Misa wrote those words in her journal for about the third time that week. As far as the whole year was concerned, she’d lost count. Auburn eyes gazed over the pages as she flipped through them, most filled with words, and most of those words being negative. They were towards herself, and the world in general, and she didn’t really know or care exactly what she wrote. It was as if she were just a medium as to how the words got from her head to the pen, and to the paper. All she did know was that she was hopeless. Everyone had told her so..
“It’s hopeless, Misa,” said her long-time boyfriend, Kenny, as he broke up with her the night before. She had begged him to stay, but his exasperated voice told her all she needed to know. When he hung up, she curled on the ground and cried herself to sleep.
Then there was her mother, with her endless rules and guidelines. “No staying up past 10 PM, no calling on the phone when nobody’s home, no leaving the house unless I am home.” She was 18, and she treated her like she was 4. She knew how to take care of herself, and even had a black belt in karate. However, her mom never saw it that way. “You may be 18,” she said, “But you’re too skinny. And you’re too quiet. Boys your age won’t even approach you. And those clothes!” Misa remembered; she was wearing a peasant blouse and khaki capris. “You look like a street rat!” her mom ranted on, “I never brought you up to be ugly. You’re hopeless, you hear me? Hopeless!”
Yes, she knew all about it. Even her physics teacher told her so. “I’m afraid it’s hopeless, Misa,” he said, showing her the most recent grade, a D, “There’s no way you can bring it up by the end of the grading period.” So, yet again, she was failing a class.
Misa sighed and looked up from her journal. She was sitting on the roof of her apartment building, school bag at her side. It was a breezy evening; the trees were scattering leaves, and the power lines were even waving some. She tucked another strand of black hair behind her ear as it blew in her face, then looked at her hands. Like the rest of her skin, they were alabaster white, with almost as white nails. She looked like a vampire, and everyone at school called her a ‘Goth’ or a ‘freak’. She never had any friends; the few that did try to befriend her were dragged away by other kids, who whispered in their ears all the rumors that flew around: Misa is a vampire; Misa likes to kill things; Misa is too depressing to even try helping.
With a sigh, Misa pulled the one thing out of her backpack that ever gave her sanctuary: her laptop. After dad died, her mother bought it. “A sympathy gift,” she called it. Misa opened it up, and she logged onto the Net. When she was online, she was home. Nobody could judge her, see how she looked, or how she acted. Nobody saw her hell. She could hide behind a screen, and still be the confident, lovable person she always dreamed of being. She had loads of friends in the Net, and it felt like they all understood her. It was bliss. She decided to do the usual: check her messengers, her email, some of the forums, then surf a little. When she did, all the problems went away, if only for a little while. She even felt herself smile, something she never did when she was away from the computer.
As usual, the time went by all too fast. When Misa finally looked up from the screen, it was dark; the sun had set, and the horns and buzzing of traffic could be heard below. With a sigh, she went to sign off, when suddenly, a pop-up appeared: “Instant Message for MisAngel”. Misa paused, then opened it.
“Something’s bothering you, isn’t it, Misa?”
Misa smiled as she read the screen name: Kajun24. She had been talking with him for the past few months, and she felt they knew one another well. He was one of the few people with whom Misa felt a true camaraderie. Within minutes, Misa poured out her problems to him, her grades, her personal life, the teasing... “It’s all too much,” she typed in the end.
“Then let it all go,” he responded.
What Kajun24 said after that was what made the decision:
“Let it all go. You body isn’t needed, Misa. It’s a mere casing, to give you the illusion of ‘living’. You can let your body go, and allow your soul to remain free. You can live forever if you let your body go. Let go of your current life. There were so many who were like you, and I helped them. They’ve all started over. Starting over sounds good, doesn’t it? You can. Just let go of your body. I have already done so. I will wait for you.”
Misa gazed at the screen for a few moments, then back out into the night. The railing surrounding the roof was nice and steady, wasn’t it? Is that what he meant? Slowly, she placed her laptop down, Internet still going, and climbed over the railing, her heels digging onto the little bit of cement that hung under the rail.
It was rather interesting what Misa did next. Smiling, she took off her black-framed glasses with one hand and raised them in the air. Her other hand gripped the railing as she leaned outward, then dropped them. She watched in delight as they shattered on the ground. The broken glass pieces could be seen so clearly, even though she was so high above them. As she let go of the railing and flew towards the ground, one last thought crossed her mind:
“Maybe I could become a whole new person...”
The paramedics reached the scene at about 12:45 AM. An 18 year old’s body was found on the 12th street intersection. Her grief-stricken mother called it in. The victim had long black hair and pale skin, which was even paler now that she was dead. Her glasses were a few feet away, completely shattered. “Poor thing,” one medic said, zipping up the body bag, “It’s a shame. She was a real knockout.”
“Once you got rid of the bruises and broken neck,” another chuckled in reply, “She’s smiling, though. Kind of creepy.”
The police were on the roof, examining what appeared to be the girl’s personal belongings. “Looks like a suicide,” the detective said, looking over the railing. He picked up a penny loafer from the overhang. “She just dropped,” he continued, shaking his head.
The officer picked up the laptop and snorted as he read the screen names. “Kajun24,” he muttered, “It’s him, all right. Same bastard who led those other three girls to their deaths.” Just then, as if speaking of the devil, his walkie-talkie beeped. Picking it up, the officer spoke into it. “What?”
“Good news, Chuck. We found ‘Kajun’. He was in an apartment a few feet away from the roof, watching. And his pants were nowhere in sight. It’s just like you said; he got off watching those girls die.”
Chuck nodded. “Great work, Johnson. Is he alive?”
“Afraid not. He tried resisting arrest and pulled out a gun. We had to fire.”
Chuck sighed and thanked the other officer, turning the radio off. “Dammit,” he muttered. That’s when he noticed a new message window pop up on the laptop. It was from someone named MisAngel. Dated at 12:50 AM, it read:
“I’m still here... I just left my body.”