Yesterday, I bumped into someone with a lazy eye1, and it reminded me of someone I went to high school with.
Her name was Lara, and she had a lazy eye. For those who are more detail oriented, the left eye was her lazy eye, though if you were to ask me about it without having known the girl, I would have said it was the right. I always get the left-right thing backwards on others. Guess I am self-centered that way. "Sure, it is your left arm, but it is to the right from my perspective." I remember it was her left because she called it her sinister eye, "sinister" being Latin for pocket, but when I was in grade school, I thought it stood for left (those crazy Romans had their pocket on the left).
Back to Lara. Her lazy eye, to me, was not the most memorable physical characteristic she had. You see, she had the most clear and monotoned skin I have ever seen. That is, there was little pigment variation in her skin. It sounds weird, but if you look at most people, their skin has color variations, sometimes subtle, but there nonetheless. Lara did not have any of that.
Of all of the people I have known, Lara reminded me more of a fairy than anyone else I have seen. She was thin, both in her body and arms, and because her skin was all one color and was light-colored, she almost did not look human in a beautiful-sort of way. It was as if God gave her the appearance that some cinematographers try to give characters on film.
Her hair was straight and fine, and she looked as if she should inhabit a large oak. She was very conscious of her "lazy eye," and on more than one occasion, I heard boys making fun of her.
The reason I am discussing her physical characteristics is because I really did not know much about Lara. She was extremely shy, and when she spoke, you sometimes had to strain to here her. She had a best friend, who I cannot now, even remember her name. The other girl moved away some time in middle school, which must have been hard for a girl who was shy and slow to make friends.
She killed herself at 17, and although I will never forget her, I wonder if she realized how beautiful she really was. She hated her eye, and thought her eye represented her whole being, at times. She could not see past her eye to realize that I (and others) loved her skin, and although it made her look like a fairy, I would have loved to have such unique skin.
She was the first young person who I knew that died. And I remember asking how she killed herself, and was hushed, as if that was not a question that should be asked. I found out years later that she ingested pills, but even now, I am not really all that certain. This was a subject that was of interest to most of us and discussed by few.
I can't say that this saddened me, though I remember crying. Not crying for the seventeen year old that I really did not know, but crying for her when I knew her better, the sixth-grader who was inseparable from a girl I did not know and who looked like a fairy. I guess I also cried because we were in the same school for so many years, and I really did not know all that much about her.
Lara, I hope you have found peace, and likewise, I hope your family has healed from this tragic suicide. Somehow, I don't think Lara realized that when she plucked herself from this world, like a gardener removes a flower from a bed, she left a whole. Tragically, I don't think 17-year-olds realize this.
1I will admit that I don't know if lazy eye is a medical term, and I am not going to google it (too lazy today). If this is an offensive term, consider me ignorant on the subject.
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