Friday, September 16, 2011


Mary Catherine Louise.
My best friend, for almost as long as I can remember.

We had so much in common... It's almost insane how close we were.
Even back in Kindergarten, when we first met. We were always play-pals during activity times. Sat together in lunch - even back in those times when the lunchtables were practically segregated by gender.

she was always so nice to me

I remember how crushed I was when her parents wanted to her to get a 'better education' at a private school on the other side of town, back in...fourth grade.
Taking an eight-year-old girl away from all her friends and especially her best friend of all, and dropping her into a pretentious school filled with snooty little kids?
Not the best idea. It wasn't even a full semester until that was over with.

my best friend

MC was such a great person... Always was willing to be anyone's best buddy at any moment, always so helpful and smart and willing to lend a helping hand... She was in as many clubs as she could be in, she'd always be the first to jump up and volunteer for anything, for anybody.

why can't everyone be like that

Mary Catherine was always very popular. Always had plans after school, on weekends, always hanging out with a group of friends. A valued member of any and all cliques, basically. I loved her, and she loved everyone, but she and I were actually, honestly, emotionally close, and for so long.

i wasn't always so introverted. i used to be with her a lot, with a lot of friends, but not anymore, not without her

I've had close friends. Lexi is such a great friend. {SEAN - TO BE DECIDED} Roland, he's way cool too, and he's nice to me, but... They've all got others. Other friends. No time for me. Not always, anyway.

what's wrong with me

A year ago.
One fucking year ago yesterday.

MC and I were always very smart. Not as crazy-intelligent as Lexi is (i'll get flack for that probably but who cares) but we did very well in school, and we were always in the 'smart kid' classes through elementary school together, and we'd participate in this one organization's exclusive academic competition throughout middle and junior high school.
Last year, as freshmen in high school, we were in the big leagues as far as that stuff went - competitions between highschoolers all over Texas, not just from our grade but sophomores, juniors, seniors, too.

We were in the usual competitions - creative writing, mental math, and on-site drawing for me, and creative writing, reading comprehension, and prose recitation for MC. In middle school I'd always done very well in the writing and reading competitions, and mostly participated in art ones for the fun of it. Same goes for MC - she was such a creative girl - but this year, this year was different.
Like I said, 'the big leagues.'

Bus trip to Houston, stayed at a run-of-the mill hotel, decent rooms, rec room and a pool. An unremarkable place to stay, to say the least. The hotel itself was mediocre, but especially the pool, it was murky and the water was a sickly off-green color.

First day was just a chill-out day, arrived at the hotel late Friday night, unpacked, got ready for the competitions the next day. The plan was to get there on Friday, participate in the competitions all Saturday, and leave early Sunday morning.

The whole academic team did fairly well in our subjects. We're not district champion material but not at all close to being the worst participating school. Though, it's always the super-genius homeschooled kids that do the best. Their scores are practically exponentially better than anyone else's.

(It's ridiculous, it's as if they're bred only to perform mental math, to study Shakesperean drama, to remember every little thing about anything at all, walking talking machines engineered purely for the sole existence of academic perfection as if school is the only thing that matters at all in their godforsaken life, striving for excellence for their entire childhood wasting days weeks months years reciting fact by fact equation by equation learning studying science math reading music, and for what, to prove that you're better than some other kid that you don't care about or even know beyond the basic competitive mindset that they. are. your. enemy.) god damn school

Competitions were over. We were done, finished, awards would be given in the coming weeks, all that jazz. Weary from the long day, MC and I went to the pool. Earlier, I said how it was gross? It was pretty crappy. So cloudy you couldn't even see the bottom when you were at the deep end.

But, hey. It's a pool, right? Always a great idea to take a dip in the pool after a tiring day, yeah?
pretty flipping stupid of us me

A few of the others from our team came down with us, but they went straight back to their rooms when they saw the condition of the place.

But we stayed.
I can almost remember every
of the entire hour.

She walked outside, still wearing her glasses from earlier. Those really dorky looking ones that she hated wearing for exactly that reason. But her eyesight, to put it plainly, was horrible. Seriously, when I would try to put them on for a bit I would feel like my eyes got crappier just by wearing those glasses.
anyway, since wearing your contacts in a pool - especially one as horrible as that one - is a surefire way of losing them forever, glasses it was for that day.

We used to play a game, a game kind of like The Game or other similar games that don't really end or stop, but just start up at any spontaneous moment. In short, when we were together and one of us turned our back on the other, shouting "Count to 30!" would initiate a quick game of hide-and-seek wherever we happened to be. Just a silly game between friends.
i began that game when we were young. back in what fifth grade we first started playing it, starting when she had once gotten up from the lunchtable to throw away her trash. i snuck up behind her, told her to count, and walked off into the halls at school to hide in the classroom of our next period. she looked and looked around the lunchroom - where would i even hide in there? - but of course in a few short minute found me sitting in her desk, prepared for english class, like nothing ever happened. why did i start that stupid, stupid game. why. what the hell is wrong with me.

Anyway, being the slight klutz that she is was, as she's taking off her glasses MC drops them into the pool, right into the cloudy deep end. We couldn't even see them from the surface, so she declared that she'll dive in and get them herself.
"Count to 30!" I called.
"Fine, fine! Let me grab my glasses and I'll be counting on the way. Go hide while I'm down."

And so I hid.
I hid behind some bushes about twenty feet off from the pool, pretty hard to see from the walkway, door, or even from the pool.
As I hurried to my chosen hiding spot, I heard the quiet splash of Mary Catherine diving headlong into the pool to retrieve her glasses, already counting, already at "2!"

I sat and waited.
five seconds.
half a minute.
a minute.
'How long does it take to find your glasses?' I thought to myself.

two minutes.
'Alright, I guess she's out and looking for me and I just haven't heard her.'

three minutes.
I realized that something was off.
why did it take me so damn long to realize this i could have done something could have changed it could have saved her
what's wrong with me

I stepped out of the bushes. I didn't see her.
I looked frantically around the perimeter, I gave a quick glance inside, I couldn't find her anywhere.

I'm not a good swimmer, but I jumped in. Where else could she be?
the worst part is that i was right

I slid into the water, and quickly swam down. It was impossible to see and that disgusting water stung my eyes like no other.
Feeling around
no idea where she was
it was hell

After a few seconds that seemed like several eternities - cliché as that phrase is, it's absolutely true - I found, held, gripped her body (limp and not responding) tightly as I could and pushed my way up as fast as possible, pushed her up, ran straight inside yelled for help for nine-one-one for anyone who knew what to do, she was dead there and i knew it but of course would not believe it and did not know what to do even as staff came through the doors even as our schoolmates crowded around her
cradled in my arms
hair matted with mostly-washed-away blood
neither was her chest moving nor mouth breathing, her eyes however, open but empty, blankly staring at nothing
and i could do nothing but stare back at the same hollow nothingness in my best friend, my mary catherine, my MC, my. best. friend.

dead. and whose fault?
and whose fucking fault
but mine

i don't remember anything after that
i was told that i blacked out
with a scream

happy anniversary

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