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Letters From a Statistic
I love you. I really do. Somewhere, I think you love me too. But when you think I’m asleep, in the middle of the night when all the lights are off, I know what you’re doing. Please, don’t make my lie awake in bed like this, wondering if tomorrow everything would be normal again. Don’t leave me hoping that somebody would notice something was wrong, or that I had the strength to tell somebody. Please, Dad. I know that you used to love me, when I was a cute little girl who didn’t have any problems. But now I think that you resent me. Maybe that’s why you make me stay awake all night listening to you when you think I can’t hear.
Do you think that I can’t hear Mom crying? Or do you just not care?
I know that maybe it’s not what you intended, but maybe it is. I’m afraid, Dad. Will I be next? I can’t live in that kind of a fear any longer. Don’t make me lie awake at night listening to my parents screaming at each other, because when I scream, you will never hear it until it’s too late.
I used to know you. We all used to hang out and talk about our favorite movies and music, laughing about life and laughing at ourselves. What changed? Why are you all of a sudden pointing at me and talking behind my back? Why are you calling me all these hateful words? Fat, ugly, stupid, weak.
Do you think that I can’t hear you laughing? Or do you just not care?
I’m starting to believe you now. When I look in the mirror, I see the person that you hate. It’s hurting me deep inside. I am fat. I am ugly. I am stupid, I am weak, and I will never deserve your friendship. I’m sorry to be such an inconvenience. I promise, you won’t have to deal with me for very long. Just promise me that you won’t laugh or point or stare at me when I am six feet underground.
I miss you so much. You have no idea how much you’ve hurt me by doing this. Didn’t you ever hear them tell you not to? Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you weren’t alone? I wish that I could have a second chance to say goodbye. Maybe you wouldn’t have done what you did.
I’m sorry I didn’t hear you crying. I promise that it wasn’t that I didn’t care.
I wish that life would let me rewind, tell you how much you mean to me. I wish that we could hang out like we used to, watching movies and going to the mall. I wish I could tell you what I’m thinking about doing right now. But to do that I’d have to visit your headstone, and I don’t think I could do that. The only thing that’s comforting to me is the knowledge that, if I can be brave enough, I won’t be far behind.
I’m working as hard as I can, I really am. I’ve been studying the material and I think I know it. But when you pass right over me in class like I don’t exist, I start to think that maybe I don’t. I thought that you were the one that was supposed to help me, or notice when something was wrong. But I’ve been feeling so hollow inside, so guilty and ashamed of everything I do. . . .I don’t know how long I can hold on.
Did you not get the message in the stories I wrote? Or did you not even care?
I’m sorry I’m such a waste of your time. Maybe if I wasn’t here, you would have more time to teach people who would actually do something with what you’re telling them. I’m sorry that I’m such a failure in your eyes, but I promise that you won’t have to deal with that for long.
Forever in writing,
When you broke up with me, I didn’t let you see me cry. You saw me say “fine” and walk off. But the truth is, I never got over you. I think about you every day. Your memory is in my mind constantly, blocking everything else until I’m so overcome by grief I can’t even move. I miss you. I miss you so much.
You never saw me crying. And you never would have cared.
I just wish things could go back to how they used to be, before you dumped me. I remember us holding hands and you telling me you love me. Now, your ghost tells me you hate me. Which do I believe? Do I believe the memory of what actually happened or the image of you my imagination has created to convince myself that you hated me anyway? I think I believe the ghost. I was never good enough for you, and I’m sorry that you had to deal with it. But it’s okay now, because now it’s my turn to say “It’s over.”
I hate you. You have done this to me. I used to be happy. I used to tell jokes and laugh and be the life of the party. I used to be the funny person that everyone counted on for a good time. Now, it’s all I can do to stop from screaming. Why did you do this to me? I don’t want to feel like this all the time. I’m so worthless and stupid and insignificant. I don’t know if I can hold on much longer.
You saw me melting. You didn’t care.
I’m dying on the inside. You’ve blamed me for everything, and now I’m putting the blame on you. It’s your fault that I’m like this. It’s your fault that I cry myself to sleep. You used to be my friend. Now I hate you. I’m going to make you feel the same kind of reasonless guilt that I feel all the time now. I’m done, and you can’t do anything to save me now.
Your Worst Nightmare,
Dear Future Self,
You look so happy. Sometimes I almost forget the pain that I’m going through right now. Almost. But it’s so powerful, that sometimes it’s like a mist, blocking my vision. I can’t see you as anything other than what I am right now: Pain. Undiluted and unfiltered. Guilt, shame, pain. It’s all the same anymore. I am never going to be a somebody like you are. I am never going to make something of myself like you have. I am only going to be this forever. Pain.
I can’t see you when I’m like this, so I don’t care.
You can’t see me when I’m like this, so you can’t help.
You were meant to be somebody. I was, I guess. But I will never be that somebody. I will never be you. So I guess there’s no point in prolonging the pain any more. I wish that I could meet you someday, future me, but I’m afraid that day will never come. I will never become more than this. After all, you know as well as I do the thoughts of Dad, my peers, my friend, my teacher, ex-boyfriend, and everybody else in general. You know how much they’ve hurt me. The pain is becoming too much. So I guess this is good-bye, future me. I regret to inform you that nobody will ever know who you would have become. Nobody will know me. And nobody will miss me when I’m gone.
A younger you,
I think that it’s insulting when you pop in “another teen suicide occurred today” like it’s no big deal. These are people that are dying, not some lousy statistic. There are going to be friends and parents and teachers and classmates out there crying as hard as they can for these statistics. Chew on that. They will be broken inside, and you don’t care at all. When somebody dies a hero, it is known everywhere. But when somebody dies because there were no heroes to help them, it is considered their own fault.
You don’t know them. You don’t hear them. You don’t see them. And you don’t care.
Mr. Newscaster, I’m not trying to justify suicide. I don’t think it’s right for these people to die. I’m just trying to make you understand. These people are more than case numbers and statistics. They have--had--lives. They had names and families, and they deserve more respect than this.
You can go ahead and ignore this because you don’t agree with me. I’m not expecting anything more in reality. This will just be another dusty envelope that finds its way to your office, never opened, never read.
But before you brush me off completely. . . .
Mr. Newscaster, I have seven letters that I want you to read.