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If you were to ask me about young Darcy St. James, don’t think I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you my opinion on the topic. The honest truth was that Darcy was a conniving witch who did whatever was necessary to get her way. She cussed too much, had the temper of a two-year-old, and drank like a sailor. Though the truth of the matter is, that I loved her.
I suppose I should begin where all stories do. It was the beginning of eighth grade and I had not seen Darcy since I was nine years old. She was sent away from the suburban community of Oakview to live with her grandmother in New York, while her father served time in prison. Since that brief time we considered ourselves the best of friends, I had moved on with my life. She hadn’t even crossed my mind in the past year. That is probably why my first day of the new school year was such a surprise.
I walked briskly up to the top of the school stairs feeling more sure of myself than I had the year before. Everything was going great, but just as my clean new shoes hit the warm concrete, I froze. My eyes had caught the sight of someone I used to know all too well. From that moment on, I knew nothing would ever be the same.
My first reaction was to run as fast as I could, but I knew I had to go in. I monitored my actions and slowly crept up the stairs. The girl in front of me was not one I remembered, for in front of me lay a girl clad in gothic attire and thick black hair that fell across her shoulders. I stared at her and a mischievous smile crossed her black lips. “Well, so we meet again,” she said. I would never forget that reunion even as I recall her from memory today.
It was absolutely no time at all before we picked up our friendship where it had ended years ago. All our time was spent together and soon my other friends didn’t even try to hang out with me anymore. I don’t know why I felt the need to spend so much time with her, but she held every last bit of my attention. We talked for hours, but it still seemed like she was leaving out the details of how bad her life had really been.
Things were spinning out of control at a speed I just could not fathom. It seemed like everyday was a party full of sinful indulgences. School took a backseat to my world of fast cars, loud music, and parties that spread on into the late night. Soon, I was no longer the saintly student I had once been but now I was the person that parents feared their children hanging out with.
I suppose at this point you are wondering what this has to do with being a hero. Well, it started out as any other day. My head throbbed from the night before and pain seared my body as I stumbled up the stairs to school. It was one of the few days I actually decided to go to school, so I checked my cellular phone to see if I had any missed calls. The shock of what I saw sprawled across the screen terrified me. A text message was left a few minutes ago from Darcy. The message read: “The Breaker Building will be my end.” Now, I should tell you that the Breaker Building was a skyscraper used by many failed businessmen during the Great Depression to end their lives. I knew I would have to run to catch her in time.
I sprinted to the downtown area where the building stood. I darted into the elevator and soon I was before a door leading to the roof. I opened it and carefully approached Darcy. “Well, this is a fine mess I have gotten into this time,” she said with a half chuckle. “Before you try to stop me, let me explain myself. All my life something has gone wrong. Nothing really ever worked out right and it just never does for some people. I have messed up your life. Don’t try to tell me I haven’t, because we both know it is the truth. I need to leave you alone now and this is the only way. Do something with your life. I need you to stop what I have done and start something new. That is all I want you to remember. It is too late for me, but not for you,” she said.
There was no time to try and talk her out of it and I knew that I would have to try to pull her away from the edge. I ran, but in the act of pulling her back, my foot slipped and soon I was the one hanging over the edge. She was holding on to me and that was the only thing saving me from tumbling to my death. Time seemed to last for an eternity but in reality it was a mere second. I was slipping and we both knew that the only way to save me was to pull me up and she would fall to her death. She had nothing to grab onto and when she pulled me up, she went flying to a certain end.
Long after the ambulance showed up and long after I showed the police the text message, I told them my story. They let me go home, and I just sat there crying. She killed herself to save me. She cared. She cared more than I ever really knew. How ironic, I thought, that my destroyer would end up being my savior. She messed up and I messed up, but this is how she saved me. I couldn’t believe it all. It took so long for the fact that I would never see Darcy again to sink in.
Now, I sit before you and write this paper. Not out of pity for myself but to tell you that even though she had her faults, Darcy St. James was a hero. Not your average hero mind you, but no less of one. I never figured out why she decided on the day she did to end it, but in the end I believe it just all caught up with her. I have taken her advice and I am on my way to making myself into something. I do it today for the hero we all forgot. Long live the spirit of dear young Darcy.
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