Oh my, dear Lucinda Banks, you died all alone.
Elizabeth didn't, neither did Jade, but I did. I noticed. God, I was your best friend. I loved you for your sense of humor, for your undivided loyalty, for your smile that showed all of your teeth. I loved you for your tendency to put one colored sock on and somehow get a completely different one on your other foot.
I saw past your near flawless ability to fake it. But I never stopped loving you.
-Your best friend, Melissa Adunay.
You were so full of life. Like a balloon, lifting up above the clouds away from us. I guess you finally popped, huh?
Your writing was excellent. But everyone else saw a pretender, like when you wrote you took on a pretense that you dropped when you were finished, a puppet dropping his cloak. But I saw the raw honesty that poured from you, spinning tales of truth hidden beneath layers of absurdity, and later made-up names, personality quirks that seem so real (because they are).
I just didn't do anything about it. I stood idle while you withered away, a flower tucked into a dark, dank basement of your worst fears.
What can I say?
I can say I'm sorry.
- Ms. Lizzie Muller, your teacher.
I never really knew you.
I was okay with the screened-through version, in fact, I kind of preferred it. I realized that I only saw the parts of you that you let me see, and I didn't care. I wanted my life to be as simple as possible, and the real you was more complicated than I could handle. I wish I could tell you that if I was given a second chance, I would push you, insist that you tell me everything you were hiding, but I can't. I don't know if I would.
I can't tell you that if I could, I would try and get to know everything.
-MaryEllen Johnson, your classmate.
I wonder if there was a way to tell.
But I didn't see any of the secret hints that were probably unintentionally dropped. I only saw, when I excused myself to go to the bathroom, the last slivers of blood on the razor blade in the rubbish bin. And again, the next time. Again. And again. And again.
But I didn't say anything. I pretended that everything was all right, that the world was just fine. When in fact, it had turned upside down onto my head. I think I was scared.
I'm not sure of what.
-Rowan Wilson, your neighbour.
I knew that you gave me the answers I wanted.
And I also knew that there were even more signs pointing to something serious. But I picked my book back up after you left and pretended that there was no niggling little voice in the back of my head telling me to pay attention, that this was important, that every atom in my body sensed something bad.
I ignored it.
I shouldn't have.
-Matilda Franklins, your guidance counsellor.
I'm so sorry.
You were my child, my last, the latter of two. I wish I hadn't pushed you aside. And if someone had told me that this would happen, I would have laughed in their face. But I know I made so many mistakes, that motherhood didn't -doesn't- suit me.
I wish that you hadn't had to suffer for it.
- Francis Landau, your mother.
Now I'm dead too.
- Adelaide Banks, your unspoken sister.