• “Tara go up to Elizabeth and ask if you can tell her something, it won’t be hard. If you don’t listen to yourself no one else will listen to you.” I murmured to myself. That worked, I went and asked her if we could talk. We walked to a quieter place. “Where to begin? I will go through the events as they happened.” I said, afraid to look at her.

    “Last year, on this day, my dad threw a vase at my mum as I came down for breakfast. As I ate she threw a dinner plate at him. I wanted, as usual, to intervene, to stop them fighting; but as usual I did nothing. They were screaming atrocious things at each other. Insults flew only a touch faster than whatever was nearest their hands, they would have to buy more plates and such to throw soon. The most inappropriate thoughts come in times of great anxiety or distress.

    I finished eating, grabbed some food for lunch, and ran up to my room. I quickly packed my bag, thankfully there were only a few books, my plans required an almost empty bag. Then I started working on a letter to my parents. When the school bus pulled up I raced outside and onto the bus, as usual, I sat behind the driver on my own.

    As usual, the bus was late to school. I ran to form class. Everyone yelled and teased me as I walked in. As I sat two boys tried to feel me, I dodged their hands and continued as though it never happened. This is how I dealt with their behavior. I went through my classes like a zombie. I wouldn’t need to know Heron’s formula, the formula to find velocity nor how to rhyme. I wouldn’t need to know of laws or how to kick a football, not even how to catch one. None of that, I would need nothing. Familiar teasing, whispering and shouting was by no means vacant today. Someone kicked a football in my face. At lunch I found cockroaches in my locker and someone pushed me into a garden, someone stole my calculator just before math.

    In the afternoon I gathered all of my books, and everything else that was in my locker, and put it all in my bag. I knew I had missed the bus and that I would have to walk home. It was funny, I wasn’t scared but I was sorry for whoever would find me. As I walked through the school I went over my plans. Pinch the big knife from the kitchen, the one I sharpened this morning, take it into the bathroom, remove anything that might get stained and cut my wrists and throat, if I needed to. I thought that cutting my wrists would do, but I could miss the artery.

    When I was at the edge of the school you walked up and asked me which direction I was heading in. You said that you were new to the area and wanted to walk home with someone. I pointed, silently and you informed me that you would accompany me until one of us had to leave. I murmured ‘Sweet Death’ to myself and started to walk. You followed, asking me many questions. I was rude I believe, I’m sorry now but I was scared of you. As we walked I realised that you legitimately wanted to be a friend, I was amazed. No one else had tried to be my friend. I was touched, I know I was still being rude, but in my mind my plans seemed silly. Then it hit me, I actually stopped walking, Death was not the answer. I was even more scared now, if death wasn’t the answer, what was? Death was quiet and peaceful, but life? Life, to me, was loud, intrusive and evil.

    That was the fateful moment that decided my fate, if you had have said the wrong thing I would have carried out my plan. You said the right thing, you asked if I was okay. Of course I wasn’t going to say no, but you had given me hope. I walked home and told my parents to either get divorced or shut up. It was amazing, mostly because they listened. This too gave me hope, I now felt that I could, with a bit of help, survive. I went upstairs and burnt my suicide letter.

    I came to school the next day. I made an appointment with the school counsellor and over time I have gotten better. You and I are only casual acquaintances but I needed to tell you what you did on that day. I just wanted to say thanks.”