This was an assignment that I had to do for one of my classes and I'd thought I would share it with you guys. This narrative is about a boy who I was very close to for most of my life and how I lost him one day. He grew up Bisexual in a very abusive home (mainly his father) and used to spend most nights with me and our friend Nyomi. This is sort of the rememberance of him, even if it was only 5 years ago.
I was ten years old when I lost my best friend, Asher. It’s a day that I will never forget, one that has haunted me ever since. Almost every detail, still fresh in my mind as the day that it happened. The idea that I couldn’t do anything to save him, has followed me around for years and still blocks my view on everything. The day started like any other day would, bright glimishes of the sunlight, the non-existent September air blowing in your ears, and a girl. A girl who had no idea what was to come for her in a few hours. I remember going to school that day feeling very strange and thinking to myself “did I wear this outfit to school yesterday?” I brushed off the feeling when I finally concluded that today was indeed Monday and I couldn’t have worn the same outfit. I got to school and went to my locker like every other day and proceeded to walk to my homeroom where I sat and talked to my friend Nyomi. I remember asking her if she had seen Asher because I was still waiting for him to arrive. Asher and I would always get breakfast in the mornings together, even if we never really ate it, so I just assumed that he was running a bit late.
While sitting there, talking to Nyomi, another classmate ran into my homeroom class and was shouting “Asher just collapsed out in the hallway!” At this point everyone in the class rushed out into the hall while I’m yelling back at the boy “Which Asher!” to his reply “Thomas!” I remember pushing through the huge crowd of kids circled around him, his body weightless in my teacher's arms. Standing in the midst of everything was me and Nyomi desperately praying that he would be okay. My teacher told the other teacher in the hall to call the nurse, while the rest of us were told repeditaly to return to our classes. Reluctantly, we did as we were told and Nyomi and I sat by the door of our classroom silently waiting for someone to tell us anything.
The guidance counselor who saw Nyomi and I watching, walked over to us and told us that Asher was going to be fine and that we needed to go inside and take a seat. She told us that they were taking him to the hospital and his mom was on her way. I remember seeing Jessie’s car pull up out front of the school and watching her run into the building and her crying as she saw her son lie there, almost lifeless. At that moment, all I wanted to do was leave the room and go with them to the hospital but the guidance counselor wouldn’t let me leave the classroom. An announcement came on a couple minutes later, saying that the entire school was to stay in their homeroom until the ambulance and paramedics got there and had taken Asher to the hospital.
After they had allowed us to leave the classroom, I went to my first class where everyone was talking about what had happened; how we were going to visit him in the hospital, and how we were all hoping that he would be okay. I don’t recall much of what we learned in class that day, I was too concerned about my best friend to really care. After that class I had art, where again everyone was talking about it. I heard from a few people that this one girl in our grade had made a horrible comment about the situation, so I got really angry and decided to go address the issue with my vice principal. When I got to the office, I found that the vice principal was in the hospital with Asher and his family and that my issue would just have to wait. I remember thinking that it was strange for the vice principal to be there with them even though it was also nice of her to do so. Though I was angry about what the girl was saying, the rude things about Asher, I was compliant and returned to my classroom.
When I got back to class I took my seat like everyone else had and then an announcement came on over the loudspeaker that said “Teachers have been given a statement to read to all classes. Please do so now”. The room fell silent and my stomach turned knowing this probably was news that I didn’t want to hear. I fell into shock hearing my teacher, the one who had been out in the hallway with Asher, read “At 10:45 this morning Asher Bailey Thomas passed away at NCH Baker Downtown Hospital. If students need to deal with their grief or be excused please go to the library” He was crying. I got up from my chair along with a few good friends and walked out of the room. I remember my books falling out of my arms and just falling to my knees crying. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t breathe, I thought I was losing my mind, how can a ten year old boy just die and leave me here to go through everything alone. Nyomi pulled me up to my feet and we walked to the library holding each other, afraid to let go.
There were a lot of people in the library. Some that didn’t even talk to Asher, some that were mean to him, and others that were close to him like I had been. The teachers were making their rounds consoling the kids, even though most didn’t want anything to do with the teachers. I wasn’t crying, I just sat there staring at the ground. I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t want to. All I could think was it was some kind of twisted joke that I’d see him the next day and everything would be fine. I remember worrying about Jessie and Heather, Asher’s mom and adopted sister. I don’t know how long I sat there until the teachers gave us permission to start calling our parents to come get us from school. There was a line, I listened to girls that would pick on Asher, call their parents and tell them that they just wanted to let them know they loved them and told them what had happened. I got to the phone, still not crying and called Nyomi’s house. Both my parents were working until seven that day and only Nyomi’s mom had known about the type of relationship I had with Asher.. As soon as I tried to explian what had happened I started to cry so hard she couldn’t understand me and was laughing. I had to convince her I wasn’t joking and I needed her to come get me and Nyomi; I could tell instantly the change in her tone. As soon as I could muster out the words that Asher had died she said she’d be right over and to call my parents, telling them that I would be staying the night. I don’t recall how long I had to wait for Nyomi’s mom to get there; I don’t even remember the ride home. I just know that when I got to their house, Nyomi’s cousin, Brooke and I just broke down crying and holding each other, Nyomi and her mom joining us a few minutes later. We just sat there in silence for a while hugging each other.
It turns out that Asher, at the age of 10, had been diagnosed with a serious case of depression and had overdosed on his medication hours before he came to school. When he collapsed, the medication that he had taken caused his heart to stop and wasn't able to revive itself, not that he wanted it to. Losing a best friend was really rough on me, especially the one who I had trusted with my entire life, but I’ve learned that I have to survive for him, for the life he would have wanted me to live. The last time I talked to him was the previous Saturday, when I had finally had the courage to apologize for causing the fight that we had. I remember him telling me how much he valued our friendship and that he loved me more than anything in the world. Losing him has taught me not to take people or things in life for granted. To not be judgmental of people, which was definitely a lesson to the entire school that year. Life is way too short to worry about the negative things, to be angry, or to be mean to anyone. The most important thing for me now is to try to be happy and grateful for my overall life and the friends that have stuck with me through everything.. I’ve learned to see what is truly important and what I need to fight for. I also feel after losing him I’ve become a stronger person, more level headed, and less judging, but also more closed off and private than I was before. He is a memory I will carry with me until I die. And one day, I will tell my children about him, keep his memory alive and teach them that life is to be cherished because in reality it should be. You never know when your time is up and if it's tomorrow you should be happy with the choices you’ve made in your life. I know I will be now and forever.