A Suicide Note

You are helping out at a charitable center by organizing donated items. When searching through an old suitcase, you find a suicide note dated six months prior. What’s peculiar is that you know the person. What’s even more peculiar is that the person is still alive. Write the story about what happens when you pay that person a visit and ask him or her about the note.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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99 thoughts on “A Suicide Note

  1. kathleenmagner

    Nothing but paint flecks hung on his front door but Neil, Peggy knew, had never been into decorating. The undercoating revealed the original black he’d painted over with apple-red the summer he’d moved in. Distant muscle aches and the echo of a housewarming hangover nibbled at the back of her mind as Peggy stood on his stoop, staring at the cracked tab of the envelope she held.

    Dented edges and flimsy paper contrasted with the invitation she’d last slipped through the mail slot. Despite the intervening years, the dates of the one she’d left and the one trembling between her fingers remained close enough to be the same moment in time.

    It could have been.

    Her conscious poked again, like it had when she’d uncovered the note during a weed through wedding boxes. The smell of dust and potpourri tickled her nose, and Peggy forced the envelope still.

    You’re going to be making a big deal about nothing.

    Concern left her holding her ground and Peggy turned the envelope over. She ran her fingertips across her name, indented by a long forgotten ballpoint pen. The note’s corner caught on the bands circling her ring finger, making the diamonds and gold twinkle.

    Each sparkle sent an urge to retreat into her feet. She sensed her station wagon with its Cheerio debris and sticker-smeared windows parked at the curb, engine not yet cooled. Laundry, garbage, the ticking clock to school pickups, and the grocery shopping for dinner added their own prudent encouragements to depart.

    Her name called out to her though, and Peggy clutched the envelope.

    I can’t just let this go.

    Before her mind or body could send her elsewhere, Peggy seized the knocker and pounded three times. She took a step back from the ominous thuds, their clang suggesting the rooms inside hadn’t changed much from their bachelor-pad starkness either.

    Nearing footsteps answered. When an eye peeped through the hole, Peggy flashed a quick grin she hoped looked less nervous than it felt on her lips.

    After a jangle of chain and slide of the bolt, the door swung open. A mixed aroma of turpentine and oil paints wafted around Neil’s spindly frame, either from his spattered tee shirt and jeans, or the art work somewhere inside. He wiped a hand on his shirtfront, a half smile bunching the left side of his stubbly face.

    “You should have called, Peggy. I wasn’t expecting company.”

    “I just wanted to check up on you.”

    He leaned onto the door. “Since when?”

    “Since I thought about it.” She pressed the envelope into her midriff. “It’s been forever since I’ve come by without Simon and the kids.”

    “Six years.”

    “Are you’re going to keep me on the stoop after that long?”

    Neil’s smile faded and he glanced over his shoulder.

    “If you have company—”

    His snide laugh cut her off. “The place is just a mess.”

    … Click here to read the rest. Any comments are welcome.

