This is something I randomly started writing on Monday. I have to thank Winona Ryder because somehow I channeled my inner Veronica Sawyer from the 80s flick “Heathers” for the voice of the narrator. This is what I’ve written so far, read if you’d like…
I didn’t know much about Cathy Dickens. Growing up in the same town and attending elementary, middle and high school together, I knew of her, of course, but I didn’t actually know her as a human being. In high school, everybody knew who Cathy Dickens was because she involved herself in so many different organizations. On the contrary, I did very little. The thing that everyone liked about Cathy was that she respected everyone so everyone respected her. It didn’t matter who you were; if she saw you, she would have a conversation with you. She really loved being around people and socializing…that sort of thing. It was rather odd because she was your modern day hipster, and they have a tendency to hate everyone, but not Cathy Dickens. She set herself apart from the rest, and in response, they all wanted her to be a part of their groups.
Last week, Cathy Dickens committed suicide. It’s a huge tragedy because she was practically worshiped by everyone in our school and was totally unexpected. That is, everyone except for me. Like I said, I knew of her, but I didn’t really know her. Death always brings the living together. It’s like you could hate someone for what feels like your entire existence, but as soon as their heart stops beating, you remember that you were the best of friends with them in kindergarten. And then the next morning, the principal goes on the intercom during the morning announcements and makes this sad speech about the passing followed by a moment of silence. For the rest of the day, everyone is bawling their eyes out, blowing their noses into cheap tissues, and flowing out of the guidance offices. A few days later, the school holds all these ceremonies in the person’s honor. All of a sudden, everyone cares. For no reason, they give a hoot about someone they never really knew. Of course, this was going to be different because this was Cathy Dickens and not some bullied or ostracized kid, but the point is still valid.
Maybe Cathy felt like she was under too much pressure. Maybe underneath that seemingly perfect life she appeared to have, she was immensely unsatisfied. I didn’t know her that well, but I knew that feeling. I never hated Cathy. For the most part, I just didn’t have an opinion when it came to her. She was like a neutron, I had nothing positive or negative to say about her. Sure, we had a few classes together over the thirteen years we lived in Bunker Hill, but we were never really friends. Not for long anyway. Maybe we went to some of the same birthday parties and had a couple of play dates, but after the seventh grade, the get-togethers ended as we found interests in different activities.
I never held our failed friendship against her; it was for the best, we didn’t have much in common once we were too old for Barbie dolls. We were young and nothing lasts forever, not even youth. I moved on and so did she. Once puberty struck, every guy wanted Cathy because she was so pretty and sweet, but she chose not to date any of them and instead, focused on her academics. She was a proud virgin and had no shame about it. I had no ideal suitors, remained single not by my choosing and was convinced that I would be a virgin for the rest of my life. In the fall, I would be attending a private college in California. Cathy was expected to continue her family’s legacy at the University of Pennsylvania. I guess that wouldn’t be happening anymore.
The first rumor about Cathy’s suicide was that she slit her wrists, but I could deny this because she always had a phobia of sharp objects, even as a child. Scissors, needles, army knives, pointy counter tops or corners…you name it. Cathy wouldn’t touch them because she always feared that she would accidentally stab herself. The second rumor that went around entailed that Cathy drowned herself in a pool. It made sense because she couldn’t swim, but it was easy to denounce because Cathy did not possess a pool at her house. In fact, she didn’t even have a bathtub. A few days later, it was reported that Cathy overdosed on a bottle of prescription pills and vodka.