When I heard of Corina, I was told she was very cold and unfriendly. Sometimes I would drive by her home and try not to glance too long in fear she might be peering out her window.
One day my husband and I were driving by her home and my husband said he was going to stop. I asked him why and he said he was going to check up on Jaime. I asked who Jaime was, he replied Jaime was an old friend he had not seen in awhile, and besides he heard his wife Corina had a stroke. He asked if I was going to get out of the car and I told him no.
After that day, I often thought of her and wondered if she was really as cold as I had heard. Saturday I walking to my mailbox to pick mail I saw a woman having a hard time with her mail key. I asked if she needed help and she said yes. She introduced herself as Corina and I as Valerie. I asked her if Jaime was her husband and she answered yes and wanted to know why I asked. But before I could give an answer, she asked me if I was having an affair with her husband. I was speechless I thought surely this woman is not really asking me this question.
She then chuckled and said to me she was just kidding. This is how my friendship began with Corina. It seemed all trials and tribulations she had been through minus the stroke were so similar to mine. I felt such a connection to her. I enjoyed her company she was so funny and always cheerful. We soon became inseparable if she was not at my house I was at hers. So you can see it was odd when I had not heard from her in two days. I decided to go to her home to check on her as I was approaching her home I noticed Jaime in the car garage. I asked him if Corina was in and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “You can try.”
I was not sure what he meant by that but I was willing to find out. I walked in through the kitchen and called her name. I could not help but notice all the curtains were closed and it was very dark. It took a while for my eyes to adjust and I then noticed her sitting on the sofa to the far left. I asked her why she had not been answering my calls and she just sat there. I asked why it was so dark in the home and she yelled, “You don’t live here! Leave” but I didn’t leave I wanted to know what was happening to my friend. She said she was tired of living life with her face. I didn’t quite understand what she meant so I asked her. She told me ever since the stroke she did not have the full function of her face muscles and she hated the way she looked. I told her I had no idea what she was talking about because when I looked at her all I saw was a beautiful person. She then told me to leave her house. I did.
Episodes like this went on with Corina and me almost every other week. I did not notice the change in me until my husband sat me down and asked what was going on. I snapped and asked what the hell he was talking about. He told me that the past month I had been constantly yelling at him and was not affectionate towards him. He told me he felt that my friendship with Corina was not a healthy one. It took me a while to realize part of what he was saying was true. I was torn I felt as if Corina wanted company and she was sucking me into her depression.
I so tried to speak to Corina about getting counseling and just being positive with her. I did everything I thought I would want a friend to do for me. But it did not work. Corina seemed to slip more and more away. It got to the point where not even Jaime would answer neither the door nor my calls and let me tell you I called. It has been eight months since Corina and Jaime shut me out. I miss my friend very much and often wonder what happened to that beautiful person I met at the mailbox. Today I received a call from Corina she told me she missed me and wanted to know how I was getting along after all this time. I was very surprised to hear from her and I told her I missed her very much and always wondered if she was ok.
She told me not to cry wasted tears. We spoke for hours on the phone and before we hung up, she promised me she was doing well. She told me she had been working out and had been helping out Jaime in the garden. I invited her and Jaime over Thursday to play cards. She said laughing that Jaime and her would be by around eight and that I better have something good to eat.
The next day I was excited about our card game as I was planning the dinner menu I heard sirens. I thought there must be a traffic ticket about to be issued, and as I listened, I realized the sirens were different and that it was an ambulance. I don’t know what came over me I started to sweat and then I bolted out the front door. I ran down the street and then another chasing the Ambulance. Some how I knew it was Corina something happened. As I ran, I begged God to let it not be her but it was.
Corina awoke that morning and decided to end her life. Her husband Jaime said he was very surprised it took so long. I’m not sure what he meant by that all I know is I miss my friend. But can I seriously call myself her friend.