It upsets me how much I've forgotten about my friend. His name was Nathan and he died when I was 13.
The night he died I was practically in hysterics. I couldn't think. I couldn't breath. Nothing would work. All I could do was cry.
The next day my parents sent me to school, I had asked to stay home, but they told me I needed to be there with my friends. That we needed t help eachover through everything.
I'm crying now. This is the first time I've written what happened. Nathan died in a car accident. His father was driving, his mother was in the passenger seat and his younger brother, Jason, sat with him in the back seat.
They had just gone to a car rally, and were heading home on a windy Australian road. A man, I still don't know his name, had been drinking that night. I've been told he was horribly over the limit. He hit them. Nathan died almost instantly.
I don't know whether the others were hurt, no one ever told me. I never wanted to know the facts. I was scared. Scared of hurting others by asking, scared of hurting myself by knowing. I know they lived, but Jason, Nathans younger brother, been broken beyond repair.
The day I went to school, I caught the bus. Dad offered me a lift, but I wanted the day to be normal. I sat there, no one talked to me, not until Heather got on. She knew something was wrong. I didn't want to talk, but she was so worried. Effentually I told her. I broke down...she went into shock.
I can't remember whether Ryan was there, if he was I think Heather must have told him, I was too distressed.
I remember some things so clearly. Like I'm standing there watching it play over and over like a movie. Some bits are just hazy comprehensions of time passing...others I don't remember at all.
I had told Heather a few minutes from school. So when we arrived at the Libary I was still in tears. Heather just went and sat down, staring at our friends.
The others were concerned, I can't even remember who it was. I just know it was more friends. I had to tell them too. They didn't know yet. For twenty minutes we cried.
Eventually the bell went, outside class we found Chloe. Somehow I ended up being the one to tell her once again. She collapsed right then and there. She couldn't stop crying.
The rest of the class had no idea what was going on, why we were all standing there crying or staring at nothing, until we came inside. Mr O'Kane our homeroom teacher told the rest of the class then. He had a note, all the teachers had one. He was upset too. It didn't mention specifics, too personal for stranger to hear at that time.
I remember our group had calmed down by then, but once he saread the note a loud it became so real. Before there was a hope that it wasn't true, that none of this was happening, but those words...they confirmed everything.
I think I was sitting nex to Lauren...it could have been Alice, Chloe or even Charli, But Laurens name comes to mind. I remember telling myself I wouldn't cry in front of the class but the moment I realised what the note was I broke, again. We all started crying again the moment he said it.
The class was quite. Shock I think. He told us we could go, that there was a room available for those who knew Nathan.
We left straight away, practically running. I don't think I could stand the way the class was staring at us. Like we were some sort of animal in the zoo. One girl, Casey, I remember her face the best. I felt like I was being studied in a documentry under her gaze. Not Human.
The whole group was there, we sat for what seemed for hours crying. Eventually we talked a little, about Him. By lunch we were feeling a bit better. The comfort of our friends presence helped. We talked about him for hours, the whole day.
Nathan had two groups of friends, the others sat by themselves. I remember I was the one that aproached them, trying to see if they were alright, if they wanted to join us. I think they were angry at us for smiling so soon. For being able to be happy.
We were happy for his memory. For all the joy he had brung us. For being able to be his friend. I think we all felt guilty for smiling so soon, but I also think it was the only way we could cope.
Some of us had more time to deal with the rest. A few of us had found out the night before. I think we were the unlucky ones, having to cope the whole night by ourselfs, no one there to hug us. I think if I had gone to him, my dad would have been there for me but I couldn't...I don't think I ever connected with my dad at that kind of level, I remember wanting mum though, we had always been close but she lived hours away.
I actually envy the people that found out the next day, they had friends everywhere, comforting loving friends. They also had that semblance of reality that school brings but the dark takes away.
I called mum at the front office, I don't even know what we said or what I had hoped for, but she helped.
So many fights followed our friends death. It was such a strain on our friendship, but I think it brought us closer than years of companionship could ever have.
Some of my friends wern't at school that day, people like my friend Jason. He stayed home that day, he still regrets it. We all agree it was easier to deal with our friends around. Jason didn't have that, he dwelled all day by himself, slowly digging himself a deeper and deeper hole.
The funeral was a time for grief for most, but I just felt so numb. I'd cried myself out, I just couldn't do it anymore. I went with the school, just a few students and teachers, and I still hate them to this day, some only came to get out of class. The teachers made us stand at the back, full school uniform, bright white shirts and navy pants.
We wern't allowed to offer our condolenses to Nathans family, and when his coffin was brought out we wern't allowed near. I wanted so badly to say goodbye one last time. To hug Nathans grieving mother.
Afterwards we were allowed over, but I couldn't. I was scared. I held a rose and with all my heart wanted to go place it upon Nathans coffin, but I held myself back. Too scared to see him like that. Dead.
I still regret it.
I did get to hug her though. When everyone was leaving, me and a few of the group went and hugged her. She was so glad of our support, she told us how proud she was Nathan had such caring friends.
I remember seeing the other Jason, Nathans brother, around a month after the funeral, he was broken. He wouldn't talk to anyone. I tried talking to him a few times, but we had never really talked before and I just couldn't conect. Three years later I still sometimes see him crying. Three years later I still find myself crying. He only just recently started opening up again.
I don't remeber Nathan's voice, his favourite game even the way he spoke. I feel horrible for that. I know I loved him, as only a friend can, but I can't remember him.
I see a photo and I cry, Not as much as what we have all lost, but for what we have all forgot.
I have small memories, like a smile and a laugh, and I know that will have to do. At least I still remember who my friend is, that he was just a typical kid and one of the bestest friends a person could ask for.
That's how I always want to remember him.