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If you were to tell me that one day I would be living in the woods, I would have laughed in your face and told you to piss off. I'm a city girl, who is more accustomed to spending long weekends at the mall or the movies with my friends, listening to My Chemical Romance and Green Day on end, and occasionally, helping myself to my parent's liquor cabinet while they were out of town visiting my grandma. Of course, when they came home to find me hurling over the commode and found out that it wasn't mere tummy troubles, I caught some serious hell. As a result, I was averted from ever laying hands on the Jack Daniels or Bacardi ever again. Well, that's neither here nor there, the point is that I was a typical suburban teenager seeking anything to offset the boring, vanilla redundancy which seems to infect mostly white dominant neighborhoods.
I would give anything, if I'm crazy enough, I would probably sell my soul, just to have my parents back and live the monotonous life I once had! At least it was safe and either way, everybody had opportunities to better themselves. At least I had a place to call home, a warm bed to sleep in, and food, oh, I was practically smothered by every culinary selection from pizza at Sbarro to my mother’s meatloaf. I was so fucking stupid! Not to mention, I was a spoiled and over-pampered little wench who didn't give one jot about anybody. I felt so entitled, and would do anything to get what I so desired. One morning, I took matters into my own hands to make sure I achieved my desire... and it costed the lives of my mother and father, and until I'm a skeleton laying in the midst of this cold and grim forest, it has costed mine, too. My name is Sandy Jameson, and here is the backstory which led to my existence in a forest that not even the most elite of campers or hunters would dare venture into without the proper navigation tools.
It all started when I had a crush on this boy, and you know how petty and sometimes, embarrassingly disastrous those can become. His name was Benny Sanchez, he was an immigrant from Panama, and he was so charismatic, so charming, and that glance he gave me just screamed, "You are mine, mi amor." It was like I was in a trance by him. Over the span of six months, we were dating, made out a few times, and he even introduced me to his family. It was like being on the verge to becoming engaged. I introduced him to my parents, and they could tell by his demeanor and his arrogance that he was trouble. I specified those reasons so that you may realize that neither race nor culture had anything to do with their disapproval of Benny. Sure, he got expelled and even investigated briefly for distributing marijuana and his reputation for carrying a switchblade, but he loved me, or so I thought. One night, I was out past my curfew. I was making out with Benny in the back of his truck and my father pulled up and caught us in the act. To say that all hell broke loose would be too poor of an explanation for what followed. He grabbed Benny by the shirt collar, threw him against his truck so forcefully, I could've sworn his entire spinal column rattled, and he snarled at him, "If I catch you so much as talking to my daughter, you're going to regret it until your last breath you piece of shit!" I was in shock at my father's rage, and I was so in love with Benny, and for him to threaten him with such a heavy handed and livid approach, he might as well have roughed me up as well for good measure!
I was grounded for two months. That is when I planned to take things into my own hands, determined to be Benny's future wife, but what I really did was seal my own fate of my now bleak and hopeless as well as terrifying future. I mapped out my plan over the days of my grounding. What was the plan you might ask? My plan... was to kill my mother and my father! While my parents were at work, I took my father's Kimber 1911 45. caliber pistol, which I fired before at a range, so I was no fool to firearms. Then, I gathered a pair of gloves, swimming goggles, a shower cap, and an old gown to keep off any incriminating D.N.A. which would splatter onto my person. Next, I had to fake a break in and think of an agenda for what would trigger the raid. Bingo! The ten thousand dollars stowed away in the wall safe in my father's study. It took awhile, but I finally cracked the code, removed the bundles of cash, and hid it in my Volkswagen under the seat, wrote down the combination for later, and shut the safe. Finally, just wait for the right time.
It was three in the morning, and my parents were fast asleep. I put on my personal protective gear, reopened the safe in my father's study, loaded the handgun, and snuck into my parent's bedroom. I looked over them while taking a discreet breath, and then I aimed the gun first at my father. I thought about Benny and the happily married future I stupidly assumed I would have with him, which helped silence any and all voices of reason. BANG! The first shot hit my father just above his left eyebrow! Blood and brain matter exploded, like a frozen lasagna dinner would under excessive pressure in the microwave. My mother was jolted awake from the violence! I quickly pointed the business end at her as she got ready to scream. BANG! The first shot hit her in the right shoulder, but wasn't anywhere near fatal. In the midst of her adrenaline, she pleaded with unfathomable horror and desperation, "Sandy, what the hell are you doing?!" BANG! The second shot went to her sternum and that finished her off! Clouds of sprayed blood and particles of pillow and mattress stuffing loomed in the air like a fog. I felt like I was underwater. Any and all distractions were completely shut off, like someone pushed the mute button in real time. I had to remain focused. I discarded the gun onto the bed, as I could easily explain that the burglars had found it and decided to off them. After I stuffed all the blood slimed coverings I donned into a trash bag and shoved it hastily into the bin under the kitchen sink, I got a screwdriver and I jammed it into the front door keyhole several times until I was sure that it would be damaged. Afterwards, I smashed a vase, dumped a table which scattered the decorative items and some books as well as broke a lamp in the process, anything to make the work of these ghost intruders appear believable. The final step, I activated the alarm, which resulted in a phone call from the emergency dispatchers. I had put on a performance so convincing, Meryl Streep would have been envious. I cried in such distress that a couple of burglars broke into my house, stole from my father's safe, found his gun, and shot him and my mother in cold blood to keep the victims silent forever, and when I came into their bedroom, they warned me that they would hunt me down if I called the police. Five patrol units, a detective in an unmarked vehicle, and an ambulance were there in less than four minutes. The veteran investigator, who could smell a rat and spot contradictions if he was blindfolded and drunk listened to my story, while the uniformed officers secured the house with their Glocks drawn. Being sixteen and legally still a minor worked to my advantage, thus, the detective listened intently and believed my story.
Investigations are still ongoing, but once I disposed of any remaining evidence, inconspicuously covering up my footprints, and the smoke cleared, I called Benny and I had told him the same fabricated story. He was concerned for me, but I knew that he didn't give one-tenth of a shit about them. We were reunited and ran right into his arms. We made love that night in his bedroom. It was so romantic. It was more than romantic, it was like a wedding vow being put to action. I even moved into his house and even his family accepted me like one of their own.
So you must be wondering why I am now taking refuge in the forest. If you want a short answer, it's the only place where I'm sure to never be found. Actually, I ought to give you the long story, that you may have a clearer understanding on why I am now dwelling in a nearby cave and wandering the forest. "What about Benny?" you may ask. That, along with savagely snuffing out these obstacles who were my mother and father, was where I made the biggest mistake that I will never for as long as I may walk this planet, never receive redemption for, and I will never forgive myself.
Benny and his family, all along, were running and supporting for one of the most infamous cartels in Central America. His true colors were revealed. He was a controlling and possessive bastard, whose charm and charisma was only bait to lure me in. After I was caught in his clutches, I became nothing more than a status symbol to further puff up his phony and toxic masculinity, and perhaps gain some respect among the rest of his heroin transporting comrades. His family were likewise as demanding and controlling of me. This was akin to how the devil ensnares a hapless fool who trades his or her soul for fame and fortune, there is a grave price to be paid in the end.
One night, he was making arrangements for me to fly to Panama to meet up with a couple of his partners to "deliver a package" to the Colombian border. He assured me that I wouldn't get caught, as long as I kept my mouth shut, exactly what they told me, and remained inconspicuous, but the money I would make would be the equivalent to a heart surgeon's monthly salary. I was mortified! I didn't care about the lucrative results. I was going to be a mule for this rat! He didn't care about a legitimate marriage with children, he just wanted some arm candy who could double as a "business partner." I was facing a three headed monster of likely endings. One: I was to remain in the limelight to soon be found out by extensive forensic investigations and be sentenced to rot away in a maximum security penitentiary, or perhaps the death penalty. Two: I was going to go through with the task and risk either being a walking target for any rival cartels or wind up in a Latin American prison that would make Guantanamo Bay seem like the Ritz Carlton. The third potential fate would be to remain with this drug trafficking turd and be treated like a glorified sex partner and a punching bag if I triggered him at all, and either way, I was doomed to wind up at the mercy of the judge, jury and executioner before I even turned thirty!
Late one night, I only took whatever necessities I would need in a suitcase, sneaked out of his old ghetto apartment, drove about fifty miles outside the city limits where not even a truck stop was nearby and abandoned my vehicle in some secluded area. Since then, I have been a forest dweller, surviving off of the berries and nuts that grow all around me. Sometimes, I even resort to eating grass and leaves, but mostly, I have little to no appetite, as I am constantly paranoid of being caught by a search party led by some sheriff deputies and bounty hunters seeking me as if I were Ted Bundy. Either them or Benny, who I know would not be alone if he found me, and they would take pleasure in slaughtering me and dissolving my corpse with lye based chemicals. To Benny, I would easy come easy go; find another lover/delivery service. To the authorities, it would be a case finally solved, and they would go home to celebrate with their spouses and children while I sat in a cell with some butch, tattooed, fifty-something inmate who would make me her bitch. I am not ready to face either one of those endings. This forest is so easy to get lost in, like in the Blair Witch Project, and for me, it is a blessing, granted I don't deserve any favor at all. I am delusional, depressed, and bitterly resentful towards myself. It is poetically fitting. I murdered my own flesh and blood like an animal, so now I live like one.
The isolation, the loneliness, the self hatred and bouts of depression and paranoia are taking their toll on my mental and emotional health. Until I am a rotting corpse to only be discovered by some hikers or a group of boy scouts, I know one thing that's as definite and true as my plight...
I will never be loved again.