Would You Remember ME
In this short story, the writer is fifteen years old, contemplating suicide. In her darkest hour she writes a letter.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and teenagers.
When they find my lifeless body and they dedicate a song on the radio for me, I hope it will be the one that I am listening to now. I think it would be fitting and it would express my feelings so simply, yet completely. Before they play the song on the radio though, I would like the announcer to mention my name and say that it was dedicated to me, perhaps then whoever hears it will remember me whenever they hear the song again, although they never knew me. I would be immortal.
I am so unimaginably sorry for doing what I am going to do, but you see I have all these fears. The fears and doubts I have, are so real, so are they really as childish and silly as you always say they are? Sometimes, I am sad and so bitterly lonely and at times, I feel useless, as if I cannot accomplish even the simplest task. Do not get me wrong, I do not always feel this way, because we do laugh and we do often have fun together, but always though I still have this lonely, sadness in my chest. If you looked at me, you would never know the turmoil inside of me. I can be happy, and I do have hopeless crushes on the most unattainable boys. I have to laugh, because that was before I met the absolutely gorgeous, Casey.
I have dreams and hopes, but sometimes I think they just are not enough. I have not slept in the longest time. When the sun sets every evening and everything gets quiet, I lie in my bed, but sleep will not come. Thoughts run through my mind. I have tried to count sheep, and I have tried to relax my body by making myself feel heavy and sink into the mattress, but it never works. This has had a vicious spiralling effect on my daylight hours. I am constantly tired, and my grades have started to slip. I am just so utterly unable to concentrate. How I would have loved to see your face when you got my report card. Straight A’s to depressing D’s. I can only imagine the hour-long lectures, which would go on for days and days. Your continuous monologues at the most importune moments.
I cannot help thinking about Casey, the lovely Casey. How I loved him, and how he left me. His presence still lingers, and I can feel him in the air around me. I feel trapped by the life he left behind. Memories cling to everything and they are everywhere.
It is with regret that I have to say that I am just so tired of being here. I am only fifteen years old, and already I am exhausted. There must be something better out there, don’t you think? I have so many minor wounds, little scrapes, and bruises, that have become so large in my mind. I do not think I would ever be able to get over them. They say that time heals everything, but how do you erase loss?
Mommy. My dearest, dearest Mommy. I know you will blame yourself and I do not want you to. Nothing you could have done would have changed anything.
I have the photo album next to me. You know the one with the bright burgundy red cover. We never seem to look at these photos anymore and I have to wonder why people even bother. You were happy once, before life became difficult. There is a sparkle in your eyes in the earlier photos. Your hair used to be so nice, long, and rich brown. You should grow it again; I think it would suit you.
I remember the day you told me about babies and childbirth. I still snicker when I think about that day. How we laughed and laughed. You made it all seem so funny.
You will be shocked to know that I have so many memories of when I was little. I am smiling to myself now because they are nice memories. I used to love the way your arms wrapped around me, so tightly. You always made me feel so safe and loved. Your hand always felt warm when you wrapped your fingers around mine. You always let me run ahead when you fetched me from school and we walked home, but when we had to cross the road, you always, always took my hand firmly into yours.
You told me once how glad Daddy was the day you found out you were pregnant with me. You were young and poor, but you married for love and waited two years for me. You said, when the doctor turned to daddy, and said, ‘Congratulations, Daddy,’ that you could not contain him. He told everybody the same story a gazillion times.
You used to wipe away my tears, hold my hand when danger approached, but now I am supposed to be grown-up and I have to learn to cope with all these things on my own. I am so sorry for being this weak, but I will always be in your heart, won’t I?
You constantly encouraged me to stand up for myself, but something you never knew is that when we moved around all the time and you thought I made friends easily, I never did. It was always difficult for me. You always told me to be brave and to go up to someone I wanted to play with, but the rejection is horrifying, and I am not sure if you could ever imagine what damage it does. I shall miss you, Mommy.
