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estel

I lost my best friend twice. heres my story...

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estel

I guess I'll Just start from the beginning. Sorry if its kind of long!

 

It was 2003 and I was 13 when I met my this boy, Huy. We were in middle school in New York City, a place where the shoes you wore mattered more than your ability to hold an intellectual conversation. Finding him was a blessing, he was smart, funny and adventurous... loving him was the easiest thing I've ever done in my life. We were inseparable throughout high school, we had our own world within each other and nothing else around us mattered. Huy was my first everything, my first kiss my first....well you know. Above all things he was my best friend, I was more comfortable around him than anyone in the world. Our senior year of high school in 2008 he told me he felt like there was something wrong with him, that he was different from everyone else. I didn't understand what he meant and he wouldn't really go into detail, or speak to anyone other than me about it. He only brought up this once and because it was so vague I kind of just disregarded it as him just growing up and going through normal changes in life. Plus everything between us seemed the same as it had always been.

 

After graduation, we were up late one night on the phone and he told me he thought his parents were trying to kill him for insurance money. I was a little stunned and asked him where he was getting this idea from, and again, he was very vague and said he just knew. I did my best to reassure my friend that this was not in fact true, no one wanted to kill him. There were a few other small occurrences were he had strange outbursts but, we were teenagers, I kind of thought he was partying too much or maybe just overly stressed. on a few occasions I tried to tell him to maybe talk to someone, like, someone other than me about what was going on in his head. He told me he was fine and didn't need that, so I just let it be, like always. I signed up for the military that year and would be shipping off to basic training before the new year and wanted to enjoy the last few months I had with my friend before I left.

I wouldn't get that chance though, Huy flew off the deep end very quickly. The outbursts became more frequent and he would shout things that "they" told him just out of the blue sometimes. I was more concerned than ever and I made up my mind, I was going to tell someone.

 

It was A Sunday afternoon and the day before I would get on a plane to start basic training. We were standing in the foyer by the stairs in my apt when I told him that he needed help, that I was going to tell someone because I cared about him and I wanted him to get the help he needed. This look came across his face like, like he wasn't even there anymore and before I knew it he was shouting "they told me you would turn on me too" and I was flying down a flight of stairs. I woke up in the hospital a few hours later, I had suffered a concussion, fractured my wrist and shattered the arch of my foot pretty badly. After they finished putting the cast on my foot, I wheeled myself out to the waiting room to call my parents, and there he was. Huy was standing there, my favorite snacks in hand asking me what had happened. He didn't even remember what he did, I was devastated. That was the moment that I knew I had lost him. I knew my best friend was no longer there and there wasn't anything I could do for him. His illness was now hurting me, and my plans for the future.

 

I didn't press charges, I just told the police that I had fallen down the stairs (I'm sure they didn't believe a word of that..) My parents could see, I mean im sure everyone could see that not only was I hurt physically but mentally, I was broken. I had lost so much that day and I needed a change of scenery to

heal and continue my life. So my parents sent me to live with relatives in California to do physical therapy and try to join the military again when I was better. In 2010 I was able to get back into the military. I never told anyone the truth about that day on the stairs, or my fears that Huy was schizophrenic. I just wanted to forget him. Two years later I had just finished my first deployment and he was on my mind when I flew back home, so I reached out and I went to see him. He seemed good, like life was going well for him, and I was happy. It was nice to see him but I knew that contact should be minimal, for both of us, and mostly for my heart. So I just didn't keep in contact at all, I figured it was better that way.

 

Its now 2014, I am married and just reenlisted for my second tour in the military. I haven't thought about Huy in years. That is, until I got a phone call from Huy's little brother, telling me he killed himself the night before. I was in shock and most of all just curious as to why he would think to call me, until he asked me why I had not replied to Huys message. Apparently if you're not actually friends with someone on Facebook and they send you a message it goes into a folder called 'others.' Upon opening this folder I saw it, his message... "Life is _____" ... barely three words, that's what he sent me the day before he got into his car and shot himself. His brother told me that that was the only message he sent to anyone, that I was the last person Huy tried to reach out to. I missed it and I'll never know what would have happened if I could have replied to him... I've replayed so many scenarios in my head, I've even started writing back to him... even though I know that's pointless.

 

I've gone through every emotion, I've cried my eyes out for days, I've pulled over on the side of the road and screamed at the top of my lungs. I've missed him and I've hated him, like how could he do that, how could he put that on me? why me? of all people in the world, I mean we hadn't spoken in years, he didn't know what was going on in my life.... I know how selfish that sounds but then again, wasn't what he did selfish too? I lost him again, and this time, I can't go on thinking he's out there doing well and living a happy life. The last memory I will have of him is that message, that message I never got the chance to reply to..... so all I have is regret and "what ifs..."

 

I know that was pretty long but if you read it all, thanks and I think what I'm looking for here isn't really answers, but people who can relate. Who can tell me that this isn't my fault, that one day I will close my eyes without his face being the first thing I see. That this hole in my heart will heal and I'll be able to accept this.... because right now, none of that seems possible.

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BenjasMomma

I'm so sorry for your loss. It is not your fault that this happened. The decision was his alone. I cannot say that "time heals all wounds" but I can say that over time, wounds turn into scabs which turn in to scars which are less and less tender as years pass. I also had a friend who committed suicide and felt for years like I could have prevented it or should have seen it coming. So while I don't know exactly how you feel, I understand how hard it is to grieve with a load of self imposed guilt. My heart goes out to you. {hugs}

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