Five years ago today my stepsister died of a heroine overdose. She was 19 years old. She fell in with a bad crowd while in high school, dropped out, and became an addict. The last two years of her life she spent trying to get clean. She was working 2 jobs and had even gone back to school. She was sick that Friday morning and had a terrible fight with her mother on top of it. She went out to clear her head and ran into her old crowd. I'm not exactly sure what happened or how it went so far. All I know is that they found her in an empty apartment Saturday morning.
My father called me that Monday morning before I was leaving for school. It was my senior year and all I had on my mind was my routine for the homecoming football game the next weekend. Eat, sleep, practice had been my life. I was speechless when he told me.
I wrote in my journal about it the next week. It was the night before the homecoming game and I couldn't think of anything else but that girl a mere 2 years older than me laying in that casket. I've dreamt about it ever since and still do occasionally. In fact, it was just 2 months ago that I was walking down the street and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a blond woman about my age. I could have sworn it was her. This is that journal entry.
I don't know how to feel about you right now. I know some people think it's silly that I'm so upset because we didn't even talk. Maybe it is silly. For the past four days I've hardly been able to stop thinking about you. I wish I knew what happened. Did you feel alone? Were you scared? Did you go numb? When I went into that room and saw you there I swear I saw your chest move. You're so young. Do you remember we used to play that game with the crystals and the unicorns? You know, the one you had to play the tape with. Do you remember that? There were four colors and four different powers. I wonder now if you ever thought about it when you were alive. Maybe you were looking for something in and you found it buried in the back of your closet. Your mom told me you saw me on the bus a few weeks ago and you were all the way in the back and I just sat in the front. I wish you would have said hi. I can't remember the last time I saw you...but I can't stop thinking about how I woke you up two weeks ago when I called. My friend said that you're in heaven because it wasn't your fault. It wasn't. I can't stop thinking about what would have happened if you didn't go out that night or even went out with your boyfriend instead. Why didn't they just bring you home? Why did you go out if you were sick even Friday morning? You could have stayed home with my daddy and watched movies. He would have watched a movie with you if you asked him to. It's hard for me to think that I was at a football game and you were so sick...and then I was practicing and you were four blocks away dying. I asked my friend if she thought you were in heaven and she told me that God knows that it wasn't your fault and He let you in. I think she's right. I think you made my daddy remember me. He forgot about me for a little while but he remembers me now. I'm sorry for being selfish. You don't even have a daddy anymore. He doesn't even know your gone. I just want you to know that I think of you and I won't forget you and that I'll remember you as you were when we played that game and not how you were last week. I'll miss you.
I swear I'll never forget her.