I’d like to think he'lll carry me in his arms down to the hearse but I’ve seen enough TV to know he’ll just zip me up in a long black plastic bag. It’s funny, I haven’t even had my first part-time job but factories to make those bags probably support whole families, pay for food, Little League uniforms, iPods, tampons, forsythia bushes for front yards, automobile repairs, place mats, hot chocolate mix, pizzas . . . . all from making the bag they’ll put my body in.
I’m an honor roll student. I think about stuff like that.
I left a letter, said not to laminate me with all those chemicals and not to burn me. An old-fashioned natural grave, that’s what I want. There are quite a few places that do that now, mostly farmers with some extra space.
I read about one near here, close to Lancaster, where there’s a lot of farms. I wrote the address in my good-by letter. It’s Amish, one of those Amishmen, with their straggly beards and neat-capped pie-baking wives you see at the Farmers Market. I guess quiet, paying guests like me are easier than planting and harvesting.
Just wrap me in a snowy shroud and tuck me in the ground with a lot of flowers. I’ve left a list of the exact flowers with my good-bye letter. They’re all flowers with meaning, messages for certain people (they’ll know who they are).
I said if you can’t find any of these, please don’t worry about it. I don’t want to be a lot of trouble but my flower ideas might make me famous. Maybe some of the popular girls will start choosing flowers with meaning for the prom and come the morning after to where I’m buried and leave me their flowers, sort of like throwing the bride’s bouquet.
So I’ve asked foralyssum, which means worth beyond beauty. I’m not one of the really pretty girls but I think someone could love me if he just got to know who I am, and daffodils, for unrequited love. That’s for Jason, who's Merrilee’s boyfriend. He’s the quarterback and she’s the cheerleader but he sits next to me in home room and sometimes jokes around when he borrows my math homework. I’m not going to say in my letter who he is. I’ll just leave that sort of mysterious.
I want some purple hyacinths to say please forgive me. They’re cheap and easy to find and for my mother. I thought about asking for some yarrow, which I don’t even know what it is, for healing sorrow but I’m not dumb enough to think there’s going to be a lot of sorrow. I’ve brought more trouble than happiness even to my mother.
Hydrangea, likewise cheap and all over the place, in sideyards even, to say thank you for understanding. It’s always nice to say something like this, to say thank you and mention something specific.
Maybe some poppies for eternal sleep except I plan to hang around and watch everything that’s going on, forever. Oak leaves mean bravery. I might ask for an oak to be planted on my grave unless the farmer wants to plow over me. A waving cornfield would be an okay memorial but I kind of hate the idea of being lost.
I end by asking for everlasting. It’s not popular but maybe not too hard to find. I looked it up. Just a common flower, really, but it stands for eternity, immortality and cheerfulness under adverse conditions. I’m asking for this one because forever in an Amish corn field has got to be an adverse condition even if my immortal radiant soul rises above and stays here keeping an eye on life forever.
I’m used to just being somebody who watches what’s going on so that won’t be too different.
I hope all this works. I’ve tried to plan everything like a research paper so I’m not more trouble than I’m worth but I’m just a ninth-grader who had to go to class with bandages on my wrists and pretend not to notice everybody sneaking looks at me. Face the consequences of your actions, mother said, you’ll never know what you’ve put me through.
Well, I faced the fact that no matter how sad you are, somebody who tries to die and messes up gets treated the way she always has been. Failing at killing yourself is just like failing at sports and not knowing how to look good. The giggles and whispers and smart remarks go on and you have to keep pretending not to notice.
I’m better prepared now. I know these pills are going to work and I’ve spent a lot of time studying what the popular girls wear, so I know what to be found in, buried in. I’m better at make-up, and I know about Guess jeans, Banana Republic blouses, Anthropology skirts, stuff like that. I’ll make sure I’m wearing something cool and trendy but sort of sweet, too.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I’m not going to die in bad clothes. A K-Mart kind of suicide, they would say in the cafetera, and it would go all over the school.
Tree Riesener's credits include Flashquake, Flash Fiction Online, The Evergreen Review, Ginosko, Loch Raven Review, Pindeldyboz, Identity Theory,, The Belletrist Review, and The Source, . She is the author of three poetry collections, Inscapes, Angel Poison and Liminalog. Her website is http://www.treeriesener.com and she blogs at http://www.treeriesener.blogspot.com.