Drowning WordsA Story by Kayla K
"Dear parents. Hug your child. Depression is not a fad." ~Unknown source. Found on an image from Photobucket.
Renee Danes sat comfortably on her sofa, wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket with a cup of hot tea on the table beside her. The day was late in March, but in the Western New York small town, weather was always random, and today had brought a chill to the air. On her computer screen, she had multiple tabs opened, different blogs that she liked to write on. There were 3 or 4, all of which she wrote poetry, stories, and mostly anything to bleed her heart out on.
As she typed up a new poem she had fresh in her mind, a scar on her forearm, stretching from her wrist to almost her elbow was pink and faded, barely visible at first glance, but Renee herself knew that it was there. She always knew it was there, because it was a wound she had inflicted upon herself. It had been four months now since she had last self-harmed, stopping when she found writing as a much better, healthier outlet for her pain. Everything she wrote first went into a tattered journal that she kept hidden under her bed. Each page was filled with inkblots, and then each individual inkblot was always transferred to her multiple blogs. The whole writing part of her was unknown to her family. In fact, her whole true self was unknown to her parents. The cutting, the depression, the writing, the insomnia she had some nights when she couldn't sleep. She had no way of knowing if she technically had depression or insomnia, but there was a deep feeling inside of her that just made her know. She also knew she'd never tell her family, especially her mother.
Just as she finished up her last poem, she heard the front door opening. Logging off from the multiple sites, the history was cleared from the laptop. She shut the computer, walking to greet her mother with a fake happy smile.
"Hi, mother. How was your day?" she asked in a fake cheery voice. Her mother, though, just stood there, a grim look on her face, along with a slight grin, as though she was proud of herself. Throwing her bag on the chair near the door, she made her way through the kitchen and to the dining room, where she threw down a book on the table.
As Renee stood there, her body went frozen. The book in front of her was tattered, and as her mother flipped through the pages, each one was covered with smeared ink.
"What's...that...mom...?" Renee said, deadly afraid. Still, her mom said nothing, but sat down at the table, with the same look on her face.
"This is your writing in here, Renee."
"Yes," she croaked, knowing there was no way to deny it. Trying to come up with a lie, she said, "It's stuff I found on the internet though."
"Really? Renee, don't lie to me. I found all your little blogs where you complain about your "horrible life" and your supposed multitude of diseases you have." Each of the words was like a knife into Renee's heart, stabbing repeatedly, over and over.
"That's not mine...," Renee said, but she heard the weakness in her voice.
"Jesus Christ, Renee! What's wrong with you? First you go on the internet, attention-seeking, trying to pass yourself off as a writer, thinking you're actually good. Then you make up stories about how you used to cut yourself. Added to that, you make up insomnia and depression? THEN you lie to me. When will you realize you're perfectly fine and you have it a lot better than you think? You're just ungrateful. You always have been. Everything I do for you!"
Each word was spoken quietly, with that same grin still on her mother's face.
"The only thing wrong with you is that you're insane. You can't "save" people. You don't have depression. Kids don't get depression. Teens who commit suicide, like you supposedly tried once, they don't have depression, they just are stupid and think everything is the end of the world. Go ahead though. Go drown in your worthless words." With that, the book was slammed back onto the table. Her mother grabbed her keys to her car, grabbing her purse.
"I'm going out for awhile," she called to Renee. "Behave yourself, and think of what you've done."
As soon as the door closed, Renee grabbed her poetry book from the table, clutching it to her chest and sinking onto the floor. The tears cascaded from her cheeks, landing on the cover. More than sadness, though, she felt anger, at her "caring" mother. She stared at the scar on her arm, the only one that had really stayed. All she could think of was where that scar had come from. It was the night she had tried committing suicide, but she had chickened out and not cut deep enough. It was deep enough to leave the ugly scar, her reminder of everything, and how she'd never try again.
Now was different though. She was misunderstood, and accused, and the only thing she loved, writing, was worthless to her mother. She walked to her laptop, opening it up and going to each and every one of her blogs. One at a time, she deleted each one. With a simple click, it was all gone. Then she walked over to the fireplace, throwing in the notebook, and watching each page burn. Climbing the stairs, Renee walked into the bathroom, opening the medicine cabinet, and choosing her weapon.
