|This is Kinda About Hope
by an Anonymous Sophomore
It was the day of my best friend’s funeral. November 16th, 2014. I remember the day so vividly because 6 was her favorite number. How ironic is it that she dies on the date of her favorite freaking number? Six, out of all numbers she chose six to be her favorite. I always used to make fun of the little devil she had inside her. I would laugh, she would smirk, giving me the sarcastic “shut up” face I hated. Now, she’s gone, maybe with Number 6 himself, probably giving me that smirk I’ll never witness again.
The sky was gray, with painted white clouds that reflected the ocean and left light blue remaining... just how she liked it. It started to drizzle as her soulless, dry, colorless body lowered into the patchy green grounds of “Darwin’s Funeral Home”. It always bugged me that this place filled with death and tears went by the title of “home”. A home for what? Exactly. Cold, dead and nothing bodies, lying there hopelessly alone. Now, I guess if you really think about it, Darwin’s kinda is her home. And I’m here, in this society screwed world... could it be any better?
I’m Sam, 15, brunette, awkward and uh, maybe average. Hope was my best friend. Brunette, 16, overdramatic at times, ADD, talkative, bright, strange, and well, beautiful. She was a different type of beautiful, stunning, I mean probably every guy she met ended up having some type of feelings for her. But Hope didn’t know. Of course she had guys drooling over her, but they were never good enough. She felt the capacity of the world upon her shoulders...always stressing herself out over the stupidest little things. Hope and I had that in common. Although, 9 out of 10 times my problems weren’t ever as sophisticated as her big “dilemma.” I knew she cared though, I could tell by her compassion toward other people’s problems, of course mine just came last. At school once her compassion came out, toward the most random person of all, her least favorite teacher, Mrs. Green.
Mrs. Green was our History teacher, she always had this sort of wit around us, almost as if she had this strange “I love you students” kind of thing or “I hate all of you.” We never knew what mood she’d be in, but Mrs. Green always had something to say. One week she came into class with very little to no expression at all. She taught frumpily, carelessly and to be honest her class was pretty boring, which, was an actual surprise to me because secretly, I loved history. In my eyes history could never be boring. It wasn’t until that dreadful week in Mrs. Green’s 4 days a week 50-minute 10-11th grade European history classes.
On May 29th, the sun was out and it was just two days before our class’s History Exam we’d been studying pretty much all semester for. It was such a perfect day to go for a drive, cherry lilies blossoming, ripped sun rays, curved breezes, all that Hope and I were looking forward too was lunchtime. Lunch was our favorite time of day, especially school days, because at lunch, we would get to leave campus. “Off-campus privileges” was what Mr. Pyson (our bald, intelligent, over -lovable principal) would call them. And they were only awarded to the “kids who deserve and earn them!” Hope and I of course, definitely deserved them. Considering we both do decent in school and our parents do pay the whopping $9,000 a year to send us to our prestigious private school filled with 1,000 either rich, semi-rich, or I don’t know how they pay students. Whatever it was, we loved our off campus privileges.
We’d drive to Bufferman’s Hill, sit in the car and talk about how we both watched some weird LMN movie as we fell asleep last night. One thing we both loved was movies, each lunch break it’d be a different movie with a different twisted plot. Hope always hated the guy, she always had some weird, complex reason why the boyfriend, husband, brother or whoever the main relationship partner was an awful, irrelevant, worthless person. She was harsh. It was always a different movie, always a different time and place, but we took advantage of getting out of school for the short 35 minutes we had during lunch and break.
We came back that day, walked through the dusty halls into the...at the time, empty room E370, our History class. Hope and I sat there finishing our bag of Schneider’s pretzel sticks, the long ones that looked like salty cigars. Mrs. Green had stormed in, hysterical. Not hysterical as in comedy, she was breaking down crying, weeping, she didn’t see us right away. Hope and I immediately got quiet and awkward-ed out. It was always awkward to see your teachers show any kind of random emotion... Right when her wet-mushy-mascara-filled eyes unclogged she saw us. “Oh, students, I’m sorry”.... she muttered “So very sorry.” That’s all she could say, still crying “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” She didn’t want us to see her that way, in that condition; she was such a strong, independent, brave woman, not suppose to have days like this, especially in her workplace in front of troubled enough students.
After the first three non-stop minutes of her crying and our crunching, we put the pretzels away and gave each other the “What should we do?” Kind ‘of look. It was after we glanced and enforced the “you do it” nod when Hope got up and did something I’d never seen her do before. She’d really seemed to feel what Mrs. Green was feeling, almost as if she right away knew what was wrong. Turns out, Mrs. & Mr. Green are getting a divorce. Immediately, we stood Mrs. Green up and just hugged her. It wasn’t a normal hug, it was a real hug, a charismatic one, the kind you never want to let go of-indescribable meaningful hug. Of course, this was weird... What kind of high school teenagers are seen standing in a cloudy room, fully embracing their “know it all” history teacher, weeping horribly? Obviously us.
