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This is a story about a girls struggle through life without her mother at the age of seventeen. She has no family member to turn to but she keeps going, repeating one thing to herself all the time, "I'm Not Dead." View table of contents...


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Submitted:Oct 27, 2012    Reads: 149    Comments: 4    Likes: 2   

I'm not dead.

Not yet. It feels as if I am, as if the person I see eating and talking is someone else.

I'm not dead.

I don't feel anything anymore. Not since she was left. I haven't let myself feel. I have numbed my body so I wouldn't feel, wouldn't deal with the pain and the feeling of loss and sorrow.

I'm not dead.

I'm very much alive. I sit at the lunchroom table and laugh with my friends, hearing the hollowness of my voice. I poke fun and Ricardo, the white kid with the Mexican name. He knows. He knows everything. My neighbor and my brother of a sorts was there. He stood beside me as I watched the little blue nova pull out of the cracked driveway and disappear around the bend. He didn't offer condolenses. He didn't offer a shoulder to cry on, or words. He knows. He looked at me while I kept my eyes trained on the bend, hoping. Wishing she would turn around. He nodded at the house. "Ashley, go inside. If you need anything, I'm a phone call away."

"Yeah, okay." I whispered to him, not hearing, feeling, or knowing anything. That's when I died. That's when I lost all hope for me, for my family, for my friends, for life, for the other people on the planet. That's when something inside of me broke into a million pieces, and I'm still gathering them up, months later, sitting in the lunchroom, pretending happy.

I like to pretend she stopped at a gas station to fill up and thought about what she did. I like to think she misses me and loves me. I like to think she wants to come back but she can't find the time or her new husband won't let her come home to me. Sometimes I even like to pretend he beats her, as punishment for her crime against her sixteen, now seventeen, year old daughter. I like to think she lays awake at night and cries for me, for the life she left to behind. I like this all of this and still, I know it's not true. None of it is true.

My mother hates me.

I'm not dead.

The words repeat themselves day in and day out. They run like a rat race in my head, all the time. I'm not dead. I'm not dead. I'm not dead.

But really, I am.

Inside I have shriveled up. I'm dried and brown like a leaf in fall. On the outside I appear normal. I seem okay. Everybody in the school knows of what happened. How, I don't know. And I don't care. I don't talk to anybody but my friends, of which there aren't many. My mother saw to that, making me come straight home after school to clean the house and be her servant. I tried to please her, though she never hit me.

My mother hates me and I know why.

My mother left me and I know why.

I love my mother, but she left my to die...

And I KNOW why...


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