Where wild minds come to rest
For those of you who do not know, I am fifteen. I'm a Freshman in high school (9th grade). The year is ending soon, and my Science teacher was nice enough to create an incredibly easy project for his students instead of making us take a final. Technically, it's against the rules, but he's retiring after this year, so he can't get in trouble. Anyway, he gave us a project as a final. The project required us to make a PowerPoint pretending we are in our 60's, in the year 2064, and to reflect on the year 2014. He said we could do it with a partner, and so I was going to do the project with the same person I did every project in that class with: my friend Ryker.
Ryker and I have been friends for most of 9th grade. We sat next to each other in Science class and talked every day. I knew that he was not the happiest of teenagers. He was self-harming, and very few people knew, but I knew. He also had had several suicide attempts throughout the school year. One where he was actually out of school and not able to be contacted for a week, and some people actually thought he was dead then, but then he came back to school and said that he had tried to kill himself but his mom found him and he had been in the hospital for the last week and they didn't allow him to use his phone. After that, he seemed very, very happy for a few weeks. After those few weeks, he seemed like him. He didn't seem extra happy or extra sad, he was just Ryker. I thought he was doing okay.
So, during the course of the next two days after the project was assigned, we were working on it. It took a long time because the PowerPoint isn't actually the only part of the project, but the other part is irrelevant so I won't go into it to save this post from being book-length. Anyway, on Wednesday of this week, May 21st, 2014, he was absent from school. I didn't think anything of it; thought that he was simply absent. I texted him, asking him why he wasn't at school. Still, I wasn't too worried so I just went on with life.
That night, right before I was going to bed, I got a text from a friend at school named Cyera. The text said this exactly: "Did u kno ryker"
Needless to say, I was a little worried. I knew he had been suicidal in the past, he was absent from school, and I got a text asking if I knew him, and the text was written in past-tense. Regardless of being worried, I had to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep. I replied to the text multiple times. The main point of my messages were: "Yes, he's a good friend. Why is your message written in past-tense? What happened?" but Cyera didn't reply to my replies until the morning, after I finally woke up.
The message said that he was dead. Honestly, I was not surprised. My first question was "What happened?" and Cyera responded saying that he had committed suicide. Again, this didn't surprise me one bit. In fact, I didn't even think it was necessary to say it, I thought it was so obvious. My second question was "When?" Cyera said it was Tuesday night, but I later found out that it was actually Wednesday morning, before school. My third question was asking Cyera if she was sure it really happened. Cyera said she was sure because she spoke to his mom last night on Facebook, but there was still a pinch of doubt in me. My fourth and final question was how he did it, which was actually what I meant when I asked "What happened?", but Cyera had no answer for that. She didn't know how he had killed himself.
I sat still for a moment, processing it. I then went into the living room, where my parents were. My parents never really met Ryker. My mom saw him once, but that was just when his mom and him happened to be in the car next to my mom and I when we were at a stop light and we yelled through our windows, hi. So, there in the living room with my parents, I said this exactly: "Guys, I don't really know what to feel right now, but a friend of mine from school killed himself yesterday and I just found out." My mom was shocked and asked who it was, and I reminded her about the one time she saw Ryker.
Skipping ahead an hour or two, I got off the bus at my school. School hadn't started yet, and I usually met with a friend (Not Ryker or Cyera) upstairs before school, but that morning, on my way to the place my friend and I always met at, I saw my Science teacher. Since I had Ryker in my Science class, I quickly walked up to my teacher. "You okay?" he asked me when I was standing in front of him. I didn't really know what to say, so I just stood their for a moment. "Not so much?" my teacher said next. And then I started crying, because it wasn't until then that I felt like it was really confirmed that he was dead. My Science teacher then hugged me lightly and said, "I don't usually do this," referring to the hug.
After that, I went up to the place I always met a friend. I was still crying as I walked to the place that we met, and the place was unusually crowded, but I didn't hide my tears. I was angry because it seemed like none of the students knew or care about Ryker killing himself, so I walked through the hallways and I didn't even attempt to hide my tears, even though some people were looking at me. I did it in hopes that they'd figure it out, that there had been another suicide (yes, another suicide, but I'll get into that later) at the school and that they should care. I met up with my friend, but that only lasted a little bit.
Afterwards, I ended up meeting with a school counselor, mostly in hope of getting more information. I walked into the office at my school and into a woman at the desk and said, quite pathetically, "Okay, so, apparently a friend of mine...died?" I said it like it was a question, even though I was sure of it by then. She nodded her head sympathetically and asked if I wanted to see a counselor. Cyera said I'd get more information that way, so I said yes. I did get more information. The counselor told me that there would be a graveside service on the 29th, which I'm now planning on attending. He also told me that the school didn't want to acknowledge suicides because they thought that it would cause more suicides. I found it ironic, because earlier in the year there was a suicide of someone who I didn't know (but Ryker was his good friend) and they followed the same procedure of not acknowledging it, and now they had another suicide. The counselor explained to me that the school didn't want to get good at this. They didn't want this to be something they had to prepare for. I guess I understood, but the school has had no shortage of suicides in the last few years, with at least three in the last three years, maybe more. I asked the counselor how Ryker killed himself, and he said he didn't know. He said Ryker's parents hadn't said.
I eventually had to go back to class and start my incredibly unproductive and distracted day at school. I learned one more thing about the situation throughout the day, and that was that Ryker's parents were in a huge fight right before Ryker killed himself. Many people are accepting that as the answer to the why question, but I'm not so stupid to believe that that's the only reason. It may have been the final trigger, but there's obviously more.
Cyera didn't stay at school the whole day, and had her mom pick her up from school halfway through the day because she didn't want to go to the class that she had Ryker in. She wasn't at school today either. I can't afford to miss school days, so I haven't missed any days.
In my Science class, my teacher pulled me out before class started and offered to excuse me from the project I was doing with Ryker, making it to where I wouldn't have to do the project and it wouldn't help or hurt my grade, almost like he never assigned it, but I'm going to do it anyway, for the points. During my Science class that Ryker was in, a social worker came and spoke to my class about the situation. It wasn't long, it was like two minutes. Basically all she said was, "Hi, don't kill yourself like Ryker did, bye."
Ryker lived from November 21st, 1998 to May 21st, 2014. It's a painfully short life and he was only fifteen. He didn't live much at all. He didn't even make it out of his first year of high school. It's depressing, but so is life, so what else is there to say? Most people haven't talked about Ryker much at all. Most people don't seem to care. Since the first suicide of the year, suicides seem to be old news for most people at my school, and they don't care anymore unless it affects them. Ryker is the second successful suicide of the year, but there have been dozens of attempts this year. No one will know the full story of what happened with Ryker on May 21st, 2014. Even if the how and why questions are answered, which I doubt they will be, then I'll still wonder what he felt and what he thought. It's tragic and there's not much else that can be said. He was always nice to everyone, very nonjudgmental, and just a good person. We joked around a lot, and now he's dead. I sat with him the day before he died, having no clue that he was going to be killing himself in less than twelve hours.
If you read all of this, I sincerely thank you, because I know it's long.
P.S. If you're wondering why I changed my profile picture from a picture of myself to this, it's because I've gotten a bit more paranoid lately of how obvious I make who I am online so I'd like to be a bit more anonymous, just to keep people who I don't want to figure out who I am from figuring out who I am. So yeah, no picture of myself as my profile picture anymore.