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Grade
8

 

I Need Your Help

 

“Okay class! Today, you’re going to write your first letter to your new pen-pals!” Ms. Kerr said to the class of teenagers. I groaned, I hated writing. Ms. Kerr walked around the room, handing a piece of lined paper and a pencil to all 29 kids in the class.

“I’m not going to tell you anything about your partners, I’m going to let you figure that out by yourself.” She said with a smile on her face. After every kid had a piece of paper a pencil and knew their partner’s name, she started writing on the board. My partner’s name was Christie.

 

Include

  • Three things about yourself

  • Ask three questions about your partner

 

Dear Christie,

So I guess that you’re going to be my new Pen-Pal. I really don’t want to do this. My name is Lawrence Dean Cartwell, I am 14 years old and i live in Little Rock, Arkansas. How old are you? Where do you live? What’s your full name?

- Lawrence

 

By the time that I finished, there were still three people still writing. I walked up to Ms. Kerr, and put my awfully written letter in her pile. I noticed that everyone’s letter was longer than mine. Because class was almost over, we were allowed to just hang out for the last couple of minutes.

When the bell went off, everyone pushed and shoved their way out the door, everyone but me. I hesitated and let them all rush out before me. I had been pushed down countless times trying to get out of that door. I had learned my lesson a long time ago.

After the last person had left, I walked out to the front of the school, where my nanny was waiting. My family was really rich, so we had a nanny, a butler, and a full kitchen staff. My dad was an extremely successful lawyer, and my mom was some high office position for the government that I can never remember what the name of. The bad part about that is, I never get to see either of them, they’re pretty much always working, and even when they aren’t working, they’re tired and “don’t have the energy for me,” that’s what they always say. I walked into the front of the school and saw my nanny, Eleanor. She hates me. The only reason she ever sees me is because she gets paid to do it. We have a 45 minute car ride home, in complete and utter silence. She won’t let me listen to any music because it’s “distracting to drive with,” and she “doesn’t like my kind of music.”

As the mansion came into view, I had a sinking feeling. I hated this place. It always reminded me of my parents and how I never get to see them. We are one of the best known families in the town, but there are so many hidden secrets in our family. Secrets that no one knows, and secrets that no one will ever know. I walked into the door and handed my backpack and coat to the door person, Phil.

Phil is my favorite out of our staff, but he never talked to me when he was on duty. It seems like every staff that gets close to me gets fired soon after. I think that Phil realized this and because of that, appears not to be close to me. Sometimes, he comes to my room to gives me brownies and talks about my day and what’s going on. He knows that I love brownies. Sometimes I think that Phil is the only person who really appreciates me, the only one who really gets me. But there is some stuff that I don’t tell him when he comes and talks with me. Some stuff that I don’t tell anyone.

The next day at school, Mrs. Kerr announced that she had the response letter from our pen-pals. She came around and passed them out.

“After you read your letter, start working on a letter to send back!” Mrs. Kerr said. It was obvious that she liked doing pen-pals. She liked to read the excellent letters that the smart kids wrote.

Dear Lawrence,

My name is Christie Grace Tucker, I am nineteen, and in Sophomore year in college. I live in Sherwood, Arkansas. That’s 20 minutes away from where you live. Are you THE Lawrence Cartwell? Like the son of  Sarah and Colin Cartwell? Wow. My friends are gonna FREAK! Hmmm three questions... What’s it like to be rich? Do you ever get to go to the capitol building and see your mom’s work? How big is your room? I’ve seen pictures of your house on google images, but it’s not like your room is on google images.

Sincerely a very excited to meet you, Christie

 

When I read that letter, I got extremely frustrated. Everyone thinks that my life is perfect, but no one really knows the truth. No one knows how unhappy I am. At least I have one person to talk to, and that’s Phil. Without Phil, I’m not sure what I would do. That letter got me going way more than I should have let it. Christie, why do you have to be so dumb!? Can’t you just get it? I don’t want to be Lawrence Dean Cartwell. I wish that I could be someone else. Some ordinary kid with some ordinary life. But no, I have to be born into a family with parents that don’t love me, a whole staff full of servants that don’t even talk to me, and a whole state who doesn’t get me. I needed to rant. This letter seemed like the perfect way to do it.

 

Christie,

You may think that it’s nice to have rich parents and get almost anything I ask for,  but it’s really not. It’s awful. I never get to spend time with my parents, they’re always working. And even when they are home, they’re always extremely tired and never have the energy for me. What’s it like to be rich? Awful. I never have anyone to actually talk to. Everyone just immediately goes to talking about how rich we are and how cool it must be. My room is huge. It is probably the size of half your house, but it always feels to empty. I have never set foot in my parents work or met any of my dads clients. So no, it’s not nice to be rich. Ugh, three questions, do you have something that no one else gets? Do you have friends? Are you happy with your life? Because I’m not and I don’t. So please don’t act like I’m happy.

  • Lawrence

 

As the day went on, I started to settle down. I started to think about what I would think about me if I were in their shoes, and I came to the conclusion. I get why they think that I like my life, I get why they think that my parents love me. Because they don’t know any different. Their parents love them, they’re happy with their life. They think that just because their life is good, that everyone’s life is. I don’t blame them, but at the same time I wish that they could see that I need their help.

The rest of the day was the same as always, looking at the clock every 20 minutes and see that the minute hand had only moved three times. When the bell finally rang, it was spring break. I waited for everyone to rush out, as usual. I then walked out to front of the school and saw Eleanor in her car in the usual spot. When I got home, I stuck my hand out, holding my bag, expecting Phil to be there to take it, but he wasn’t.

