Death in January

December 13, 2011
By Alanna Kennedy BRONZE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Alanna Kennedy BRONZE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Ruth,” my sister asked, “Are you scared of dying?” Before that moment, I had never thought about death. It was not until I grew up to be seventeen years old, on Friday January 28, 1966, that I responded to that question. I answered yes, but it was too late to be frightened now. I was dead, the worst was over, and the question was answered.

My name is, or was, Ruth Johnson, and I have always loved my family. Daddy worked hard to make ends meet, and Mommy always cared for me. I especially loved my twin sister; she was like a part of me. Even though my sister and I had completely different personalities, I knew that she would not kill me. Or would she? Our parents named her Veronica Johnson, and she looked like a sweet girl from the outside. Having wavy brown hair, emerald green eyes, and pale skin, just like me, Veronica and I lived as identical twins. But from the inside, she was evil, and both she and I knew it.

One day at the age of fourteen years old, we wanted to play outside in the snow. The frigidness of the air was too much to endure after about an hour, so we decided to go in Daddy’s garage and play with his tools. Veronica found Daddy’s black pistol and pointed it at me. She whispered, “If you move, I will shoot you.” I had thought that she was just joking, but soon realized otherwise. She continued saying, “If you move or call for help, I will shoot you and then shoot myself. We will both be better-off if we died.” I advised her that I lived contently and that she should too. My heart pounded like a drum; my hands had shaken wildly and likewise my voice. Realizing how terrified I had become, Veronica said, “Do not cry Ruth, I will not shoot you.” Then she pulled the gun towards her own head and pressed it against her left temple. She murmured, “Ruth, you know I love you right?” I shook my head frantically as the tears ran down my face uncontrollably. She continued saying, “I love you more than you know. But Daddy and Mommy, they do not love you. They do not love me either. They hate us. I heard Daddy saying to Mommy that he wished that we were never born.” I informed her that she was wrong, both Daddy and Mommy loved us. She would not listen to me though. “Just remember that Daddy and Mommy did this to us, Ruth,” she said slowly. Veronica gradually pulled the trigger and a clicking sound emerged from the black pistol. Nothing happened. Was I dead? Did Veronica shoot me instead? Was she dead? Veronica had begun to laugh hysterically and shouted as I sobbed. “I am just joking, but if you tell anyone, Ruth, I will kill you next time!” Next time, would there be a next time? I always thanked Daddy that he did not keep his bullets in his pistol. But what if he did? Veronica would be dead; half of me would be dead.

Veronica and I never spoke about that day. I always wanted to tell Daddy and Mommy, but I was frightened that Veronica would kill me. I knew she would. She had attempted to once already. I became petrified of Veronica, the things that she would do, the way she would talk, and the clothes she wore. Because she was my sister, I never thought that she would live dark and dreadfully sinister. She had thought that she could control me, but she could not even control herself. Veronica was crazy, she belonged in an insane asylum, and that is where Daddy and Mommy put her.

On January 28, 1966 exactly three years after the incident in the garage, I was seventeen years old. I decided to visit my insane twin sister because she must have been lonely, and I missed her more than I would have liked to admit. We had talked about our life together, the crazy nights we had, and memories, when all of sudden she turned off the lights. I felt paralyzed. Did Veronica still want to kill me? Did she still think that she could control me? I heard her laugh in my ear; she had begun mumbling about how Daddy and Mommy did not love us. Then she turned back on the lights and rapidly hung herself in front of me. I was speechless. I had felt like I was about to faint, like the blood was not flowing to my head anymore. The last thought that entered my head was, “She thought that she could control me, look who is in control now!” That night, I died.

The police marked my death as a suicide. The nurse at the insane asylum explained to the police that I had a split-personality disorder. They discovered a note saying “Just remember that Daddy and Mommy did this to us,” on a table near where I supposedly hung myself. My name is, or was, Ruth Veronica Johnson and I died on a bitter, snowy and grim night in January.

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