Dear Andrew Baker,

Wait, let me guess. I know what your first thoughts must be right now reading this letter. Who is this from? Is it a love letter? No it's not a love letter. This is far from a love letter. This is my last note. Last note you wonder? It's exactly what I said. This is my suicide note.

Do not freak out. If you're reading this, I've already decided. I've decided to end my life. Even now on paper it looks so weird and it's so difficult to write. But back to your first thought, 'who is this from?' You know me. I'm in your English class: the brunette who everyone ignores. We've chit-chatted, but we haven't exactly known each other for the longest of time. So you must be wondering why in the world I would be writing my suicide letter to you. Here is the reason why… I want you to know. I want you to know that you could've stopped me.

Andrew, I have to admit that it is not your fault entirely. In fact I have no hard feelings against you or anyone. But I need someone to know my story. I owe you an explanation, and I need to tell you the things I never said.

Let me start from the beginning. You won't understand any of this if I don't tell you everything. So here it goes. I hope you're sitting somewhere comfortable.

Giovanna Stiller. People don't have many associations to my name when they think of me. What was I but the polite and quiet girl? Or that was the assumption before my life tumbled down. There is nothing special about my looks when compared to the Girl's pom-pom team. I didn't go to parties. I studied and did all my homework. Half the students in my grade didn't recognize my name. I was that nerdy looking kid who always carried a book around. But there was one boy who chose me. He shoved me into his destructive world of parties, cheerleaders, alcohol, and gossip, a world I did not belong in. Do you remember this boy's name? After all, there was an uproar among the football and cheerleader cliques. Alex Fontaine only spoke to me when it was homework related. Why would he speak to me otherwise when he was the football team's linebacker? I was just the smart kid who could give him the answers. He knew I had a stupid crush on him. He never gave me a second glance. Until one day at Riley's café.

During the weekend when I have free time, I go to the local café and read a book. It's somehow just calming to sit in a café where you don't know anyone and can have a drink of delicious hot chocolate. I like to people-watch there. I study their body language and find subtle hints that might give me a clue to their personal life or personality. That's the kind of person I am. Sometimes the jocks or the cheerleaders invade the café when I am there. I usually continue reading my book, but that day they decided to involve me in their entertainment.

I was sitting in the corner at a round table, reading, when Alex plopped down next to me. He has a reputation. Everyone knows that when he has on his stupid grin he's up to no good. And guess what? He was smiling wide right at me.

Alex asked me to sit with him and his friends. He pointed at his table, crowded with jocks in letterman jackets and girls sitting on their laps. I didn't know how to respond so I just declined politely to his offer. But he wouldn't take no for an answer and pulled me up. Then he dragged me to his table. He forced me to sit next to him.

Some guy cheered and if I recall correctly said something along the lines of "Alright you got the chick over here! Ashton, give Alex his 5 bucks." So it was a dare. Unsurprising. But it didn't end there.

Alex immediately looked apologetically at me, but he didn't move his hand away from my wrist to let me go. There was a party at Ashton's house, the guy who dared Alex to bring me over. You should remember; you were there at the party. He told me I should go and that he would meet me there. I knew exactly where Ashton lived. He was practically my neighbor. Alex let me leave, but not without giving my butt a light smack. The whole table laughed.

Later that day I just stayed in my house with no intention of going, but at 8 pm Alex rang my door bell. He was there with his other jock friends. He invited me over to the party only a block away. Andrew, why would I want to go? More importantly, why did I choose to go? I guess at that time I was sick of my nonexistence status in school. Sick of my un- impulsive nature. And truthfully, I wanted to get to know the guy who I've always admired from far away. What could go wrong?


I followed Alex and his friends back to Ashton's house, which was vibrating from the loud music. I noticed empty beer bottles on the lawn. This was not my kind of party. But despite my nervousness, I stayed because Alex wanted me there. Inside the booming living room, he smiled at me and said he would be back with drinks. I waited, unsure what to do. There was no dancing really. People were holding their plastic cups of alcohol and talking, usually in slurs. When he was back with my cup, he led me to an emptier room where we sat down on the couch. Surprisingly, we talked. He kept drinking and drinking though. I refused to take a sip. Our conversation was awkward, it was hard to find a mutual subject, but I found it touching that he was at least trying.

