened. She jerked back nearly a foot with a noise of shock and fear. Snatching her things out of my hands, she mumbled, “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry.” Her face was filled with fear until she recognized me. “Oh,” was all she said before standing up and leaving.
I didn't understand that oh at the time. Now I did. It was a way to say, “Oh, you're not Jarred. Oh, you're not going to hit me.” Right then I decided to talk to her about it. It was three days before I say her alone again. It seemed that Jarred was always by her side.
Finally I caught her coming out of the girl restroom. Her eyes lit up with surprise at first. They only calmed once she picked up on the fact that I wasn't Jarred. She didn't say anything, but she stopped, so I assumed she would listen to what I had to say.
Trying to ignore the dark purple bruise on her neck, I asked, “Is everything okay, Makayla?” She seemed to jump a bit at her name. Regardless, she just nodded her head. I sighed, “If anything happens, just tell me. I'll help, okay?” Thankfully, she nodded her head. At the time I thought she was just humoring me, but it was still better than her saying no.
As I was about to start talking again, her eyes widened in something akin to horror. She was looking over my shoulder, so I turned my head. Jarred was glaring at her as though I didn't exist. “What are you doing talking to a loser like this? Come on Makayla,” he said grabbing her arm harder than nessecary, “We're going now.”
She didn't fight him and was dragged along easily. I didn't see her the next two days at all. When she finally came back to school, she seemed worse than before. I decided against approaching her for her own sake. It went on like this for three more days.
I will never forget that Monday night. I was sitting at my house doing my homework just like usual when a knock sounded on the door. I asked my grandparents if they were expecting someone. They asked me the same thing. A bit confused, I answered the door as someone knocked a third time.
The second the door opened, Makayla fell into my arms. I don't know how she knew where I lived, but she did. I realized with shock how much she was bleeding. A knife was sticking out of her stomach. With a wound like this, she can't have been far away.
“Makayla!” I shouted. Her face was blank until then. When I yelled her name, she smiled very weakly.
Her voice was very faint and only two words escaped her lips, “Something happened.” At first I didn't get why she had chosen that phrasing until I remembered what I had said to her only a week ago.
Her eyes closed as she continued to bleed everywhere. I called out to my grandparents and they rushed over to me. At some point, 911 was called. The night became a blur. I refused to leave her alone and I went to the hospital with her.
You might think this is the end of the story. You're wrong. She didn't die that night. She managed to recover, but she had to stay at the hospital. She didn't wake up until the next day. I visited her. A lot of students did. Like I said earlier, she was very popular.
Most of them didn't know what really happened. They thought it was an accident. That was what Jarred was telling everyone. Makayla didn't argue with him, but she didn't agree either. I told her to tell. I said everything would work out that way, but she didn't believe me.
On her last day at the hospital, four days later, I was going to bring her flowers. When I reached her room though, I heard the news. She had overdosed on aspirin. I could only imagine why she had done it. She must have thought that was the only escape was death.
I guess it should give me some comfort that he was going to go to jail for his abuse, but he was probably going to get off on the fact that he caused her suicide. I may not know her too well, but I knew that she would have never considered suicide if it hadn't been for him.
If I had done something earlier, maybe she would be still here, still alive. I was told not to live on the ifs though. My grief councilor told me not to. It's hard not to though. I really did love her.
I know you're expecting me to say I did something noble like help to end child abuse or become a social worker, but I didn't. I did adopt three abused children though. Poor little kids who didn't have loving grandparents to take them in, but that's it.
I suppose I always did keep my eyes open for signs, but they never came. I guess god knows a person can only have so much abuse in their life before they break. My breaking point would have been reached if I'd had to suffer like that again.
I did end up marrying. We had two kids in addition to the three we adopted. I tried to adopt a fourth, but they wouldn't let me. I guess it's not that big a deal. I already have five wonderful children, but her case had reminded me very much of my own. Our three adopted children were obviously damaged, but I like to think that, in adopting them, we made their lives better.
I'm not sure what to think about death, but I do wonder if I'll meet Makayla in heaven, if such a place truly exist. I've often heard that suicide is a crime too terrible to go to heaven, but her case is special. She was bullied into seeing no other option. I had to believe I'd meet her again.
I remembered so well the last words she said to me to day before her suicide. “Chris, don't forget about me.” When I asked what she meant, she just shook her head. I'd had to leave without pushing the issue because visiting hours had ended.
As I thought about it, I whispered aloud, “I have never forgotten you Makayla.” As the wind slowly blew the the trees I could swear I heard something odd. I knew it was impossible, but it sounded just like her laughter.
I laughed in response and said, “I loved you.” The wind seemed to respond again. This time with four little words, “And I still do.” Then I walked back into my home with a smile on my face.