All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Rest in Peace
In truth, death is a tragedy. It’s one of the things that can really tear you up emotionally. It causes people to do crazy things. Especially if you loved the one in question, the “victim”, the one that died isn’t always a victim though, but in this case I am. If only some one would have told me that sooner.
People think that having a loved one die can be about one of the worst things that can happen to them. I suppose that’s reasonably true. But you tell me, what’s worse: having a sister, daughter, or girlfriend that you loved (and found out you were cheating on her the day she died), die? Or being that sister, daughter, and girlfriend that died, but didn’t know.
My name is Jessica Meiners. I’ve been dead for 3 years 4 months and 18 days. And I’m just now about to be able to rest in peace. I’m Jessica Meiners, and this is my story.
I died on my 15 birthday, when I was just a freshman in high school. Dying isn’t the term used though. Murdered is what happened to me, brutally might I add, or so I hear. It’s still a little fuzzy. Now it is May 22nd, and I’m doing one more thing before finally moving on, and leaving this world for good. I’m watching all of my classmates graduate from high school, just a couple weeks after they found out how I died.
They found out how it happened on May 8th, of my “would be” senior year, 14 days ago. I watched it all unfold; I just sat there watching the scene unfold. What else was there to do? Nobody has been able to hear or see me since my death. I’m lucky if I can make somebody feel my presence enough to stiffen and remember something about me. The only thing I worried about in death was being forgotten. At first I didn’t even think about it, and then people started to get back to their routines, avoiding things that made me cross their mind, and the pain my death brought them.
Everyone wants something to be remembered by, and I settled into thinking I wouldn’t be, because I wasn’t old enough to impact the world. One of the big things I learned in death is that you’re never too young to change the world. You’re never too young to make a difference. Now I know how I made a difference though. It wasn’t my life that changed anything. It was my death.
The reason I was murdered, that’s how I did it. I left enough clues behind that it was discovered. I am the reason they were caught. The reason I died, is so now, after 3 years 4 months and 18 days, I can finally see my death be brought to light. I can see justice be served, and I can see my cause be broadcasted all over, saving lives everywhere. I can see the reason I was put on this earth. And I can now, finally, rest in peace.
Kayla’s a b**ch. And anyone with half a brain knew that. Everyone that is, except Jess. Jess… I screwed up there. Not even a little mishap, one were we can just kiss and make up. No, I blew it. I’d never do anything to hurt her. That’s not how I roll. But Kayla, that’s just how she is. I didn’t mean for it to happen, it was one kiss. It didn’t mean anything. But I never got to tell Jess that. She saw us then turned on her heels and ran. She probably thinks I’ve been cheating on her for as long as we’ve been together. I ran after her, but she’s fast. I thought of hundreds of different was to apologize to her in a way where she would believe me. I had so many things to say to her. None of them were ever said though. The next time I saw her all that was left was her cold lifeless body. She was wearing a dismal frown, it was one of the only times I had seen her not smiling, and when I had it was due to concentration in the middle of a soccer game. Her warm brown eyes had been closed. And her brown curly hair was sprawled across the bottom of her casket. When she died she probably had some thought running through her mind about me being a no good, cheating jerk. I guess I deserved it though… Anyway back to what I was saying. Kayla was Jess’s best friend. Whenever Kayla wanted to do something, Jess was there, right along side of her supporting her. Whenever Jess wanted to do something Kayla was suddenly sick, tired, busy, the list is endless. That’s were I come in. Whenever they went anywhere (in this case a football game) Kayla would go off and flirt with guys, leaving Jess trailing along besides her to smile politely, and stand awkwardly. What a life huh? So it was August and we were both at some football game or another. Kayla was flirting with me and my buddies, with Jess standing by her looking a little worse for wear. Kayla caught me starring at her and was suddenly so overcome with thirst that Jess just had to get her water or she’d die. Jess was prettier than Kayla. Kayla just wore more makeup than clothes so most guys didn’t notice Jess while talking to Kayla. I could tell Kayla was jealous when she saw I wasn’t looking at her, which is why she sent Jess off. I made up some crap about the restroom and headed toward the general direction of the snack bar. I spotted Jess and “accidentally” bumped into her. “Hey, your Jessica right?” I asked her flashing a smile. “Yea,” She had replied with a confidence I wouldn’t have suspected. “Mitch, right?” “The one and only,” I replied, feeling smug she remembered. “Not including all the other Mitch’s that inhabits this earth that is.” Then she laughed and smiled. “You’re Kayla’s friend right?” I asked. I saw a shadow flicker over her eyes for just a second and then it was gone. “Oh, yea. Is that why you came over here? Do you want me to give you her number or something?” She