Miss Me Not by Tiffany KingAdd it on your Goodreads shelf
They had a pact.Chapter 1 of Miss Me Not
Leave the world behind much as they had lived it.
No one would miss them. No harm, no foul.
Their personal demons would be left behind once and for all.
It was the only thing they could count on.
It was all she had.
Madison Hanson has spent the last four years being a "shadow." Her parents ignore her. The students at her school stopped talking to her years ago, and the majority of her teachers forget she's even there. In her desperate yearning to leave her invisible life behind, Madison makes a pact with her only friend, James Garrison, to end their lives as inconspicuously as they live them. No fuss, no muss. No one would miss her and she would miss no one. Their plan is set, and it's all she can count on. That is, until fellow student, Mitch Peterson, beats them to the punch. Everything Madison believed in is shaken to the core when she watches the aftermath of Mitch's death unfold. By taking his own life, Mitch unwittingly saves hers. What a selfish prick.
She is now left with the daunting task of living. Trying to bury her demons once and for all, and finally trusting someone with her fragile existence.
Living is hell.
Death would have been so much easier.
Mitch Johnson died last night.
He killed himself. I wasn't sad or heartbroken when I heard. I was pissed. Stark raving pissed. I didn't know Mitch well. He was like me, a shadow that floated down the hallways, unnoticed and seemingly nonexistent among the crowd. I knew my attitude seemed callous, but I didn't care. Mitch stole my thunder.
It should have been me.
Mr. Wilson, our douche bag principal, decided to inform us of Mitch's death between news of an upcoming carwash fundraiser and a threat to crack down on student littering. How he had reached the conclusion that this was the best spot for an announcement like this was beyond me. I was doodling in the margins of my World History book, trying to ignore the annoying squawk of the intercom, and the droning voice of Mr. Wilson, when he suddenly slid Mitch's suicide in so quickly that I was momentarily confused by the words. I wasn't even sure I'd heard him right until the entire female population of the class gasped at once. The rest of the announcements were quickly drowned out by an eruption of chatter throughout the room. It was glaringly obvious the news had just added excitement to a drab Tuesday morning. The reactions ran the gambit from feigned grief to jokes about how Mitch may have "offed himself."
As for me, I was pissed and confused. Why do it on a Monday night? There was nothing significant about a Monday. My friend James, aka "suicide buddy," and I had given the subject a great deal of thought, and had decided that a Thursday was the best day. If you did it on the weekend, it would add drama to everyone's Monday, giving them nonstop gossip for the entire week. Tuesday held the same risk. Wednesday was a little more desirable, but Thursday was ideal. The student body wouldn't find out until Friday morning, and most of them would be too hyped up for the upcoming weekend to give a shit about the demise of a fellow student they never cared about in the first place.
The squawking of the intercom cut off abruptly and was replaced by sobbing. I twisted around incredulously, searching for the person who Mitch had meant enough to that they'd break down in class. What I saw was disgusting. It wasn't one individual, but three. "The three clones," as I liked to call them. Every school had their prestigious groups. They were the cheerleaders, the jocks and the charismatic kids everyone wanted to be. One of the criers was on our Squadets Team which was our school's version of a pep squad. The student body got the privilege of watching the Squadet team shake their asses during pep rallies and any other event the school felt was ass-shaking worthy. Of course, now the normally perky, I-wish-it-was-legal-to-stab-them popular bunches were sobbing on each other's shoulders as if they had just heard that The Vampire Diaries had been cancelled. What a bunch of phony assholes. Go figure they would use this opportunity to steal attention for themselves.
I bet if asked by gunpoint they wouldn't have been able to tell you what Mitch looked like, what kind of clothes he wore, what types of music he listened to—nothing. Not that I knew anything about him either, but you didn't see me with false tears running down my cheeks. Their over-the-top performance hit me hard and heavy, leaving me gasping for my own breath. Never in any of my contemplations about how I'd go about ending my own worthless existence did I ever consider my passing being a bonding moment for those who would step over anyone and everyone. I had expected gossip and speculation and the clucking of ignorant tongues, but not this crap.
It was like a slap in the face. Ms. Jones handed out tissues to the sobbing girls and offered to send them to the counselors. All three gathered their belongings, excited at the idea of attending something as soul-searching as grief counseling. Once they made their grand exit, Ms. Jones closed up her lesson plan book.
"Does anyone else need to see the counselors?" she asked compassionately, sitting on the edge of her desk and swinging her feet lightly.
Of all my teachers, Ms. Jones was my least favorite. She was young, which equaled "still gave a shit" in teacher code. She was fresh out of school and convinced she could change the world. Five years from now she'd be jaded, bitching about us students to her peers any chance she got. I disliked her because she was convinced she could save me.
If I had a sense of humor, I would have laughed. Save me from what? Perhaps from my parents who forgot they'd had a daughter almost from the moment I was born, or maybe from the students who whispered behind their hands about me, or maybe she thought she could save me from myself. All were laughable if I had a sense of humor, but I didn't, so it wasn't.
No one responded to Ms. Jones' offer, so she decided to make her own amateur attempt at counseling.
"I know the death of a fellow student is rough," she said in a voice that seemed overly patronizing. "High school is a tough hormonal roller-coaster ride at times. It may become or seem unbearable," she added, looking at me directly.
I looked down. How dare the whore cat draw attention to me. She didn't know me. This was why I didn't like her. I didn't need her to save me. Mitch had unintentionally done that by taking his own life. Observing the aftermath of his death had left me shuddering at the gloried tear-fest I'd be providing for those who passed by my shadow each day.
I didn't want their tears.
I didn't want them to think of me.
I wanted nothing from them.
That asshole Mitch Johnson saved my life today. What a prick.
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