We all have our own story, but I'd like to tell the story of a girl I once knew. Her name was Brittany and she was my best friend.
Beautiful, intelligent, and out going. This was the girl I first met when I was just 15. We passed notes in class, her care free and open minded spirit was great for my naturally introverted tendencies, she brought out the best in me. We spent the summer after our freshmen year in high school walking the neighborhood, smoking some pot, and sneaking out with our boyfriends. This was the best of our times together. I was relieved to have a friend like Brittany when my own home life was such a wreck. She had lost her mom to a drug overdose and was living with her Aunt, but it did not last long.
One night I got an unexpected phone call from Brittany saying that she was being sent away. She had spilled the beans about her aunts boyfriend sexually abusing her. I knew for a fact that it had been happening, he had the nerve to sneak in her room at night while I was there and touch her inappropriately and I was frozen with fear and didnt know what to do. Now she was being sent away because no one believed her. That was the last time I heard from Brittany for 2 years. She was being shuttled from foster home to foster home. In the mean time my own mother died from a drug overdose and she had heard the news, but sat in her room crying when she found out, unable to call me.
Finally one day I got a phone call from her after 2 years, but it wasnt exactly the call I was hoping to hear from her. She had run away from her foster home and was living in a crack house with her father. She said she wanted to leave and that her father was selling her out. I was in Ohio, she was in Florida, so I packed my bag and took a 13 hour drive to get her home. When I found her she was convulsing and seizing, weighing only 80lbs. When she woke up, I was able to talk to her and ask her if she wanted me to call the ambulance, she did not. She wanted to leave with me, so packed her bags. We left out the door and her father and two unknown males followed us out the door. She sat her bags on my truck, and her father started asking her not to leave. We pleaded back and fourth, but I lost the battle and she would not return with me.
I drove home that day in tears. Not knowing what to do about my friend. When I got home I decided that I couldnt leave her there that way, or she would die. I made multiple calls to child services and the police department. They went and took Brittany out of that garbage of a "home" and sent her to a 9 month inpatient rehab for juveniles.
When she got out I was able to see her again, we went out, and she thanked me for calling. Admitting she was mad at me at first, but that she was happy for what I did. I was happy to have my friend back, but it was temporary. The damage had been done and before I knew it Brittany began isolating and using again. She went to live with her sister who got her into the escorting business and introduced her to IV drug use. During this time, Britt would visit me a few days at a time, then she was off again. I wouldnt see her or hear from her for months.
Meanwhile I was struggling with my own drug addiction. Finally in 2015 I entered a rehab in Texas, and when I came home, I discovered Brittany was in the hospital with endocarditis (heart valve infection). I began visiting her in the hospital once a week, bringing her food, and praying with her. I enjoyed going to see her. I got to see the spunky side of her at times. I got have conversation with her. She continued to use, even in the hospital, having drugs brought in. It lead to her eventual open heart surgery, where I sat in the waiting room for 8 hours. Waiting to hear how she was. I was scared the whole time, but the doc came out with great news. Britt had made it through the surgery with no complications, she had a second chance. But part of me knew that she would never stop using drugs, even in the face of death.
4 weeks went by without any events, until I went on vacation to Mexico. I recieved a call that Britt had a fever. Despite my begging for her to go back to the hospital, she would not. I gave up, I was 2000 miles away and could not be there.
Brittany died from septic shock the day after my return from Mexico on May 18, 2016. It had left a huge hole in my heart. Her funeral was today. I can't help but feel that everyone in her life had let her down, to the point her, herself believed she had no hope. If I could turn back time I would, I would try harder to get her to the hospital. I woulda left the airport and went to her house and drove her to the hospital myself, but I can't.
I only have Brittany's memories, I can only remember the real Brittany. The Brittany before the pimps, the drugs, abuse, and suffering. Fly high Angel.
The sunset, the evening I picked up Britts charm bracelet. It was her favorite colors.