18th September 2013
How To Save a Life What defines a best friend? Is it the person you hang out with the most? The person you share any, and all, belongings with? The person you confide in for everything sacred? To me, the answer is yes. My best friend was all of that and so much more. When you are a child, nothing is more important to you then having a best friend. They are your partner-in-crime; that friendship is invincible, nothing will ever come between you and your best bud. However, it seems, life always knows how to keep a person on their toes. When I was in the fourth grade, I met my childhood best friend. Her name was Hannah and she shadowed me at my school, Pride Elementary. At first, she was terrified but she soon overcame that. She followed my every move as we made our way down the white washed, cement halls, sparsely decorated with that weeks art classes accomplishments, through each fluorescent lit, overly chipper classroom, the damp muskiness hinting of mold but never enough to peak an interest. My friends were her friends; we hit it off immediately. The next year she was enrolled, we were like two peas in a pod. We did absolutely everything together. I played volleyball; she picked it up. I played basketball, she, well, attempted it. We grew up together free as weeds, no restraints. We lived the life of a divorced child; every other weekend suffering the three lanes of red ant-like taillights trailing off into the night as we travelled to each other’s house. When we hit 9th grade and went our separate ways, it was like the dams had opened.
I switched to a private school and Hannah went to public. She got introduced to a lot of things I was never around. It started with the basics- alcohol and parties. Soon, the space between us flourished like a garden in a humid greenhouse. I thought it was because she was branching out and meeting new people; I was fine with that. However, I soon realized it was something greater and it was too late. Hannah had already fallen to the Monster. She did nothing except drink and party constantly. I tried to help as much as I could, but she kept pushing me away for this new life style of hers. Why would she choose parties and alcohol over me? Was I not a good enough friend? I did not understand why the one person who knew me the best in the world was ignoring me. As heartbroken as I was, I was angry with her. Whenever I thought about our situation, I saw red. As much as I wanted to help her, I wanted our friendship back more. Why could things not be as simple and fun as they used to be? We would talk maybe once or twice a week but nothing compared to what it was before. Conversations were short, tones were sharp, and the connection was lost somewhere in between smoking a bowl and talking about boys.
On November 5th, 2011 at11:53 a.m., I received one of the worst phone calls of my life. Hannah’s mom had called me to ask what could possibly be going on with her daughter. See, Hannah is an only child- the prized possession, the golden child. Their little girl could do no wrong and the gist of this phone call was, “What did you do to her? Now, fix it.” Hannah’s mom had mentioned her rapid mood swings, depression, and off the charts anxiety and asked for my help to figure out what was going through her mind. I did research, along with prior assumptions, and concluded that most of Hannah’s symptoms were drug related. When I confronted her, the smoke could be seen coming from her ears she was so mad. She denied everything. She turned it around on me, accusing me of being a horrible friend for believing the rumors; for thinking she
Page 3 would do drugs and become that type of person. I fell into her game, believing her twisted words. But, I had to remind myself that Hannah just was not the same person anymore and this was her way of coping with her mistakes- blaming others. She needed me to be her anchor, to get her…