said it in her most helpful voice, if you weren’t looking for it, you never would have detected even the slightest trace of bitterness. That’s what I liked about her, no matter how much she wanted something she was willing to give it all up and be completely sincere and nice to anyone. Even me, some random guy she’d met 30 minutes before. “No, no I came…” I was about to say to come see you, but then realized how stalkerish that sounded and said, “…to get some Swedish Fish.” “No you didn’t.” She had blurted out, then clamped her hand over her mouth like she hadn’t meant to. “Then why did you think I came over here?” I asked her wondering if she did think I was a total creeper, but trying to act suave. Then she blushed and stammered, “Oh… um… I just saw you walk over here… and um… when you saw me you looked away… then… uh… bumped into me.” She said very quietly like she was embarrassed and was hoping I hadn’t heard her. “But it’s cool.” She said quickly trying to cover it up, “Let me get you Kayla’s number. I’ve got it somewhere…” She said looking in different pockets for her phone. “I really don’t want it.” I said in a tone that was probably a little ruder than how I wanted to come off. “Oh...” she said, “Than why…?” “You were right.” I had smiled at her, “I was going to be smooth and suave and bump into you like some guy in the movies and save you from your horrible household and from cleaning all day like Cinderella.” I admit that was a little over the top. But I was a little cocky, because I already had known she liked me, and wanted to see her blush again. “Well in that case,” she said with a triumphant look on her face. “You can save me from these horrendous prices. Those Swedish fish you mentioned earlier are just calling my name.” So I bought them, she said she’d been joking and offered to pay, but I insisted that I would. So I did. But instead of going back to Kayla we kept talking and hanging out. We eventually exchanged numbers. It was all good. Until it was time to leave. Jess was Kayla’s ride. And when Kayla finally saw Jess she started screaming at the top of her lungs about how long she’d been looking for her. Even though I’m sure Kayla’s made Jess wait a million times more than Jess had made Kayla wait. She kept going on and on, until she realized I was there. Then she gave Jess a look equivalent to one you’d give someone who had just murdered your best friend. Ironic huh?
Jess was my best friend. So why do I feel relieved that she’s dead? I don’t mean that I’m happy that she’s been murdered. I’m just kind of relived, like a huge weight has been lifted off me. Jess herself was never a burden. She probably did more for me in the past year, than I’ve done for her the whole time I’ve known her.
When I would hang out with guys around Jess I felt like I had to act a little sluttish, or they’d never notice me. She was a lot prettier than me, not that anyone ever noticed; I worked hard to be pretty, and to be the pretty one. It took effort, which is the reason she bugged me so much.
Jess would never hurt a fly, and I’m pretty sure if I told her, that her being so pretty made me feel like I needed to dress like I did, and act out, that she would come to school the next day with fake acne, zits, and who knows what else. Knowing fully well that I never would have done the same for her.
I tried so hard at everything I did, guys, school (sometimes), sports. And she seemed to have some pass that let her breeze through everything no problem. But she never boasted about it. She never tried to make herself seem better than someone. She’d sooner say something super embarrassing about herself that wasn’t true to make someone feel better.
She was the star of the soccer team. I was a rejected cheerleader. She was involved, and in charge of so many clubs I couldn’t even keep track, I couldn’t remember when it was my turn to clear off the table (not that I did even when it was my turn). She had a 4.2 GPA. Mine was plummeting downwards faster than she skied. So it’s sufficient to say, I was a little jealous.
The thing was though; you couldn’t hate her for it. I bet if I asked her to she’s fail a test to make you feel better. She never bragged about anything, and wouldn’t gossip to save her own life. She was perfect. And she was perfect without trying. So no matter how hard I tried I was never good enough to even be friends with Jess. Not that she’d ever think that. She thought of herself as lucky for having me as a friend.
So who killed her, and why on earth would they do it?
We live in a small town. News travels fast. They found me dead the morning of January 4th when I was just a freshman in high school, everyone in town knew by lunchtime. I was found lying dead on the floor of my room. What had happened nobody knew. They never found a scratch on me, asides from a small bump on my head that couldn’t possibly killed me. Autopsy results said I had a swollen liver and some kidney issues. They guessed I had been poisoned, but they didn’t know by what, or more importantly who?
My death remained a mystery. No one even had a clue to motive or how it how it happened. Who would have been sneaky enough to come in my room kill me leaving no clues to how it had happened and leave without anyone noticing. Who would have been smart enough, and why would they have done it.
They looked at suicide as an option, but why would I kill myself? I had a good life, good family, good boyfriend, good friends, good grades. They couldn’t find anything to back that theory up. Actually they couldn’t find anything at all.
