I remember when my life was normal. It wasn't like this. At all. I used to have no worries. I used to be a happy, careless person, roaming around with no worries. I used to.

You'd probably ask yourself who am I, and why I'm saying those stuff.

Who am I?

I'm Josephine Silver Raymond. Better known as Jo, Silver, Josey, or Ray but preferably Jo. I was born on the 22nd of October, 1998. If you can't do the math, that means I'm going to turn 14 this year.

What do I look like?

I have blue eyes and blonde hair, which I'm dying to dye dark brown or black, that goes to the end of my back. My skin is pale with fading freckles on my nose and cheeks. I guess I was on the pretty side of normal-looking. I'm 5.5 ft. tall, and yes, I'm taller than most people around my age, but I like it that way. I actually want to grow even taller.

Why was I being all depressed in the beginning?

That's a pretty long story. But I have time, since I have nothing else to do, so being the nice person I am, I'm going to tell you all about me.

I have a small family. My mom, Jean, my dad, Tyler, and my older sister, Monique. If you see an overly cheerful, perfect family with an out-of-place girl, there's a 99% chance that's us. Even though my sister is only two years older than me, we're not close. I personally think that's she's an evil bitch hiding underneath all that fake-looking innocence that everyone believes that she is. Don't get me wrong I'm not jealous of her or anything, but I'm so sick of being neglected because her majesty is perfect in almost everything. I'm the underdog of the family, the under-achiever amongst the over-achievers. The loser amongst the winners. Do you know what I means? Sometimes I think I was a mistake that my parents had to live with. I mean, my 'perfect' sister is topping me in everything. Looks, brains, talents, friends, popularity, etc. Some days I'll think to myself 'Would it be better if I just drop dead? Would anyone even care?', but of course no one knows that because I never tell them. My mom would probably act like everything's okay and change the subject by saying something completely irrelevant like 'Did you hear what happened at work today?' or 'Did your sister tell you about the first place she got in the contest?'. Most of the time, I'd be fighting with Monique and I tell my parents that she crossed the line and they'd totally ignore me. Not even kidding. They wouldn't even glance at me. But if Monique tells them that I did something to her, which never happens since I avoid her, they'd drop everything in their hands and yell at me. That's how much my family cares.

People always have this idea that our whole family, excluding me, is perfect. A man and woman in 'love' and their beautiful daughter who's on everyone's good side. Then comes me. The 'emo', quiet girl in black with a skateboard in her hand. Let's just say they choose to avoid me.

I have no problem with it.

I prefer it that way.

But as soon as we step inside our house, the 'perfect family' act drops. My mom and dad start fighting over the silliest things, and my sister starts picking on me, and all of them change as if we went to a parallel universe. I'm the only one who stays the same.

I didn't really care about all of that

I was happy and content with everything the way they were.

I guess you want to know why I'm being the way I am.

If everything I just told you wasn't enough, don't worry.

I still have more to my story.

Last year everything changed. To the worse. My parents got a divorce, I don't know if I'm a bad person by saying that a part of me is happy because of it. My parents agreed that me and my sister should be with my dad, since my dad is more 'stable' and my mom 'needs a break' from everything that's happened. So my dad decided to move back to his hometown, Albuquerque. I would say that I was sad because I left my friends that I knew since I was a child, but to be honest, I have none.

Well, I had.

But he's gone.

So now I bet you're going to ask me 'What are you talking about?'.

Who was my friend, and where did he go?

I had one friend, who was also my best friend, and he died around the time I turned 13. So it's not too long ago, it happened last year.

His name was John.

I met him when I was in first grade, and since then we never stayed away from each other. He was the best person you could ever know. He was almost a year older than me, 11 months to be exact. He knew everything about me, just as I knew everything about him. I knew he was an only child, his dad died of cancer when he was 7, his mom raised him to be a perfect gentleman, he was a skateboarder like me, he had a blue eye and the other was green, his skin was similar to mine, pale but without freckles. his hair was light auburn and shaggy, always falling into his eyes. I remember how he had this weird habit of messing up his hair and playing with it whenever he was bored, nervous, shy, or concentrating. He was loved by everyone that saw him, he had this gravity to him that pulls people to him. His voice made you feel comfortable and safe, it was calm and had a usual small crack in his voice. He was a younger version of his dad.

