I will never forget the time Jenny brought her pet parrot to Girl Scouts. We were only 8 or 9. We never laughed that hard again. Perhaps my fondest memories are of those days, when we didn't care about anything, we could just say what we thought and got it taken care of. But things change.
I moved away from my friends, the neighborhood that i lived in all my life, the school that i attended since first grade. Things had definitely changed. That was in fourth grade. In sixth grade, everything was a constant state of disorientation. No one from my original elementary school remembered me, and i hardly knew anyone from my most recent school. The one person that I immediately re-connected with was Jenny.
She was just as quiet and reserved as ever, the familiarity of an old friend was more relieving than any guidance that a counselor could give me at that time. Needless to say, we went our separate ways in high school. She was gone for 9th grade to live with another parent, but when she came back I was astonished to find that she was a completely different person. The shy, quiet girl who rarely ever opened her mouth, was an abrupt troublemaker. But I could not just get rid of a friendship that had endured so much already. So at first I made an honest attempt to rekindle that friendship. Unfortunately her changes overpowered mine, and we failed to communicate throughout 10th grade.
In the beginning of my junior year, my brother in law called to inform me that a 16 year old from our area had shot herself. I figured, I'm sure I'll hear about it tomorrow, and thought nothing more of it. But the next day, there was a moment of silence in memory of my good friend Jenny. I was literally dumbfounded. I sat down in my seat and just stared. I couldn't believe that this little girl from my brownie's troop had actually taken her own life. I sobbed all day, walking through the halls. I got looks from people passing, as if I shouldn't be this upset. Every time I saw someone laugh, or smile, I would get furious, thinking "How could they be laughing? Don't they know Jenny's dead?" But it didn't occur to me that not everyone was affected. That was the kind of person that Jenny was.
To this day, I still feel like maybe if I had made more of an attempt to rekindle our friendship, I could've gotten her out of the wrong crowd, and maybe things would be ok. And I doubt I will ever forgive myself for not attending her funeral. I just could not bring myself to do it. I was ready to go, in the car, and I just broke down. I still cry sometimes, just because I know now that people can get so desperate that they feel they have no resort.
I hope, for not only their own sake, but the sake of their friends and family, that they will realize that it's really not that bad. I hope they think about the effect their absence will have on the other individuals in their life. Jenny was simply gone too soon, and I still have trouble accepting the fact that I won't see her walking down the hall, trying to avoid eye contact. Or standing a few lockers down, acting as if we had never met in our lives. As odd as it sounds, that is what I miss the most, aside from her of course.