I didn’t know what happened next until more than a week later. It was the week of orientation for year twelve, where we all moved around like crazy trying to find our places. In one of the rare moments that I shared with my best friend Maddi, I found out the earth shattering news that Wini was in hospital.
It was most unexpected, yet I knew somewhere deep in my heart that it would’ve come to this. I thought I knew what tragedy was and how it would unfold from here, but I found out that I had no clue. In books, when something horrible like this happen, the sky’s always stormy, with the rain mingling between the streams of tears on the sufferer’s face. Yet it was sunny and cloudless, and I was sitting on lush green grass with not a tear in my eye.
I think I was too shocked at this news to really do much, and Maddi kindly went on without me prompting her. I was bracing myself as I watched her struggle to say the words. The worst grouping of words to form the worst sentence possible.
“She tried to overdose on Panadol.”
My whole entire being was numbed as I heard those words. I sat stock still on the ground, totally struggling to come to terms with that. Finally I managed to ask if Wini was okay. Maddi replied with a small nod.
“Where is she? I have to give her a call tonight,” I said, “And we need to visit.”
“They took away her phone so don’t call her mobile,” Maddi told me, “I’ll give you the number of the youth centre at the hospital when I get home. Call and ask for her there.”
Maddi was just across from me, sprawled on her stomach. We weren’t even half a metre apart, yet it suddenly seemed like we were so far away from each other. I had come too close, too suddenly, to losing an amazing friend, and I felt as though I should keep them all close to my heart from now on. Reaching over, I wrapped my arms around Maddi and said the words that I should’ve said to her, to Wini, to all of my friends much earlier.
“You know that I love you, right? And I’ll always be here, no matter what.”