I am not sure when I met Chelle; I think it was sometime in gradeschool. Chelle and I were never best friends but always friends through all the phases a pre-teen and teenage girl goes through. She went through a lot of them. I think some of why Chelle and I were always friends was because people always said we looked alike. Both blonde, blue eyed, thicker build.
Chelle's Mom was a successful hair salon owner and her dad a detective for the local police department. Some thought that Chelle rebelled because of her fathers postion. I don't know? I do know that her parents were incredibly supportive and loving. You couldn't go to the salon her mom owned without hearing her gush all about her daughter the way anyone would love to hear themselves being spoke of. The way they acted at home was very similar, at least when I was over. They did everything for Chelle and her brother. Often Chelle and I would have to pose for a picture since we "looked like sisters". My senior year of high school I was on homecoming court. Chelle's Dad drove me in the parade in his yellow convertable sports car. I still wonder if he picked out that car or Chelle did since it was her favorite color.
After high school, I went on to college. I heard that Chelle moved in with a serious boyfriend. One weekend I was at my parents house and the phone rang, it was my parent's gossipy cleaning lady.
"You were friends with Chelle ****, right?"
"Did you hear she killed herself?"
At that point I think I stopped listening. The way she was the one to call and give me the news pissed me off. The way she only knew parts of the story but still was eager to pass the news along all angered me.
She was in fact dead. She dove off a bridge onto an underpass. She died instantly. I am not sure what went so wrong and I'm not sure anyone ever will but I'm certain that depression got the best of her.
Her funeral was still one of the most horrifying events I've ever been to. The caskat was open and Chelle was anything but herself. I had my mom walk up with me. I was too scared to go alone. Seeing her family was the most eerie. Immediatly her Dad hugged me with this strange force. I have a feeling he was not hugging me, but the person I resembled, his daughter. It was a hug I'll never forget. Collages were there representing Chelle. On the main collage, a picture or her and I.
I think about Chelle often. There are so many things that remind me of her. I talk to her mom whenever I get my haircut but I never know what to say. I brought pictures in last week to show my stylist. They were pictures of my babies. Chelle's mom wanted to see them, but they hurt her very bad. Her eyes welled up and she left for the day.
Now more than ever I can understand the impact that losing a child must have. I understand it but pray that I never ever have to experince it. Watching a mother grieve after 9 years have past showed me clearly how devistating it is.
Usually I think about Chelle, but lately I've been thinking about her Mom. I know she'll never be the same, but I wonder if she'll ever be at peace?
Rest in peace Chelle.
Live in peace Genie.