It's Fall but the Trees Aren't Red

February 14, 2012
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Hello. My name is Bethany Everglott. I died three days ago. I was seventeen-years-old. My biological mother had died when I was born due to complications, but my father, Michael, never forgave me. He blames me for her death. He remarried when I was eleven to Beatrice, my step-mother. She never liked me much. Beatrice always had a maniacal plan to get me into tremendous trouble. I, Bethany Everglott, was convinced Beatrice Lorenzo-Everglott hated every fiber of my being. And I was proven right when she killed me that fateful day.

November 9, 7:17 A.M.

I was getting my white, glass bowl and my silver spoon that morning. I could feel the crisp, damp air against my face. It was a magnificent fall morning. I grabbed my Corn Flakes and milk. The sun made our usually orange kitchen walls into that fall red everybody knows. It’s advertised in candle shops and book stores. It’s one of those universal colors that a person who speaks American and a different person who speaks Chinese both know. I was pouring myself a glass of orange juice when Beatrice walked in.

“Hello, Bethany. How are you?” She asked not even looking me in the eye. We had gotten into an aggressive, almost violent, argument the night before.

“Fine. And yourself?” I could see she was trying to have a civil conversation with me since my father was coming down the stairs.

“Couldn’t be better,” She looked outside the window over the sink, “I want the trees to be red…why aren’t they red?”

Michael was galloping down the stairs. The first time I had seen him in weeks. He was off on a business trip. “I have to go into the office. A lot of paperwork to do after two weeks. Don’t forget about our vacation in a couple of says!” He kissed Beatrice good-bye, grabbed a banana, and left. I wasn’t so hungry anymore so, I put my things away and started walking to my room.
Before I could get to the stairs, Beatrice grabbed my arm and said, “Don’t take it personally, Bethany. Just because he loves me more doesn’t make you any less important. It’s just a relationship thing. One day I hope you’ll understand.”
I brushed her hand off of my shoulder and spat, “I hate you.” Just as I turned to put my foot on the first step, my first step from that crazy maniac, a plastic shopping bag was put over my head.
I could not fathom the thought that Beatrice would try to suffocate me. I was struggling so hard that it was actually working. The only thing I could hear besides my silent breathes for fresh air were, “It’s a relationship thing, Bethany. Just hold still and it’ll all be better. I promise!”
I kicked, I scratched, I bit. I did everything I could until my whole existence was nearly obliterated by the woman I most despised now.

November 12, 2:47 P.M.

It was damp. It was itchy. It was cramped. It was the inside of a wall. I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. My step-mother…the woman I hated had just tried to kill me. Not only did she try to kill me, but she also stuck my unconscious body inside the wall her and my father were remodeling. What was happening to me?

I kicked the wall as hard as I could. It was completely dry. I screamed, “HELP ME! GET ME OUT!” Banging the wall, scratching it…nothing helped. “SOMEBODY HELP ME! DAD! SAVE ME!” I shouted for what seemed forever. It felt like a lifetime. After my cries for help were denied, I tried to rationalize what happened. I thought 1. Beatrice tried to kill me and cover it up, 2. Michael and Beatrice probably have gone on vacation if it was past November 11, and 3. I have to find my way out.

I was tiny enough to walk around the corners of the walls. The problem was I couldn’t leave the walls of that room. I tried to scratch my way through them, but all that did was make my fingers bleed. I couldn’t do anything. I was helpless.

“I could spend the rest of my God forsaken life in these four corners and nobody, not my grandmother, not my grandfather, not even my mother, would know.” A warm, salty tear ran down my face. “All hope is gone…vanished. My hope ran through my fingers like dry sand.” I began to hysterically cry. The first time since Michael and Beatrice got married. I banged the walls and kicked the floorboards.
There was nothing left for me to do, and then I thought, “If it is indeed past the 11th…they should be back on the 15th. What a rude awakening for Beatrice it would be if she returned home from a lovely vacation with her lovely husband to be arrested for attempted murder and tampering with evidence.” My throbbing head begged for rest. I laid down on the floor and closed my eyes. I drifted off into a beautiful, peaceful sleep.

November 13, 10:33 AM

I woke up the next day running on empty and desperate to find a way out. I roamed my four walls. Leaning on every part of the wall to see what parts I could possibly kick through. There weren’t many. I kicked and scratched like before. I got a little done before I was shaking with exhaustion. “I’m really going to die in here aren’t I?” I laid down on the floor I was so used to at this point and just didn’t get up. There is no point, I thought. I’m going to die here…Beatrice…you win.

Just as I started to believe these words, I heard the door open downstairs. I was bewildered. Is it the 15th already? I didn’t care. As long as this person came to help me I did not care.

“HELP ME!” I screamed. “IM UP HERE! IN THE WALL!” That was the first time I had actually ever heard hope. I had always heard people talk about it on the street corners or at church when I was little, but never had I heard it in person. Then…after the stomps of a man about 180 pounds, the door slammed shut. “Dear God.” I whispered.

It was a burglar. I went back on the ground. No hope to be found. I built up my belief that maybe there was somebody watching over me. And when that door closed…all of that built up belief was annihilated. Gunned down like a soldier at the frontier of war. There was nothing for me to but lay there on the floor between two walls only inches apart. Tears were running down my face. Hot, burning tears streamed into the crevices of my face. My wrinkles were like rivers. No words escaped my lips only incoherent moans and grumbles. To comfort myself I made up stories. It was something I did when I was little.

“The girl was lonely. She hated life. She didn’t believe in anything. She died in the walls.” I just cried for many hours. I let it all out, all my angry spirits and horrid thoughts. I cried myself to sleep that day.

November 13, 11:23 PM

I woke up. I didn’t know what time it was, but I didn’t care. I was determined that this time I wasn’t going to give up. I was going to push through my hunger. I walked around the four walls and found a weak spot I had missed before. I kicked and kicked and punched until I broke through.

“Oh my God! I’m free!” I kept kicking and punching until the hole was big enough for me to go through. I was wrong. I wasn’t in the room they were remodeling; I was in the walls of the attic. I ran around the attic. Even though it wasn’t very big, it felt like a green pasture that went on into the horizon. “I AM FREE!” There it was again. Hope. I looked for the stairs out of the attic but they were locked from the outside. The only way out was through the window.

I found an old rocking chair my Nana used when I was a baby. I picked it up and threw it at the window. The glass shattered into a million little pieces. Some of it turned into dust. I found my old baby rag and wiped the rest of the pointy edges off. I climbed through the window and onto the roof. I could see my neighbor talking to two men in black suits. I wanted to scream, I really did, but I could only hear a faint whisper and a slight crack.

“Hey! I’m up here.” I jumped up and down flailing my arms trying to get their attention. The dehydration and hunger had taken away from my ability to speak. And there was an odd noise at the bottom of the house. This was the faithful jump that was going to end my life.

“Help me please!” I jumped that last time. As I came down, as my toe went to my heel, I locked my knee and twisted my ankle. I fell to the left and slid down the side of the house. The shingles burned my skin and left red, bleeding marks. Then, the shingles left, my hair lifted like there was no gravity, and I was in free fall. There was nothing left for me to do. The free fall ended when my life ended. The thing I heard before was a tree shredder. When my fee fall ended I hit the tree shredder and my body was torn to tiny pieces. I literally turned into human spaghetti. My blood drenched the trees and they were finally red…just like Beatrice wanted.

November 15, 12:56

Beatrice and Michael came home that day without a single thought pertaining the whereabouts of me. All Beatrice said was, “The trees are finally red. I love when the trees are red.”

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