Family Tradition

November 1, 2010
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The night was hot and it only made it harder to run towards her house. Maybe if I had ran faster I could have saved her life. There is no time limit on suicide, only the time it takes to finally drive that person to the point of no return. In this case, it was her time and the knife wasn’t waiting for me. Unforgiving and relentless as it pierces her flesh and organs, giving the blood a clear path to flow out of and stain the dirty mustard color carpet.

Her name was October and I loved her more than you could love any other person not related to you. Ready to sacrifice my life at any given moment for her well-being, my love was pure. Her past did not matter, nor did her basic appearance. Who she was beneath the black clothes was a bright a yellow sunshine blinding my eyes every time I saw her smile, or when she made me smile. That’s all that mattered, and now even in her death, it is all I will try and remember.

I remember one day when I sat with her on her doorstop, babysitting her younger siblings in the front yard, a typical day for October, and I asked her, “Why do you still wear these old black clothes? I mean your in the privacy of your own home, wouldn’t you want to change into something more…comfortable?”

Her response was seductive, “You want to see me naked don’t cha’?”

I laughed, “Ha-ha, yeah.”

After my reply she grabbed my hand, and led me into her room and locked the door. I was concerned about her siblings for a second, I too have siblings, but my pathetic male instinct to act upon the situation made me disregard them and watch as she removed pieces of clothing one-by-one and threw them upon her mustard color carpet. My first thought was sex, but she had something else in mind, something darker than I expected. She told me, “You wanted to know why I wear black clothes…”

As she stood there naked in front of me, her body revealed bruises, she pointed to them and said, “My loving father.”

Then she placed her hand gently upon her cuts and scratches and said, “My loving mother.”

She had always told me that her parents were strict, but she had never mentioned this before, ever. She told me, “Those big baggy shirts; it’s because of this.”

I thought I had seen everything until she turned around and bent over in front of me and revealed marks of molestation. She said, “You ever been with a girl that’s been molested by their uncle?”

I managed to say, “October, I…”
Excited feelings of sex turned into tears and denial, I tried to hold it back but I couldn’t stop looking, and crying. Bent over she said, “Well, don’t you want to take advantage of me? What, now you don’t want me anymore because I’m a victim of molestation, because I get beat by my parents? Am I not good enough for you Damien? Come on, take me!”

She just made me cry more; I didn’t know what to say. How could her parents do this to her! She doesn’t deserve this! I finally got the courage to say, “October, sit down, listen to me. I’m so sorry, I didn’t know it was this bad. I…if you need anything you tell me. I still love you the same, I always will, but what kind of man would I be if I took advantage of you in this condition? How could I sleep at night knowing that I was just another lowlife that took advantage of the girl that was molested and seeking true love? I can’t October, I will always be faithful to you, but I can’t do this. I’ll never let you down, I’ll do the best I can to protect you. Just tell me what to do, tell me who did this to you! Let me help you!”

She was sitting there with me on her bed crying when she said, “ My dad is a drunken a**hole that refuses to admit that I’m his daughter, and my mother, my real mother, is a druggy. That b**** is always smoking weed and is such a f***ing hard a**. When I was young I used to dress in a lot brighter colors until my uncle told me that girls that dress like that get punished (molested) and so I started wearing black, only black. I feel safe when I wear these clothes. My parents won’t care if I tell them because they’re never sober. So now you know Damien.”

Then she dressed and I stabilized myself before leaving the room and then I left her house. Before I left I said my goodbyes to her siblings and left October with a kiss and a moment of silence, then pointed my head toward the ground in shock.

One of October’s features most appealing to me was the jet-black hair that ran down her left eye, hiding the atrocities she had seen in her life and the pain she had endured. So beautiful was the one strand of thick hair that drooped from her pale scalp to her right cheekbone. Her hair alone resembled the person who she was, and one look at the blackness and one could tell that there was more to this girl than she showed. The way that a willow trees branches droop down its trunk and conceal part of the trunk, and how the roots of the tree and its past are concealed underneath the ground, is the way I envisioned her hair. Her hair was concealing and dangling, beautifully and naturally.

For a boy my age, at only 14, physical appearance was something that should not be overlooked. Her psychical features were nothing less of adequate. Nothing was astonishing and immediately stood out, but it was enough for me to appreciate. An hourglass shaped body that was hidden beneath the usual wardrobe of faded black jeans and a baggy t-shirt. She could have worn anything from a beautiful dress to nothing but a large Raiders jersey covering her until her upper thigh and I would still have looked at her in the same way, and loved her just as much. In sweatpants and a large jacket I would have shown her to the world and announced my love for her.

