Falling to the ground on the phone with the detective
Yahrzeit. Again.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs

I know what this means .

I fell down too, once.

At first I got angry and thought the person who was telling me something my mind just couldn’t compute at the time, was fucking with me.

She was being so gentle though, I remember

Her compassionate tone of voice that drove me crazy.

What ?!? What about her?!?

My voice started to rise and my dad and my brother , sitting with me at the breakfast table, were looking at me strangely now because I didn’t yell.

“Alle, calm down..”

my dad touched my arm with the


Is she in the hospital?

When she said no to that, I really started to get frantic.

Just spit it out so I can go see her and get off the phone with you

She had called to see how I was doing. Which was weird because I had no love for her and she knew it. I was irritated she had called me in the first place.

“Oh..you mean you.. you haven’t heard about Jesse?”

I didn’t know it at the time, but I began to scream. Everything happened at once.

Distantly , I knew my dad was asking me what happened. What happened to Jesse, whom he loved too. My brother sat shocked silent , that I was screaming.


Her voice took on a hurried tone and she was spitting out details and she was picking up a tone of slight excitement at the drama ,

and I wanted to kill her for calling me.

I slammed the phone down on the table.

all of the sudden a bubble around me had burst , and I heard my dad and now my brother who were really concerned and had been talking to me through that whole phone call almost.. I hadn’t heard them though. I did, but it was like a dream..and when I slammed the phone down I woke up.

But something was happening to my body, that I couldn’t control.

I guess what we call them is sobs. They happened right away. But they were not just crying. And they were attacking me. Hurting my body. My mind was racing and the only thing I wanted to do in that moment was go to my room and pull out all of her clothes that I had, every picture I had of her, the letters she had written me , pages and pages ( we wrote each other long long letters back then) I wanted to plaster everything of hers on every inch of me.

So I ran.

I ran to my room.

My dad and my brother ran after me. My dad knew I was going into shock. He was trying to catch me, trying to call my name and calm me down. Trying to tell me to stop.

When I got to my dresser, I started pulling out every drawer, and throwing things everywhere , digging for her stuff. I was frantic. I was in another place.

My dad and brother were at the doorway, looking back I know my dad was waiting .. he was waiting for what happened next.

I found a letter and up to this point I hadn't stopped moving. I couldn’t control my body. It was moving without me. It was going on instinct.

But when that letter hit my chest,

That’s when it happened.

My knees gave out.

They just

gave out

I couldn’t stand.

my sobs were bigger than my body,

I didn’t have enough breath to support them, the sobs coming from me almost cracked my body in half

I couldn’t breathe I was crying so hard,

from every part of my body, I was crying .

And my dad came over and held me.

All of that happened in the span of seconds of finding out my best friend was dead.

She was my first death. The first death of someone I had loved , truly truly loved with all of me.

So from that moment on , I always know what it means when the knees go out.

Nothing good happens when the knees go out.

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