Jax: Creator of Paper Memories (elekanahmen) wrote in _imitatinglife,
Jax: Creator of Paper Memories

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Original Fiction // If You Hadn’t But You Did

Title: If You Hadn’t But You Did
Rating: PG
Author: elekanahmen
Disclaimer: This isn’t a cry for help, this story is just my way of picking apart feelings I have and getting emotions out that I can’t get out without scaring people. If you don’t want to read it, by all means, don’t fuckin’ read it. It’s just a catharsis.
Summary: A seemingly happy girl takes her life and her family and friends are left to ask themselves why, they get their answers from a mysterious guest.
Warnings: Deals with suicide. This, again, is NOT a cry for help from me. Some of the details at the beginning are taken from when I did try to kill myself, I’m taking poetic license by having it work because seven years later, I’m living proof that it doesn’t. I’m beyond the days in which I thought that suicide was the answer, and I know now that it isn’t. If you need to talk to me know that I am here and I will never judge you. Please don’t ever feel like Susanna feels and talk to someone. But again. Please DON'T rush me to a shrink. This is all just things i needed to release.
Dedications: To every single one of you who has listened to my cry and a tight hug when I needed it. It’s you who keep me from becoming her.
To my friends, a word: This isn’t me placing the blame for some of the problems in my life on any of you. I love you all dearly and while sometimes we have our moments, I don’t hold a single one of you responsible for how I feel (unless your names are James or Andrea but they aren’t my friends now are they)  The way the ‘mysterious guest’ deals with the answers to the questions of the girl’s family is harsh, it’s cold, and it’s brutal. I would never, ever, ever place the blame for anything that I feel on any of you, so please do not take the words said in here to heart. Like I said, this is just me airing a lot of anger, anguish, and self deprecation out without hurting anyone. Please if you think this will hurt you or make you angry with me, stop reading now. That isn’t what this is meant for. Some of this stuff is made up, some of it (the parents part and the stalker part) is true to life (my life), but other than that its mostly made up. Please, if you fear that you may take offense to this, don't read it. But it does have a powerful message... I hope.

Susanna sat on her bed, staring at the bottles laid out in front of her. A white bottle of muscle relaxers from her father’s surgery a month earlier, a small bottle of Advil, and the orange prescription bottle of assorted left over medications she found in the pantry made up the poisons she had chosen for her demise.  She was nineteen years old and had already seen more in life than many people see.  She’d seen two grandmothers and many friends die, she’d been beaten up through school and oppressed for decisions she made in her life to make her happy, and worst of all, she was not accepted by her family in ways she never thought her ‘loving’ family could do. She was fed up but she knew she couldn’t speak up.  If she spoke up she’d be ridiculed and yelled at and she was too proud for that. Too proud and too fragile. She poured out the contents of the bottles, picking twenty pills to take at random.  For two hours she sat on her bed, staring at the mound of spheres, ovals, and capsules, tears blurring her eyes as she battled herself in her own mind until finally she scooped up the pills and swallowed them three at a time with a glass of water.  She lay back on her bed, closing her eyes and waiting for the inevitable, tears streaming down her cheeks.

When Susanna’s mother, Anne, found her the next morning, she panicked, calling 911 in an attempt to save her beautiful child’s life.  But it was too late, she was told by the EMTs who arrived minutes later, she had been dead for hours, possibly since around midnight. Anne collapsed beside the bed, sobbing as she clutched Susanna’s cold hand to her cheek, begging and praying for her to come back. It was only then that she noticed the small piece of paper folded on the bedside table that said on the outside “To Whom it May Concern.”

Anne unfolded the paper, hands shaking. To Whom it May Concern: I couldn’t take it anymore. Sorry doesn’t seem quite proper as I’m sure life will go on without me just fine. Please try to understand, it was just too much. She stared at the note, confused. Too much? What was too much? She had so many questions to ask and so few answers.

Days later Anne and her husband Ron held a wake for friends and family of Susanna. Kids from her dorm the year before and classes at the State University showed up, girls from Susanna’s high school and earlier.  The only person that no one seemed able to account for was a dark girl swathed in black and blood red clothes, her dark green eyes standing out eerily from the coal black makeup around her eyes, long raven hair hanging straight and effortlessly around her frighteningly beautiful face.

The room was alive with gossip, people asking each other why they thought she did it. The girl seemed to have it all. Susanna was well liked by her friends, funny, beautiful. She wasn’t terribly thin but she wasn’t by any means fat.  She had a knack for writing and art and she could make a child smile who had never met her before. No one seemed to understand why Susanna would up and take her life.  Her friends knew she had problems getting along with her parents, but she seemed to have enough good times with them that they just weren’t concerned.