Renee's mother returned late that evening. As she entered the house, she called out her daughter's name, but nobody ever came. She searched the house, looking to find where she was. As she walked up stairs, she saw her daughter's door closed. Opening it carefully, the scene she saw made her scream louder than ever, and tears overtook her immediately.
On the floor lay Renee, an empty pill bottle by her side. It was a fairly large bottle of ibuprofen, just bought recently the other day. Every pill was gone. Her mother ran to her, shaking her, grabbing at her, trying to get her to open her eyes. As she placed her hand on Renee's wrist, she knew there was no pulse. Clinging to her daughter she screamed, begging her to come back.
Renee's father arrived home 20 minutes later, and he heard his wife's screams coming from upstairs. As he walked upstairs, the site shocked him, but he tried not to panic. He called the ambulance, who, when they arrived, helped him drag his wife off their dead daughter. They had to physically drag her from the room. Both parents went downstairs, for they couldn't bare to stay in the same room as their dead daughter.
As the different officials walked around Renee's bedroom, they looked for anything suspicious, though they already knew that it was most likely a suicide. As one man bent over, he saw her hand clenching a piece of lined paper. He removed it from her hand, looking at the words written on it in pen. It read:
It wasn't my words that I drowned in. It was yours. It was always yours. Still don't believe depression is real? Keep denying it. I dare you.
The man stood, staring at the words, and he felt a tear reach his eyes. The mother herself had caused this. He looked around, to make sure nobody else had seen the note. He shoved it into his pocket.
"I won't torture that poor woman. No one has to know," he muttered to himself.
Hours later, as the man sat in his car, driving home, all he could think of was that girl's body. The note still was shoved into his pants. He knew he should have told someone about it, but he had put himself in the mother's shoes. He thought of his own daughter at home, 16 years of age, just one year older than Renee.
As he got home, the lights were off in his house, everyone else asleep. He trudged upstairs to his room, seeing his wife fast asleep. He pulled the paper from his pocket, staring at the words. He must have read the words a thousand times, but every time, the note was just as strong. Finally, he shoved it into his sock drawer, knowing nobody would find it there. Then he tiptoed into his daughter's room quietly, so he didn't wake her sleeping figure. He sat on the edge of her bed, watching her as she slept. He sighed gently, and her eyes flickered open.
"Dad?" she asked gently. "What are you doing?"
"Just never forget I love you, okay hon?' he whispered.
She giggled, sweetly. "I know that, dad. I love you too."
"I was only making sure. Please know if you ever need to tell me something, I'll be accepting about it. Anything," he said.
She nodded, then fell back asleep. He tiptoed out of his room, laying in his bed, and letting the sleep overtake him.
For the rest of his long life, the man read that letter everyday, before he went to work. Every evening, he sat down with his daughter and talked with her about everything that was going on. As she grew up and moved out, he called her, at least once a week. She got married when she was in her twenties, and she had a daughter of her own, whom they named Renee. It surprised the man, but he was told that it was just a pretty name. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but he always felt it was more.
When Renee was 14, it was discovered she was anorexic. As the entire family was shocked, they got through it, together. She went to rehab for a few months, and though she was still shook up when she returned home, she was becoming much better. The man himself, though, was old and brittle now, and it was expected that he was to die any day. On the last night that he visited his granddaughter Renee, he hugged her closely when he left.
"Never drown in somebody's words, sweetie," he whispered in her ear. A tear escaped her eye, and then she hugged him for the last time.
A week later, the man passed away, a peaceful death caused by old age. When his family went through his stuff, they found the note from all those years ago buried in his sock drawer. His granddaughter Renee found it, read it, and shoved it into her pocket, just like her grandfather had. She, too, hid it in her sock drawer. It was read everyday, by Renee. The words helped her get through every single hard day she had.
© 2011 Kayla K
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Shelved in 7 LibrariesAdded on June 12, 2011
Last Updated on June 12, 2011
Small town , NY
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