I just found out that my old neighbor, Nina, passed away. She was only 19.
We used to hang out a lot my freshmen and about half of sophomore year because we were the only two people on the bus stop. I remember the first day she moved in. She had just come back from Attleboro, and would tell me stories about ditching class at AHS and how she flunked out her freshmen English class and had to to repeat it now at SHS. She would always be smoking at the stop, and we'd have to look around to make sure that the cops didn't drive by. LOL.
The one thing I remember the most about her was that she was an excellent signature forger, and would forge hall passes and come visit me during gym class. And then she and I would go in the woods, and she'd smoke another cigarette. The girl was always smoking: she was always trying to quit too.
Or how once one of her friends got a car, we'd drive into school and would always be late. And once in a while we'd ditch school altogether and she'd go to Dunkin' Donuts and order an iced coffee and put obscene amounts of sugar in it. It was disgusting.
She made my freshman year a lot of fun. It was probably the best year in high school. And sure, she wasn't the best influence, but she was always a fun person to hang around with. If you're going to make stupid mistakes in your life, your teens are the ones to do it in. I don't regret getting in trouble, getting caught skipping school or smoking in the bathroom, all the detentions, even when I got suspended. We were young and dumb, and I turned around a lot sophomore year. And now I'm the most straight-edge person I know. I just wished Nina could have done the same, but what does it matter now? Good grades, good behavior, even a high school diploma won't save you from death. It could have been me...it could have been anybody. But why was it Nina?
When I found out that she was dropping out, I was really upset because I thought that her future was over...who knew it would be cut so short. I thought that we would have another fun year together, like we did my freshmen year. I always wished that she'd move back to Anthony Street and would return to high school. But that wasn't meant to be: that wasn't her. After she moved, I would see her often at Target, and she'd tell me about what was going on with her life. The last time I saw her was last summer. She and her fiance were buying a stereo system. She looked happy, and I was happy for her. By then, both of us had changed a lot...that happens when you're teenagers I guess. And now she's gone. Just like that.
The world can be so cruel at times. Nina was a good person. She made me realize that by judging people just because of the way the look or the stupid decisions they make only leads to not getting to know some amazing people. Nina gave me a year of fun and enjoyment, and allowed me to be stupid and immature without judging who I was. When I was with her, I didn't have to stand up to some kind of expectations. We were both messed up kids who wound up leading different directions in our lives. Even when she was with a group of friends (and she had a lot, I remember), she'd never ignore me. She didn't see me as some shy, nerdy freshman with absolutely no self-esteem whatsoever. Unlike almost everybody else, I wasn't that person to her.
This kind of stuff isn't supposed to happen to people our age. It isn't supposed to happen to people we know. We hear it on the news, "19-year-old killed in car crash", but we don't know that person.
Good-bye Nina. I'll truly miss you.
**from my LiveJournal