Her suicide was something she had been planning for the longest time. First, she called me at 12 in the morning to tell me she was going to do it and that she could no longer take the neglect and mistreatment that she had been enduring for so long. She told me, “I had to tell you before I did it because I love you and you mean the world to me but I can’t keep on living like this baby. It’s just too much to handle and there’s honestly no point in living anymore, I’m going to end up just like them eventually. I was about to do it but then I thought of you and I knew I had to tell you. I am so sorry, I love you baby but this cannot go on. Goodbye.”

I tried telling her, please don’t do it. I love you with all of my heart and I need you in my life. You make everyday of my life worth living more for. I need you…please. The words never came out and she hung up after the momentary silence that had just settled upon us. I sat in my room staring at the same patch of carpet for the next ten minutes thinking and thinking. I have to do something! Is there anything I can do? I can’t leave my house! Her life depends on me! I have to try and save her! What happens when I get there? All of the thinking left me stuck in the same place, perched upon my bed. Sitting on the edge staring at the small distance of carpet between my bed and dresser. I had decided to leave, so I sent her one last message saying that I was coming to save her and ran out the front door of my house.

I threw on my grey sweatpants and black jacket and worn out, old Nike shoes. The way to her apartment was a long, hot three and a half miles filled with police officers and drug dealers. The streets were infested by prostitution and gang activity. I had not lived in a bad area of San Jose California, but it’s once calm reputation showed change and the realism of society at night. Everything you heard about good schools and peaceful neighbors was thrown out the window as I ran down those streets. I heard couples fighting and some being beaten. I saw a gang of black and Mexican men that were soliciting the outside of a closed liquor store. I heard the pain in the streets of the echoing screams of innocence being devoured and people wasting their life away. I was close to her apartment.

I finally arrived at the stairs leading to her apartment. All of the lights were off from what I could see outside the windows. I came to the door in a hurry and rushed to it but when I finally arrived at the door it appeared larger and frightening. I was confused of how to carry out what I wanted to do. I stood at the door frozen and frightened of what to do; after all it was about two in the morning. I gathered the strength and courage to knock on the door loudly so that I could get in faster. Who knew if she was even alive or not at the time…

Her stepmother arrived at the door angry and half awake. She was a lady about 5’3” and a bit chubby but probably couldn’t weigh anything more than 125 lbs. She grumbled, “Who the hell are you and what are you doing at my door at two in the morning!”

I answered her, “I am so sorry, my name is Damien Fedele and I am deeply in love with your daughter and just moments before I ran down here she told me she was going to kill herself.”

She was appalled, “WHAT! WH- SHE- you must be lying!”

Once again I answered her, “Miss please I don’t know if we have any time left before she kills herself. We have to get to her room right now!”

At this time I could here the father waking up; making grunting sounds and cursing as he shouted, “Who the f*** is at the door this time in the morning? It better not be the god damn kids across the street laying another prank or I’m going to get out and beat some a**!”

At this time, October’s stepmother ran with me to her room and ignored the loud shouting of her husband to try and save October. The door was locked and we could hear loud and angry death metal coming from inside of the room and nothing else. We both shouted, “October! Open the door!” Nothing. No sound of life, not even a breath. I proceeded to smash the door with the weight of my body and break it open. I wish I had not, because when I did, it revealed the tragedy that had just happened.

Lying on the floor in dark red blood, with a knife thrown about a foot away from her body, lay dear October. She was dressed in her usual torn black jeans that looked as if she had fought with a bear and a white tank top that was covered by a black sweatshirt, which had been un-zipped all the way. Her skin was pale as snow and her hair was the same jet black that gave darkness a place to feed on, devouring the life of light as it shielded her left eye.

October’s body was simply on the floor, with her back to the floor, hear head flopped to her left side and her legs were laying there lifeless. There was a cut on her stomach in which she had pierced her self with the knife that now lay on the floor. There was also another cut on her neck in the same fashion that she had cut her stomach only this time, there was more blood. The gory scene was simple; the blood that had escaped from her stomach stained the carpet and had reached the blood that spilled out of her neck, conjoining to make this lake of blood around her bloody.

Her stepmother had screamed as loud as possible, which gained the attention of October’s father and I could feel the tears coming down my face but not a word came out. No words or sounds came out of my mouth besides the panting of my breath as I cried and the loud booming sound of my heartbeat.