But he was drunk. You could tell because he kept swaying back and forth. Eventually he could hardly say my name. It went something like "Geee—Geo—anna". The most awkward moment was when a couple came stumbling in making out. That was when his distorted mind had the brilliant idea to cup my face—and kiss me.

I didn't turn away. I saw it coming a million miles away, but I let his lips touch mine because I wanted him to. This wasn't my first kiss, but I hadn't kissed anyone in a long time. I responded and he happily moved closer. Before long Alex slipped his hand under my shirt. Now that wasn't part of the plan. I pulled his hand away and jumped back to the end of the couch. He was clearly disappointed. "Why?" He asked. I explained to him that he was drunk and that we barely knew each other in the first place.

I didn't know this about him, but Alex was a bad drunk. He got furious. He called me a tease and gripped my arm. I was scared by this and kicked him until he let go.

Then he freaked out at me. I knew he would get violent. You could tell it in his dark eyes. I was helpless and alone. I prepared for the blow that was sure to hit me.

But I never felt it. Because I saw a tall boy holding him back. That boy was you Andrew. You soothed him until he calmed down. But Alex still glared at me and left the room, but not before saying that he would get back at me.

Your eyes settled on me. Maybe you were the only guy in this whole party who wasn't drunk out of his mind. We recognized each other from class, but we didn't say anything. I didn't want to. You followed Alex out of the room.

I sat on that couch for who knows how long before I got up and left the party. My mind was on auto pilot the rest of the night.

The day I went back to school was weird. For once, people were noticing me. They were whispering in groups and I heard shouts directed at me like "Slut!" "Had a good night at that party, Stiller?" or "Didn't know you were so bad!"

A rumor had circulated throughout the school that Giovanna Stiller and Alex Fontaine had a one night stand after the party. And Giovanna was all over him. This was the revenge.

You must remember that day Andrew. You were there during class when the girls whispered harshly about me, when the guys around me gave me sneaky glances, or even when some had the nerve to ask me when it would be their turn to hook up. You knew the truth, didn't you though? But you didn't say anything. What did you know after all, right? How could you stop the rumors? Why would they believe you? Or did you not care to stand up for the nerdy girl?

This was when things got bad. My reputation changed entirely. I was once the quiet shy girl, but in one weekend I became known as easy slutty girl. Suddenly, people were intrusive. They greeted me with only obscene nicknames, and girls would just look at me with disgust while the guys just chuckled approvingly.

But none of the rumors were true. Unfortunately, only you, Alex and I knew that.

I lost most of friends because of the rumors. A few friends stuck by me, but even they were suspicious.

I was so distant from everyone now. They stayed away from me. They knew that my bad reputation would hurt theirs. I was like the black plague to them.

My grades started to slip and I couldn't focus. Not with the cruel attention I was getting. I cared about what people thought of me. I just did, and that made every jabbing comment hurt more.

Part of the reason why I'm giving you this letter is, yes, because you owe a part in this whole mess. But don't feel bad. You were not the only one who caused this. I have yet to mention how you were something good for me too. You'll see. Just read on.

Now here's another component to the story, one that I will never forget. As life would have it, the worst possible thing occurred to me when I was at my lowest.

My father who was on a business trip was going to come back home. He was taking a flight from New York, but the plane crashed. He didn't survive.

I want you to picture the happiest man you know. Now put the warmest brown eyes and the biggest white smile you can imagine on him. That is how I remember my father. He smiled constantly and his smiles always reached his crinkled eyes. And just like a brownie, his brown eyes could melt you into a good mood. He never said no to me. He called me his "Baby Gio", and everything about him was so comforting. He loved me and my mom so much.

I never cried harder in my life than when I found out I would never feel his warm embrace or hear his musical laughter again.

My mom went into a depressed coma. She took his death the hardest. Her face was so blank all the time. She would stare out the window, sitting on her wooden chair. She stopped living the moment he died.

Why were things going so wrong so quickly? A few weeks ago, wasn't I just an awkward girl who read books all day? What did I do to deserve this?

And the answer is that crap just happens. Life just doesn't care what it does to you.

