A sliver of light made its way through the closed curtains and lit up my room. I sat on the edge of my bed, my eyes fixing the outline of the vase I kept on my desk. It contained a few chrysanthemums I had got as a present recently. White ones to be precise. I tightened my fists around the blanket on which I sat, trying to stop my body from trembling. It didn’t help, so I took a deep, shaky breath. The salty taste of my dried tears lingered on my lips.
I heard a tiny squeak from my door handle as someone pushed it down to open the door. First, I saw a face surrounded by dark brown hair before the person opened the door completely and stepped in. “I heard you come home,” she said and sat down beside me. The door wasn’t entirely closed, which let in some of the bright, yellow light of the hallway. She put her arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer towards her so that I could rest my head on her shoulder. “What happened to you, Love?” I kept quiet. It felt as if I had a rope tied around my throat trying to keep all the air out. I pressed my lips together; the shaking got stronger. She knew I wasn’t able to talk just yet, so she kept me in her arms and didn’t ask further, waiting until I was ready. I loved her for her patience and her kindness. I had never had a sister, but since knowing her, I had considered her as one. We had a bond I couldn’t explain, but it felt so pure and just right to think of her as such. She was the first to talk to me when I got here, helping me out with everything the way a big sister would.
After I managed to calm down enough to talk, I sat up straight and took a deep breath before starting to explain the reason I was so upset.
I had always valued friendship a lot until I saw my closest friend walk away so easily. All the effort I had put in, just so I could keep them. Everything I had put up with, just so I could keep them! They rather chose someone that barely did anything for them over someone that put their entire energy into helping them. I had genuinely thought they would be the one that would stay, finally someone that would want me. But I had been taken for granted. They must have noticed how hurt I was, but still walked away to that other person. They cared so much about not hurting them and not leaving them and didn’t even bother to find out how I felt. They knew. They knew they were the first friend I had had in a while. They knew that I didn’t trust anyone. They knew they were the only one I had left. And they still chose to leave me. It may be stupid to get so upset about a person, but it was just the way I felt.
She carefully listened to all my words and sometimes showed a slight nod. As I looked back at her, once I had finished, she gave me a comforting smile and laid one hand on my cheek. “Don’t worry too much about this. It’s going to be fine. I’m here for you. Friends come and go, family stays forever.”
I never really thought about what was going on in her life. I was so focused on what I was doing and what was happening to me, that I never took time to ask her how she was. She always seemed so happy and perfectly fine. When you talked to her, you immediately felt a change in your own mood and energy. You couldn’t even explain how that was possible; it just happened. She only saw the good in people but did choose carefully whom to trust. She had a good number of friends, enough to not feel alone. She was often outside and often had them over. She was always laughing, or at least had a soft smile playing on her lips. She used to comfort me or help me out when I felt left alone. When looking at her, no one could have imagined that deep down, she was genuinely struggling so much. And even now no one knows what she had to go through. I deeply regret that I, too, never tried to find out.
“Friends come and go, family stays forever,” I replayed the words she once told me, the wind blowing the hair out of my face and drying the tears, leaving just a cold feeling on my cheeks. “But now you have left too…”, I whispered, looking at the grave in front of which I was sitting. A few white chrysanthemums were decorating the steel-coloured tomb. They were her favourites. They represented loyalty and honesty, but to her they meant so much more. “I think they are pretty, but that is not what matters the most. To me they symbolise pure innocence, the child who doesn’t know anything about life yet, who is just having fun and enjoying their games. Grandma used to have a lot of them in her garden, in every possible colour, but I prefer the white ones.”
‘In loving memory of Abby.’