part of what i guess u could call chp.1
I was glad it was summer for the obvious reason. No school. But now I was home all the time. It’s so quite in my room without her. Everything seems so still. She keeps smiling at me from the pictures of us on my dresser and I can’t help but wonder what that smile was hiding. All the things she never told me and the reasons why she didn’t tell me. Sam was my best friend. I hadn’t needed anybody else. Now I wished I had, as my mother was always suggesting, “expand my social circle” but it had always been me and Sam. She was more than enough. And then she was gone. And I was alone.
For my birthday back in June, we went to New York City. It was only an hour bus ride from our small suburban town of Ryson, New York. We ate at a small ethnic restaurant then hung around at a coffee house listening to music and drinking coffee, Sam, and hot chocolate, me. That was our first and now last unsupervised visit to New York City. It had taken a lot of begging but we finally managed to guilt trip my parents into it. It was my sixteenth birthday. Since Sam’s parents didn’t care what she did, mine were all we had to worry about.
When we got home Sam gave me my presents: a mix cd of our favorite songs, a framed picture of us on the Jersey shore, and a journal. The journal was black and smooth with creamy white, unlined pages. I vowed not to use it until I thought of something special. I moved everything around in the last drawer in my dresser to make a space for it. I set the picture on my bedside table along with all our other pictures from various occasions. The cd we played while we talked occasionally bursting out in song at our favorite parts until we finally fell asleep exhausted.
Sam’s parents had uncharacteristically come home early from their business trips and found her in her room. It surprised me that they had gone up there at all. She had been sitting on the floor against her bed; wrists slit and blood staining the carpet. I knew her mother would be devastated. She’d have to completely redecorate the room. There was no note or any explanation. The room was eerily silent except for a barely audible radio in the bathroom. It had been July 5th; day after Independence Day. I was pretty sure I was the only one who found the irony in it.
I was in a sort of shock when my parents told me. I felt almost catatonic. But I didn’t cry; I couldn’t. I didn’t cry at the funeral or at the graveyard as the lowered her marble white casket into the ground. I just couldn’t. Most of our classmates showed up at the funeral. I felt a simmer of anger bubbling beneath the surface when I saw them. They didn’t know her or ever tried to. Mrs. was sobbing and hiccupping on her husband’s shoulder. I decided this was mostly for show, her parents hadn’t known her either.
It took about a week after the funeral for my parents to decide we were moving. I suppose they considered suicidal thinking contagious, because during that week they also decided I was going to see a counselor.
“Devin!” my mom had called down the stairs to my basement bedroom. “We need to talk to you upstairs please!”
I had groaned to myself but rolled off my bed and trudged up to the living room where I knew I was in for an uncomfortably long talk. They told me because of Sam’s “accident” as they called it, I was going to see a counselor and that we might be moving. I knew they added the “might” for my benefit. We were moving and soon. I also knew there was no point protesting about the counselor. I was going. It was all set in stone before I was even called upstairs. It seemed like the rest of my life was set in stone. It was all carved somewhere in between those words: Samantha August 18th, 1989 – July 5th, 2005.
I went to the counselor the Monday following “the talk.” It was the eighteenth of July and really hot for New York. I got there late because my mother made me change my outfit four or five times, like there was some sort of dress code for going to see a counselor. Another reason I was late was because I got lost. Not driving there but in the building. The entire place was made up of identical hallways crisscrossing each other. I wondered down each one looking for the right door. I finally found it and checked my watch. Twenty minutes late. ****. I knocked lightly and a falsely deep voice told me to come in.
