The Life and Death Of Lacey Rook

April 23, 2009
Lacey Rook was a normal girl in every single way. She wasn’t ugly, but she wouldn’t have won any beauty pageants. She wasn’t dumb, but she wasn’t exceptionally bright either. Her artistic skills were nothing special, and neither was her writing. She didn’t have any friends. There were those that she sat next to at lunch and during class, but nobody that she could call on the weekend just to talk. She didn’t dislike her life, but neither was she pleased with it. Lacey had gotten used to being ignored, and she didn’t mind.

Lacey Rook was born, raised, and lived in New York to parents who were nothing special. Her mother was a secretary at an investment firm, and her father spent his day in a small cubicle on one of the upper floors of an office building. Every day, she and her family would dress in modest clothes, before driving off to work in their modest cars. Lacey had never known any other life. It didn’t matter to her though.

However, on her fourteenth birthday, that changed. Like any teenager, she wanted to be accepted. She didn’t know why, all she knew was that being well-liked by her peers was paramount. Yet, they didn’t feel the same about her. She went on being invisible Lacey Rook, with nothing special about her. And it was this invisibility, her peers’ blatant ignorance of her existence that made Lacey Rook stop caring. She simply began to stop paying attention to her surroundings. After all, if the world didn’t care about her, why should she care about the world?

When Lacey crossed the road, she never stopped to check for oncoming traffic. If she had to go through a back road on her walk home, she stopped paying attention as to what may lie on the other end. She even stepped across the subway tracks, without so much as a second glance at the vehicle homing in on her. She narrowly avoided being smashed right then and there.

Her apathy was so obvious that those around her couldn’t help but remark on it. Her once-average grades began slipping, and what little life she might’ve had outside of school began to deteriorate, until it crumbled into oblivion. Her teachers noticed, and asked her about it, and even contacted her parents. Despite their desperate pleas, Lacey Rook simply did not care. This apathy eventually got the better of her.

Lacey was walking home from school, following her normal route, which involved crossing one of the busiest streets in the city. She didn’t bother waiting for the light to change, because, after all, who cared whether or not a pedestrian was crossing the road? As Lacey crossed the road, a taxi driver was headed towards her. He wasn’t paying much attention either. So, as fate would have it, right as Lacey stepped off the sidewalk, the taxi crashed into her. She flew through the air, hit the ground, and lay still.

The next day, at what had once been Lacey’s high school, news had quickly gotten around. Lacey Rook, the quiet girl that nobody cared about, was dead. Almost as soon as it had crossed the first lips, it was old news. After all, the most common response was “Who?” There was an obligatory memorial service, in which nobody cried. At the end, a girl from choir sang “Amazing Grace,” and then everyone left the auditorium, laughing and joking as if nothing had happened.

On the news, when the story was recounted, the reporter ended with a false sounding “That’s too bad,” before continuing other stories with a smile. The world has bigger things to care about.

I suppose this isn’t the best ending for a story, as it’s rather abrupt, but I don’t know how to continue it. Basically, the point is, how can we as humans be so uncaring and callous? We consider ourselves a superior species, yet are we so primitive that we have no respect for human life? Take elephants, for example. If an elephant’s mate dies, the remaining elephant often lies down and refuses to eat or drink, until it finally dies. Nothing can change it. Yet, even as they mourn, they cry. Elephants cry. And we laugh. Are we really the “superior species” on this Earth? I’ve never been much of one for serious writing. You can take a look at my other stuff on here. But… I guess I care too much for this to not affect me. Hopefully, you agree with me. I suppose it might be a lot to ask, especially as the wasn’t the best piece you’ve ever read (I hope). But I digress.

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pinkypromise23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm
wow. you are compleatly and totally right. we all take our lives for granted...and this really proves that fact. it was a serious eye opener because things like this happen all the time. it was also very very well written and kept me hooked the whole time. everyone should read this so that maybe they'd realize how truly lucky they are just to be alive.
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