Too bad he even got his dad's cancer.

He fought cancer twice before, always beating it and going back to his normal life. His hair would fall and he would shave it, becoming bald with no hair on his head or face, even his eyelashes and eyebrows fell out. But he always had a smile on his face that said everything's going to be okay.

Too bad it wasn't.

On his third time fighting cancer, the doctors said his body stopped reacting to the chemotherapy and the best thing to do was take him home and carry on with life, making him happy and content in his last months.

Then he died.

And a part of me died as well.

It was a turning point in my life. I became depressed and ever since then I shut everyone out of my life.

I guess everyone gave up on me. They didn't think I'd ever be happy again.

Maybe they're right.

He was the only reason I carried on. I still wear the dog tag that he gave me.


"I have something for you." John said as he walked next to me on the sidewalk. We just finished the last day of school before our winter holiday and we were going to have a movie marathon in his house. I looked at him with curious eyes.

"What is it?" I asked him excitedly, almost jumping in place. He knew that I loved his presents. They were always just my type; simple and meaningful. He stopped walking and turned to me, making me stop as well. I looked at him, his eyes sparkling under the winter sunshine, his cheeks flushed from the cold, and his bald head hidden underneath his beanie. He dug his hand in his hoodie's pocket and pulled out a silver dog tag. He held my hand and opened it, then putted the dog tag in it. He smiled expectantly at me.

"Do you like it?" He asked me. I looked at the dog tag closely, it had 'John&Jo' in black writings on the front, and 'together forever' on the back. I grinned at him and gave him a hug, making sure it was the tightest embrace I could manage to give him.

"I love it. Thank you so much." I told him with a huge smile when we pulled away. I gave it him, knowing he'd understand that I wanted him to put it around my neck.

"I'll never take it off." I told him when he finished putting it around my neck. He pulled out his own dog tag from underneath his shirt. It was black with the same things written on it, except that it was in silver.

"I have mine too." He grinned at me. "That way people won't claim they're our best friends." I laughed and linked hands with him as we went on our way again.


The day he died was the last day I saw him. I spent the entire week in his house, helping out his mom with cleaning up the mess he did when he puked blood or had a nose bleed, and making sure he was happy in his last few days. We knew that we all felt the same way; we knew he was going to die that week, so we did everything we can to make him happy. I spent the entire week sleeping on the comfy chair in his room, almost never sleeping or eating, just watching him and acting strong for him and his mom's sake. He still had the same smile on his face, the one that said that everything's okay.


"Jo, I know you know it. I'm going to die. It's my time to go." John told me with a small smile on his pale, weak-looking face. I shook my head furiously.

"No, don't you dare say that. You're not going to die, John. I won't let you." I told him, squeezing his hand. Almost as if I'm convincing myself.

"I just wanna make sure you know that I love you. You made me the happiest person I could ever be when I was still here." He then cracked a grin. "Don't forget about me when you make new friends."

"I don't need new ones, you're still here. Don't talk like you're going to be gone, John. You're gonna be fine, like you always are. You fought it before, and you can fight it again." I let a tear drop from my eye. John pressed a little harder on my hand, which was probably the hardest squeeze he can do right now.

"Jo, you need to move on after I'm gone. I'm going to watch over you, and I don't want to see you suffering just because I'm not there."

"You will be here. We're going to be together forever." I said, referring to the dog tags that we never took off. John smiled weakly and pulled me in a hug.

"We will be." He whispered. I hugged him tighter, but still being careful not to hurt him or bruise him, and let some of my tears fall. I felt small drops falling on my shoulder. He was crying. Suddenly I wished that he never cried, it made me feel like he's really dying, like it wasn't just another round of cancer that's going to go away like each time.

Then he was gone.


His mom gave me his dog tag at his funeral, saying how he told her that I should have it when he died. I wore it that day, and since then I never took it off. I never let go of him, and I don't think I can.

I don't want to.