• I was unhappy. I hated my life. I cut myself to feel something other than the emotional pain. It made my mom cry. I died my naturally mahogany red hair black. I went from popular to a loser. I went from awesome at sports to good at nothing. I was numb inside. But what hurt the most was that no one understood.

    It all happened after my friend took her own life. She was my best friend and had been for a long time. She told me that there was nothing good left in her life and jumped off a cliff. I didn't have time to tell her that I was in her life. That I loved her. That I was good. She hurt me, and then she died.

    My mom freaked out. At first she tried to convince my dad, who had left us for another woman somewhere in California, to come and set his son straight. When he didn't show up, she moved us up to Canada. I guess she thought that leaving our old house would help me forget my pain.

    On my first day at my new school my hair was short and spiky because my mom forced me to get a hair cut. She said all that black hair in my face made me look scary. She also forced me to wear a long sleeved shirt to hide the cuts.

    As I walked through the halls I knew I looked scary anyways. The boys I passed would lift their chins up and square their shoulders, as if they were daring me to get in their way. The girls would hold their books tightly to their chest and look away.

    "Excuse me. Are you new?" A pretty, curly haired brunette with the bluest eyes I've ever seen had asked me.

    "Yes" Was my super smart reply.

    "Where are you from?" When I looked at her I noticed she held her books under one arm. She had looked extremely confident.


    "Oh from the states! Welcome to Canada I guess." She smiled.

    "Thanks" This girl had something about her that made me feel, vulnerable. Or at least I think that was what it was.

    "What class do you have next?"

    "Uh, English, Room 126."

    "Me too! We can sit together!" She exclaimed. So together we sat. She had asked me questions the whole time, the only thing I learned about her was her name. Wilma, but if I ever called her that she had claimed she would hit me. I had to call her Billy. I don't think I got any of the work done. She found me at lunch and sat with me then too. Oddly enough she wasn't annoying. Just really nice.

    She had ended up talking her way into coming to my house. Supposedly to help me with my English homework. Eventually I got up the nerve to ask her what I had been wondering about as soon as she had talked to me.

    "Why are you so friendly?" In answer she grabbed my arm and pushed up my sleeves. "How did you know?" I hadn't told her about my arms.

    "I had a good friend once. He used to cut himself just like you do. Unfortunately I didn't know how to help him, he ended up hanging himself. You act a lot like he did. Same walk, same talk, same look in your eyes. You also have a good heart like he did. You are a really great person, and I just met you. So please, stop hurting yourself." As she spoke her eyes got red, but she kept her gentle smile on.

    All I did was nod dumbly, and just look at her. She probably went through the same things I did, but she stayed strong yet she seemed to be respecting me. She came to help me. She understood. That was all I had wanted, I guess. Someone to understand me, or at least try to.

    Things didn't get better right away, however they improved. Billy became my best friend. She made my mom smile. She made me smile. Life turned around.