  2. AdoraSL

    NOT FINISHED….ROUGH DRAFT

    Lorna sat by herself quietly watching people pass by. Sometimes people would wave and ask her how she was but that was the extent of her conversations with them. Watching the people go by, she listened. She listened to the way they spoke to one another, different groups using different slang. She suddenly realized that all of their conversations always had something in common; they were always about the same thing. Whether it be about a football game, a dance, or the previous weekend, they were all about the same thing. The funny thing though, was that she knew that when her class graduated the conversations would still be about the same things.
    An intricate web of each person’s thoughts about an event is what made each event what it was. For instance, the football game the past Friday night, there was a fight, someone was cheated on, and of course there was the game. The football players’ experiences would be completely different from the people that got in the brawl. Likewise, the people who had relationship drama wouldn’t take away the same thing as the fighters did.
    Her thoughts were cut short when her best friends Burk and Jake walked toward her.
    “Hey Lorna, how long have you been sittin here?” Jake asked.
    “Not too long. I had a test in Mr. Cassie’s so I figured that I’d just wait for you guys to get done with practice.”
    “I hate Cassie.”
    “You hate all teachers. How was practice by the way?”
    “Well Burk here took down Henderson. Oh man, you shoulda seen it. Ive never seen Burk so pissed. What’d he say to you anyways?”
    “He was getting cocky and talkin smack in the locker room and he needed to be knocked down a notch,” Burk said in his deep but quite voice.
    “Ha!” Jake laughed, “Well I doubt that he’s gonna mess with you anymore.”
    “Yea but it wasn’t me he was messing with.” Burk murmured so quietly that neither Lorna nor Jake heard.
    Lorna and Jake walked with Burk to his truck, since he was the only one who could drive. Jake engaged the two of them in a conversation about how the Giants were the best team in the world, until they all finally sat just listening to the music. Jake had a much bigger issue on his mind though, about what had happened that day and how he was going to deal with it. Did Burk know anything about it? Is that why he hit Luke Henderson so hard in practice?
    Jake had been in the art class looking for a spool of wire for someone’s project. He finally searched the back cabinets behind the enormous stack of tissue paper when he found the wire. As he walked back to deliver it to the student, he realized that he had forgot to shut the door on the second cabinet he’d searched through. He went to shut it when he saw that a whole tube of blue paint had been spilled. Jake went and gave the wire to the girl who’d asked for it and retrieved a scraper to clean up the acrylic mess. As he began scraping he realized that a piece of paper had been stuck to the shelf in the cabinet by the paint. It’d been folded, so the paint had only spilled on half of the back of it. He didn’t try to peel the paint off of the paper, for he knew it would rip. He scraped the paint off of the wood so he could pick up the paper. He was about to go announce his findings to his buddies before he opened it but something told him not to, so he opened it:

    To whomever may find this, 9-13-12
    First of all I’d like to say that what I’ve done was not to seek attention or to cause my family heartache. I hope that in this letter you may realize why this was the only option I had left.
    If you are a student you will probably know Luke, Luke Henderson. I’d had off and on relationships with him since I started high school until he decided that I wasn’t good enough to wait for. He called me a tease as he continued to push far beyond my boundaries, without my consent.
    Now I’d like to tell you that I’m strong enough to handle it but I’m not. When I tried to talk with Luke about what had happened he acted as if nothing happened and that I made up the whole thing. He told me I was just another stupid girl that’d fallen for him. After that he told all of his friends that I was a whore and so now, no one has spoken to me. The rare moments that they have, have been accusations and lies straight to my face.
    My mom said that I’d been asking for it since I was wearing a short dress and I don’t have a father I could’ve told. Maybe she’s right, but now I know that I’m worth no more than my body, and now that’s not worth anything either.
    Allyssa Stovold
    P.S.
    Please tell my older brother that i love him and also tell my mom that I forgive and love her.

