Chapter 12

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My name is Kiersten Liner; I am now twenty six years old. In other words, it’s been ten years since I lost my best friend. I wanted to tell everyone about my story in attempt to influence their future decisions in remarks to suicidal situations. It’s very rough dealing with friends or families, who are depressed and can’t function right, that don’t give you enough time to help. I’m not going to lie; very often I think back to day one and wonder how I could’ve handled things differently. But that’s the past, and I can’t live every second of my life wondering about what could have been or would have been. This is now, and this is what’s happening.

                Finishing up high school wasn’t easy. I feel like everyone finds school difficult whether or not they have extreme issues like I did, but for me it was extra hard. With all the skipping I did, all the classes I missed for therapy sessions, everything toppled into a giant mountain of work. I struggled, but I survived. My friends stayed with me the whole way too. They understood what I lost and helped me regain my place in education. Ian and I started officially dating at junior prom and he cornily proposed to me the day of graduation.

                Jasey was with me every step of the way. Those days when school got the best of me and I started to cry in misery, I could feel her pink head of hair rest against my shoulder and say: “You’re going to be okay, Kiersten.” She came with me to pick out dresses for formal events, told me which colors suited me and which heals showed off my legs the best. Eventually, I started seeing less and less of her. Every now and then I’ll ask for her to show up and sometimes she doesn’t. When she does though, everything brightens up and I make it through the day. You’d think now that it’s been ten years that I’d have a whole new group of friends and wouldn’t need her, but I’ll always need her.

                Every time there is a meteor show, Ian and I meet up with Meghan and her crew and celebrate the memory of Jasey and Isabella. Tears are shed, memories come back, but it’s a great experience to enjoy something that Jasey and Isabella loved too. I’ve learned to never try to remove someone from my memory. If they deserve to stay, I will make an effort to keep them there.

                A few weeks after senior prom I recognized that I had weird symptoms. To my surprise, I had an embryo in my womb. All I could be was terrified at that point. I always asked myself, would Ian leave me? Would my parents kick me out? Well, one night, I sat outside gazing up at the stars and asked the same questions. Polaris, the beautiful North Star, twinkled its brightest right when I looked at it. Thinking of it as a sign, I went inside and called Ian to come over. With my parents, I told Ian the truth about me avoiding him. Not only did my parents not kick me out, but Ian didn’t leave me either. Everyone was supportive of my choice to keep my beautiful baby girl. Ian and I now have a brilliantly darling daughter. Her name is Jasey-Rae Maria, named after her Aunt Jasey.

                College became a total scare for me. Going into an even bigger place with even more kids, pregnant and still in therapy, I was mortified. Ian and I decided to stay semi-local, though our majors couldn’t bring us to the same school. He attended Penn State University in Pennsylvania, with music as his major. I decided to take my studies to Rider University in New Jersey, where I attempted to get my bachelor’s degree in English Education.

                A marvelous idea of mine, I must say. Majoring in Education, most people thought I was crazy. But after debating it in my head during the end of junior year and over that summer, I decided it was my best bet. I barely liked any of the teachers I got assigned to in high school. Not only that, but I found writing to be an outlet for me. Loving writing and English so much and wanting to make kids enjoy their time in a hellish place, I decided I would become a teacher. At Rider, I minored in Creative Writing as well so I could continue to write passionately, like I am right now.

To my disappointment, I could not finish my studies due to Jasey-Rae’s birth, but I’ll never regret having her. She’s my pride and joy, the one thing that holds me together still. In the event that I could not become a teacher and had to stay home with Jasey-Rae while Ian attended school, I grabbed the guitar Alex Tasker gave to me and started to write songs. Most of them ended up being about my best friend, sometimes I would write about myself. My guitar talents weren’t great compared to my lyrical skills. I remember Ian coming to my house one day hearing me try to write music to my songs, and he sat down next to me to help, absolutely inspired. We got so into it that it became more than a hobby for us. Ian finished college sooner than we expected and we started to record music and print out sheets of lyrics. With extreme perseverance, we arranged meetings with managers and sometimes even celebrities that didn’t write their own songs. Thanks to Alex’s advice, Ian and I are now professional lyricists and have come up with plenty of money to support ourselves and our daughter. It’s fantastic doing something I love for a living.

Every day the scars fade more and more away but are still highly noticeable. I’m always scared that one day Jasey-Rae is going to learn enough words to look up at me and ask me about them. Even after so many years, they still stain my skin and remind me of that horrible year.

That’s something I wanted to tell you all. Hurting yourself isn’t right. You may think that it takes away the pain, but it will only bring back the memories in the future and pains your mind even more. Something that I never did, but many people still do, is drinking away their fears. Drinking will only turn you into a dangerous person, someone who you are not. You will have no control over what you do, just like Jasey’s dad, and it can hurt not only yourself but others. Remember that everything you do, affects everyone around you.

If you need help, get help. Denial is a stage that everyone goes through, trust me, I’ve been there. For a very long time, too. Unfortunately, we all see things through our own eyes and think nobody cares. If you just take a second to see the world through someone else’s eyes, you’d see how oblivious everyone can be, but it’s not an on purpose mistake. Therapy isn’t for freaks and it isn’t for just the mentally ill. It’s for people who need to talk to someone who won’t judge you. If it helped me, I’m sure it will help you.

For a while I blamed Jasey as the reason of me going insane. I’ve forgiven her, for whatever she decided to blame herself for. I know that some of the fault is definitely mine. In result of learning from my mistakes, I’ve become a better person. Most of my life, I gave everyone what they wanted and tried so hard to be perfect for everyone. What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Well, you can’t please everyone. And sometimes, you have to choose yourself over everyone else for the sake of your own happiness.

                Rarely, I let my arms and thighs show to the public. Even though I am completely happy with how I’ve turned out, I can’t help but to think that everyone around me will judge me for the scars. If anything, I want to be judged for something I decided to do in a stable state of mind. Thinking that way, I went to a tattoo parlor. Behind my neck, in Alex Tasker’s hand writing from Jasey’s note, it says If we never give ourselves a chance, we’ll always think about what could have been.A lot of people think that having a tattoo in an unnoticeable place is stupid, but for me it’s sentimental. It’s there for Jasey Maria’s memory. The tattoo is just a reminder to me of everything I went through, and how I came out a stronger woman.

                My name is Kiersten Liner, twenty six years old. I’m engaged to the love of my life Ian Fink, tomorrow I will be wed to him and be Mrs. Kiersten Fink. We have the most beautiful daughter, Jasey-Rae Maria Fink, who will have to grow up without knowing her Aunt Jasey, but will constantly hear remarkable stories about her. I’m a lyricist, and I couldn’t depict a better job for myself. Not every day is easy, I still cry so very often over things in the past. Don’t we all? But I just wanted to say to you one thing that I was reminded of a long, long time ago. Hiding who you are is one of the worst things you could possibly do. You may even forget who you are at one point, just like I did. Don’t be something you aren’t, the real you is more important than anything else. One day, everything will come together and make sense. It’s not always going to be great. Just give yourself a chance to make it better. Learn to love and be true to yourself, because there will never be another you.

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