School had become a bit weird after
Martina died, people shunning me after the initial “We’re so sorry about your
sister!” thing wore off. But when Shaynne died I was suddenly alone.
One phone conversation a few days
after Shaynne died explained everything to me.
There had been a strange atmosphere in
the house. I was writing some short lyrics, very miserable, not like my usual
style. These were definitely death-metal material. Mom was cleaning, oddly
enough. She’d always obsessed over what people thought, but now she was
scrubbing furiously almost every hour of the day. The only untidy room was
mine. Dad had been watching T.V. we were all doing things that felt normal,
hoping that if we pretended that the family was still five people, not three,
then maybe we could kid ourselves that Shaynne was upstairs listening to his
I-pod, and that Martina would walk in the door any minute back from a trip with
Anyway, my mobile rang and I went to
answer it. It was my best friend Stella (or at least she was my best friend
“Hey Kat. I’m sorry about Shaynne.”
There had been an awkward silence.
Then we’d tried talking about the things we’d normally talk about. It didn’t
seem the same though, we were always stuck for something to say, not
comfortable talking to each other. Then I asked her if she wanted to come over
on Saturday. I wanted things to feel normal.
“Maybe, I’ll just ask mom.”
“Mom, can I go over to Kat’s house on
Saturday? She invited me!”
I suppose her mom thought that we were
texting, not talking, because she called back –
“I’m sorry Stella, but I don’t think
you should be hanging around with Kat anymore. I mean, her brother and her
sister both killed themselves, it’ll be her next, I guarantee you! No, the
likes of her won’t do you any good, I don’t want you to go slitting your wrists
for no apparent reason!”
Stella’s mom shouted back.
There was silence. We both knew I’d
“I have to go now, see you on Monday!”
I said too quickly and high-pitched
and hung up.
I felt like I’d been written off by
When I returned to school, Stella had
hung around with me for about a week, but it was always awkward, that phone
conversation hanging unspoken between us. She began to drift further away, and
soon she made excuses not to hang out with me anymore.
It was awful, whenever someone I
vaguely knew saw me in the shops or the street, there would be those whispers
“That’s Katrina Matthews, the one
whose siblings killed themselves, you can really see where this is going!”
The teachers at school were so…weird.
Fuss, fuss fussing if I was on my own (which I almost always was) or if I was
quiet in class.
depended on the lyrics and poems I wrote to keep me sane.