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Did you ever stop to think about the girl who dressed in all black, wore long sleeved shirts in the summer, and applied her make up thick and dark? You kept your distance, believing that she was one of those scary goth girls who worshipped the Devil and sacrificed animals in bloody rituals. You were afraid. Everyone was afraid. And she could feel these emotions like poison spreading throughout her body, like the sensation of a piece of metal that scarred her skin when she wielded it.

Her name was Mikaela.

Did you ever stop to think about the leader of the clique? The girl who was so nasty to you, that you couldn't even stand to be in the same room with her? You always thought that she liked being horrible, that it was just programmed in her system like the coding of a computer. But you didn't see what went on in her house, how both of her parents used marijuana every day, how she would return to a home filled with smoke. No, you simply went with what you believed was true and in turn, you were just as mean to her as she was to you.

Her name was Molly.

Did you ever stop to think about the school bully? The one who pushed you to the ground every time he passed you in the hall? His mother walked out on him when he was only five years old and he was left to be raised by his alcoholic father. During that time, he was beaten relentlessly, sometimes nearly to death. And every day when he gave you new bruises in the hall, he was trying to mask his own.

His name was Eric.

Did you ever stop to think about the kid who sat next to you in math class? The one who always had all the answers and got good grades on all of her assignments? You always thought that she was so arrogant, that she constantly flaunted her intelligence. You never knew the truth, the fact that she tried her best to be as modest as she could. You never knew that she put so much pressure on herself to be perfect that it caused her to develop a mental illness known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Her name was Anna.

Mikaela, Molly, Eric, Anna. Four young kids who were misunderstood and while yes, some of them wrongfully took their pain out on others, some were the nicest people you would've met in your life. But they're gone now, leaving the ghost of their troubles behind for more and more people to catch.

It wasn't their fault.

It wasn't your fault.

No one is to blame for what happened to them. But what people CAN be blamed for is for not remembering and honoring the past.

It can be fixed.

It doesn't always have to be like this.

We just need to learn from stories like the ones told about the four teens above.

And we need to accept that if we're ever going to solve this problem, we need to act and act now.




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