It was November 1994, I received a page from Richard at around 2 am. This was very unusual for him to page me this late in the night so I snuck out of my room and called my best friend to see what the urgency was. I was 17 years old and he was 20. We had been close friends for 2 years but I knew him since age 14. We met at high school but became friends after a year through a group we both were a part of. When I called him back, he told me he was going to kill himself before his 21st birthday which was in July. I didn't know how to take what he was telling me. I knew he was in a great deal of pain and I didn't know what to do. We kept in touch often by phone and spend hours on the phone at times just talking about random things. I was in love with him and he was my best friend but he didn't see me in the same light as far as having a crush. We were just very close friends and spend a good amount of time together. We went to parties, socialized, went on adventures and shared our deepest selves with each other. We skipped school together and he was my first teenage love. I had never gone out with anyone and I was still very innocent but the love I felt for him was real. I think he loved me just the same because he went out of his way to pick me up, call me, share his heart with me and treat me like I was important to him. He was there for me when I didnt have anyone else to talk to. We had that in common. We both came from broken homes and had a great deal of pain that we wanted to escape. He went through something very horrific in March of 93, he was stabbed 19 times while at a friends house and asleep, after that he wasnt the same Richard I knew. He became depressed and just wasnt the same guy. As time went by, his words haunted me but I didnt know what to say or do and I was worried if I told his dad he would never speak to me again. I cared so much about his friendship that I kept what he said to myself and hoped that he would change his mind. The last time we saw each other in person, Feb of 95, I picked him up and we were with some friends, we went downtown and spent the day together. I was homeless and living on the streets. He was the only person to come and spend time with me when I didnt have a dime to my name. Months went by and it was now my birthday, June had arrived, I called Richard as I usually did and asked him if he still planned on taking his life, he said his plans hadn't changed and I still didnt know what to do. I had just turned 18. I was scared and in disbelief that he would actually do it. It was a few weeks later, I sent him a card and a little money for his birthday. I was still in a bad spot but I wanted him to know that I loved him. I moved to Job Corp to get off the streets and a few weeks later it was July and I received a phone call from his sister. She told me he had killed himself in front of most of his friends in front of the hospital on his 21st birthday. My heart sunk and I lost it. I felt this enormous amount of guilt and deep pain that still haunts me til this day. I had gone through one of the worst times of my life that year and then this happened and I felt like I was going to die from all the pain I had just experienced. I had to leave the state. I felt like my whole life had ended and I wanted to escape. I wanted to go back in time and do something but it was too late. I should have told his dad, I kept thinking to myself, I should have told someone. I should have done something. I live everyday with the one question that haunts me, had I said something would he still be alive today. I wonder all the time where would our friendship be if he was still alive, Would we have developed a relationship in our 20s, would we be married today? I often wonder what his life would have been like as he got older. I pray all the time to God about this situation and I often beg God to have compassion as I do. I often think that if I love Richard and understand how hurt he was then God must understand and love him even more cause he created us. I cant imagine that God would not understand since he knows all and created all. Its har for me to live with this cause I don't know that God forgives those who take their own life. I want to believe there is room for forgiveness in some situations but Im not God. It kills me to think Ill never see him again. A few years ago, I contacted one of Richard's friends and he replied back. I needed the validation cause I felt like I was forgetting too many details and I needed the reminder that we were friends. John, Richard and mI used to skip school together and go have coffee. I miss those days and I miss his friendship more than life itself sometimes. There is nothing that can replace Richard or our friendship. There is nothing that comforts me when thinking of our time together and how I regret never saying anything. I cant listen to Jane Addiction, his favorite band, I cant talk to our old friends about his memories, I cant hold his hand as I use to and laugh at nothing and smile at him as I once did. My heart aches and no amount of prayer takes that away. I live with the memories of the short but full 4 years that I knew him. I often cry when I think about the laughs we shared, the time we spent together and how our first time hanging out was on Valentines Day. Richard may not have been interested in me the way I was interested in him but he loved me just the same by showing me how he felt. He was super sweet to me and kind when no one else was. Ill always have that.