I’m in the business of life and death. Recently, when I was on the phone with my best friend, we realized that we’ve dealt with more situations that walk that fine line, like a tightrope over the Grand Canyon, than most people can even imagine. This was sparked by her telling me that her Friday night consisted of her finding one of her closest college friends about to commit suicide. Something tells me that finding your friend sobbing on a floor with a knife is not exactly how she planned on spending her night. Her exact words to me were, “At least this isn’t the first time we’ve done this.” And sadly, that’s more true than I’d like to admit. By the time our sophomore year of high school was over, our other best friend Meredith* had attempted suicide three times. Just the thing every sixteen year old should be worried about, right? The sleepless nights, waiting for the phone calls that sometimes came, but not always. Stupidly sworn to secrecy, we bore this burden for too many years. Eventually it broke me. I realized I had given up everything for someone who in the end didn’t care if I didn’t eat, sleep, or do homework. If she was going to end it, it didn’t make a damn difference what I did. We’re still haunted by those years, seemingly always found by people who need us in this way. It never seems to escape us. I still don’t sleep some nights, and my eyes are always open to anticipating another Meredith. I’m unfazed by the petty problems of college: the boys that don’t like us, the homework we have, the day to day stuff that really doesn’t matter. I find myself so emotionally removed from situations, often causing me to not enjoy life, because I’m sometimes so focused on the end game. I’ve seen the end game. I’ve been on that tight rope, pulling someone back in, and once you find your balance, it’s hard to remember life without that danger. It’s a constant game of waiting for the other shoe to drop.