Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Miller, Mary Beth.
New York : Dutton, 2002.
ISBN 0525468943
The trial is over. I was acquitted of the murder charges, but it is hard to go on when even your parents think you are guilty. My friends had to testify at the trial and they didn't even stand up for me or meet my eyes once during the whole thing. The closest anyone came to really looking at me was when Chard had to point at me, but he didn't look at me, not even when he left the stand. So I was alone during the whole trial, and my best friend is gone forever. Aimee took away all of my other friends, and my family too. She even tried on that last night to take Chard from me. I didn't think that this could happen. Friends don't commit suicide.

My parents decided that I needed a fresh start, so we have moved to a new town to escape the stigma of the trial. Whether we moved for them, or me I don't know. I have no friends. And to top it all off, I have to see a court-ordered psychiatrist. Actually, this is the fourth one that I've seen. It was part of my sentence. I call it "My Plan to Become Normal Again."

My parents think that everything these quacks have tried is psychobabble, garbage in other words, but that's because they want to pretend that nothing's happened. We are supposed to be a perfectly normal family with one child, no divorce, a large income and three cars, counting the SUV and they don't want anything to rock that boat. It's unstable enough as it is.

The shrink, I call her Marge (the name seems to fit her) wants me to write everything in a journal. So last night, I wrote about how awful it is to have to go to shrinks, and how awful my parents are - ladder climbing kiss-ups. I wanted to look cooperative. But Marge didn't like that. She told me that it wasn't useful stuff. She handed it back to me and said that I needed to write about what it used to be like with Aimee, Chard, Kates, Jason and Kyle. She wanted me write about what I felt and thought and what was important to me. She promised that she wouldn't read it unless I wanted her too. I was tempted to look up into her eyes, but I didn't want her to see the doubt in mine.

I don't know if I can write about what happened and come out whole - ALIVE. I don't know if I can look back. Besides, if I tell it, who will listen? No one believes us- the kids that is. They all think we have it so great, and that this is the best times of our lives. When people tell me that, I want to puke. If this is the best time of my life, and I'm going to spend the rest of my life looking back at this with fondness, then I should just end this right now.

Aimee, I didn't mean that.

Aimee I'm sorry, but Marge may be right. I've been so uncooperative with the other shrinks, and there's no one else left one the list of acceptable list the judge gave my parents, that I guess I will try writing the journal. It is easier that talking about it and I don't have to show it to anyone. So, here goes.

Marilyn Bunker (Colorado Blue Spruce Children's Award)

SUBJECTS:     Suicide -- Fiction.
                        Teenagers -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Psychologists -- Fiction.
                        Diaries -- Fiction.


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