    Jake sat down, taking it all in. The letter had been dated from the previous year, and he knew Allyssa. She had always seem like a happy-go-lucky type of gal, even last year. He would’ve never guessed anything like that had happened to her. Why didn’t she do-
    “Hey Jake what’s that?” Goran, a shy freshman that Jake had taken under his wing asked him.
    “Uhh nothing, I just found someone’s old assignment. It’s from last year so I doubt they’ll need it now.” Jake felt a little guilty lying to the gullible boy but he didn’t feel like he had a choice, at least not until he figured everything out. He decided he wouldn’t tell anyone until he talked with Allyssa.
    “Oh, I see. What do you think of my project so far?”
    Jake looked at the anime sculpture that the boy was working on, it was some kind of character from a show that he always talked about. Jake had no idea what it actually was but he assumed that it was pretty important to Goran.
    “Nice man! Now what are these supposed to be?” Jake asked pointing to the areas of wood that protruded out of the sculpture’s feet on each ankle.
    “Those are his feet. They’re shaped like that because he’s actually a water warrior. He protects the ocean from alien invasions.”
    “Oh, well that’s pretty cool dude, “Jake said, having no idea what he was talking about.
    Goran rambled on about how the underwater forces actually protect the land dwellers as well and Jake just nodded along and would ask an occasional question or two. Jake loved the way that people lit up when they got to talk about things they were passionate about. There was something about how their words would start running together because they were so excited to talk about whatever it was. Sometimes it made him sad though, because he really had no passion or anything that made him so excited. He loved people though, he loved the way they thought and interacted with one another and how every once in a while they would listen to each other.
    Jake proceeded through the day as usual, he didn’t think that he would talk with Allyssa about the note that day because he wanted to make sure it was private .He met up with Burk in his last class, science. He never could quite get Burk to talk in front of other people but he always had good conversations with him when they were alone. Burk didn’t talk with others unless he had something of value to say and Jake respected that.
    Burk sat in science as Jake was told to sit in the hall by Mr.Cassie for disturbing the class with his sarcastic comments. Burk looked around at the people who were around him. He decided that it was all over rated, the way that people hid behind their masks. He was moved by compassion for them at the same time though, that they had so much distaste for their true selves that they try to become all the same.
    He was still thinking about that as him and Jake walked to the locker room before practice, it was the day before the game so they had a short practice. He listened as one of his teammates said something about Allyssa Stovold being attractive. Luke heard him and started telling everyone how she was such a tease and a slut. Something about that comment struck a nerve in Burk, he’d heard Luke call girls things like that before but Allyssa was a good girl. She didn’t date very often, much less sleep with anyone. She’d came and worked with his mom that summer at the tax office just so she could pay the rent in the shack her mother and her lived in. He didn’t know her very well but everything his mom said about her was good and he had always had respect for her.
    It was towards the end of practice when they were headed back to the locker room that Burk heard Luke say something about Allyssa again. Burk let the anger run through his veins as he ran straight for Luke. It was easy for Burk to take him, he took him to the ground and said in a low voice that none of the other players could hear, “You’d better learn to keep your mouth shut.”
    “Dude get off me! What the hell’s wrong with you?!”
    Jake came up to Burk “Come on man, we’d better get outta here.”
