Top Ten Reasons Why Rosemary Bart (Me) Should Not Die.

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story in the form of a top-ten list.... view prompt

6 comments

Sad Teens & Young Adult

1. My mom would cry.

I’ve only seen my mom cry once in my life. 

I was sitting in the backseat of her old Honda Civic on the way back from my father’s funeral when I heard it. A sniffle. A wipe. A sigh. 

I was playing with a small Barbie doll that I had gotten from a fast food place earlier in the day. I reached against the restraint of my seatbelt to hand my mom the little doll to try and comfort her. She glanced away from the road and into the rear-view mirror to see me. I watched her face harden into an emotionless state and then melt back into the

kindergarten-teacher soft gaze I knew her to usually wear within a few seconds. She took the doll and mouthed ‘thank you’ to me. 

I don’t think she meant for it to come out silently. 


2. It would hurt.

I was diagnosed with depression about 6 months after my father’s death and funeral. I was 8 then. When the doctors talked to me, they did it with light language and a hushed voice, as if the label they had tacked onto me was somehow too much for me to handle. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn't my fault they decided I was sick. It wasn’t my fault dad got mugged with me in his arms. It wasn’t my fault I couldn’t find his phone in time to call 911. It wasn’t my fault I found out how to disassemble those little pencil sharpeners from my school’s book fair. 

I still have the scars. They haven’t bled in years, but sometimes, when I trace the lacey cobwebs down my arms, a shiver shakes my body. Is it from memory, or anticipation? 

It’s not my fault all the ways I’ve tried have hurt like a bitch. 


3. I’d have to face the afterlife.

I don’t want to know where I’ll end up once I die. And I don’t want to know if dad is there too. 


4. Who will take care of my cat?

Mom has been trying to make me get rid of Socks for years. 

“That damn cat got into my dinner again, Rosemary! I’m about to throw that thing out!”

“Clean that cat’s litter or I’m selling it!”

“Rosemary, I swear to god, if your cat keeps shedding on the furniture, we’re getting rid of it.” 

She refuses to call Socks by his name. I think it’s partially because she would feel really bad saying those things about a living animal. Ironically, if you could call it that, I don’t think she’d be able to get rid of Socks if I died. Too much emotional attachment to me through him. Maybe he would benefit from me being dead I shouldn’t think like that. 


5. I’d miss so many bad rom coms.

Nothing makes me feel better about my shitty love life like an equally shitty romance comedy. The cheesier the plot, the better. All the characters are so one dimensional and easy to understand. Their struggles are entirely caused by other people. Their brain doesn’t hate them like mine does. Guys don’t avoid the protagonist in rom coms, constantly on eggshells, waiting for her to snap and have to be wheeled out of school on a stretcher like in 7th grade. And 9th. Probably would have been 10th too if I hadn’t switched to homeschooling. 

The guys are usually pretty hot too. 


6. I’d miss so many bad rom coms with Harley. 

Harley is the only friend I had too stick with me through everything. And I mean everything. 

I’ve known her since 2nd grade. She’s my only friend who’d ever met my dad. She’s my only friend, and one of our weekly traditions is to delve into the depths of whatever movie-pirating site we can find to pull out the shittiest rom com possible. We even started making a tournament board to rank all the movies we’ve watched in the past few months. 

I want to finish that board. That should take at least 2 more weeks. 



7. I haven't had my first kiss yet. 

I almost did, a few months back. I think it was February? 

Harley got invited to a Valentines Day party by her girlfriend and brought my along out of pity. This one guy named Connor (Smith, not Davis) would not leave me alone the whole time. He was high out of his mind and not trying to hide it. I tolerated it for a while, up until he started getting a bit too handsy for me. Then I pepper sprayed him. He had to wear an eyepatch for a few weeks after that. He looked like a pirate. 

I haven’t been invited back to a party since, not even by Harley. It would probably be better for her if I died, honestly. I’m not a very good friend. I really need to stop thinking like that. My therapist would not be happy with me. He also would not be happy if I died, because then my insurance would stop paying him. 


8. I haven’t gotten drunk yet. 

Oh ok wait, I forgot. Same party as reason 7. Harley and I decided I would be the designated driver because 

A. She and her girlfriend didn’t want to be sober

B. Harley didn’t trust me drunk and alone, and she didn’t want to babysit me the whole time. 

C. I didn’t want to be drunk and alone. 

That’s really it for this one. This list isn’t really working. I am getting pretty tired though, so maybe I’ll just fall asleep and let this episode past. Talking about it is kinda making everything worse, I’m gonna move on. 


9. I haven’t gotten a septum piercing yet.

Ok these reasons are starting to suck ass. Whatever. It’s the little things that keep me going.

I’ve wanted a septum piercing for over 2 years, after I saw a pretty girl on the street with one. My mom says I’ll look like a bull. What’s she got against bulls?

I went back and read the first few points I wrote and oh my god. I was upset. It’s crazy what a difference half an hour can make. I don’t feel that bad anymore. Ok well, I didn’t before I went back and read. Now, it’s a bit iffy again. But I like this. I like talking to you, piece of paper I found in my closet. I like feeling like I don’t have to sugarcoat everything I say. You’re not gonna walk on eggshells around me. You can’t walk! How pathetic.

It’s like 2 am, I think the sleepiness is starting to kick in. 


10. … 

I don’t know. I don’t want the list to end. I like writing this. But I already said 10. 

I feel like, once the list ends, there’s no room for more reasons. Does that not imply my life is already over? If there’s no room for growth and development, what’s the point? Is my fate not already sealed? 

But am I not officially ending it by deciding there’s only 9?

I can’t even talk my self out of suicide right.


December 29, 2020 23:37

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6 comments

Amir Sher
12:20 Jan 07, 2021

A very touching story. Made me think of my father who is bipolar. I like the use of strikethrough - it shows that although the narrator tells herself that she doesn't have to sugarcoat everything on paper, she still has darker thoughts that she is trying to hide.

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Lourenço Amorim
11:24 Jan 07, 2021

I really like the way you build the story with incomplete thoughts and conflict ideas that suit so well the characters and her motivation. Well done. I will following your next works.

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Emre Yildiz
05:37 Jan 06, 2021

It's wonderfully scripted! Love the transition and flow of sentences.

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Kendall Defoe
17:08 Jan 08, 2021

Very powerful narrative here...I want to read more...

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Rohit Mukundan
08:13 Jan 06, 2021

Each reason is like another twist of the knife. I've been trying to find stories told in lists ever since I saw the prompt and one thing I find in common (at least among the ones I found) is that they tend to be the narrator having a conversation with themselves. Feels more intimate than the usual first person narration. As if we're reading something that was never meant for other eyes. Anyway this was really good.

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Jillian Oakes
16:23 Jan 06, 2021

I totally agree about it feeling more personal. It feels like something you'd stumble upon while cleaning out an old closet or tucked away in a library book you want to borrow. I was very excited about all the prompts this past week, it was hard to settle on just one haha.

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