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Batya Ishakis

Grade: 11

Chaviva High School

Instructor: Ariella Landy

Five Reasons Why You Shouldn't Kill Yourself

Short Story

Five Reasons Why You Shouldn't Kill Yourself

  1. The Crossing Guard- The crossing guard at the corner of Maple and Bridgeman might miss you. Well, not exactly you. It's not like she's your best friend and biggest confidant. But you did go out of your way for the past five years to smile and wish her good morning on your way to school. Some mornings it was hard; some mornings you could barely bring yourself to look up from the worn pavement. But you did it anyway, because why not? Maybe no one will miss you, but the crossing guard will miss that shy grin you gave her at 8:17 AM without fail. It's ironic and almost poetic since they do say that the saddest people smile the biggest.
  2. The Crunch of Fall Leaves- I know, I know. It's cliche, and why should such a trivial, materialistic pleasure bring you great comfort? I'm not entirely sure, but Grandma always said that it's the little things in life that make it worth living. You used to go for walks with Grandma on fall Sunday mornings, the frigid wind biting at your rosy cheeks. Grandma would lend you an awfully ugly and scratchy scarf, yet you thought it was the most amazing article of clothing to ever exist. Those cold autumn strolls, crunching foliage underfoot, warm your heart to this day. Grandma's gone now, but can you imagine taking your own little person on a walk like that? Can you imagine someone being as fond of you as you were of Grandma?
  3. It's Almost November 22nd- November 22nd is Sarah's birthday. You know Sarah- you've been friends since you were practically fetuses. Rocket-Pops dripping on your deck in July, or catching snowflakes on warm pink tongues in January, Sarah has always been by your side. That is until a snarling beast by the name of Middle School reared its ugly head, and you and Sarah drifted apart. But every year come November 22nd, you and Sarah inexplicably reconnect and celebrate her birthday. You watch that one Robin Williams movie and eat pretzel rods by the pound, laughing like you are a kid again. It's kind of sad because you are still a kid. The world can just… psychologically age you, you know?
  4. You've never missed a November 22nd.

  5. Your College Essay is Due in Exactly 364 Days, 27 Minutes, and Three Seconds- It feels like all twelve years of your scholastic career are leading up to that moment; the moment where you submit a world-changing, mind-numbing essay and get into the college of your dreams. Well, maybe not of your dreams, but your parents' dreams. You want to make them proud, to see that perpetual crease between Mom's eyebrows ease. It doesn't matter if you're happy, so long as you've got a job and money, right? It doesn't matter that for the past four years of high school, your self-worth has become dangerously dependent on academic validation. It doesn't matter that you were never taught how to file taxes or deal with emotional distress correctly. As long as you know that mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, you're a successful product of the American educational system.
  6. There's no time to die if you want to get that essay in before the deadline, right?

  7. Because You Deserve It- Sure, maybe little things like walking in the rain and the smell of your mother's ratatouille can bring you comfort. You can tell yourself that you need to stick around for your sister, brother, or even a crossing guard. But at the end of the day, you deserve to be happy. You deserve to throw that Princeton admission booklet to the side and open an art studio. You deserve to laugh and eat pretzel rods with Sarah. You've earned to grow old and take a little girl who thinks the world of you for a walk. You should feel the cold air nipping your face, smile, dance, and sing. Look, I know it sounds cheesy, but- do it for yourself.