Die Romantic

die Romantic

Dear Kayla,

This morning I went on your Bebo and printed out every picture I could find with you in it. I’ve got a big stack of them right here. I’m looking at your main profile pic, the one you took yourself with your phone after you got your purple highlights done. They look so good on your black hair. Your mum hated them though, so did Mrs Graham. But then Mrs Graham hated everything cool, always bitching at us about sticking to her stupid rules about ‘no visible piercings’ and ‘only natural hair colours’. Remember our agreement that on our last ever day of school we’d come in with our lips and noses pierced and our hair dyed pink, just to sicken her because there would be nothing she could do about it? Though I guess we won’t be doing that now.

I just… I never thought you were the type to do that, that’s all. I mean, sure, everyone else thought we were. Emo girl. Goth chick. All those girls at school taunting us constantly, asking us when we were going to kill ourselves. Even our own parents, taken in by all the media scare-mongering, thinking that just because we listened to rock music we were going to kill someone or ourselves or grow up to be junkies. But we knew there was a world of difference between listening to music about suicide or death and actually doing something like that. We understood it. Everything we were interested in, all that music and horror movies and black clothes, it was all just fun. It was something we were interested in, an escape from the monotony of everyday life. It didn’t mean we were twisted or anything like that.

The papers saw it differently though. Yes, Kayla honey, you made national news. You would have loved that. But you should have seen all the horrible things they said about My Chem and Aiden and all our favourite bands, misquoting their lyrics and getting all the facts horribly wrong, and calling you ‘emo’, ‘brainwashed’, ‘victim of a cult’. You would have hated it. I know I did.

I think the papers were right, but only on one little detail, in that we did think death was cool. Not the way they were saying it, not that we were going to kill ourselves because wiL Francis supposedly told us to, but just that we found death slightly cool. We were more comfortable with the idea of death than ‘normal’ people, and we didn’t fear it like they all did. But that was just because of all the music and all the imagery we surrounded ourselves in, all the vampires and zombies and bats and things. It’s normal, I think.

Remember those conversations we used to have, talking about what we thought the afterlife would be like? Everyone might have thought we were weird but I found it all fascinating, and I know you did too. And the day we planned our funerals. We both wanted a lavish funeral like the one in MCR’s video for Helena, all black and red and gothic and cool. You wanted Synyster Gates playing a solo on your coffin, and you’d wear a sexy black cocktail dress in your coffin. You planned all the music too. Aiden’s Unbreakable (I.J.M.A.), My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to the Black Parade, A7X’s Seize the Day, Funeral for a Friend’s Roses for the Dead, and finishing with the Misfits’ Night of the Living Dead. I told you that by the time they got through all the music they’d have no time left for the actual funeral proceedings, and you threw your Skittles at me and one got caught in my hair and it stayed there all day because you never told me.

That’s the worst part of all this, your funeral was nothing like that, I’m sorry. It was a religious ceremony in a church with prayers and hymns. You would have hated it. They didn’t play one of your favourite songs, just Abide With Me and all that crap. It was on a Tuesday morning so I got out of school, but our whole form was there and we all had to wear our uniform instead of the red and black dress I had envisioned myself in. The church was full of people I didn’t know, and your wee brother didn’t seem to know them either so I’m guessing you wouldn’t have known them at all. Your dad gave the eulogy, or whatever it’s called, but even that didn’t seem to be about you. It was about some other Kayla, one who got straight As and was nice to her little brother and was basically the all-round perfect daughter. If I was doing it, I would have talked about you and how much you loved music and how your favourite movie was Sleepy Hollow and how you wanted to marry wiL Francis and about how you cried when you got your ear cartilage pierced because you hate needles and about all last year when we used to skip PE and go to Subway uptown instead and eat cookies and drink coffee. Maybe your dad was going to talk about all that though, he couldn’t finish the eulogy because he was crying too hard.

Your mum and dad are really upset, especially your mum. She blames herself, she says she should have checked on you after you ran out of the room after that argument. Your dad’s crushed too, he’s the one who found you and took you down and tried to resuscitate you. You know, Kayla, I saw those scars on your arm one day when you were getting off the bus. A long one running down your wrist, and a shorter one across it, like a crucifix. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure it was what I thought it was. It could have been pen; you were always drawing on yourself. Even if it was what it looked like, I understood better than anyone. I cut myself once too, Kayla. It was ages ago, year 9, just before my dad moved out and I was having a crap day so I cut a little scratch on the inside of my wrist with my scissors. I was careful not to cut it too deep because I was afraid of killing myself, I just wanted to cut. Stupid, wasn’t I? I felt so stupid afterwards I never did it again. But Kayla, I understood. I mean, we’ve all wanted to cut at some point in our lives, actually doing it is just the next step. I didn’t think it was that big a deal. I know you and your mum fought all the time but I thought it was okay and you were handling it.

I think everyday of what you did. Whether you regret it now, wherever you are. We never really agreed on what the afterlife is like so I really hope it’s okay. I hope it’s all black and skeletons and graves like we always dreamed and that you’re happy there. But that’s the thing, Kayla, I know that it probably isn’t. Kayla, I hope you realised, when you kill yourself, you leave everything behind. Sure, you leave behind arguments and exams and bullies, but you also leave behind eyeliner and skinny jeans and horror movies and piercings and chocolate and music and all our fun times that we had together. Aiden are playing a show here next month, remember how we always dreamed of seeing them live together? And now you can’t. My Chemical Romance are releasing their live album soon. I know you would have loved to have heard that, but I guess you can’t hear it wherever you are. But I can. I don’t know whether to go see Aiden or not. I probably will, but I just really wish you were still here to go with me. It won’t be the same without you.

I miss you so much Kayla.


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And remember kids, live romantic.