October 30

Dear Madison B'Noit,

It is with my deepest regrets that I must inform you about the tragic death of your father and step-mother today, October the thirtieth. Your father and step-mother—Pierre B'Noit and Jacqueline Cassidy-B'Noit— were in their Mercedes-Benz sedan evidently headed on their way back home in Rochester, New York from a dinner celebration of a friend's when another vehicle crashed into theirs on the highway. Several witnesses called for an ambulance and by the time they reached the scene of the accident your step-mother was found still strapped into the passenger seat, unconscious—later the medical staff disclosed that she was already dead from an apparent heart attack. Your father, on the other hand, was suffering from shock and extreme loss of blood but was still conscious when we found him... However he quietly passed away in the ambulance from internal and external bleeding despite all the EMT staff's efforts to revive him.

As the ambulance sped away, the police officials managed to take the driver of the offending vehicle into custody without incident. The driver of the other vehicle—he gave the name Hayden Cook—was intoxicated with alcoholic beverages and was in no state to drive on a public highway. State records show that Cook has not had a problem with drunk driving before but has had other allegations held against him for insistent drug usage. Today he has been charged with underage drinking, possession of narcotics found in his bag, excessive speeding past the legal limit, unintended man-slaughter on two counts, and driving drunk. This individual is now in a holding cell until further notice in New York. I will advise you to press charges against him as I am still your father's attorney, but we will discuss that at a later point with your legal guardian.

Your father has written a last will and testament that has been recovered from his deposit box at the bank, and as time will permit, we will have the reading after the funeral. Your father, Pierre B'Noit was a very kind client to my father—and subsequently, me—and he encouraged me to be the attorney that I am today. I hope you will allow me the great honour of arranging their funeral for them as you are a minor—however, any opinions you have on this subject matter will most assuredly be heard. It is with a very heavy heart that I have to end this letter to you and I wish to send you my condolences.

Sympathetically yours,
Robert E. Sullivan II
Sullivan & Freeman Law Offices

I still remember how empty and lonely I felt after reading this letter from my father's attorney. The nasty, tight feeling inside my stomach wouldn't go away for the longest time. My father and step-mother had died and left me here, all alone, with no one to take care of me. I wanted to curl into a ball and cry right where I stood, but somehow I managed to spend the second half of the afternoon acting normally, pretending my father and Jackie were at work as usual while I ate a few bowls of cereal and read Romeo and Juliet for school. When I finished Romeo and Juliet and wiped the cereal supply clean, I had nothing else to distract myself with. I had to stop lying to myself and denying the reality of the world as it stood.

...I wonder why it took me so long to accept that fact.

Sitting here in the moving train I can't help but reminisce about my life in the past few weeks, wondering how many safer roads I could have taken since that day. When I think back to those sad days of my existence I wish my life now were as simple and clear cut. When I was happy or sad I'd be able to laugh and cry. What I thought in my mind didn't have to be laced with lies and plotted cunning and I wouldn't be doing these crazy things I'm doing now for a reason I'm not too sure about… and maybe my friends and family wouldn't have estranged me like this.

As I silently watch the beautifully melancholic face that's reflected in the carriage window I wonder if life will ever be the same for me again. Maybe not, after all these increasingly treacherous ordeals I've gone through… I might not even survive what's to come after me once this train reaches its destination.

I really hope I survive.

I don't want to die.

This way.