Who Does That? Pretending Someone is Dead

Fresh off the heels of a glorious Vegas trip, I received astounding news: My 29-year-old friend passed away in a car accident. I was stunned. Shocked. Heartbroken. I didn’t question why the sender notified me of such harrowing news in a text. I briefly wondered who she was and why she asked me if I ever dated the victim, but I left it alone. The important issue was that my friend was gone. I’d never see him again. I felt extremely guilty for not responding to his last text. I was numb.

When I asked the sender for more information, imagine my surprise when she told me she didn’t have any more. Why, you wonder?

Because my friend wasn’t dead.

When I was fleeing my classroom and bawling in the women’s restroom, he was at work. Alive. Doing things that living people do. While classmates were consoling me and helping me take slow, painful steps to the Metro–I rode the train home with my head covered the entire time–my friend was just doing business as usual. The sender admitted that she was his ex-girlfriend and, after seeing my name in his phone, she became jealous–to put it very, very mildly.

Needless to say, I was furious. I was truly grieving for my friend. For the three days I believed he was gone, a cloud hovered over me, and anvils sat on my shoulders. I couldn’t crack a smile, not even a fake one. Sure, I was relieved to discover that he was alive and well, but grief is not a state you just snap out of. I still feel heavy, sickened, slow. It doesn’t help that six years ago, two close friends actually did pass away in a tragic car accident. My brain still believes something is wrong–and that’s because something is.

This girl is crazy. She’s dangerous. The fact she can tell another person that a friend is dead is lunacy of the highest order. You don’t play about deaths. You can pretend you’re sick all day, but to say that a loved one died–and actually carry out the sordid joke for days–is insanity. Who does that?

Thankfully, I’ve talked to my alive-and-kicking friend, and he apologized profusely for his ex’s actions. Although I still can’t believe a person can be so tactless, cruel, and deranged, I have been able to smile and laugh more, just a little bit. With time, I’ll be completely fine.

So will she, with professional help and proper medication.


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