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You’ve probably never heard of me, but perhaps you’ve seen me before. I was that girl sitting in the back of your English class that one year. I thought for a while that the teacher would never stop griping about her five failed marriages and rambling on and on about her nine cats—all named after a different romance novelist.
Everyone seemed to tolerate her though. Between all of her retellings of the most dramatic moments in her life, there was hardly enough time to squeeze any actual learning in. While you occupied your time by punching the shoulders of all your friends, I became more in tune with my thoughts. When I’m thinking about something real hard, my eyes glaze over to shield myself from the world everyone else sees, and let me gave upon a reality of my own.
It was my shift at the local convenience store when you came in crying that night. Sure you tried to wipe the tears away, but I could see the streaks left behind. While grabbing a box full of day old doughnuts, some stale tasting tortilla chips and a jug of chlorine bleach you were muttering under your breath. Though I couldn’t make out what you were saying I could tell that you wanted to be understood. I tried to send you some well-meaning thoughts. However I’m not sure that telepathy works here quite yet.
While scanning the merchandise’s barcodes over the transparent red lines, you spoke to me. Asked if it was right to be rejected, just because of how they may look. I replied saying, “Mirrors are only reflections of what people see of the trillions of atoms that make up the shell of yourself.” In return, you gave me a faraway glance before grabbing your things, turning your head, and stumbling out into the night. I saw my glassy eyes refracted in the fragileness of your own.
When I went to lock up the store later that night, I spotted a bouquet of red roses, dying in the blackness of the trash bin. I stared at them for a quick second before turning my head and letting my body help me stumble the way back home.
They found your body two days later. A police report stated that you’d chugged a whole liter of the chlorine bleach. Embraced the toxicity of the liquid until the molecules of brain existed no more. Your corpse showed no sign of assault or struggle.
No physical signs of physical attack, anyway.
At school, I heard about the pain going on within. I wish I could say that we held a school wide memorial for you. I wish I could say that a bunch of kids in our English class sorrowfully confessed to befriending you, only to simultaneously ignore you as a prank. I wish I could say that another girl made a teary eyed speech about you during that memorial. She had been overcome with remorse at the fact that she’d rejected your offer to go to prom together. The offer you’d made the night of your death. All she knew is that you were a friendless loser that she didn’t want to “risk her reputation” for.
While all that information is probably true, I didn’t hear about it in a teary eyed reception. In actuality, the only person who I saw weep about you was that English teacher, mixing your own tragedy in with the stories of her husbands now gone. The perfect excuse for students to start up their contemptuous chatter about their roles in the story of the boy that was. I guess my eyes had been too glazed over to see the tragedy began.
I’d like to think that sometimes what people may appear to be like on the outside is different than how they are within.
I’m sorry that I never even got to know your name. Now that you’ve done what you did, I wish I’d said it’s not what others think of you that matter, but what you think and do with yourself. I would’ve said yes to you. Wherever you may be, I hope this message gets to you. Though we may not know each other, I like you to know that someone noticed you, and can understand.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Arkanian said...
Jan. 8 at 10:20 pm:
I agree, this was really powerful. And heartbreakingly sad. I love your intriguing writing style mixed with an equally compelling story; it grabbed my attention at the beginning and kept me transfixed.
 
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madhatter97 said...
Jan. 8 at 7:50 pm:
wow this is really powerful. well done :D 
 
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