The first time I died, I was fourteen.

I don't mean literally.

It's not like they pumped me full of formaldehyde. Not like they put me in my one good dress, the blue one with the lace around the hem and the patched-up hole under the armpit. It's not like they curled my hair or slathered me in makeup or finally pierced my ears.

I didn't get the velvet-lined coffin. I didn't get the headstone. I didn't get the maggots.

This death, the figurative kind, was worse than all of that.

There's nothing quite like becoming the town ghost, especially when you're still alive.

The second time I died, I was seventeen.

And it was for real.


This is for Hadley.

She is my sun, moon, and stars.

This story is also being posted on my blog.