Only the Good Die Young | Teen Ink

Only the Good Die Young

April 2, 2014
By sgriesmeyer BRONZE, Wyoming, Michigan
sgriesmeyer BRONZE, Wyoming, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

July 2009
The sun warm on my back, the cool water soothing my sunburned arms. I could hear the giggles of my family in the background of my thoughts. Aunts and uncles surrounding the new babies and grandparents telling old stories that make all the cousins laugh so hard that their stomachs began to ache. As I reached my hands towards the edge of the pool, I was swallowed in the earthquake that was my big cousin Nate’s splash. Bobbing up and down in the blue abyss, I felt Nate’s hands picking me up under my arms. “Nate! What are you doing?”, I screamed, pretending to be upset. “Sorry Sammy Sue”, he apologized. I let out a hushed giggle, because it was a little funny, but I wanted Nate to see me tougher than I really was.

August 2010

Nate stepped through the front door, bags in hand, and grinned at me. I hadn’t seen Nate since that summer, so I was expecting him to be happier than he was. My mom led the way to where he would be staying in our tiny two-bedroom house, and I wasn’t allowed to follow. They stayed in there for longer than I’d anticipated, so being the 10 year old I was, I held my ear up to the locked door.
“Nathan, you can’t keep doing this kind of stuff. You’ve got such a bright future!”
“Lisa, I know. I’m really trying.” I was only half paying attention when my mom opened the door, causing me to trip forwards and barely catch myself. Nate seemed tense, but he allowed himself to let a little giggle out at me, and I laughed along. Just like the summer before.

Some days, Nate was genuinely happy. Other days, Nate was empty. Being 10, I would ask Nate what was wrong. Of course, he would never tell the little girl that looked up to him that he was addicted to drugs and that he knew it was ruining his life but there was nothing he could do about it. My mom put Nate in a group home later, and we would go visit him every so often when he was following the rules enough to be allowed to have visitors. After a month or two, we didn’t see Nate as much. I was never sure why, and I’m still not sure why, but I wish I could go back and do fix it. I wish now that I could see Nate one last time.

January 2012

Looking to my right, my little sister was asleep. In front of me in the passenger seat, my mom had a tear running down her cheek. I looked at my dad who was driving. He looked the worst. He was hurting, but he wouldn’t show it. We made eye contact through the rear-view mirror and I smiled at him, because I knew he could use it. His face stayed emotionless. I stared out the glass window at the snowy world outside, it’s atmosphere seeming so cold and lonely in the middle of winter, making my heart ache worse.

When we got there, I left the silent car as soon as possible. I pushed open the cold, metal door to a place I’ve never been before, and I place I didn’t really want to be. The people of the church greeted us at the door. My mom brought my younger cousin and I into the restroom and told us to be quick. She didn’t have to tell me that though, because the heartbreaking sobs of people who needed a break from that sorrowful room were enough to drive me out of there. The worst part about that day was how useless I felt. Each and every person around me was miserable and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it because I was mourning just as much as them. I could not stop the crying, I could not mend the broken hearts. Our hearts were all shattered because nobody could ever take back what happened. They could never go back and tell Nate that they loved him one last time. We couldn’t go back and tell Nate that we were all supporting him. We were all there to get him help. We were all on his side. “Only the good die young” is no longer just a saying to me, it’s real. Nobody is quite sure how Nate died, and whether it was an accident or suicide. I’m not sure whether or not I really want to know. All I want to believe is that Nate is better now, and that he is happy again. I genuinely believe that Nate is back to his own self, and that he’s better off than he was before.

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