Barbara Bush's teenage romance ended in a shocking tragedy, RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal.
The 35-year-old revealed that her high school boyfriend Kyle committed suicide in her new memoir, Sisters First, penned alongside her twin sister Jenna.
"In eleventh grade, I secretly loved the star of the high school baseball team," she wrote. "Kyle was the ace pitcher for Austin High – a big deal, at least among our friends…we started hanging out, which for an early high school love story was the equivalent of dating."
"It was new and unsure, one of those shy, wobbly relationships you have when you're young," Barbara explained. "But it felt exactly like love, like a future with plans. If you told me then that one of my friends was going to take his own life, I never would have thought to call Kyle, to ask if he was okay, to check on him."
She went on to detail how he had called her the night he committed suicide, but she declined to answer because she was sleeping as a result of mono and "in her fogginess, she couldn't tell if he was really calling or if her mind was playing tricks on her."
Jenna woke her up that night to inform her of their friend Sammie's birthday barbecque the next day, and Kyle was set to attend. But, her mother Laura told her the next day that he had hung himself.
"She didn't say that he had died," Barbara wrote. "I was shocked, but I thought, Thank God he's still alive. He must've been found just in time; he must just be in the hospital somewhere. And so, for a minute, I believed he was still here, and I couldn't wait to get to him."
"And then, a few long seconds later, another devastation hit when I realized he was actually gone," she continued. "Complete shock, complete confusion – how could I not have known? – followed by a complete and overwhelming sadness."
She attended the funeral and went to his house afterwards to get a look inside his life.
"I had never been in his bedroom before, and now there I was standing in it, but Kyle wasn't there," she described. "I looked for signs everywhere, trying to understand the boy I liked, see what I could learn about him from his belongings. To find out if we had anything else in common, if there was anything to tease him about. The same way I would have looked around if he had still been living. But he wasn't. He had hanged himself in the closet just inside that room."
She coped with the loss at the time by replaying a voicemail from him on her Nokia phone until it was automatically erased and had his sister wear her prom dress to the dance. She dreamed of him and night, and would be devastated when she woke up in the morning. The then seventeen-year-old moved on eventually, but his death followed her for years.
"Until I was thirty-four, every wish that I ever made, on the flame of a birthday candle or on a star, was a wish that Kyle would go to heaven," Barbara revealed, noting that she heard that "according to Catholic faith, if you die by suicide, you are forbidden from entering heaven."
She later visited a healer who told her, "'He has followed you everywhere, and he's so proud of all that you've done. You've been all over the world and he's gotten to go on this journey with you.'"
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