Daddy, dear Daddy. I loved you, you know, until you left us. Do you really think that you only left Mommy? How can you even begin to imagine that I would not feel as if you also left me? Was my love not good enough to keep you with us?
I am sorry, the day you asked me to choose between you and Mommy, I chose Mommy—but you see, in my mind you chose Ellen long ago above me, and that you, in effect rejected me, along with Mommy and Zelda.
Zelda, my dear baby sister. I must admit when Mommy told me she was pregnant with you, I was so very, very jealous. However, when you were born and I saw how little you were, I loved you immediately. Admittedly, you did steal Mommy away from me because you have so much energy and you always want all the attention, but I never held it against you. Mommy and I grew into a different relationship, a more mature relationship, because you replaced me as the baby in the house. Always know that I love you, and one day when you think back, I hope you will only have the nicest memories of me.
Last, but not least—my darling, Casey. How I miss thee? You would never have believed the commotion you caused when you left. I still cannot believe you have been gone an entire month. They had a memorial service for you at school. Girls and boys broke down and sobbed after you committed suicide on that Sunday morning. They said, “Casey Jones, a rising sports star aged just fifteen killed himself.” I promise you there was not a dry eye in the school hall where the memorial service was held. The Reverend said, “It is sometimes difficult to motivate yourself every day, and friendships and relationships might not be in the places you want them to be. Sometimes life might not unfold as we had hoped it would, and although life can seem complicated, it can also be good.” Everybody clung to each other for support and they even lit candles in remembrance of you, Casey.
They had a show on the television that proclaimed how teenage suicides were on the rise. The parents said the pressure placed by schools on children is a contributing factor, and the schools said that parents placed too much pressure on their children to succeed.
I laugh now, when I remember how they described you as popular and you did well at sports and academically. What they did not mention is how much pressure you were under to excel in everything, and if you were not the best in everything you did, you would not have been so popular.
Before your mother closed your Facebook page, you should have seen the many, many messages there were for you. I could not believe how you reached super stardom overnight.
I still cannot believe you left me behind though. It was so sudden, and if only you had talked to me.
I will always love you. No matter where life may lead me and one day when I walk through the gates of heaven, I will look forward to looking into your eyes again. To feel your arms around me, to feel myself sink into you, and to know that with you is where I would always belong.
I wonder, is it nice where you are? I have contemplated joining you, but I do not know if I am brave enough. It is a scary thought, imagining that life will carry on without me. For a moment I will be famous, everyone will have my name on their lips. Maybe somewhere, years from now a stranger will hear a song on the radio and remember the girl she never knew who committed suicide in the prime of her life.
When I am gone, I want to leave a legacy. I am not sure yet, what kind of memory I would want to leave, so in the meantime I am going to have to think about it.
If you ever feel as if nothing is working out right for you, and you have thoughts of total desolation and desperation, put any rash decisions off until tomorrow. There is a saying, you should always remember, “The darkest hour is always just before dawn.” Sometimes in our darkest hour we can feel so hopeless, so rejected, so unloved, unwanted, and discarded, but imagine when dawn eventually arrived, how we could shine!!
People might think it is safer not to talk about suicide with someone who is considering it. On the contrary, talking will help them deal with some of the heavy issues involved and diffuse the tension. A willingness to listen shows that people care and are willing to help.
To talk to someone, please visit Befrienders Worldwide (volunteer action to prevent suicide) at www.befrienders.org
The story behind Would You Remember ME
Would you Remember ME was inspired by a girl who took her own life. That week there were three suicides in the school my son attended. On the morning this young girl committed suicide, the DJ on the radio dedicated a song to her and, till this day, many years later, every time I hear that song, I think of her. Although she made a decision on that sad day which she could never, ever take back, she became immortal to me. I feel a deep connection with her, even though I never knew her. We are somehow connected through that one song.
Copyright © LYNETTE FERREIRAAll rights reserved.Lynette Ferreira holds all copyright-related rights, including the right to publish the work, to make derivative works of it, to distribute it, to make profit from it, and to forbid these uses by any non-authorized people/person/entity, thus being entitled to take legal action against infringement.