On her way to the first class of the winter session of the workshop, the same one we had just completed in the fall, Louise was hit by a train and killed.
It happened on Saturday, but our teacher, Bill, emailed our group yesterday when he found out. In an ugly, selfish flash, my first thought was See? See?.
When I handed in my second piece to the workshop, impossibly trying to tell the story of Billy in ten pages or less, Louise’s feedback was harsh. She termed my essay sentimental and maudlin. I was stung more by her comments than any others simply because I thought she understood the value of a partner, and I’d hoped she would be able to sympathize. This was a class, however, and she critiqued it for its writing, not its personal meaning to me.
That thought was blown out with a flush of sadness for Liz, her lover. I didn’t know Liz, not even through Louise’s writing, really, but I knew what it must have been like to get that phone call; a call that will forever replay in her mind. I wanted to hug and rock Liz back and forth in my arms, give her phone numbers for support, lend her books that proved a comfort to me, but most of all, what I wanted to do for her was listen.
I’ll wait before I reach out to her. Hopefully, her family and their friends, and Louise’s family are surrounding her. Her doctor will no doubt prescribe a sedative. It’s when the family and friends are gone, and they most definitely will be out of their own exhaustion and frustration, and their new house they had just moved into is empty and still that Liz will need someone the most to just listen.