Slowly I made my way to her body as her father shouted, “ What are you doing! Get back here!” I did not pay any attention to him whatsoever. I was covered in tears and my dear was on the ground dead in front of me. As I came closer to her body, the harder it was to look. More and more I started to cry and more and more I began to pant and I was doused in the feelings of hopelessness and failure. The screaming and shouting of everyone had woken up October’s sister and her brothers and what the younger kids woke up to was devastating and too much to handle.

October’s siblings had saw her body and screamed on the top of their lungs and couldn’t stop. The sister that watched them everyday, cared for them selflessly, was dead on the floor and gone from their lives forever. How is it possible for them to deal with such an event? How would I be able to deal with it if I was in their situation? The children squeezed onto their parents who comforted them with hugs and kisses. Their father had to take them into their rooms to calm them all down and try to keep things from getting any worse. They were absolutely petrified but they came back, they wanted to see what was going to happen.

I had reached October’s body and kneeled down beside her touched her body and cried more and I could hear the resonation of my acoustic like heartbeat. I grabbed her and pulled her towards me to try and comfort myself but what I got in return was the weight of a dead body heavily leaning on me as if her body had turned into an object floating in space. I also received the unforgettable taste of my tears infusing with her plain blood, reaching my mouth and dripping onto my tongue. I could not take it any longer, I had dropped her body on the floor, back in the position it had been.

That whole time her parents had been staring at me blankly, as if the tragedy in front of them had not just happened. The only one that seemed affected was her little sister, in tears and screaming at the top of her lungs, on the verge of fainting. I was appalled, disgusted, and confused by her parents’ blank expressions. I screamed, “ Call the ambulance! Before it’s too late! Do something! They might be able to… ahhh! Help!” Still, nothing, as I cried on the floor and felt my heart drop.

After the tragedy I had found out that they had called the ambulance before my screams of help and were simply standing in shock. In their opinions, they had control over their daughter because they beat her when she did something bad and according to them, this “old school” way of discipline had seemed to be working. They were oblivious to the hardships October faced from them and what she was going though. In their eyes, they were doing the best they could as parents.


I had screamed my heart out like a lion roaring viciously in order to protect its cub. I am not exactly sure how much time passed while I was crying, and screaming. Inside my heart and mind was depression, grief, and guilt, ANGER! Why! Why weren’t they doing anything! Why didn’t I run faster! Why didn’t I leave earlier! WHY!

Finally stepping out of my world of despair, I could hear police sirens approaching the house closer with every second that passed. I knew that I would be asked a million pointless questions to prolong my lament. Was it not obvious that she is dead! Is it necessary to ask me if I am okay! Do I look okay with my clothes covered in blood and face in tears! Nonetheless I answered their pointless questions.

After I had answered the police officers questions, one approached me while I was silently lamenting and asked me the number to my home as well as my parents. I gave them all the information they deemed necessary and then they escorted me home. Before I left the car to go back into my house, they told me that they would let me off the hook for being out past curfew because of the extreme circumstances but they would be in contact. I entered the house quietly and undetected because I had left the front door slightly ajar when I had left.

My parents were completely asleep, completely oblivious to the tragic events that took place just moments ago. Just like them, most of the world is completely oblivious to the tragic events that take place everyday. So I didn’t dare wake them, in fear of having to recall what had just happened and be covered in tears once more.

Lying in my bed I tried as hard as I could to silently weep to avoid waking anyone up. For one straight hour, tossing and turning in the sheets, I cried. Thinking more about the forsaken scene I had just seen, my stomach began to feel queasy. The feeling grew even stronger in the next five minutes and I found myself leaning my head over the toilet of the bathroom, profusely vomiting. The burgundy bloodstains on my shirt had been infused with the more vulgar vomit color of orange, green, and white.

I went back to my bed in hoped that the nausea had passed and I could get my mind off of the tragedy but once again I was kneeling in front of the toilet vomiting. My body was exhausted and my mind was restless. My eyelids were heavy like duffel bags and overweighing my need to clean the vomit from my face. I was fighting myself to reach the sink and wash my face.

After washing my face I looked at my face and once again I was kneeling in front of the porcelain wastebasket. Now I had nothing to puke, it became extremely painful. I started to cry even more. At this point, I too wish I could commit suicide like October. The weight of my eyes had grown increasingly overwhelming and I could not fight it any longer, I lay near the toilet covered in vomit, eyes closed, and for the first time in two nights, asleep.





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