I Wish It Hadn't Happened | Teen Ink

I Wish It Hadn't Happened

January 23, 2013
By xLauren SILVER, Virginia Beach, Virginia
xLauren SILVER, Virginia Beach, Virginia
8 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." ~Westley (The Princess Bride)

I wish it hadn’t happened.

Not in the way it did. Not at all, maybe. I don’t know. Looking back, I can’t even remember why it started. I can’t remember who said what, who hurt whose feelings, what cruel words were said. All I can remember is how it ended.

I wish it hadn’t happened.

I remember standing there, laughing at some stupid joke, Katie standing next to me. Everything was as perfect as ever, except maybe that it was a little too cold for us to be at a park. I remember the car pulling up, those girls getting out. In retrospect, I probably should’ve known then. I should’ve had some premonition, felt the malicious intent as they approached. But all I could think about was the damn cold and how I wished we were somewhere warmer.

They put their hands on her.

I don’t remember how it happened. It was cold, and I was still too caught up in that stupid joke. One second I was laughing, the next, Katie was on the ground. I watched them shove her shoulders, watched her fall. The remnants of my laugh were still spilling from my lips, disjointed now, frozen and incomplete.

“Hey, you shouldn’t…” I started, but I didn’t finish. One look from one of the older girls silenced me.

Those were the only three words I said.

I just stood there, freezing, watching them. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t grab them. I watched as they knelt down to her level, spitting poisonous words in Katie’s face and beating her. I remember thinking “I wish they wouldn’t do that. If she has bruises on her face, she’ll complain about how it’ll make her look.” And it was so cold.

They didn’t stop until I couldn’t recognize her. They left, shooting a glare my way, and threatening that Bad Things would happen if I told. One grabbed my shirt and pulled me close to her. Her breath smelled like hate. They left, and it was all I could do to try and help Katie back home. One of her eyes was already turning purple, a flower of a bruise blossoming across her cheekbone. She couldn’t see out of it right. Blood was pouring from her jaw and her nose, so much that I couldn’t assess the damage.

She was crying.

I wish it hadn’t happened.

I remember, I kept thinking “having her lean on me is nice. Makes it much warmer.” Me and the damn cold. Three words and the cold, that’s all I could offer her. I wish I wasn’t so useless. I should’ve stepped up. I should’ve shoved them, or told them off, or at least suffered alongside her.

Later, after I’d read the note, I would spill these thoughts to countless therapists. I’d tell them all about what I Couldn’t Do, spill the long list of regrets and shame. But none of it mattered. Not when I was standing there a month later in my black dress, cold like that day. Cold while I stood there and watched them lower the coffin into the earth.

Those therapists would tell me that it wasn’t my fault. That I was only six, what could I have done? Those girls were easily eighteen, like Katie. I couldn’t help my big sister, not in any sort of effective way. They would say that her long history of being bullied was what did it. That bottle of pills had nothing to do with you, they’d say, and you have no reason to be guilty.

But she’d been bullied all those times.

And none of those times did she decide life wasn’t worth living.

I guess having someone standing there, your little sister, a hero, doing nothing, could compel you to kill yourself. I can only imagine the feeling of those girls fists, looking up through the blood, and seeing your only hope standing there doing nothing.

And the whole time, selfish me could only think about the cold.

I wish it hadn’t happened.

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