People in school knew what happened and they toned down the teasing. Some even offered their condolences and told me I could talk to them any time I wanted.

But I didn't want to talk to anybody. What could anybody do for me? My dad was dead. That would never change.

I spiraled way down into a relentless dark abyss. The world of partying and drinking opened its arms for me. I started to drink until I forgot, and I would party until it was almost dawn.

Who gave a crap what I did? Not my mom. Not anyone who mattered to me. No one did.

Yes, I was finally living up to my reputation as a party whore. But I was just going through the motions of life. Motions that I was getting sick of. This was around the time that I started to contemplate….. suicide. God that was hard to write. Suicide. I wasn't thinking about it seriously at that time, but I felt so useless and hopeless. I started to believe what everyone thought of me. What started as a rumor was now my reality. I felt disgusted with what I did with guys at the many parties I went to. I never knew their names nor did I care. But I couldn't stop what was starting to become of me.

The next part of my story will make you second guess how well you know your fellow peers. You're going to realize so many people had a part in ruining my life.

It was Tuesday. School went on as normal. I pretended no one else existed, and likewise everyone avoided me. But Hailey broke the normal routine. Hailey tapped my shoulder in the hallway and smiled a big fake smile. She asked me how I was doing. I told her I was fine. Then she said something peculiar. I remember it exactly. "I hope you enjoy your little gift." Hailey smiled even wider and her eyes sparkled, but it was all off. She bounced back to her group of friends, and they giggled. Something was up. I didn't ask her what she meant by 'little gift' and I soon forgot we talked at all.

I was in my living room, sitting and thinking. Would a gun or some pills work best? No, a gun would be too loud, and where the hell would I get one anyway? Pills? That wouldn't be bad. It would be painless. I can buy some from Walgreens. These were my thoughts. Thoughts that started to frequent in my head more and more. I convinced myself though that I would never have to resort to it. In just a few years, I would leave this horrible town.

Something disrupted the silence. I heard a car engine. Then I heard laughter coming from outside. There were a few loud pounding noises. More laughter and then the car drove away.

Finally I decided to look out my window. It was too dark to see anything, but I was certain I saw something huge on my lawn that didn't belong. I grabbed a flashlight and went outside. When I saw what was on my lawn, I opened my mouth to scream. But nothing came out.

Andrew. That night a couple of people from school, people who were so twisted and cruel, took a dead deer and staked it on my lawn. The deer was clearly run over by a car before it was staked. Its black eyes stared unendlessly at me.

The blood is still on my lawn.

Of course I was a target in school. The perfect target, in fact, because no one cared about me. No one would ever defend me.

Screw them. How dare they take the only place I was ever safe in and stain it with awful memories. That night they went too far, too personal. That night the last living part of me died.

I was going to do it. I was going to kill myself. Giovanna Stiller was going to give everyone what they deserved. They better enjoy it too.

It was just a matter of when and where. I decided the method was hanging. Sure it seemed a bit dramatic, but maybe my poor mother would wake up from her dead state and showed she cared about me. It would be the ultimate message to the school. There would be no way it looked like an accident. They did this to me. They'll realize it was their fault.

I decided in two nights I would do it. I would take my father's old belt and make a noose. Soon my lifeless body will be hanging from my fan. I won't exist.

I had to go to one last party before my 'departure'. It was like a going-away party for me. Truthfully I don't know why I was determined to go to this party. But that party, the one at Devon's house (you know the one, Andrew), went unexpectedly.

For some reason I didn't feel like getting wasted that night. Being sober at a party was definitely a change for me. And that night I never felt more at peace. I saw things as they were and all my anger was gone. My fate was crystal clear.

Then you happened Andrew.

I felt the sinking weight of someone sitting next to me on the sofa. I turned my head to look at you, and you were looking right back at me with curious blue eyes.

Freckles were scattered cutely on your perfect face. I thought you were the most perfect thing I'd seen in a long time. You didn't look drunk at all, just like last time. Your eyes were perfectly clear. I mentally slapped myself. I need to stop. I was never going to see you again.

