1 Capitalist Suicide

Inside her room, the slow melodies of Hawthorne Heights lulled her into a peaceful meditative state as she watched the fluffy snow crystals falling onto the lawn outside her window. The entire outside was glazed with the sparkling powder, with only a few splashes of brown that were parts of trees breaking the endless sea of white.

She turned her attention away from the window and instead stared aimlessly at the ceiling. All around her, the pale skinned, thin built, black wearing musicians that she admired so much eyed her from their dozens of posters stuck randomly on the wall. The floor on each side of the bed she was lying on was littered with all of her clothes, mostly black and blue, and an assortment of school papers, some recent, but the majority of which were from September or even earlier; in her freshman year. She wasn't really a big fan of her room, or her house for that matter, and she only spent time there when she had absolutely nothing else to do.

Unfortunately for her, that had been pretty much all the time for the past three days. It was October 28th, and yet, here in Andre Falls, Michigan, Leigha's school had been offered almost four feet of snow over the last week. As a result, she was in the middle of her third consecutive snow day, which, to anybody else, would be a good thing, but to Leigha, whose parents were gone all day and couldn't drive her anywhere, it meant one thing and one thing only. Boredom. She had had three people, Alyssa, Valerie, and Rebecca, call her already with plans to go to local shows or clubs, but she had been forced to decline them all because there was no room in her friends' cars for one more extra body.

"Maybe if you'd lose some freakin' weight," Valerie had teased on the phone when Leigha had asked if she could squeeze into the back seat with Mark, Jamie, Ashley, and Sarah, "we'd be able to fit you in the car with the rest of us." Leigha had immediately hung up on Valerie after that and stubbornly refused to answer the phone from that point on when the caller ID indicated that it was her. Perhaps it was because she was oversensitive, or maybe it was because at 5'6" and 130 pounds, her insecurity told her that she did need to lose weight, but comments like that hurt her more than they should.

That was the last thing on her mind right now though, as she opened her third can of Mountain Dew of the day, tossing the empty can that had once been the second over at the trash can in the corner. Like the first one had obstinately done, it missed and landed on the carpet next to a pair of pajama pants she hadn't worn in months and a stack of burnt CDs that wouldn't fit in the CD case with the rest of them. What was running through Leigha's mind right now was the horrible feeling that she kept getting more and more often of being trapped, yet simultaneously being on the verge of being dragged away against her will.

Why she felt trapped was simple enough; outside the walls of her empty house was nothing but a plethora of snow and no way to navigate it. Looking farther into the future though, she knew that not only might she be leaving this house behind, but also the entire township of Andre Falls. Her mom worked two jobs, but ever since her dad's business went under, that wasn't enough to cover all the costs and still live a life with enough of the 'simple pleasures' to satisfy her parents' expensive tastes. Her dad was currently looking for a new job to support the family entirely, but Michigan was literally sucked dry of employment opportunity, so he had expanded his search to almost anywhere in the country (The exceptions being Hawaii, Alaska, and Florida. "Damn Cubans!" her dad always said). This meant that Leigha could throw a dart at a map of the United States and at any moment, their family could receive a phone call from some company and instantly pack up and move to wherever the dart had landed. She actually had tried that a few times; it was either Memphis, Tennessee, or some suburb she had never heard of on the outskirts of Las Vegas. If the truth be told, she and all of her friends had always talked about dreams to leave Andre Falls and never come back, move on to bigger things and what not. Now that it was a severe possibility, however, Leigha wanted nothing less than to leave the world she had known for fifteen years behind. She had concluded that everybody says they want to get out of Michigan, until it actually happens.

The phone rang. This time it was Tracie, calling about the same club party that Leigha had heard so much about from the other three. Just like before, Tracie seemed stunned by the news that her friend had no way of getting there. "My boyfriend's taking me, but he had a two seater, sorry." And the phone call ended the same way.

Never before had Leigha felt so lonely. Well, once she did, she remembered as she looked sadly at the remnants of a series of scars on her left wrist. She could call her boyfriend and ask for a ride, but something told her that wouldn't go well. Steven, Leigha's two month relationship, turned out to hate shows almost as much as he hated spending money on gas to go to them.

Instead, she put the phone back on the receiver and reached for a small wooden box that was on her bedside table. Inside were a lighter and a pack if cigarettes with three sticks left, soon to be two. Leigha had promised herself she would quit, but so far she was having no such luck. She lit up a cigarette and then, feeling a little calmer, she grabbed her most prized possession, the electric guitar that was leaning up against her bed. her guitar, given to her as a fourteenth birthday present, was one of the only things that could make life a little better when she was depressed (Her anti-depressant medicine that the doctor had prescribed lay unopened under her bead, the hell if she'd ever find them again, let alone take them). That and cigarettes, and now that she had both, she did notice that her spirits were lifting a little bit.

She turned off the CD player with the remote lying at her feet, plugged the guitar into its amp, and strummed a few simple chords. Still in tune, it was no surprise, since she had just used it last a few hours ago. When you couldn't leave your house that was more or less all you could do.