    “Good plan,” Burk replied.
    They walked back to the parking lot where they met with Lorna. They all got into Burk’s truck and turned on some old Cash and Ledoux, all quietly captivated by the music. Burk smiled when Cadillac Ranch came on as he turned up the radio. Burk dropped off Lorna first at her double wide. Jake was next, a few miles down the road at his ranch.
    “Hey Dad,” Lorna said as she walked through the door.
    “Hey baby girl. How’s your day?”
    “Well, interesting. What about you?”
    “It was good, the boys at the mill still aren’t workin as hard as I’d like but I guess that’s just how it goes.”
    “I’m sorry Dad. What do you want for dinner? We’ve got pasta, hamburger helper and leftover soup.”
    Jake was in his room contemplating what he should do when he finally realized that he had to find out why she didn’t do it. It was a miracle that she didn’t but it was still peculiar. He decided that he had to talk to her, but it would be hard to do it without being super upfront about it or without telling Burk and Lorna about what he’d found. He was still thinking about it when his phone lit up, it was Burk.
    Burk: Hey
    Jake: Hey man whats up???
    Burk: nothing much you?
    Jake: naw, nothing here either
    Jake: What do you know about Allyssa?
    Burk: not that much why?
    Jake: just wondering
    Burk: okay well I was texting you to ask if you’ll need a ride home after the game
    Jake: Yea if you don’t mind
    Burk: no problem, night
    Jake: goodnight.
    The next morning Jake got up determined that he would talk to Allyssa about the note. He knew that it’d be difficult to ask her but he decided to be as upfront about it as he could. He’d have to see her at lunch or after the game, if possible.
    The day dragged on for all three of them up until lunch. Lorna made her way toward Jake who was sitting talking with a girl who was crying into her palms, her face red and soaking wet. Lorna made quick, knowing eye contact with Jake as she turned to leave them be. Her mind was churning; ‘are they dating? No Jake would tell us about something like that.’ She made her way toward Burk who was sitting across campus by himself, watching.
    “Hey do you know what’s going on?”
    “No, but I gather we’ll find out soon. I think me and Jake are gonna hang out after the game, wanna come?”
    “Yea maybe, might as well find out what’s going on.”
    Allyssa held her breath as the senior quarterback, Jake Nelson walked toward her.
    “Hey how you doin?”
    “I’m doing well, Jake, yourself?”
    “Just fine and dandy” He said with a genuine smile that spread across his entire face.
    “Well I’m glad to hear that.”
    “Yea, is there somewhere private we can talk Allyssa?”
    “There’s nobody over there,” she said pointing toward a bench.
    “Okay.”
    Jake pulled out the note as they sat down and placed it in her hands. She looked confused at first, she didn’t recognize it with the blue paint that had dried on its surface. She opened it and her face drained of its already pale color.
    “No-no one was supposed to see this.”
    “It was in the art room.” Jake said gently.
    Her face changed from sorrowful to fearful and anxious as soon as he said that. ”Who else knows?”
    “No one, I promise”
    She suddenly broke into tears “You know sometimes I wish I’d done it”
    “Why would you say something like that?”
    “You have no idea what’s happened.”
    “You were harassed.”
    “No, harassment is when someone continually makes comments about your body, I was raped.”
    “Okay, may I ask why you didn’t do it?”
    “I was pregnant.”
    “What?! You didn’t look like it. What happened to the baby?”
    “I never grew a belly, I grew about one pants size, that’s it. I just wore baggy shirts for a long time.”
    “Does Luke know?”
    “No, I don’t know when I’m gonna tell him.”
    “You didn’t answer my question.”
    “She lives with a nice couple a few towns away, they weren’t able to have kids so thy adopted Betha.”
    “Why Betha?”
    “It means life, which she saved mine.”

