Scream Above the Sounds
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2018-04-11 17:00:46 (UTC)

Local Boy In The Photograph

And all the friends lay down the flowers
Sit on the banks and drink for hours
Talk of the way they saw him last
Local boy in the photograph

I've wanted to talk about this for some time. I have before, to certain people but never in enough detail that I could truly get my point across on how I'm feeling and if my actions had been a little different that night, maybe it wouldn't have happened. One of my best friends died when we were 19 years old. It's hard to explain or even find the words to start this.

A night out was scheduled on a Wednesday night. That was the "big one" here. It's like a student night. Loads of us from high school used to hit up this rock club called Metros, it used to be so much fun. They played music that I grew up listening to. Linkin Park, Sum 41, Offspring, Blink 182, you name it. Doubles were £1.50 too. Metros was the place to be. I didn't actually go to the night out. I don't remember why. I'm not sure if it's because I had to get up early the next day or just a lack of money. But I didn't go, and I regret it every day. My friend messaged me on Facebook, telling me that he had passed his course and was going into a full-time job next week and that he wanted to go and celebrate. He invited tons of people and begged me to come but I just couldn't make it.

He never came home that morning. I was so angry. With my friends, with myself, with everything. We always agreed that when we went out drinking that we would all leave together and make sure everybody was with somebody or was safely in a Taxi home. I don't know the entire story and I don't think I ever will know the truth to be honest. He didn't kill himself, that much I know. A lot of people have mentioned perhaps his drink was spiked that night. A friend said she saw him stumbling past the bar as he was looking to leave the club. She said hi to him but he didn't even recognise her. THAT is when something had to be done. What the fuck were they all thinking just letting him walk out like that?

I know I shouldn't but I can't help it. I do feel guilty and responsible. The people I have talked to about this have told me it's not my fault but I just know I would have prevented it. I would have done something. I should have been there. I would have saved him.

It was all over the news, Facebook, you name it. He was missing. I knew he was dead, instantly. I just felt it in my gut. He was seen on various CCTV footage in town stumbling around, taking a completely different route home to what he usually would. Sometimes we would all walk home together but never the direction he was heading and NEVER alone. Something was wrong. I think after about a week or so, his body was found in a river. It was the most mortifying news I'd ever received. I can still remember my mum crying as she told me the news. I never knew entirely what to make of it besides, he fell in. He didn't kill himself and I don't believe he was murdered.

Friends all met near the river where there were flowers, tributes and various other things. It's one of the toughest things I've ever dealt with. I'd known him since we were little boys in primary school. I used to go over his house and we'd play with K'NEX and Lego, he was incredibly bright and creative. Nobody should have to go to a friends funeral at the age of 19. His funeral was devastating. People were told they could wear like, I don't know what you'd call them. A Lumberjack shirt maybe? He was known for wearing that, literally all the time. His funeral songs were Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wake Me Up When September Ends, both by Green Day. I find those songs incredibly difficult to listen to now.

I still have the message from him on Facebook. It weirdly haunts me and it's a sense of grief, guilt, despair and loss that I don't think will ever truly leave me. I love and miss him very much.


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