I pushed the door open and immediately stepped back, blinking my eyes several times. The room was much brighter than the halogen hallway lights. My eyes adjusted and I sat down in the first of two chairs across from the man’s desk. I looked him over. He had fairly dark skin and green eyes. His face looked young but he already had gray peppering his dark brown hair. Average build and height but it was hard to tell the way he was slumping over the desk. He looked anxious but determined. He stood up abruptly, startling me a little, and stuck out his hand. “Conler,” he said clearing his throat. “Matt Conler.” I shook his hand and trying to let go said, “Devin .” I finally wrenched my hand away but he didn’t seem to notice. I glanced at him again. Twenty five or twenty six I decided. Ten years older than me. I noticed he was starring at me. I hate the way people stare at you sometimes, like they are checking you out but trying to look like they aren’t. That’s how he was looking at me.
Damn hair. That’s what it was, my hair. It gave people the wrong impression. My hair is light blonde with natural dark highlights. It was always getting me unwanted attention. Plus it did not go with my look at all. I mean you don’t see too many blonde Goth chicks. Not that I’m Gothic but there aren’t many naturally blonde punk/emo girls either. My parents absolutely refused to let me dye it darker. I always envied Sam’s inky black hair. Sam…
He eventually stopped staring at me and cleared his throat again. I could already tell that was going to get on my nerves. He looked at me like we should be talking about something but I didn’t have anything to say so we just sat there. Me looking around the room or out the window and him starring at me and nervously shuffling papers. I guess he couldn’t take the silence anymore because he sort of took a deep breathe and sighed, “So,” drawing out the “o” a little implying that I should offer up some sort of information about myself. “So,” I mumbled back. It was his damn job I wasn’t going to do it for him. He shuffled a few more papers and folders, cleared his throat, then looked back up at me and said, “So, tell me a little bit about you and,” he paused, looked in a folder, then finished, “Samantha.” I knew this was coming. I swallowed a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball and calmly explained how Sam and I had been best friends since forever and I missed her now but I knew it wasn’t my fault and how there was nothing I could do blah blah blah. I just wanted to get it over with and get out of there. When I finished my spiel he looked at me somewhat shocked. I mean my best friend had just committed suicide so I guess he was expecting me to dissolve into tears. He tried to hide his initial reaction and asked if I had any other friends at school. I told him about being on the basketball team but that I never really hung out with those girls because it had always been me and Sam
And it had. It had been that way since preschool. We were four and had started preschool about two weeks before at Wee Ones preschool. I was at the slide already half way up the ladder when I heard yelling. I looked over my shoulder and saw a small black haired girl and two chubby little boys. The boys were throwing handfuls of sand at the girl and she was failingly trying to fend them off. I quickly slid down the slide and hit the ground running as fast as my four year old legs could carry me. I screeched to a halt at the edge of the sandbox and climbed over the mini wall surrounding it. “Stop it!” I yelled at the boys but they didn’t stop. So as if there was obviously no alternative action to take I kicked one boy in the shin and pinched the other’s arm. They dropped the sand and started to run away. The black haired girl picked up a handful of sand and threw it at their retreating backs. Of course the boys told on us and we spent the rest of the day together in time out on cots in the nap room. We had been side by side ever since.
Conler cleared his throat again breaking into my thoughts.
“What?” I asked, since I had obviously missed what he had just said.
“I said,” making his voice a bit louder as if I was having trouble hearing instead of just not paying attention. “That I think we’re done here.”
“Oh…” I said. Thank God! I could finally leave. He cleared his throat again and I flinched. He reached across the desk to shake my hand again, this time using both hands. It took about five minutes for him to let go of my hand which I slathered with antibacterial gel when I got to my car. I hate guys like that, so touchy when they don’t even know you. It just freaks me out.
I rolled down the windows on my metallic blue 2004 Chevy caviler and cranked up the Armor for Sleep I had turned down while I was trying to find the place. It rains in heaven all day looooong. I took a deep breathe and let it out before I put the car in reverse and pulled out of the parking lot.
Ashley: i'm sry for the come here-go away trip i've been putting you through
Spencer: ok...whay would you do that?
Ashley: because i want you...and i don't wanna hurt you
Spencer: i can take care of myself...and with some left to take care of you