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Our Stories.... My Story of a Best Friend

When you are young you always feel like you are going to live forever.

Deep down you know that you are going to die but you do not believe that it will happen for many, many years. Even more so you do not expect people around you of the same age to die but unfortunately it happens and it happened to somebody I knew.

To protect the identities of anyone in this I am going to use different names.

I had known Louise since about year 9. We met on a history trip to the WW1 battlefields in Belgium.

Everyone seemed to get on really well with her as did I. After the trip, as we were not in any of the same classes, we did not see each other much but we still said hi whenever we met in the corridors at school.

In year 10, I found that she was in many of my classes and after one of our history classes me and my friend Liz (who had also been on the Belgium trip) invited her to have lunch with us and the rest of our group. After a while, we all became really good friends with Louise (and although she seemed to try to do some stuff which we didnít agree with) we all really liked her.

She particularly became close to my friend Isobel and they always used to do everything together. They would spend lunch time sitting in our house area whispering away and collapsing in fits of giggles. However towards the end of year 10 and at the beginning of year 11, Louise started to become a bit of what I can only describe as a rebel. I can think of instances where Isobel would tell us that she would try to steal things from certain stores and Isobel would have to walk away from her so that if anybody caught Louise they would not think she was part of it. At school, she would not do any of her work.

In history, she did not do a piece of her coursework and claimed the teacher had lost it which made the teacher feel awful and yet all she could do was laugh about it. As year 11 went on, she isolated herself from us and made friends with people who were more willing to do the things she wanted to. We all could not understand what was wrong with her because she was so clever and pretty but her attitude just changed all of that.

We know that she was always arguing with her parents but we could see that that was a problem which was caused by both sides.

As we got to the end of year 11 she seemed to become friendly again particularly with Isobel. This could have been because we knew we would all be separated by different sixth form colleges and Louise still did not know where she wanted to go and she might have just wanted to be nice to everybody, I really do not know. In the last few lessons we spent together, she seemed fine and was looking forward to finishing her GCSEís.

Even at our leavers ball she seemed happy and was going around hugging everyone and saying how much she would miss them. Little did I know how poignant those words would become a few days later.

On May 20th 1999, (two days after the leavers ball) Louise had her GCSE German Oral exam. She did turn up to the school but panicked and went away. She felt so bad that she went to the top of a car park and considered jumping off. She managed to stop herself though and went back to the school to try and do it but she could not. She went to a teacher who she knew well and confided how she thought she could no longer carry on with her life. This teacher tried to convince her that everything would be ok and that messing up or not even doing a German exam would not mean the end of the world.

However, he had to invigilate on an exam and went to try and find someone else to sit with her but when he came back she had gone. At 4.30pm on that Thursday afternoon, Louise was found dead at the bottom of the car park in which she had considered whether to end her life a few hours earlier.

At about 10.00am the next morning I had a phone call from one of my friends.

She had been into school to do her oral but had had to wait because of the bad news she had heard at the house assembly she decided to sit in on. She told me to sit down and I made a joke about whatever she had to tell me must be serious.

Then she told me Louise had committed suicide.

I couldnít believe it. It was the first time anyone I knew well had died and I was truly shocked. I was revising for my oral but I had to stop as it was just too much to take in. I tried to ring Isobel but she must have been on the phone hearing the news herself.

When I finally got through to her I could not stop shaking while I was talking to her. It was just too unbelievable and I felt nothing for a long time. I had to go and revise for my oral though but it was hard to concentrate on anything else other than Louiseís death.

So many things were flashing through my head. Why did she die? Was it just the exams which caused her death? I did not know who or what to believe. That evening there was a piece about her on the local news. I got really angry with the teacher on there talking about her. She kept saying how wonderful she was and how everyone loved her. That was just a big lie. People did like her but she was not loved everywhere in the school. This may sound strange and cruel to anyone reading this that I would say nasty things about Louise but it is true and all my friends agreed. I didnít get on well with her after year 11 started but I still had some sort of feelings for her but I knew she was no angel and yet the teachers were making out that she was.

The next day (when I was supposed to have my oral) I was allowed to go to a special assembly we were having for her at my school. It was sad and everyone cried a lot. But we did talk a lot about what she did in her life and it made me feel better. I know if I hadnít been allowed to go I would have seriously regretted it.

At times we even laughed particularly when noting that all the poems and readings that were read Louise would have hated. I got angry at times particularly when I saw people who I knew had had nothing to do with her throughout her life turning up and crying.

I felt like they had no right to be here but looking back even though they did not like her they had some right to grieve as well because they had known her. After the service I had to go and do my oral which was traumatic to say the least especially after such a moving experience but my german teacher knew how I was feeling because Louise had been in her class too and I dare say she felt responsible for her death.

For a long time after Louiseís suicide I felt bad.

I hardly ever felt guilty which I in the end felt guilty about but I did feel guilty when I remembered a conversation we had in our last german class. She said quite calmly that her german oral was the only exam she was really scared about. Everyone at the time was saying that though so we didnít really take it as being any different to anyone else but perhaps she really was scared. Unfortunately we will never know.

I have visited her grave 3 times now and each time has made me feel better. It took me over a year to get over it and I still remember her nearly every day and particularly on the 20th of every month. I wish she was still here and in a way I hope that she is still looking down on us and that she is helping us through everything we do. Even if she is not, the way I look at it now is that whatever she did we had some good times and however old we get she will always stay young in our minds. Thatís how I like to remember her now is the Louise we saw at the leavers party-clever, bright, pretty and young

Also in Friends and Family...

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-Josie

 
Loss...
Have you ever lost someone close to you unexpectedly?
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I hope I never do!


©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick


©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick


©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick