I am the Dead

Photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

I am the Dead.

And you need to listen.

You’re alive.

I’m not.

And I’m not coming back.

I am dead and I can’t believe it. CAN NOT BELIEVE IT!

I have always been so young, so alive, so ready for what’s coming.

So amped, and yet...

Here I am, body-bagged in a mobile morgue in the parking lot of my high school in Santa Fe, Texas.

What? Not a dream? This is for real?


I am 17; maybe 18; maybe 14. I’m a girl. I’m a boy. I’m black, I’m white, I’m Mexican, I’m Pakistani... but mainly, I’m a teenager.

And you’re not.

You’re not a teenager, or dead. I’m both.

I don’t need your prayers. I don’t need your round table discussions. I don’t need you to talk about the same things you alive people have been talking about since before I was born. Columbine was 1999. It’s 2018, and now I’m dead, too!

Santa Fe is the worst shooting rampage since February. FEBRUARY! It’s the 22nd school shooting this year. 22!

I call complete utter BS on every politician, every policy maker, everybody/anybody who exploits this endless, asinine gun control debate?

What, you think I can’t speak my mind?

You have no idea how intelligent I am. How fluent I was going to be.

You don’t care. You think your guns are worth more than me. Don’t you?

What if I was your daughter? How important does that gun in your hands feel now?

I just got shot in the face. By this unfinished, unhinged blob of testosterone who wants his story told.

Come on, Dimi. Are you serious? No one is going to remember you.

Or me.

Stop. Wait... what are you doing?

Who in the world gets shot in a high school art class? During first period? On Friday?

Are you kidding me?

What am I supposed to do? I was just learning how to be me. And now I’m dead.

I learned in government class that the 2nd Amendment was created to authorize gun ownership for state’s militias. In 1776. The United States was fighting for its life by any means necessary.

For Christ’s sake, it’s 2018. We’ve got to do something. Over my dead body.

As far as I’m concerned, every single person in the United States has forfeited the right to bear arms.

Don’t argue with me. I’m dead.

Mr. Terminator trench coat rolls into my classroom and shoots us dead. Big gaping holes; crazy blood and bone and SCREAMING! SCREAMING! And mocks the ones who are hiding.

This is not happening.

Dude, this is NOT PlayStation. You just blasted steel shotgun pellets through my face.

One second I’m breathing, smiling, thumbing through my graphic novel, and now... I’m dead.

What in the hell are you doing with your dad’s shotgun? Why are you shooting us? You’re one of us.

What are you thinking when you pull a real trigger, and shoot real bullets, that rip me and my classmates into jagged pieces of skin and cartilage and blood vessels that bleed real blood.

And now it’s done.

I need answers.

I was learning so much. Every day. And now... nothing, it’s over.

All I can see is this long, dark something; not even a tunnel... I’m not ready.

I have faith. I believe; don’t worry about it. That’s my business; not yours.

I can see you running around like crazy, crying. Glad to be alive; hysterical with questions.

Wait, what just happened?

I can hear you. You guys with the microphones and the keystrokes. Always so sincere.

Look, it’s disgusting. Chanting my name like a rosary...

But never saying, or doing, anything. Nothing.

You pray. And that’s not enough.

You are alive.

I am the Dead.