Hope and I had that kind of luck, where all the weird inconvenient things would happen to us at the most random of times. But this time, this situation was just different. What I saw in Hope that day was something I would/could/will never forget. How gentle and soft her words were toward Mrs. Green, Hope really was there for her. And to see that in Hope, really blew my mind. This mattered to me and was especially heart-aching moment of the situation in my life.
Around three years ago my parents signed their final divorce papers. And I know this sounds like, yadayada, poor me, so did mine, deal. But I mean it kinda is, divorce kinda is a lot of things. The truth of the fact is that my mom and I moved out, keeping no contact with the man I refused to call my father. It had still been hard but not quite as difficult when I would play through in my mind the things he’d done to my family. I just never understood, and really should I or even could I understand? Something that gets me every time... how could someone go from loving you so much to not loving you at all? You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important, that without them, you feel like nothing. No one will ever understand how much it hurts. You feel hopeless, like nothing can save you. And when it's over and it's gone, you almost wish that you could have all that bad stuff back so you can have the good.
What if you have the all the right motives and want the best so badly, but in the end what gives you the courage to follow through and actually do these “hopes”. This always hit me real hard. I was always worried to share my emotions with Hope thinking that if I didn’t talk about it, then I wouldn’t feel it. Maybe I wanted to be like Mrs. Green, outspoken, strong, brave, powerful, proud to be who SHE is. A weak, angry girl is not desirable. I guess It’s that I push people away when all I really want is someone to hug me and tell me it’s kinda okay or will be.
So, that day of with Bufferman’s Hill, movie reviews, Schneider’s pretzels and tissues turned into something so beautiful. Unknowingly having to do with my life. Somehow, by Mrs. Green loosing herself along the way and Hope being there for her was as special to me as it probably had been to Mrs. Green. As we left E370 that day, I thought to myself “ One day you will learn to love yourself.”
The next day, Hope had been missing from school. I received an iMessage from her at 10:03, three minutes into math. The text was an emoji face, we always used to send those to each other in replace of words, and hoping one of us would understand what the other was trying to say. It was the “smirk” emoji and that made me laugh because I clearly knew the message she was trying to send me. I hated math, and she was probably at home eating soup, watching Law and Order SVU, on the propped up, down comforter couch-beds her mom would make her when she was sick, rubbing it in my face. I was now in room D177, listening to my lonely, bowl-cutted, harsh, yet rational Algebra II teacher. I hated that guy and she always made fun of me for that.
Why Hope was missing school that day, I don’t know. Sometimes she’d just randomly say she was in a bad mood and didn’t feel like coming to school, once again, I thought being her over-dramatic self. (This is the part where you probably think she’d be sick, with cancer or some deathly disease, hiding it from us... But no.) I texted her back another smirk and told her about how Mrs. Green was smiling in class today but her eyes looked so sad and worn out. I then said,
“Kinda.” She replied.
Kinda was our thing, we always said it to one another, “kinda” was one of those things you didn’t realize you did, until someone else pointed it out to you. Our other friends, who we briefly hung out with, would call us on it constantly, but I won’t get into them, they’re a whole other story.
After school, I decided to come over, and since our big history exam was the next day, we planned on studying. I got on Hope’s case about how she was stupid for missing school, since it was our final review before the test. But she pushed it aside, starting with “IM SICK” and ending with “...kinda.” I shrugged a smile because I didn’t doubt her. Hope is smart. Really, it was unfair. I could study all night long and she’d probably still receive a higher score than me. Not much though, I’d have to say for how cool and socially aware we were, It’s a rare quality we get by in school. Of course, the “study-sesh” turned into monologue about the movie she had watched on E today while lathering in her cotton sheets drinking tea. We went on and on about how the plot twisted and what we didn’t expect, to how hot and much cooler the boyfriend actor must’ve been in person. We enjoyed ourselves, completely putting things like “The Constitution of Latin America, The Stock Market falling, Revolutionists and Massacres ” aside. It was 9:02 when her mom came in and told me that it was time for me to go, and how she’d give me a ride since my mom is working late. Hope’s mom was always another mom to me and that was nice since I’m already -1.
“So, I think was successful” I said, sarcastically.
“We really learned a lot.” She joked.
“I think we’ll do okay, hopefully.”
“Feel better, kinda.” She smiled back.
I left with the thought of E television on my mind, listening to the radio on the ride back when an ironic Coldplay song came on.
I put my headphones on to fall asleep and forgot to play music because I was so exhausted. I woke up, did my hair, ate some cheerios with blueberries atop and coconut milk, brushed my teeth, and grabbed my study packet to read in the car as my mom kissed my forehead and wished me luck.
History was the first class of the day. Being a usual 5 minutes late, I popped my head into room E360 and saw that Hope wasn’t there. I thought about my luck and that she probably would ditch on the day of the big exam. Eager and jokingly, I texted her...
“Perfect day to be KINDA late... smirk (emoji)”
“Its 8:54, I’ve still got 6 minutes, almost there.” She replied.
I just finished reading the message when she sent another one saying
That was the last contact I’d ever make with Hope