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tearstains on my pillow
Hi, Mom, Dad.
Wow, I didn’t think I’d ever be saying this while surrounded by a bunch of dead people.
I thought that children were supposed to outlive their parents.
Guess I was wrong…but then again, it was my fault, wasn’t it?
I guess I’d better start from the very beginning.
This is kind of awkward, me talking to you while you’re still asleep, with no clue of what I just did.
Here I go.
You remember when I told you that I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up?
I really just wanted to be someone who could help others heal:
a psychiatrist, a surgeon, you name it.
But Alicia, being extra supportive, told me that I couldn’t become a doctor –
because I was scared of blood and pain and death.
Okay, backtrack. Violation of Golden Rule from First Grade.
Who was she to judge me, anyways? She’s the one who always fawns over every injury:
“I cut my finger, ow-ch. No actually, it didn’t hurt, Jenny, what did you think?”
“I got a bloody nose yesterday, and it was so big I used up a whole tissue-box, not even kidding.”
“Oh, Coach! I can’t run today, I twisted my knee – yeah, it’s alright, I’m gonna take a few days off.”
Translation: “I’m so brave! I’m not scared of that red liquid running through my veins! Unlike some - ”
My hypothesis? She wanted to draw attention to her high tolerance of pain.
Typical for a girl wanting to impress boys.
But then again, that’s high-school for you.
Back to the matter at hand, she basically told me “No, you can’t be a doctor, ‘cuz, like, what if you freak out in the middle of a surgery or something?”
But in class, when we had career counseling, she had no clue of what she wanted to be.
Isn’t that worse than having a career you’re bound to fail at, Mom?
(Oh, I’m not saying I’m going to fail at being a doctor. It’s just that I like to think of things from a pessimist’s point of view.)
The worst part was that all my friends flocked over to her side because she was popular.
And I was just a nerdy little girl with glasses too big for my squinty eyes, and clothes too big to fit.
It would have been fine, except for the fact that Alicia really was a jerk.
You remember when she came over to work on our science fair project, right?
Well, wasn’t that the night I sat in my room with a bottle of pills in my hand after she left, cursing myself and my weakness?
I didn’t take the pills after all, because I figured I was stronger than that, and I shouldn’t let Death win this game.
She told me that no matter how smart I was, my knowledge wouldn’t apply to the real world.
I think I understand now what she had been trying to tell me – that if I became a doctor, I would ruin lives with my cowardice and fear.
And that just reading procedures in books doesn’t teach you as much as first-hand experience –
but she thought that I wouldn’t be able to learn that way, because I would just faint at the sight of a needle, or cringe in fear at the sharp scent of blood and forget what to do next.
She broke me as a cowboy reigns in and breaks a mustang.
But I don’t understand why I kept going back to her
Or why she welcomed me, only to force me out again.
Was I a mere plaything, a punching bag so she could show her strength?
I didn’t want to tell the counselor I was being bullied.
And sometimes, when I thought to check my email, Alicia’s status would be the first thing to catch my eye:
“holy sh*t, my life is so screwed up, I hate my parents and teachers and school and crap”
She obviously hoped for condolences, in response to her obviously embellished statement.
I didn’t cry. She was not worth my tears.
But eventually, it didn’t matter, since nobody cared about me.
The teachers were giving too much homework because finals were last week, real time.
(and I think I failed everything, just like I know Alicia thought I would)
And I was so tired of everything.
So when Alicia and her bunch of crows came back to taunt me, I just couldn’t take it anymore.
So, Mom, maybe if you believe in reincarnation, you will find me sometime soon.
Maybe I’ll be that new doctor you go to for your yearly exam.
Maybe I’ll find a cure for schizophrenia. Or depression. Or that curious disease which afflicted me, that one which made me return to Alicia each and every time, even though she was a bully.
I just want you to know, Mom, Dad, one more thing, before I go.
I’m not ashamed to admit, Mom, that I love you. You and Dad.
I know that I never said it out loud, because I was not sure of how the words would taste in my mouth
Or of how you would react to a spontaneous acknowledgement of love.
But now there is nothing left to lose, and I am not uncertain anymore.
Mommy, Daddy, I know I’m fifteen, but something inside of me wants to curl up and cry like a three-year-old.
Maybe I really am weak.
I’m sorry for taking the easy way out.
They say that murder is the worst kind of sin,
but what about suicide?
Is taking your own life justifiable?
I’m such a coward.
But I’m not scared of pain, Alicia. I’m not scared of pain, or blood, or death.
Mommy, Daddy, I know you will cry, but rest assured that I did not go in vain.
Perhaps my death will slap Alicia in the face, open her eyes to the monster that she really is.
I’m sorry it had to be this way.
I really love you.
When you enter my room tomorrow morning, Mommy,
you will find the window blinds still folded down,
the backpack sitting silent by my desk.
My clothes will still be there, untidy in the closet.
My books will be on the bookshelf collecting dust.
But you won’t find any blood, Daddy,
just tearstains on my pillow.