You asked me what I was doing at a party like this when I was not drunk off my butt. I countered with the same question. You laughed. I laughed. And then we started to talk. We talked about ourselves. You wanted to be a writer. I amazed myself by telling you the truth. That I could hardly think about the future when I was so lost in the present. We talked about things we would never discuss about with anyone. Yet it felt completely natural. Me and you. Sitting on a worn down leather couch. I let out all my buried thoughts in the past months, and you just sat there and listened. You understood. You cared. You told me your deepest thoughts too. Ones that you wouldn't want your best friends to hear. I don't know how long we talked, but eventually we just sat there in comfortable silence. We were staring into each other's eyes, smiling.

Then you leaned in and kissed me. This kiss was soft and… gentle. You pulled back and looked at me bashfully. Sorry. You said sorry. I remember telling you how big of an idiot you were.

We kissed again, and it was so warm and tender. It was nothing that I'd experienced before. When was the last time that I kissed a guy and meant it? When was the last time that I felt cared for?

Thank you for that night. A small part of my heart came back to life again. I was….hopeful.

You brought me back home in your car and you even escorted me to the door. I was buzzing with delight. You left me with one last sweet kiss before you drove back home. I listened as your car steadily disappeared.

How did you feel that night Andrew? Were you as happy as me?

No I wasn't going to do it tomorrow. Not anymore. For once I had something to look forward to. After that perfect night, you became my candle.

But why did you burn me, Andrew?

I was feeling more optimistic than I ever remember being. It is silly how one person changed me like that. But that's what you did Andrew. You were a diamond in the rough, and I was lucky I found you. If only there were more people like you in the world.

At school, they all noticed that I was different. I heard Jason Clare say that I must've been high on something to be grinning so stupidly like that. When I walked into class, the girls stared curiously at my confident posture, wondering what happened, and even our English teacher, Mrs. Shuster, noticed. She raised her eyebrows at me and her eyes followed me to my desk.

You followed the stares which led to me. You turned away immediately, and you purposely avoided looking in my general direction. What was wrong? Just last night we were kissing and talking like long lost lovers. Now today you were ignoring me. Thanks.

After class I waited for you outside the door. My heart was beating erratically. Had something changed overnight? Was the romance all in my head and I was really just desperate for someone or something to care about me?

You looked surprised when you saw me waiting for you. Let me show you how the conversation pretty much went. I think you'll remember anyway.

Giovanna, hey. You waited for me. What's up?

Nothing. It's just… we're going out now right? I mean, after last night and everything…

You stood there silent. The seconds that passed felt like centuries. I waited anxiously for your reply. You had to reply or I wouldn't know what I would do.

Look, Giovanna. I had the best night of my life, literally. It was….amazing. But…

But what?

I don't think we would be good for each other. I'm me. And you're….you. Who you are… we're just not going to last. I mean maybe I was just off my rocker last night.

My heart dropped from sky high to six feet below hard. Real hard.

Wh-what? …No.

I'm sorry. I really am.

I couldn't tell if you really looked as sorry as you sounded because I fled before you spoke. Boy, was that a shocker. I came into school thinking I was going to live happily ever after. I thought my dark days were over.

No, life just wanted to give me one last kick in the gut. What was I thinking? How could Giovanna Stiller ever have a happy ending? My reputation as a good-for-nothing slutty drunk had finally killed every chance I had in being happy. Even you realized that we were in separate worlds.

I ran back home, bawling my eyes out. The pain of living had never been so torturous. Back home, I was on a rampage. All these emotions of anger, disappointment, panic, and sadness swept through me. I went straight to the medicine cabinet, and without thinking, I downed as many pills as I could.

What? Curious of how I'm still alive? Never thought that I would go this far?

I started to vomit white chunks a few minutes later. After I recovered from my coughing fit, I got scared. Truly scared for what I did and what it meant. Was I ready to actually die? Maybe.

That's when I hatched an idea. Tomorrow I am going to talk to you again, Andrew. You may want to speak to me or you may not. Either way I will find out whether it is worth living anymore. I want to give you one last try. I want to give you one last chance to save me.

Please prove to me that I should exist. Help me. Help me. Help me.

This letter will explain everything to you and even to anyone you wish to share it with. Depending on how our talk goes, I may slip an envelope, heavy with these papers, into your mailbox. If it goes well, you will never have to know.

I just hope—no, I just pray that I am not alone.


Giovanna Stiller