The day before I died, January 3rd, it was a Monday. I woke up got ready, went to school, after school went to track practice, it was indoors in hallways of the high school. Everything was normal. Mitch was supposed to drive me home; I looked all over for him. Someone told me he had gone out to the football field. He would run on the track surrounding it in whenever he was thinking, no matter the weather, so it didn’t seem unusual.
I went out there and I saw him sitting under the bleachers his head in his hands. Unusual. I went up quietly so I wouldn’t startle him. Then I saw Kayla strutting up to him. I ducked behind the nearest object to see what happened. When he heard her footsteps his head snapped up.
“Jess?” He asked.
“Nope.” Kayla said from behind him, a grin on her face. “It’s just me.”
“Oh.” He said standing up to face her. “Do you know where Jess is? I’m supposed to give her a ride home.”
“I know she’s not here.” Kayla somewhat slurred. “It’s just you, and me.” She was touching him way more than was necessary. So he started backing up.
“Well I gotta go find her, she’ll be looking for me.” He tried to duck away from her but she stuck her arm out.
“We’re you goin Mitchy. You to good for me know that your dating Jess. To good to be seen with her dumb slutty friend. Huh Mitch? Huh?” with every word she stepped closer, until he was pressed against a wall and she was pressed against him so hard, air couldn’t get through the space. Then she kissed him. And the same split second she attached her lips to his, he saw me starring at them.
I ran away. I asked the first person I knew for a ride home, they said sure. I lived close to the school anyways. I wasn’t mad at him, I was mad at Kayla. I needed time to think so that I could figure everything out in my head. I figured I would explain to him later that I knew it wasn’t his fault. At the time I didn’t realize there wasn’t going to be a later…
The last time Jess saw me before she died was when her best friend was kissing me. Not the other way around. After she saw us I ran after her, but she was quick. The last time I saw her she was getting into someone’s car. I guess I wasn’t driving her home anymore. I never told the police about Kayla. And I’m not sure Kayla even remembered. The day after Jess died I saw her kissing at least three different guys. She must be heartbroken.
I remembered going over to Jess’s house to talk to her. I couldn’t tell you how many times I drove past trying to find the guts to go in. I saw Big Mike’s carpet cleaning van there, after a while it left so I decided this time was it, I would go up and talk to her. Right before I got there her Mom pulled in so I sped away deciding to talk to her tomorrow. I didn’t want to get in a fight with her and have her mom hate me for the rest of our lives.
I stopped at a Speedway and got a coke slushy and filled up on gas. Then I drove home, did my homework, played some COD, showered, and went to bed. Thinking the entire time about what I could do to make it up to Jess. What I could do so that she would listen to me, or believe my side of the story.
The next morning I got up, got dressed, ate, and left for school. Having no idea that while I was brushing my teeth, or eating waffles, Jess’s parents were trying to wake up their beloved daughter. She never woke up though.
I normally took Jess to school, I figured I’d go over there like nothing was wrong. See if we could talk on the way, or stop for doughnuts. When I was pulling into her driveway, I could tell something was off. The house just reeked of despair. Because it was January and the middle of winter the trees were barren, and the grass was dead and dry. But the thing that really tipped me off was the flashing cop car on the driveway.
We live in a small town, everyone knows everyone, that sort of thing. Our technology was outdated, and the nearest big city was miles away. Sure we had cell phones, and ipods, and Xboxes, but to get one we had to drive a heck of a long way away. You hardly ever saw a cop out, and if you did the lights were NEVER on. So why was I pulled up on the curb outside Jess’s house with a cop car in the driveway, lights flashing.
I ran out of the car, leaving my door ajar, and streaked into the house not bothering to knock. I looked around to see what was going on, and seeing no one I went straight up to her room. Upon entering the room I almost fainted at the sight that laid before me.
Jess was sprawled out on the ground, bent at odd angles like she had fallen from her bead. There was a bucket near her head with an awful stench coming from it. Apparently she had been sick the night before. She had a small bump on her head, like she had hit her head on her bead post or something. I saw her lifeless unmoving body, her brown curls framing her head, her pales skin. Nothing moving. Not a blink, or a breath, or a twitch. Jess was gone.
At that I booked it. I ran out of there like a madman. Not even pausing to catch my breath. Jess… my girlfriend… was dead. Dead. Jess was dead. The second I pulled into my own driveway I shut the car off and sprinted towards my bed. It’s sufficient to say, I took the rest of the week off.
