She was tall and thin with short brown hair reaching just to her ears, and she had the prettiest hazel eyes I had ever seen.
“Hi,” she said “I’m Maggie!”
My nine year-old self was quite astounded by her excitement and outgoing personality. That summer was spent playing in the pool and running around our beloved camp. That was the beginning of many summers spent together.
As each summer passed, we only grew closer. Maggie’s hair turned long, and her previously tall stature became short when she stopped growing; but her fun and crazy personality never changed.
I remember the last summer I spent with her. Despite her frequent panic attacks, she was always entertaining. We joked about boys and sang our favorite show tunes louder than ever. It was our last year as campers, and we wanted to make the most of it. When it was time to say goodbye, we cried; but we knew we’d talk on the phone and see each other soon.
“I love you,” I said.
A few months later when my boyfriend cheated on me, I called her crying.
“He’s not worth it,” she said to me. “You’re beautiful and wonderful, and he doesn’t know what he’s missing.”
“I love you,” I said.
That spring we were reunited at a youth group convention. We stayed up all night joking and laughing and making prank calls. I can still hear her loud contagious giggle echoing through the room. I felt just like camp. When we finished laughing she said to me,
“I tried to kill myself this year.”
I couldn’t believe what she was telling me.
“I love you,” was all I could say.
We lost touch after that. Maggie lost touch with all of us.
On January 17, 2012, I got a text from my friend.
“ I need to tell you something.”
“Is everything okay?”
“Just meet me after class.”
Something felt terribly wrong, so right as the bell rang I ran to my friend. Her eyes were puffy. Her face was red.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s Maggie,” she choked “she overdosed.”
My heart stopped.
“Well is she okay? Is she in the hospital? Can we call her?”
“No, she died this morning.”
I cried all night.
The funeral was heartbreaking. There were so many people there. She had so many friends. She was so loved.
“How could you leave us?” I thought. “How could you do this to all these people?”
It took me a while to understand why she did what she did. She was in so much pain. While I wish more than anything that she were still here, I’m glad she’s not still in pain.
I wish we had stayed in touch. I wish I could call her. I wish I could say,
“I love you,” one last time.