When the dark girl walked up to the casket, everyone seemed to slow down or stop, watching her lean over and brush a stray red curl off of Susanna’s still face and place a gentle kiss on her forehead.  The girl turned around and tucked her hair behind her ears, gazing around the room, making sure she made eye contact with every person standing in it. “You all knew and loved this girl yet all you can do is ask yourselves the rhetorical question, why did she do it? But are you prepared, yourselves, to hear the answer? To know that the blame could very well fall on your shoulders?”

An uneasy murmur swelled in the room as Ron stood up, “And who the hell are you that you would know the answers to that question?”

“Who I am doesn’t matter, Ron, does it? What matters is I know the answer to these questions and I can tell you if you think you can handle the truth. I look in your eyes and see fear, not will to know the truth. But I will tell you.  Susanna was happy for the most part. You’re all right, she was a kick ass painter and she could spin a hell of a tale. But how many of you knew or cared about the struggles that she held inside? How many of you saw the sparkle in her eyes dying every day?” People looked at each other and murmured, shaking their heads and shrugging. “You all know her grandmother died a year and a half ago. Do any of you know that she started suffering then from a deep depression? She did. It was horrible, she started over eating then under eating, she couldn’t sleep… But you didn’t know because she knew you would all dwell on it and make it worse so she built her façade. She pretended for you because she knew her friends wanted a happy Sue.  She worked with a psychiatrist for six months to get better and she slowly did but then her whole world fell apart again when someone started stalking her… as if that wasn’t enough, one of her friends betrayed her with this man. She was scared for her life and she couldn’t trust anyone. She lost sleep and jumped at shadows. Her whole world went from being a wonderland to being a hell. And no one could understand why. So she kept pretending everything was alright.  But it wasn’t. No. She started gaining weight and getting moody. Anne, do you think it really helped her to remind her that she was gaining weight? To harp on her to diet and lose it? Don’t you think it killed her enough to look in the mirror without having you tell her to ‘go change your shirt honey, that one shows your pudge too much’?  It killed her. And when she told you that she was a lesbian, you did the right thing. You told her you loved her and she’s your baby. But then you got weird around her. If she mentioned a girl she had a crush on, you’d get nervous and act strange. She thought you hated her for who she was. Ron… did you think that telling her she wasn’t ladylike enough or that she was a sissy helped? For god’s sake, when someone needs to cry let them cry. It bottles up. She was afraid of you. Afraid to express herself around you. You would insult her and degrade her. You blamed everything that went wrong on her even when she tried to help. Did you even realize it? Or did you just shrug it off as her ‘thinking she knows what she’s talking about’? Did you see your daughter get tears in her eyes when you did that? No… no, you just thought she was being a wuss. She had feelings. But, I guess that’s clearly evident know. Those feelings put a trail mix of pills in her blood stream. She was trying to discover who she was and all you could do was tell her who not to be instead of embracing who she was becoming. But it’s not entirely your fault.  There’s the case of her ex... oh, right, Ron, Anne, she had a girlfriend. Just in case you didn’t believe that she was a lesbian, her girlfriend is right there. Her name is Rebecca. Rebecca cheated on Susanna the entire time they were together… but she didn’t have the guts to tell Sue… so she used the creepy stalker thing as an excuse to break up with her. Oh and then there’s her boss who over worked and under paid her but gave her so many days off that she couldn’t make enough money to get things she needed. But don’t worry, Ron blames that part on her lack of work ethic, so that’s so not your fault.  Did you know that she got a 4.0 this semester? She did. She even got it after Alexander told her that she was just being pitied by her art instructor. A little jealous Alex? I think so. You’re an asshole. I can’t even believe you showed up.  But her life wasn’t all shit like that… some of you were genuine friends to her and genuinely loved her. She didn’t want to hurt you… she was just too afraid of her demons and their keepers to keep going. It’s not one person’s fault what happened to Susanna… but it’s not no one’s fault. Words can hurt, usually more than physical pain. That’s why I’m here. Some people here need to learn that there are consequences to their words and actions that go far deeper than anyone could imagine. Next time you think that you aren’t hurting someone, look in their eyes when you talk to them. Watch the shine and smile leave their eyes and realize just how you’re killing them. That answer your question, Ron?”

Ron couldn’t answer her. His head was hanging in shame, his face buried in his hands.  Anne had her arms wrapped around him, her face buried in his shoulder as she cried. The dark girl turned one last time to kiss Susanna’s forehead gently. She turned and walked through the crowd of shocked people and out the front door of the parlor. No one ever saw her again, but no one ever forgot the value of what she said.  Don’t ever forget the value of what she said.
Tags: original fiction, title: if you hadn't
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