Jason Lawrence Bell
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02-03-19

02-03-19                     PUSH ARROW TO BEGIN AUDIO

Chief of police Doug Dixon walked up to the podium, took out his notes from his pocket, and with a serious reluctant face began to deliver his message. “As most of you are aware, we have located the missing Austin teenager Sissy Palmer. Her body was found in the high school attic apparently from a suicide. With her body was found a lengthy letter explaining her decision to take her life. She asked that the letter be read to the public. And now I will do the reading”.

Officer Dixon stepped back for a moment to gather his strength and deliver Sissy’s message as appropriately as he could. He began, “today I woke with the same dread as I do every morning, knowing that I will be forced to take my overweight body and boring face to Hell School and feel masses of shame pored over me like hot tar. By the time I hear the last bell, I am so heavy with insults that I can barely walk home. I usually would take long showers, but it no longer washes off. I have become the loathsome monster that they say I am. I repulse myself. I only find peace in sleep. There are no mirrors, or ugly mouths or walks of shame when I sleep. When I awake and I’m still in twilight, I can feel both worlds separated. One black and calm like a cocoon of nothingness, safe and alone. And the other world of out-of-control angry faces where I’ve learned I don’t belong. And I realized I had a choice. Nothingness or hell.’

‘I am telling you this because despite this constant pain, something amazing happened in my sleep last night. Somehow my awareness awoke. I could see with vivid clarity thru the eyes of the three girls that have punished me since grade school. I won’t say their names, they know who they are.

When I saw thru the eyes of the tall girl, I saw her struggling with her mother’s drinking problem. Night after night dragging her mom out of bars and working so hard to be certain that no one would see her dark secret. I could feel her shame so deep and ragging. Then I could see her release her rage on me. But her rage doesn’t fade it only builds stronger. I saw her as a victim and I knew she hates herself more than I ever could.

Then I saw thru the eyes of the pretty one. She is the beauty queen with the stage mother who drove her to excel using her beauty. Years of training to walk correctly, look sexy without looking cheap, charm school, talent lessons. She knew she was nothing without her looks and charms. Her brain was used to convince men and judges that she had style and irresistibly. She had a reoccurring nightmare, that she was in a room with more glamorous girls, and she felt worthless and incompetent and trapped. Her biggest fear was that someone would realize there was really nothing much behind her big beautiful eyes. I represented the ugliness she secretly felt was her. And she punished me to prove to herself she was not ugly. But it never worked, that’s why she continued to punished.

The last girl was the hardest, because when we were young, we were close friends and I know her history. Her betrayal hurts the most. When we started high school, we were best buddies, but she was allowed in circles that I wasn’t. Eventually, I became her obstacle. How could she be my friend and be cool and accepted by the others. I know she feels horrible about how she has treated me, and in her mind, she intends someday to make things right with me. I worry for her, that my decision today to leave, will remove her ability to correct her mistakes. So, may I say from the deepest place in my heart, I forgive you my old friend. And I love you and I wish you peace and happiness in this messed up world.

I have chosen the unknown path and I am certain it is the best for me. Please tell my family that my love for them is endless and we will meet again. I leave in peace.” Officer Dixon handed the letter to the weeping mother. And the cameras turned off. Peace.**