It had been three days. Three whole days since Nora O'Brien went missing. No one heard anything of her that previous Friday at school. Everyone at Springbrook High knew her face by now, maybe even her name. The town wasn't that big, but a lot of people didn't bother to take the time to know everyone. So when word got around the following Monday morning that Nora O'Brien had been missing, most people's initial reactions were confusion.
Who was Nora O'Brien? Only a few people knew. Most likely the friends she associated herself with. But Nora didn't have many friends still. In fact she only had one person that she would even call a friend. Nora and her twin brother Dominic moved to the small town of Springbrook from Washington state right before school started in August. You'd assume she would have more friends than just a couple acquaintances by now, but Nora wasn't always the best at socialization. It had been about half a year since she moved into the town and the only person that she would consider a friend was Kaila Thompson.
Kaila was the first person who noticed Nora's absence during school that past Friday. She left several text messages, called a couple times, and left a voicemail. She knew her friend. It wasn't like her to not show up to class or school at all. Kaila saw Nora as the quiet goody girl that was too afraid to even bend any rule in the slightest way, quite the opposite of her twin. Of course she wouldn't consider skipping school all together. It wasn't her character.
The two girls met their first day of senior year when Nora moved to Springbrook from Washington state. They met in their first period of the day, calculus. She realized that the both of them had most of the same classes together and thus, they became friends. Nora was very intelligent in Kaila's eyes. She seemed to know everything at the right moment and she always received good grades. But the thing Kaila didn't like too much about Nora was how gullible she was. Nora didn't want to always be that girl in the shadows, the girl that no one knew. She wanted to be known at school and the opportunity at popularity came like a calling to her. Addison Lee, pretty much your cliche popular high school girl, started talking to Nora about a couple months ago, but Nora didn't know it was just so Addison could get to Dominic. She was smart, but oblivious to that sort of thing.
Nora's relationship with Kaila didn't completely end, but it was obvious that there was a rift between the two of them. They didn't hang out with each other as much and would sometimes go a couple days without even speaking. Kaila distanced herself away from Nora purposely. She didn't want to be with someone who valued something as superficial as popularity over a friendship.
But now Kaila was feeling extremely guilty for Nora's death. To Kaila, nothing seemed off about Nora. Sure, her social life wasn't that great, but Kaila had no reason to believe otherwise. It was a complete shock to Kaila when Principle Ricci called her to his office and informed her that Nora O'Brien had committed suicide.
Only a few people knew of Nora's death: her parents, her twin brother Dominic, and now Kaila. She was shocked to say the least. She sat there in the red leather chair for a solid minute, the words that came from Principal Ricci's mouth finally sinking in. Her eyes glanced around the bland looking office, moving left and right as she stared at the few pictures on his desk of his children. Kaila couldn't believe it. And she didn't for a moment until Principal Ricci had to reiterate. "Kaila, I know that you and Nora were close…" Principal Ricci's voice trailed off as Kaila stopped listening to him.
Her left hand gripped the arm of the seat tightly throughout the conversation and Principal Ricci couldn't help but notice it as he glanced down. "If you need anyone to talk to, Kaila, you can come see me in my office" a soft voice said. Kaila's head turned toward the back of the room. Her eyes focused on Ms. Rowan in the corner of the office. She didn't even notice her guidance counselor in the room until now. She saw Ms. Rowan raise an eyebrow. "Okay?" she asked and Kaila nodded. That was all she could do. Her initial thought with all of this was why Nora would kill herself. Not once did Nora express any desire for not wanting to live.
Kaila slowly got up once she was dismissed. Her mind felt clouded with questions that she couldn't seem to answer. She quietly closed the door behind her with one hand and ran her other hand through her curls slowly. "Wow" was all she could whisper to herself as she started walking away from the principal's office.
She noticed Nora's twin brother Dominic sitting in the front of the main office with his mother. He had his face in his hands and his backpack was there with him. His mom, Ms. O'Brien, had her blue hospital scrubs on. She worked as an Intensive Care Unit nurse at the Springbrook hospital. Her eyes were an almost bloodshot red. It was obvious she had been crying for a long time. She was looking down at her lap with an overused tissue in one hand.
Kaila stopped by Dominic and his mom and bit her lower lip gently. "Dominic, Ms. O'Brien" she said softly without thinking. They both looked up at her as she opened her mouth to speak but no sound came out. She wasn't sure what to say to her friend's brother and mother. "I am so sorry about what happened" she said softly. "I...I didn't know Nora was…" Kaila couldn't bring herself to finish that statement. It felt like too much for her. "I'm sorry" she mumbled again as her cheeks began to turn a light pink. She gripped one of the straps of her backpack that was on her shoulder before walking away from the pair, not even staying to see what their response would have been.
She walked out of the main office and walked slowly through the halls. She gradually made her way to her locker, ignoring the students that were pushing past her to get to their next class. The words kept repeating in her head: "Nora O'Brien committed suicide." Kaila wondered why Nora would even do something irreversible like this. Nora had ambition, a lot of it. So the question was, why did Nora O'Brien commit suicide?