Julia wasn’t fortunate enough to be born to a functional household like most people, but she wasn’t so conceited to think that she alone had experienced something like this. Her mother was not exactly a strong willed woman, and it was probably why she ended up with someone like her father; a highschool dropout with an ever growing drug problem. Julia couldn’t remember much of her life before her parents split apart, and to her it was the norm to switch from one household to another with each week.
While memories were scarce of this time she did recall that this was a point in her life where things were pretty stagnant. In retrospect, it must be because both of her parents were adjusting to their new lives without each other and struggling to raise a child practically on their own. It was an adjustment to not only them, but to Julia as well and one she felt she could never fully get used to. Thankfully she was able to make a friend, having visited their birthday party Julia found herself trying her hardest to visit them whenever.
Things never did kick off till a couple years into grade school; one major change in her life would be her mother’s new boyfriend. It wasn’t uncommon for her mother to jump from guy to guy, but this was the first one had actually moved in with them. At first things were calm, but then again Julia was never at that household longer than a week. Memories would resurface of her mother being much more timid and quiet, and one day she’d finally see why. It seems mom’s new boyfriend wasn’t someone who was the gentlest, the type who lost his temper quite frequently. The first Julia had seen this her first reaction was to get scared, but eventually she’d try to protect her mother resulting in a few beatings of her own. If anything he did hold back a lot on her than her mother.
For her father’s household it would be more accurate to say that his problems were only escalating. Most of the time her father was busy doing his own thing, leaving her on her own. This neglect intensified when her father's strange friends came over and was instantly banished from his sight. Thankfully, they were never directly harmful toward her and in some strange way even got her father to pay her some mind. Those benevolent feelings would quickly evaporate once they left leaving her father even more irritable. While it was disheartening to be ignored, it did give her freedom to do what she wanted; she was able to go to bed at whatever time she wanted to (unless her father actually remembered she was around) and even meals mainly comprised of whatever snacks she found. Needless to say, she had to take care of herself during his ‘weeks’.
However while things were looking down in both of her home lives, whenever Julia headed over to her friend’s house it was quite the opposite. They had lots of games to play together, delicious food, and even at one point she even got a puppy and a kitten. While it was something Julia always wanted ever since she was little, she was happy that her friend was letting her keep take care of them and even join in with the naming.
As the years went on by her home lives couldn’t seem to improve, the beating at her mother’s place wouldn’t just take place on the dates she was away but frequently spill over when she visiting. While trying her best not to get directly involved, there were still times where she received minor collateral damage. It would be exhausting nights of fighting and yelling, keeping her up at all hours. Coupled that with the increasing difficulties of her father’s household; even her school life was taking a big hit. Nights where she was staying at her fathers were dedicated to actually keeping care of him, be it through cooking or even cleaning after his extracurricular activities. So, keeping up with her studies and any little social life she had seemed more strenuous than it was worth. But somehow through sheer willpower and dedication, she managed to scrape by without failing a year.
Even with her new friend it seemed that she was moving onto new a better friends, it was getting hard to stay ignorant to how much better her life was. But Julia could never bring herself to try and make it worse, just seeing how happy and blissful she was living also served as an anchor of who she wanted to become. Perhaps it was her negative feelings or her jealousy, but one day her friend begun to get a lot of nightmares, something Julia would try and help her out emotionally but without much avail.
An event that completely changed the course of Julia’s life was during the summer after her middle school graduation. She was staying at her mother’s house during this week and her mom’s boyfriend was a bit more irritable than his usual self. While he was abusive there were times where he could be a normal step father and unfortunately this was not one of those times. She was far used to this by this point, but she never seen him got like this before and to Julia something was very wrong. Choosing to step in and intervene was probably the worst decision to make in that moment as she was hit with something extremely hard. The last thing she would remember of this would be the loud thud of the first object and then slamming into something hard.
When she awoken again it would be inside a hospital in central with no recollection of what happened previously, or even why she was there. It was suspected by the doctors and authorities that it was due to child abuse, however without Julia being incapable of testifying till she recovered and gained her memories back the investigation was put on hold. In the meantime Julia was to stay in the hospital so she could be carefully monitored by the doctors; during this time she would have been visited by her parents along with the occasional investigator. Outside of that Julia’s social life would have been severely limited until she was granted permission to explore the hospital.
