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It was back in January. Our friends and I were sat all of five feet away from her casket during the service. She wasn’t religious, but they held a service anyway.

I felt like I couldn’t be seen crying. My friends were distraught, feeling sick and bawling like newborns. I was like a rock. I don’t think I cried at all. How sick does that make me? The monster who didn’t cry at their friend’s funeral. What’s worse is I’m now realising I never got to break down like them. I didn’t cry for hours or get comforted by doting parents. I was left alone, by my friends and my parents. Only the day after the service did i indulge myself, and I laid in bed well into the afternoon.

What sickens me is how my school dealt with us. A student had just died, of cancer no less, and all they did was shove her close friends into an unused room, leaving us to our own devices and having a teacher check on us every hour or so. We were given less than a week to grieve as one would expect, and yet on Monday, when the first bell chimed the vice principal tried to usher us to class.

The year head approached me a few days after that. She wanted to assure me that the school wasn’t ignoring us, but that ‘protocol’ dictated that the teachers had to get the school back to working order as wuickly as possible. I don’t want to believe that that’s what the protocol actually is, but it was completely unfair. They had little to nothing to offer us in terms of grieving resources or councelling sessions. It doesn’t help that the one guidance councellor in the entire school is completely shit at her job.

What pisses me off the most is how quickly things went back to ‘normal’. It was fake. A blur of the emotional storm that had actually been brewing for months afterwards. Some school, huh.

I didn’t go to her grave, in the end. I don’t think i would’ve been able. Able to bear the sight of her mother and father mourning the loss of their only child. Her broken family and friends.

I didn’t want to have to speak to them. I didn’t want people to ask me about her. My exclusive memories that shone a light on how much better she was then me.

To this day, every time I get a pain in my leg, I wonder, ‘why couldn’t it have been me?’. I’m nobody’s first choice. My own friends habe described me as ’emotionless’ and ‘wasted potential’. How am I not supposed to take that personally?

I know I’m loved. I know i have people who would miss me and mourn my death, but hell if she didn’t deserve to live more than me. She knew what she wanted to do, she never had a bad thing to say about anyone or anything. She was athletic and spontaneous and caring. And I’m a lazy ***** who ignores my friends when they text me.

I haven’t told any of them how badly I want to be dead. I don’t think I ever will. They don’t deserve to go through my petty bullshit. But more often than not these days, I wish I could just die. I’ve considered slitting my throat at least six times while making sandwiches. I’ve considered going to every shop in town to buy painkillers so I could hopefully overdose and die. I’ve considered slicing my thighs and forearms until I bleed out. I just want so badly to end my life.

I’ve never been interested in cutting. I’ve tried it, but it didn’t make be feel better, so I stopped. Instead, I scratch. I itch my skin until it bleeds, and when it scabs over, I pick it until it bleeds again. I drag thumb tacks over my skin until the point draws blood. I poke bruises and cuts. I always feel like I’m in pain, but i just do it less obviously so I don’t have to hide scars or bandages.

I wanted to die long before she died, long before she was even diagnosed, but her dying just made me realise that it’s a possibility. She’s dead, and I could be too. I don’t fear death. I don’t fear what comes after it. I don’t believe in heaven or hell, or an afterlife of any kind. I know what I’d be getting myself into, but I don’t want to do it during the pandemic.

I can’t quite figure out why.

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