(Trigger Warning- I will be talking about a friend that I lost last year. )
How have you all been doing? I hope that everything is well and that you’re managing to stay somewhat sane during this weird time. Lately I’ve been able to read a lot more, I just finished reading my second book since the beginning of august, which is two books more then I read this entire year. “Me Before You”, by Jojo Moyes, is one of them. I would love to write a review on that book in another post someday maybe, but in this blog I would like to talk about the feelings that I felt after finishing it. This book talks a lot about life and death, and it really got me thinking about something that I’ve been putting off for a long time.
When I was eleven, just going into 6th grade, my parents told me that we will be moving to a different country and that I will be going to a new school. Of course, I was sad, scared and nervous. I never switched schools before and I didn’t know anyone from that country. We moved there during summer break, about a month before school started. My mum signed me up to the girls’ volleyball team that started training in the summer, so I could get to know some of the girls before starting 6th grade. This was probably the best thing that she could’ve done, even though I hated every second of training at the time. I knew no one, I had no intention of getting to know anyone either. I was mad at my parents for taking me away from my friends, for putting me into a school that I didn’t want to go to. Nonetheless, I still went to every single practice. I saw all the girls whispering and looking at me, and I felt awful. One time during practice I locked eyes with one of the girls, let’s call her Bella. At that moment I just knew: we were not going to be friends. She was kinda mean to me in a polite way, if you know what I mean. I didn’t really care at the time, I simply left it as it was. On my first day of school I found out that she was in my class. We were pretty mean to each other- blocking each other’s exit, giving each other death stares from across the room, etc. Looking back, I really don’t know why.
Around a month after that first day all of the girls from my class were playing volleyball during our break time, including Bella and myself. At some point during the game, one of us, I can’t remember which one, passed the ball to the other. We both slowly started only passing the ball to each other, without saying a word. After that break was over, Bella and I started being nice to each other and slowly became friends.
We were never BFFs, but we were on pretty good terms. I was her classmate, and she was mine. I remember one time, when I got to school early and only the both of us were there, she showed me her legs, after shaving them for the first time. She was so excited and happy, feeling quite mature, I assume. When I asked her if a cut that she got from the razor blade hurt, she smiled and said, “You do what you gotta do”. We both laughed at that, and all was well.
Two years later my parents told me that we were moving again. I saw that one coming, because I knew that we would only stay in our new house for a short time but, I was still really sad. On my last field trip with my class, a few months before the end of 7th grade, I decided to go to all of the students who I ever been mean to and apologize (it was only Bella and another boy lmao I wasn’t a bully, don’t come at me). I went up to her and said sorry for my behaviour at the beginning of the previous year. She smiled at me, said that she was also sorry, and we hugged. It seemed to make her quite happy, and maybe she felt like we were much closer afterwards, because she threw me a “goodbye party” at her house. I was very surprised, but I was also young so I didn’t think too much about it. She hanged up many photos of me and my friends, and glued an image of me on a notebook in which the rest of the class wrote their phone numbers and nice messages. After the party I said goodbye to everyone, and we moved. In the next two years I didn’t think of her very often, and if I did then it was only because we sometimes talked on snapchat or I saw her instagram stories or photos. I never really thought about how she was doing- after all, I never felt like we were really close. To me, she was mainly a classmate.
But at the beginning of my freshman year in high school (in a different school of course) she got diagnosed with cancer. I had her in my mind, and I would follow her stories and updates on social media, but I didn’t feel like it was my place to say anything to her. We haven’t talked in two years, and it seemed to me kinda fake and wrong to simply text her saying how much I love her, when we both know that I would’ve never done so if she wasn’t sick. I also didn’t want to offend her for that same reason. She was pretty positive on social media, but our mutual friends told me otherwise. in the beginning of my sophmore year, when she got really sick, I decided to dm her on instagram. We chatted for a bit- I told her that I wasn’t sure whether to text her or not, because we really aren’t that close, but that I do care for her very much and am here if she ever needs me. She texted me back, saying thank you and promising to update me if anything changed. She never did, and I never asked.
Around august 2019, right after I returned from summer camp, my mum took me aside and told me that Bella passed away a few days before. Normally I’m quite an emotional person (I’m a pisces, for god’s sake!) but I was okay. I was in a bit of a shock, but I didn’t cry. I didn’t know what to do, really. It felt very weird, like I was supposed to be sad, but also not, because I haven’t seen her in longer then three years. During my junior year in high school I still thought of her every now and then. Our mutual friends would post her pictures on the instagram, saying how much they miss her. But it wasn’t until I read “Me Before You” that it hit me- she was once very much alive, but no longer is.
It was very diffucult for me (and it still is) to wrap my mind around the idea that she simply isn’t here. Because I live too far away from that area, and because she wasn’t that present in my life, I never felt that change. Until now. It’s terrifying to think that a few years ago I saw her slowly growing up- playing volleyball, shaving her legs for the first time, hunging out with her friends- but her life stopped. She never turned into the woman that I saw her turning into. It’s terrifying. It made me realise that no one is safe- anything could happen at any given moment, and you will never know when’s the last time that you’d experience something, or see someone.
I feel pretty bad for the way that I acted- I should’ve tried harder, check in with Bella on a daily basis… even though I didn’t see her as a very close friend, she clearly saw something in me if she decided to throw me a goodbye party at her house. I know that I never wanted to hurt her, which is why I never insisted to recieve updates from her- I didn’t want her to think that I’m only asking because I feel bad. I’m very glad that at some point I did say something, I did try to recover our friendship- but after I sent that message the ball was in her court- it was her choice whether to keep on texting me or not. Or was it?
I still have no idea what to say or how to cope, because it all just hit me two hours ago. I really felt the need to share all of this with someone- so there you are.
But I guess that that’s it. I’m still thinking about her, especially now, and I was wondering- how to you deal with something like that? It there a specific thing that I could do? I normally don’t get many comments on my blog posts, which is fine- I still had the opportunity to get this off my chest- but know that if you also are dealing with a loss of a loved someone, I am more them happy to hear you out. Feel free to share your story and struggles in the comments- I might not be able to understand, but I can help lift some of the weight off your shoulder.
Thank you so much for choosing to spend your time on reading my blog. It realy means a lot. Take care of yourself!