Author's note: This story is a direct response to the LGBT suicide epidemic that came to national headline news... Show full author's note »
OneMontana had become frightfully icy this October night.
Marissa, sitting in silence with her head buried between her knees, gazed at the Hello Kitty backpack she carried with her. It was black with worn red straps. Scuffed with school-floor dust and littered with various knot holes (she had placed decorative buttons on her backpack earlier in the school year), her backpack held inside itself the essentials of this Millennial-Era seventeen year old, as followed:
-Fuzzy pink socks
-A prized pair of Sisley jeans
-Rope belt with a scratched Union Jack buckle
-Undies and a brazier
-A cell-phone charger
-A bundle of graphic tees
-A tube of Colgate and her toothbrush
-A bottle of ginger-scented Suave
-Two Dasani water bottles
-A baggy of white-chocolate macadamia nut cookies from the previous night’s dinner
-The amount of two-hundred thirty six dollars, unevenly rolled up in a sandwich bag
Marissa held the start to her future in the grip of her trembling right palm: a bus ticket on the 8:15 to San Francisco, California. She looked at it and then fixated her eyes to the clock above her.
A plain-Jane clock it was. More of an Art-Deco style actually. Tick-tick-tick.
“Three minutes,” she thought to herself. “Just three more minutes, and I’ll be free.”
The fragile toothpick body Marissa possessed was shaky and shivery as though her eyeballs had witnessed a murder. Mud lined the bottom of her pants legs. None on her boots though. Huddled onto the burning-cold blue bench at the bus station outside Wiley Point town limits, Marissa felt destined to leave the little Montana junction-town she grew up and lived-in all her short adolescent life.
Should her state of mind been slightly altered than it was at this particular moment, Marissa would have gladly shot herself in the head. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. Her silver locket pulsated in rhythm with her fragile heart.
“They’ll never accept me for what I am. If I stay here, I’m as good as dead...” uttered Marissa.
Wiley Point, Montana, the railroad stop that died when the automobile became popular over a century before, was a terrible place to be different, especially when half the population consisted of relatives.
Marissa’s head wandered.
Would Caroline still be alive if she hadn’t kissed her?