“What happened to Phil?” I asked Eleanor as I turned around to face her.

“Fired,” she responded, short with me as always.

“Why? I liked Phil,” I said.

“Exactly,” Eleanor said. I’m pretty sure her job to ruin my life. Then, it hit me. I have no one to talk to. I can’t tell anyone, anything. I realized that I had nine days to survive by myself. Nine days without talking to anyone. I couldn’t live like that.

I managed the first three days without doing anything bad, but on the fourth day... I couldn’t do it anymore. I went to my moms bathroom and took her razor. I pressed it against my wrist until I saw blood drip down my arm. I instantly felt better. I did it again. I couldn’t stop. I did it four more times until I heard I heard Andrew, our main chef, call me down for lunch. I kept my left arm under the table as I ate my grilled cheese sandwich. For the whole week, I sat in my room, hating my life. I realized how hard it was going to be to stop. Already, I wanted more. I wanted to keep cutting. By the end of the week, I had 42 cuts on my left arm, and 19 on my right. Clearly, it was getting out of control.

On Monday, Ms. Kerr had the letters from our pen-pals. I dreaded reading mine in fear that it would be more of the same. “Oh my god that must be so cool!” I was very surprised at what it said.

 

Dear Lawrence

I used to be depressed like you. I used to hate my life. I used to not have any friends. Back in 8th grade, I cut all the time. I had no friends, and I almost committed suicide. I almost stabbed myself through the heart. But that was back then, now I’m in a happy relationship with the love of my life, I have many friends, and I absolutely love my life. I guess all I’m trying to say is that life will get better. So if you’re doing bad things, stop right now. It’s how I got better. I stopped right away, I didn’t let it get out of hand. I’m so sorry for automatically jumping to the conclusion that because you’re rich, you’re happy. I get the feeling of everyone thinking that you’re happy, when you really aren’t. Remember that there are always people there for you. If you ever need someone, you can email me. Here it is: christiecheers@gmail.com

  • Christie

 

I suddenly felt better, just knowing that someone was there for me, someone who knew what I was going through. That day went really quickly, it was the reverse from the usual. Every 3 minutes I looked at the clock, the minute hand had moved 20 times. After I got home from school, I went up to my room and turned on my super computer. I hadn’t turned it on in two years so I had to update it three times. After it was finally done updating I opened up my email and started working on my email to send to Christie.

 

To: christiecheers@gmail.com

Subject: I need your help

I have to let it all out, can I rant?

  • Lawrence

 

It took 30 seconds for her to respond.

 

To: lawrencedeancartwell@gmail.com

Subject: I need your help

Yeah go ahead, I’m here.

  • Christie

 

To: christiecheers@gmail.com   

Subject: I need your help

Last week, over Spring Break, I started cutting. I didn’t do it before because we had this one servant, his name was Phil. He was the only person I had to talk to. He got fired the friday before break. So for 9 days, I thought that I had no one to talk to. I started cutting. I haven’t been able to stop. It’s really bad. I have 42 cuts on my left arm, and 19 on my right. I can’t make it stop. How did you stop? Can you help me? I need to know how to stop.

  • Lawrence

 

To: lawrencedeancartwell@gmail.com

Subject: I need your help

I talked to someone. I told them exactly what was wrong, and that immediately made me feel better. They helped me stop cutting. Let’s try this, you tell me everything that’s bothering you, and I’ll help you get through it. I’ll help you stop cutting, stop doing bad things.

  • Christie

 

To: christiecheers@gmail.com  

Subject: I need your help

Okay, so the worst part is no one gets me. No one sees the real me. Everyone thinks that my life is perfect. But it isn’t. My life sucks. I have no friends, pretty much no parents, and there’s only one thing that makes me happy, and that one thing also makes me sad at the same time. That one thing is cutting. The one thing that makes me happy is literally cutting myself with my moms razor. I bet that even if she did find out that I was cutting, she wouldn’t do anything about it. Phil helped a lot when he was here, but now that he isn’t, I don’t know what to do. But also the neglection from my parents. It adds on to the feeling that no one likes me. The two people who are supposed to love you no matter what, never talk to me.

  • Lawrence

 

To: lawrencedeancartwell@gmail.com

Subject: I need your help

Okay the first thing you need to do is get rid of the razor. Throw it in a forest or a dumpster. It doesn’t matter as long as you get rid it. Another way to stop cutting is to distract yourself as much as possible, never think about it. Try to make friends, try talking to people. Get to know people, they’ll find out how great of a person you are. Try going to a mall or some popular place like that. Tell them right away to ignore the money and try to get to know them for who you are. But the biggest thing is to never, ever cut. It keeps getting worse and worse. It might make you feel better for a moment, but that is a very short moment. And after that moment, it’ll make you feel so much worse.

  • Christie

 

To: christiecheers@gmail.com

Subject: I need your help

I’ll try, thank you so much.

 

We continued to talk until 2:30 in the morning until when I fell asleep at my desk.

During the next couple of months, the cutting slowly dwindled down until it was non-existent. Three years later, I have a girlfriend, who loves me not just because of the money, and a bunch of friends. I started making more of an effort to spend time with my parents. Not much luck, but I considered it. And their jobs are extremely stressful. They have an excuse for always being at work, and when they aren’t, being tired. We do talk sometimes, but I try to keep my distance so I don’t bother them. That’s the only problem I still haven’t worked out. My parents.

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48103