The Sandals That Saved My Life

The Sandals That Saved My Life

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Create Your Best Future

The Sandals That Saved My Life

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

~Carl Bard

My junior high days were the darkest and the hardest time in my life. During that time, I didn’t feel like I had any friends, except for this one person. This “friend” used to tell me that we would always be “friends forever.” Friends are people who care for you and who are there for you whenever you need them. They nurture you when you’re down. I never felt that way about her.

We only had one class together, so I didn’t see her very often. She was all wrapped up in her own thing — her boyfriend, her social life, all her other friends. When I would walk the halls of junior high by myself, I would see her hand-in-hand with other people and she would just stare at me as I walked by. She never came over to talk to me except in that one class.

One rainy day, I got on the Internet and instant-messaged her. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world that we could talk on the Internet back and forth; it was so cool. We started chatting about school, boys, everything that two normal preteen girls would talk about. I brought up that I had gotten a new movie, and I wanted her to come over and watch it with me. I waited and waited for her reply, and when it came it was like daggers in my heart with unbearable pain.

She said, “Why would I want to come and watch it with you? Every time you get something new, you always have to brag about it to me and it makes me sick. You brag about everything all the time.” I apologized to her up and down, that that’s not what I meant, and I kept on apologizing.

Then she wrote back, “I am not going to sit here and fight with you about it, even though it is true,” and she signed off.

I sat in my chair for ten minutes in a daze, wondering how a person who said she was my friend could say something like that to me. I went into the living room and sat down next to my mom, then burst out crying. She comforted me and reassured me that whatever it was, everything would be okay.

When I went to bed that night, I couldn’t sleep. I felt so alone; like no one really loved me and like I was just some person that other people could just use whenever they felt like it. I felt almost invisible. I cried and cried until I finally fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up around 8:00. My mom came into my room and said that she and my dad had doctor’s appointments and that they would be back in a couple of hours. After they left, I sat on my bed and wondered what would be a good way out of this. Then, something came to my mind.

I would kill myself and put everyone out of their misery. That way, they wouldn’t have to pretend that they like me, or that they are my friends. My social life wasn’t the only reason that I decided to do this. Other things, too, were really bothering me — my grades, for one.

I sat and thought about how I would do it. Should I shoot myself or take pills, or should I cut my wrists? I settled on pills. I put the pills on the table next to my bed while I sat and wrote my final words to my family and friends.

I was ready to pop the pills for my final minutes on Earth.

Then the phone rang.

It was my mom calling to see what my shoe size is because she had found the cutest pair of sandals at Old Navy. I said, “Oh… yeah, okay, I wear an eleven.”

Then she went on, “What’s wrong? Are you feeling okay?”

I was like, “Yeah, Mom, I’m fine.”

Then the words that I had longed to hear from anyone came out, “I LOVE YOU, and I’ll be home in an hour.” I hung up the phone. I sat in a daze, with the pills in my hand, thinking, How could I have forgotten that someone actually does love me?

When my mom came home, she hugged me and kissed me and said that she loved me a lot. I never told her what I had been thinking about doing.

The next day my “friend” called and said, “I was only kidding about the whole thing.” I never told her about it, either. I kept it to myself. To this day, I still haven’t told anyone about what I almost did. I have never actually blamed anyone but myself.

I am so blessed that my mom’s phone call got through to me. Not only did it make me realize that I really am loved and cared about, but that suicide is never the answer. Maybe I just needed to hear the words “I love you” more often. Maybe we all do. Even when I have problems at school, my family is always there for me and I needed to remember to value that support. I know that I have to be there for them, too.

According to my definition of friendship, my mom’s the best friend I’ll ever have. My mom doesn’t know how really special she is and how much of a hero she is. Thank you, Mom, for loving me so much — and saving me — without even knowing it. You’re my forever friend.

~Mallorie Cuevas

Editor’s note: If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide, call 1-800-SUICIDE or log on to www.save.org.

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