While exploring the hospital, she’d find a boy around her age who was also staying at the hospital for some examinations, and he seemed to be working on some origami cranes. Even though she never done anything like this beforehand she could easily tell that he was awful at it, but when she asked him why he was trying so hard to make these he told her that if you were able to make a thousand of them that you’d get a wish in the end. For some reason that resonated with her and with her still wanting to make a friend she decided to join him in making them every day.
At first she was pretty awful at them too, most of the time wasting more paper than actually getting anywhere, but eventually she got a hang of it. Super excited she finally got one completely Julia rushed over to show him her success only to find that his condition was worsening and visitations were limited. It was no surprise when Julia was allowed to leave the hospital before him when she recovered a lot of her memories and was stable, but that didn’t stop her from trying to visit him as much as possible. What was supposed to be a temporary stay at the hospital was turning into a perminate one till they were able to figure out what was wrong with him.
During this time, out of her parents only her mother would have taken this opportunity to move into the new city central while her father stayed just on the outskirts. Even with these changes she still managed to switch from household to household; having to get up early to get on a bus to get to school whenever she stayed at her father’s. Adjusting to her new routine she still squeezed in time to visit her new friend every single day, no matter how exhausted she was, even on occasion accidentally falling asleep during their visits. Though, she’d try her best to come bearing a paper crane, bringing them a step closer to their wish.
It was years before the doctors were able to figure out what was wrong with him, years of visiting him every day and crafting him paper cranes. Her home situations weren’t approving even with them moving closer into the city; arguments between the two about the hospital bills and the general discord that each one brought were only the tip of the iceberg when you added her school life. Her first days of highschool were already ruined by the fact she as hospitalized and with her general disposition making friends were incredibly difficult. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when she was a victim of bullying and her marks started to plumet even further.
It wasn’t much of a struggle balancing meeting both of her friends, one she’d go straight to after school while the other she would randomly spend time with after dinners and evenings. Sometimes she’d even find her while she was at school, but she could never bring herself to mention her new friend. Maybe she already knew? But, as time was passing she’d notice that her friend was getting closer to other people; she couldn’t stand the thought of maybe bringing her down with her talks about her own problems. So Julia would try and keep her visit very happy and optimistic.
While it was painful and even torturous to watch as each month her best friend’s health deteriorated; in some sick way he was her only hope in life too. Even with the slue of problems with her own life for him she’d be the type to put on face and try and brighten the day of someone who was having it way harder than her. More than anything she wanted to believe in the 1000 crane wish even if he gave up on it, especially when the doctors told him he wouldn’t survive without an organ donor.
It seemed that they were having a difficult time finding someone to be a match for him, especially with the organ he needed was a heart. It felt like her whole life was turning into juggling act of trying to stay positive as possible and finding some way to make it that he could life happily and she was managing to still pull through for her loved one. Behind the scenes she wasn’t going to give up on him, even getting herself tested to see if she’d be a match for him. It was excruciating waiting for the results, but in the end it was worth it.
Probably through some twist of fate they actually came back positive; that’s when she made the decision to make him live no matter what. Everything she was building up for this reason, in a weird way it gave her a form of peace; the struggles at home weren’t as bad as she thought, the bullying was something she could handle. Everyday she look at the results and ready herself, she was going to kill herself on the day they only had a few cranes left or if his condition suddenly turned for the worse.
On the last couple of cranes she would have used the test resolves as her paper even writing on the bottom of one of them a small ‘Good luck with your operation, I’ll be rooting for you!’. She even left her parent’s house early to rush over to the hospital and leave them with him, it was a bit disheartening that he was busy with some more testing but they let her leave the cranes for him when he came back. She’d rush back to school even through the snow and completed to what she thought was going to be her last day of school.
At one point Julia had fallen asleep during school, normally she would have scolded herself for this, but it also gave her one last time to visit her first best friend. It was to her surprise though that she was talking about moving soon and that she was going to miss her. Honestly it was something Julia was hoping for, she knew no matter what that when she died her best friend’s story would go along with her. But more than anything she was afraid of ripping her away from her happy life. Maybe this was some sign that what Julia was about to do was the right thing to do; the end of her chapter.
So standing on at the rooftop afterschool, Julia didn’t have any regrets up till this point, only while standing on the rooftop she found that one was resurfacing. Obviously it was way to late at this point, but she wished she could have a least told him how she felt about him; then again it would probably make this way harder than it had to be. It probably was confusing to everyone else than those two; he’d be the only one with her ‘suicide note’ and the rest of the world who found out about this would think it would be due to some bullying, or home situation. It wasn’t like she was purposeless trying to set it up this way, but she didn’t mind.
At least her death was able to save someone she loved..