Crystal Graham: After I pulled the trigger

Crystal Graham: After I pulled the trigger

Crystal Graham

REMEMBER-CHRISTINAWhen I looked down, I saw my lifeless body beneath me. I could still hear the gurgles coming out of my mouth. There was no blood.

Had I really just done that? I sat on the floor for hours with the loaded gun in hand, crying, crying and crying some more.

Had I really pulled the trigger? There was the gun laying beside me. And a hole in my shirt.

My mom and neighbor were in the room. My mom was screaming and sobbing. Mom, I’m right here. I’m sorry. It’s always OK in the movies. I just wanted people to notice me. I just wanted him to know how much he hurt me. I’ll be OK.

Mom, please stop crying. I promise. I’ll be OK.

My neighbor was there and they are performing CPR on me. Thank you. Thank you for saving me. I’m sorry you have to see me like this. I’ll be OK.

My mom found my note. I wrote that I love my mom and sis. I do love you. The rest was targeted at him. Why didn’t he love me back? I’m sorry. I’m going to be OK.

Where’s my twin? Where is Crystal?

There she is. Outside. In the middle of our cul de sac. On her knees. Crying. Wondering why the rescue squad was taking so long to get there. I’m sorry, Crystal. I know you love me. Don’t worry. I’m going to be OK.

Remember, I wrote I love you on your hand just before I closed the bedroom door and pulled the trigger. I do love you. I still have the “ditto” on my hand that you wrote. We’ll be OK. I’m sorry. I’m going to be OK.

Why is my hand so purple now? I can barely read your message now.

Finally, finally, the rescue squad is here to save me. But I feel so stiff right now. There’s my Dad, too. I try to lift my hand to wave, but I can’t. Why can’t I move my arm? Don’t worry, Dad. Please don’t cry. I’m going to be OK.

I’m breathing on my own. I just heard a rescue squad person tell my family that. I try to open my mouth to tell them myself, but I can’t. I’m so sorry. Please stop crying. I’m going to be OK.

Everything is moving so fast. I don’t know where I am. No one is with me. I can’t move my legs. Apparently, I am paralyzed by the bullet. I’m so sorry. We will get through this. I’m going to be OK.

Oh, good. Everyone is back. My mom and sister and Dad are here. They are all crying. The doctor is talking to them now. They said I was breathing on my own. He’ll tell them that I am OK.

Why did my mom just hit the ground? Why is she screaming? Why are they injecting her with medicine? I don’t understand. I am going to be OK.

My beautiful twin, why are you still in bed, crying? Why is my mom not sleeping? She should be. Instead, she is on the phone. Calling her mom. Tell Grandma I am going to be OK.

I’m sorry I pulled the trigger. It all happened so fast. I went home from school early because I was so sad that he didn’t love me anymore. I know I am only 15, but I fell for him so fast. I had the gun in my room all day. Thinking about it. But I didn’t want my twin to come home from school and find me here. I wanted mom to be home with her. I wanted there to be time to save me.

I’ve never seen so many people. Is that my sister, Heather? Why are her eyes so red and swollen? She should be in college now. Why is she here? Why are all these people at the church I went to as a kid? Why is everyone crying? There aren’t enough seats for everyone who has come.

Wait. Is that me in the flower-embossed coffin at the front of the church? Is that me in my favorite teal silk shirt? I try to open my mouth, to tell everyone there has been a mistake … I am going to be OK.

I try to open my mouth to speak, but my lips are stitched shut. Please, let me say I’m sorry. Let me say I love you. Am I really not going to be OK?

Please don’t close the … too late. They closed the coffin. It’s dark in here. I can’t see anyone anymore. I thought I was going to be OK.

Will I never get to have a family and children? Will I never get to see my family again? I was about to get my driver’s license and a car. What have I done? I didn’t want to die. I thought I was going to be OK.

Please don’t put me in the ground. Please don’t lower me here. I can hear the dirt falling on top of me. I cannot breathe. I am sorry. I want to live. I thought I was going to be OK.

  • Column by Crystal Abbe Graham


Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.