You Can't Take My Heart
November 10, 2005
There is nothing I hate more than moving. We had just settled in, I had just moved up from nerdwithnofriends to nerdwithsomefriends. And then we moved. Again. To a new house, new town, new state. Worst of all: a new school. New kids, new students. But never a new me. Never a new position. My brother, the perfect one, is instantly accepted into the "popular crowd". But me? I've never had such a warm greeting. School is a hell on Earth for me, but it is not the only one. No matter what state or house we are in, my house has always been hell. My brother, as I said, is perfect, so therefore doesn't have to deal with my mom and dad's crap. But me? Once again I am left out, on the edge. I am shunned at school and even at my own home. I am the black sheep. The lone wolf. Always alone.
Technically I should be in Social Studies right now. Ha! I have never encountered a more boring, pointless subject in my life. But to the main point: my life sucks. Already I am a target for bullies. Do I have "I want to be pushed around" tattooed on my head? My books are constantly being pulled from my hands and kicked down the hallways. Same with my binder. I have crude graffiti on my locker. My poor brother, Tim, has no idea what to do. While popular, people just laugh it off when he asks them to leave me alone. A long time ago, in another distant state (but the circumstances the same), he stood up for me and was therefore alienated. He would do it now, too. But I made him promise not to. He shouldn't have to go through what I do.
Home is another issue. Mom was the reason we moved. She got a job; dad has never had a real one. He just drinks beer all day, while watching TV. Nice, huh? When mom isn't here he likes to hit me and Tim. Mom can't stop it. He does the same to her. We've just learned to hide the bruises. Poor Tim. He struggles between compliance and courage. I'm afraid dad will beat that courage out of him, like he did to mom. But me? Never. They can hit me and move me around, taking me from town to town, but they can never take my heart.
SchoolBack of the math class
Been a long time. Many things have changed, but so many have stayed the same. I dyed my hair black. It makes me look even more pale. I also cut it to my chin. And I did both in the school bathroom. My own little rebellion. But I sure got it when I got home. I told people the huge bruise across my face was from falling. Oldest excuse in the book. Once I tried to tell. Dad beat the tar out of me, telling me to never tell other people our business. For all my rebellion I never have spoken a word about it. I'm still bullied. Still hit. Still alone. But not for long. I plan to escape this miserable inferno soon. Farewell until next time.
Washington State Police Report
Angela Reynolds, age 16, disappeared around the time of two o'clock on Friday, December 3rd, after her school was released. Her disappearance was not reported until the next day. She was last seen wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt. She is a white female, 5'5", black hair. Any tip is appreciated.
Interview with Police Officer and Students
Officer: When was the last time you saw Angela Reynolds?
Student: Uh… I don't know…2nd period? She always skips 3rd.
Officer: Oh really.
Student: Oh yeah. She hates Social Studies. She gets bullied a lot, too. I feel bad for her.
Officer: How often would you say she's bullied?
Student: (laughs) Dude, there's not a day she isn't.
Finally I'm free. I, Angela Reynolds, have finally stood up and gathered the courage. They will never find me. I dyed my hair red. I am wearing contacts, green ones. I have a green dress on. I stole all my dad's money and his credit cards. But I'm not stupid. I pulled out all his money before I left Washington. Now I'm in California. Hiding. But one day I won't have to any more. Now I am, though. Just to be safe. My new name shall be… Jenny.
Berkeley, California State Police Report
To: Washington State Police Headquarters
Found: Angela Reynolds
Angela Reynolds was found trying to enroll in a home schooling program. She denied it, but we found her old clothes in a motel in which she was staying. We have her in custody and are waiting for further instruction.
Note: She said "Don't let them get me again" repeatedly and cried for a whole day.
I'm caught. I felt enraged, fearful and sad when they first got me. But now I'm just numb. Preparing for the blows to come. The officers were so kind and let me have my diary. Perhaps it was the fact I cried? Maybe if they knew how much I would cry in the next few weeks they wouldn't make me go back. But I can't tell them. I can't tell them the family business.
I'm back. They keep an eye on me now. They also make sure I don't skip SS. But there is one thing they can't stop me from doing. And tonight…I'll do it. I am having an automatic email sent tomorrow to the cops. It tells them about my dad and his…tendencies. And pictures as proof. They'll save Tim from him. Maybe even mom, but I think she is beyond saving. My dad beat me into a bloody pulp when I got home. Tim tried to stop him, getting a black eye in the process. Thank God it had been Winter Break. This will be my last entry. I'm going to leave my diary at the bridge, maybe then they will know why. I am so afraid. But this is a better than what awaits me at night: a smack goodnight.
Words carved into bridge: I'm sorry. But I'm tired of letting things happen. Now I get to take charge. This time you can't take me back.
January 20th, 2006
Yesterday night Angela Reynoldsthe girl who ran away to the puzzlement of her familyended her own life. She jumped from the I5 bridge, falling into Lake Washington. Her body washed onto the shore of Luther Burbank on Mercer Island. But with this tragedy comes a secret she had long kept secret. She sent an email to the local police, giving a detailed report of the abuses her father had inflicted upon her brother mother and herself. Angela's brother was immediately taken into custody by CPS and was sent to live with his aunt in Michigan. His aunt is assisting in pressing charges against his father.
"This is for Angela, who never backed down," her brother told a reporter.
To Angela, it seemed death was the only way out, but she provided one for her brother.
"She was, and always will be, the light in my darkness," he said.