  3. noodlelady

    THE NOTE
    By: Janet Roberts

    Riley is a volunteer at his local Salvation Army. Today his job is to organize donated items. While searching through an old suitcase, he finds a suicide note dated six months prior. What is peculiar is that he knows Chloe, the author of the note. What is even more peculiar is that the she is still alive. Riley quickly places the note in his back pocket after he realizes he knows the author, hoping no one notices. Riley finishes out his day going through donated items but is very confused. He just wants to understand why Chloe felt like killing herself was the only way, and what changed her mind about it, why hide the note in a suitcase and donate it, and why of all people is he the one to find the note. Riley is confused, what is he supposed to do? He is going to have to think about this for a while, before he decides what to do. Riley reads the note one more time.
    September 9, 2001
    To someone who cares; maybe,
    I cannot go on with this secret any longer. I do not have the strength to go on living knowing I did nothing to stop Fred from hurting those girls. They did not deserve to be hurt like that they were only children, we were all just children then. I was too scared he would start hurting me again if I told anyone. I am SORRY PLEASE FORGIVE ME!!
    Chloe A. Bernhard

    It only took Riley an hour after he left to decide he must see Chloe. He needed to talk to her about the note he found. Who was Fred? What did he do to her and the other girls, who were they, was he still hurting them? Could he put an end to it all for them?
    Chloe answered the door to her shared apartment in cotton shorts and a tank top, no make-up, hair neatly pulled back in a ponytail, wearing yellow rubber glove. “Hi, WOW I didn’t expect to see you. It’s been forever. What brings you here?” asked Chloe.
    “Can we talk in private?”
    Chloe just stands there for a minute looking at Riley and then up and down the hallway trying to decide if she should invite him in. “My roommate is out right now; she won’t be home for about another hour or so. You can wait in the dining room. I am just about done with the dishes.”
    Not certain how to begin, Riley sits at the table trying to come up with just the right words. He has had feelings for her since grade school. She never knew. No one knew. “I volunteer at the Salvation Army on 4th Street and while I was going through donations today I came across a suitcase and found this note.” He takes the note out of his pocket and sets it on the table.
    Chloe walks to the table, then sits silently for quite some time.
    “Chloe, come on, say something. I know you wrote this but who is Fred? What did he do to you and the girls you mentioned?”
    “I can’t,” she says as tears begin to roll down her cheeks.
    “I’m not going to leave till you tell me.”
    “It doesn’t matter.”
    “Yes, it does matter. You matter. If it didn’t matter, you wouldn’t be crying and you wouldn’t have thought about killing yourself. I’m glad you didn’t do it.”
    “I . . . I wrote that and planned on being dead by the next weekend but 9-11 happened and everything changed.”
    “Who is Fred and how did he hurt you?”
    “He was a neighbor, one of my mom’s boyfriends. He touched me . . . he he raped me many times.”
    “I’m sorry.”
    “My dad hasn’t been around since I was about 2 years old. My mom was a drunk with a new piece of shit boyfriend every week or so. She didn’t care about me.”
    “But she was your mom.”
    “I’m lucky he was the only one of her boyfriends who hurt me like that anyway.”
    “What about a teacher, neighbor?”
    “I’m was a nobody with a drunk for a mom and a deadbeat for a dad.”
    “I’m so sorry; you are somebody and I . . . I care what happens to you.”
    “You barely know. Why do you care?”
    “I have cared about you since we were in the 4th grade; I wish I could have saved you from all this pain.”
    “I didn’t know you liked me. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s the past. I just want to forget about it. Why didn’t you ever ask me out?”
    “I . . . I’m shy.”
    “I think you’re sweet, I can’t believe I left the note in the suitcase, I thought I threw it away. After 9-11 it didn’t matter anymore, and he was dead. Fred was on one of the planes that crashed into the Trade Center that day. He couldn’t hurt me or the others anymore.”
    “Chloe, I’m so sorry he hurt you, but I ‘m glad he can’t hurt you anymore.”
    “Thank you.”
    “Would you like to get something to eat?”
    “OK, I just need to leave a note for my roommate first.”

  4. ConsultingWriter

    It wasn’t a normal suicide note, and I’d seen far too many in my life time. I scooped it up in my hands, folding the paper and carefully sliding it in my pocket. I needed to see him, now. I mean, there was no doubt he was alive-he could never die. Ever. But if he was suicidal and I never found out why, I couldn’t live with myself.

    Soon, I arrived to the hub, Ianto, the receptionist, letting me down to th main room. I needed to know if he was okay. I skipped past the talk from Tashiko and Gwen and Owen, and raced to his office. He sat in his chair reading some papers. He looked fine, not depressed, I would have been able to tell. He looked up, obviously knowing the fear in my eyes.

    “It’s been to long, Mr. Holmes. Way too long.” He stood, shaking my hand and smiling lightly. “What’s gone wrong in the deduction buisness?” “I…I found this note in one f the suitcases. I knew there was something about that place. It’s written from you…to a man named Rafiel.” I picked out the note and handed it to him, his face lit up and then darkened deeply spat the mention of his name. Who was this guy? Making him feel so…so…emotional? He ripped the note in half, sniffling and running a hand through his hair.

    “It’s nothing. It’s just a note. A joke.” “A joke?” “Yes, it’s what normal people do. Play cruel, sick jokes.” “Really?” “Yes, but don’t you go doing that. Especially not to John.” “Wha-” “Just leave. Please.” “Good-day, Jack.” “You, too, Sherlock.”

    I closed the door softly, stepping down the stairs and whizing past confrontation. The Thoth of having to tell them what happened would kill me. Again. I’d dissect the story behind the note when I got home.

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