Jess was dead. It was the biggest gossip of the day. They had found her this morning and the entire school was buzzing about it. I hadn’t seen Mitch yet today, that’s not suspicious that he didn’t show up to school the same day his girlfriend was supposedly murdered. It wasn’t true though. In fact I felt sorry for whatever fool made that up. Jess hadn’t missed a day of school since 3rd grade when she had chicken pox. Someone must have said she died as a joke; someone else overheard, took them seriously, and launched the story into the ever growing rumor mill. Whatever. Everybody was giving me weird looks. I heard them whispering, “Why is she here today?” and, “She doesn’t even look sad!” “SHE’S NOT REALLY DEAD!” I wanted to scream at them. She couldn’t be. I would know it. I would feel it, or her someone would have called me. I slid into my second period class room a split second before the bell rang. I took my usual seat and the seat to the left of me, Jess’s seat, was empty. She really wasn’t here today. She probably saw me kissing Mitch yesterday and took a day of to wallow in self pity. Mitch. Stupid, stupid, Mitch! Why did he have to be so damn attractive? And why did he choose Jess over me? I’m everything a guy wants, hot, a bit of a slut, easygoing, and don’t ask for a commitment. So why did he make a commitment for her? The day they met I was supposed to hook up with him. He just didn’t know it. I just saw him and his buddies and he stood out. So I went up to them and started working my magic. Jess was with me, like always, she always stuck with me even though she had tons of other friends that would be nicer to her. She knew that I knew that. So I started flirting with them, especially Mitch. I saw him staring at her, I became jealous, she wasn’t trying to make him like her, and yet, everything I worked for, she got without trying. But you know what they say, life’s not fair. I told her that I was thirsty, so she’d go away and Mitch would stare at me, and she did like the good friend she was. Thing is, when I turned my back for a split second to look at Jess, Mitch headed of after her. I was pissed. Everything, and I mean everything I wanted. Jess got without asking, or even trying. F**k, my parents even liked her better than me. So excuse me for being jealous, or for trying to get Mitch. But really, when she comes to school tomorrow, we’ll work it out and everything will be fine. I just know it. It had to be, because when I thought about it, Jess was my only friend… Around lunch time the speakers came on. “Attention students.” Principal Rhyes voice said. “As I’m sure you have all heard, one of our students, Jessica Meiners, was found dead this morning. In respect to Jessica, we will have the rest of the week off of school, and on Friday night, we will have a candle light vigual. We hope you will all attend. School is ended early today, and the buses are waiting outside. All after school activities are cancelled. Thank you and I hope the rest of your Tuesday goes well.” By the time the announcement was over you could hear Dr. Rhyes sobs. Everyone loved Jess. Students sat there, silent for the first time that day. Everyone looked stunned. They’d heard about it from others, but most, like me, didn’t believe it was true. Once I collected my thought I ran out of there. It wasn’t true; the principal was just sadly mistaken. It just further proved we lived in a small town. I bet if someone thought a student had died in a big town, they wouldn’t even acknowledge it, much less give us the rest of the week off. I ran to Jess’s house, it was in the neighborhood adjacent to the school. I imagined her opening the door, with bags under her eyes and her hair full of knots. I’d break down “crying” apologizing for kissing Mitch and telling her some sob story about me being jealous of her and how hard this school year has been on me, maybe throwing in some family problems. She’d feel awful about how she made me feel, invite me in, and give me some huge hug while crying. I’d make sure she knew it wasn’t Mitch’s fault; he didn’t deserve that, even if I wish he did. I turned on to her driveway and walked up to her door. I paused to knock, but then decided against it. I pulled out the spare key I had, but when I put it into open the door I found it unlocked. The door was slightly open, so I peeked inside, and seeing no one I close the door and sprinted up to Jess’s room. Her room was empty. The bed was made, but not as neat as it would have been if she did it. Everything was neat and tidy, as always. I went inside her closet and pulled out her foot ladder. She had a small square opening in her ceiling, it led to an attic or something that was filled with electrical chords. She wasn’t supposed to open it. It’s the only rule, which I’ve known of, that she’s broken. I moved the thin sheet of drywall out of the way. Tapped to the back was her journal, or diary, whatever you want to call it. She wrote in it everyday. I flipped through the pages to find yesterday’s entry. Right when I found it I heard the front door open, and a women crying. I quickly moved the thin sheet of wall back in place closing up the attic. I shoved the diary in my school bag and ran out of her room. I crept downstairs and saw her mom bawling into her dads arms. He was also crying, but in more of a silent way. They were in the middle of the foyer so I crept around and snuck out the back door. I sprinted away not looking back. When I finally got home, I ran to my room, slamming the door shut. I threw her book towards my bed and it ended up sliding under. I wouldn’t see it for a long time, and when I did, the answer to her death will be so blatantly written that her death will be able to be all wrapped up. I thought back to the scene in her house. That’s when the full impact of Jess’s death hit me. I broke down in tears falling on the floor; the bed was to far away. Jess was dead… How could Jess be dead…?