She blew out a cloud of smoke and sighed. It was almost difficult to believe that she had passed so many hours away over the past week just sitting on her bed playing guitar. When the most complex songs became too easy to play, she knew she'd been here too long.

One long and boring hour of guitar practice later, just when Leigha was thinking that she could use another cigarette, the phone rang yet again. She abruptly stopped on the middle of "You're Cute When You Scream" and picked up the phone. "Hello..." she practically moaned into the speaking end, not knowing how parched her throat had become.

"Wow Leigha, you sound completely stoned, how come you didn't invite me?" It was her boyfriend, Steven, and if she was honest with herself, he was probably the last person she wanted to talk to right now.

"I'm not stoned!" Leigha shot back. "I'm just tired... What d'you want?"

"What do I want?" Steven retorted, chuckling to himself. "Oh, so now I have to want something every time I call you? I want to talk to my girlfriend, that's all, is that so wrong?"

Leigha cupped her hand over the mouthpiece and groaned. Steven was already getting all cheesy lovey dovey on her again, and there was nothing she hated more than when he did that. "I'm kind of busy right now, Steven. Can I call you back later?"

"Busy?" he laughed out loud, taking a full five or so seconds to recover before continuing. "Busy with what Leigha?" Last time I checked, you had no way of leaving your house to go and be busy. Just yesterday you were calling me every half an hour just begging me to come and pick you up and take you somewhere."

"Yeah, and you didn't," Leigha snapped, before Steven could keep talking. If there was one thing Steven liked doing, besides questioning whatever someone said to him, it was listening to himself talk. When he said 'I want to talk to my girlfriend, that's all,' it translated to Leigha as 'I just want to ramble on and on while my girlfriend sits helplessly on the other line listening.'

"Leigha, Leigha, Leigha," Steven snickered, more to himself than to her. "Do you have any idea what gas costs these days? Well, I'll tell you, it's like four bucks a gallon these days. And do you know how hard it is to drive through the snow these days? Well, I'll tell you that too, it's like..."

Leigha set the phone down on the bed and got up, walking out of the room into the kitchen. She pulled open the fridge and grabbed another Mountain Dew; it was the last one in the twelve pack she had bought only yesterday. Pulling the second to last cigarette out of her pocket, she stared at it for a moment, telling herself that she really shouldn't, then lit it up and made her way back to her room.

"... and I was fishtailing and trying not to fly of the road," Steven was still talking when Leigha returned to the phone. "I almost scraped my car's new paint job on the guard rail. Do you have any idea how bad that would have been?" He paused. "Leigha, are you listening to me?"

"Unfortunately," Leigha muttered bitterly, taking a long drag and freeing her hyperactive nerves. Steven didn't know it, but he was the reason Leigha started smoking two months ago.

"Unfortunately?" Steven reiterated questionably. "Leigha, I'm under the impression that you're not very happy in this relationship." His voice was still light-hearted, which Leigha found very irksome.

"Gee, you think?"

"In fact," he continued, without acknowledging that he had even gotten any response at all. "I'm sort of getting the idea that you're a person who is seldom happy about anything at all."

"Wow, how observant of you," Leigha mumbled, her voice still monotone and unenthusiastic. "Maybe there's nothing to be happy about." She stared at her pale faced reflection in her cosmetic mirror and scowled. Her shoulder length red-brown hair looked like crap today, and she hadn't bothered with the eye shadow, so she basically concluded that she overall looked like shit.

"Maybe there's nothing to be sad about," Steven countered.

"Maybe you should shut your mouth."

"Ouch... I'm hurt Leigha, I really am." Steven's voice didn't suggest that he was hurt at all, but instead implied that he was getting a kick out of Leigha's misery. "Here, I'll tell you what. I got a good sized paycheck yesterday, what d'you say I drive over there and pick you up and then we can go back to my place or something."

"Seriously?" Leigha asked in disbelief. She wasn't crazy about the idea of going to Steven's, but the offer to drive was more than she had expected from her boyfriend.

"Yeah, sure, my parents are both gone for the weekend, we'll have the place all to ourselves."

Leigha felt her eyes rolling. Of coarse they would, why else would Steven offer to do something nice if he didn't think it would get him laid in the end? Then she thought of the show that all her other friends were going to go to. She glanced at the clock, 6:34; she could probably get there in time for the second or third act, one of which was Mark's band, although she didn't know which. "What about Peabody's? Could you take us there? There's a show there at seven and I was hoping..."

"Leigha!" Steven interrupted, "you know I hate those shows, so why would I waste my hard earned gas money driving there?"

"Come on..." Leigha pleaded, "the last one wasn't that bad." She thought hard for some kind of bargaining chip. "Sarah's gonna be there you know," she had seen Steven eyeing Sarah before, that might work. "We can go there, just for a little while... and then we can go back to your place. You said yourself that your parents are gone for the whole weekend."

Steven sighed on the other line. He seemed to be considering it. "I guess," he gave in, "under one condition."

"What's that?"

"I want you to smile for me when I get there," he said, laughing again slightly. "You have the most beautiful smile, but you're always frowning."

Leigha put the phone back down on the receiver.