Today, a girl who went to my school died.
The halls seemed a quiet, more desolate place now. People did not look, did not sound the same. And I knew--everyone knew--why. To an extent, at least. Glances flitted from face to face in the hall, red eyes and sniffling noses giving their condolences to companions they may have never met--but because of this, they were friends. Those who once traversed the school in solitude now saw and felt a sense of unity so palpable, so permeating, that no one felt alone. High school--a place where clicks, niches, diversity, all separated the student body day in and day out--was taught a lesson in unity so painfully beautiful by this girl.
If you were crying and the boy you never spoke a word to was crying as you passed in the hall, if your eyes met for a second, then you were friends. You knew each others' pain, and from that came a pure, profound sense of support. Camaraderie.
The complete, absolute unification of any body of people is a beautiful thing--but why does it take things like this to make those bodies band together in that way? Why can we not always be a brother or sister to one another? I feel as though we owe a grand deal to this young woman for giving us this feeling, this opportunity.
I did not know her, but many of my friends did. Because of this, I felt part of this grave impact, and once we held a moment of silence for her, the tears came. I could not stop myself for the rest of the school day; I cried in my friends' arms and they in mine.
Tragedy unites people more than anything else.
The sense of unity that comes from this is ridiculous. I walked through the halls and glanced up through my tears and saw a girl I've never met before; but this is a girl who is also trudging through the school with bloodshot, tear-laden eyes. We smiled at each other: feeble, weak smiles, because we both know... We both know why we look and feel the way we do. We had never met; we had never spoken, but we were closer than anyone else in the school at that moment.