They were fighting again. Kellie sighed as she tried once again to begin her homework. But all she could hear was yelling. Why couldn't her parents understand that she had AP exams to study for? She was a senior in high school, and she had homework.
Her problems were bigger than theirs.
But the yelling continued.
"God, save me from this," Kellie muttered, closing her calculus book and flopping down on her bed. "This sucks so much." She squeezed her eyes shut and massaged her temples.
"You're disgusting!" It was her mother's voice, clipped and pointed. "If we didn't have Kellie I wouldn't have stuck it out this long. This is the end."
"Go away, then. And take your stupid daughter with you. Kellie means nothing to me," snapped her father.
Kellie gasped, turning to the door. She suspected that her father didn't love her, that she was just a burden. . .but now it was blatantly obvious.
"Why don't you go say it to her face?" snapped Kellie's mom. "Just tell her." Her mother flung Kellie's bedroom door open and screamed, "Kellie, your father has something he'd like to tell you."
Scared, Kellie slid to the other side of her room and pressed herself up against the wall. Her vocal cords weren't working.
"You're a worthless piece of crap," said her father, "Just like your mother!"
Kellie began to cry, but her parents were too wrapped up in their own problems to see her slip out of her room. She walked down the stairs quickly and then exited the house.

It was a cold night. Cold, and rainy. The rain poured down in thick torrents, mixing with her tears. "Oh, God," sighed Kellie. Her voice was hoarse, her lips cracked. "Oh, God, what the hell am I doing?"
She moved quickly to her best friend's house. His name was Garvey, and he lived just a few city blocks from Kellie. She knocked on his door. "Garvey, open up!" she screamed.
Garvey opened the door, decked in his PJ's. "Kel," he said. "What's going on?" But it wasn't a concerned, "What's going on?" It was more like a doped-out, sleepy, flirtatious, "What's going on?"
"Just came to say goodbye," said Kellie, wiping tears from her eyes. "I'm leaving."
"Where're you going?" asked Garvey. "Can I come?"
Kellie laughed sadistically. "I wish you could, but no. . .I have to go alone. I just wanted to thank you for being a great best friend. Perhaps I'll see you again, someday." She leaned over and kissed Garvey quickly on the cheek.
"Bye, Kellie. . ." He waved and watched as she disappeared.

Kellie kept walking until she came to the neighborhood park, the place she'd flocked to in her childhood. It was deserted now--no parents in their right minds would allow their children to play outside now.
Kellie found an abandoned jump rope laying on the grass. An idea began to formulate in her head. A chilled thought flew through her mind, leaving her shivering. Maybe it was the cold, or maybe it was the rain. . .but suddenly Kellie screamed, "ENOUGH!!!"
No one heard her.
No one responded.
All she could hear was the hum of crickets and the drops of rain, splashing down on the pavement. It was as if someone was crying. . .

Kellie pulled the notebook out of her pocket and began writing:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
AS YOU KNOW BY NOW, I'VE COMMITTED SUICIDE. I'M SORRY, I KNOW THAT I'VE PROBABLY HURT A LOT OF PEOPLE. . . BUT I JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY LONGER. WHOEVER FINDS THIS, PLEASE MAKE SURE THESE MESSAGES GET THROUGH TO A FEW PEOPLE:
MOM- I'M SORRY IT ENDED UP THIS WAY. I LOVE YOU LOTS, AND I KNOW THAT YOU LOVE ME. IT WAS TOO HARD FOR ME, TOO PAINFUL. I DON'T WANT TO LIVE ON IF I'M A BURDEN TO YOU AND DAD.
DAD- I DON'T KNOW IF YOU REALLY THINK I'M WORTHLESS. . . BUT YOU HURT MY FEELINGS SO BADLY. I DON'T THINK I CAN LIVE ANY LONGER. PLEASE DON'T FEEL GUILTY.
GARVEY- I LOVE YOU. I ALWAYS HAVE. I WISH IT DIDN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. I WANT TO GET MARRIED TO YOU SOMEDAY, I REALLY DO. BUT I GUESS YOU'LL FIND SOMEONE ELSE. YOU'RE A GREAT GUY.
OKAY, THAT'S IT.
I'M SORRY IF I'VE CAUSED ANYONE PAIN, BUT I DON'T THINK I WILL BE MISSED. . . I WOULD LIKE TO BE BURIED NEXT TO GRANDMA AND GRANDPA, SO MAYBE I CAN KEEP THEM COMPANY.

LOVE FOREVER, KELLIE

Kellie wiped a few tears from her eyes, folded up the note, and stuck it in her pocket--it hung out just enough that someone would see it. She then tied the jump rope into a noose. Her hands shook as she tied the top of the jump rope to a strong limb of a tree. Sighing, Kellie slipped the noose around her neck.
"Oh, God," she sighed, wiping a few last tears from her eyes. "I hope death is better than life." She jumped from her perch on a tree branch. The noose caught her and she swung haphazardly a few times.
"Oh, God," whispered Kellie again, as life drained out of her. "Here I come."
She let out her last breath and surrendered to death.

It was Garvey who found her first. It took him a few hours of replaying their conversation before he finally realized what Kellie was hinting at. Scared that he was too late, he raced around the neighborhood, screaming, "Kellie! Kellie, where are you?!?!?!"
He made his way to the park eventually, and when he got there he saw her. She was hanging from a tree, a note sticking out of her pocket. He sobbed for a while, holding her hand. She'd been dead. He could've saved her.
Garvey took the note from her pocket and began to read, crying when he read the part about himself. He dialed her home phone on his cell phone, and her parents were over in minutes along with police officers and ambulances.
Everyone stood silently, watching as the doctors pulled the sheet over Kellie's head. She was so beautiful. Garvey wanted to rip the sheet off of her. . .he just wanted to kiss her.
It wasn't fair.

Years passed.
No one spoke of Kellie again, although whenever Garvey came to visit with Kellie's parents there was always an awkward silence once all the, "How are you?" "How do you like college?" hype was exhausted.
And eventually, Garvey made a family for himself. Wounds heal over time. Over time, Garvey forgot about Kellie. Over time, Kellie's grave became deserted. Over time, the girl who hung herself in a neighborhood park went from gossip to legend to a faded memory.
Over time, things changed. And Kellie was just one of those changes that became a rough spot in the past. People move on.
Wounds heal over time.