They Did Not Know Her

January 4, 2009
I smacked the button on my alarm clock, as it echoed loudly throughout the room. I was already up, of course. How could I sleep? I looked out my window to see the sun smiling happily down on our town. How dare it?!

Cars rushed passed, just like every other day. People were talking on the sidewalk and kids were waiting for the bus. I grunted.

I wanted to stay in bed, it wasn’t worth getting up this morning. No, not today; today I would sleep. My parents didn’t really care at the moment, about how great my attendance was at school. Besides, there were only a few more days left of the year anyway.

I could sleep, now that it was light outside. I rolled over and closed my eyes, tempting myself into my dreams.

After a while of tainted, failed efforts to sleep, I gave into my boredom and found my way to Mt. Claris High School.

I showed up in school at about lunch time. I didn’t even get in trouble. I was the one with the sister who had “disappeared.” She had “gone away,” perhaps to someone better. Who knows…

There turned out to be no classes that afternoon. The principle called everyone into the auditorium. I didn’t really feel like being surrounded with people, half of whom would be shooting me sympathetic glances and scrutinizing looks of pity and borrowed sorrow.

My mind was made up. There was no way I was going to that assembly. They wanted to honor her, my sister! They did not know her, apparently no one did. But now its too late. No one will get to know her anyway.

I sat down, right there in that hallway. I rested my head against the wall, closing my eyes. I wished I was on an airplane, right when it took off. The load roar of the engine would block out everything else. I could close my eyes and hold my breath. Then, maybe for a moment, I would feel at peace.

My mind wandered to their words when we found her there. She looked so limp, so fragile. I could not bring myself to look at her face. Perhaps it was serene. I hope so. I hope it was worth it. Maybe it looked sad and damaged. Perhaps she had an expression of relief.

“She has gone away,” they said, after we found puddles of blood spattered across the bedroom floor. I saw the knife left laying on the floor. For a while after she left, no one cleaned it up. We didn’t touch it.

Of course she went to the hospital, but after that, I don’t know what happened. They won’t tell me, really… where she went.

They are making me see a doctor now, so I don’t have to go away too.

The principal came up. He interrupted my train of thought. “If it isn’t too hard, do you think you could say a few words?”

I could say plenty, but I wasn’t going to. Not here, with these people. They didn’t really care about her. They are just trying to ease away their own guilt.

Maybe they can get rid of their guilt. I cannot. I should have seen it coming. I could have caught her when she fell.





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