Updated: Sep 23
Story By: Jagsifat Makkar
I remember everything distinctly.
I was 15 years old, excited to go on my first foreign exchange trip to Germany. Little did I know that I would get along exceedingly well with this two-year senior girl from my school. In Germany, our foreign exchange partners (people we were living with) were neighbours - this made me feel secure. She was the first girl I had ever hugged, the first girl who made me feel special, the first girl who cared for me. She was a lot of firsts for me - both in terms of happiness and sadness. We became really good friends on the trip.
After coming back, although we didn't talk on a regular basis for we were in different classes but we continued to remain friends. In the next two years, she moved to college and I was still in school.
One day I got an unexpected call from a friend. She told me that my friend of firsts had ‘committed suicide’. Those words shook me and I started crying inconsolably in the middle of my class. All our happy moments began rushing into my head. There was this one guilty memory I couldn't seem to stop thinking about - how I wished I had spent more time with her the last time we met. (On my 16th birthday party, she had come to meet me. I was busy trying to woo a girl I liked, because of which I wasn't able to spend a lot of time with her. We didn't click pictures and then she went back without saying goodbye.) At that moment, I wished that I had spent more time with her and may be given her more attention.
I still don’t know why she did that to herself. The way I saw her - always jovial and smiling, I could have never imagined this. I did not attend her funeral even to bid her a final farewell, for I felt guilty. I would start sobbing out of the blue and it took me days to come out of it.
This particular incident has made me a different person altogether. I am still afraid of making friends, for I fear losing them. But sometimes, I wish that maybe I knew why she did this to herself; maybe she told me or someone else; maybe we could have talked; maybe we could have stopped her from doing that; may be; I am just left with a lot of maybes in the end.