This piece is part of the #SuicideNotes project.

I wish I could do it, but I can’t.

I try, really I do. And I’d do it if I could. Really, I would. I just can’t.

It’s not really their fault. They’ve really tried. All the classes and stuff. They want me to be the best. They’re the best, they’re geniuses. They could do anything. They say they’re not sorry they had me, but they have to be now, right?

I mean, they probably weren’t sorry when they thought they were going to have a kid who would be all they wanted. Smart and pretty and who would do all the amazing things they do.

It’s not like they didn’t try. They pay a lot for my school, I know they do. And all the other stuff. They can’t help it that I’m just a worthless loser who will never be the daughter they should have gotten.

I mean, look how awful I was at the violin. All the kids play something like that. And it all sounds the same to me, even when they’re all cringing. I’d do it right if I could. Honest.

I can write. But that’s not, you know, what they want. You can’t write in the talent show for the other parents to clap for. And that’s so important. The other parents and the violin. That’s important.

And calculus. It’s not like I flunked. It was just a B. Well, a B-. Mr. Hawes is seriously tough! Only four kids got better grades than I did. And they’re all seniors! The other junior in AP Calculus got a D. But, you know, fifth isn’t good enough.

I get that. They never came in fifth. Fifth isn’t up to the standard they set. The kind of kid they deserve wouldn’t come in fifth in the class.

Timmy says all that stuff that my parents want doesn’t matter. But I can’t even go out with Timmy anyway, because of the B-. And he’s wrong. Maybe it’s OK for him. If his parents can be OK with whatever he does. He acts like it doesn’t matter. But can’t he see that it doesn’t stop after high school? How could I live a whole life of failing them over and over? They try so hard!

Yeah there are kids whose parents would be cool with them being auto mechanics or something. Mine wouldn’t, and they shouldn’t. They’re brilliant. And they’ve worked so hard to be where they are and they’ve worked so hard with me. It’s not OK for me to be a mechanic. I don’t know anything about cars anyway.

You know, when I’m gone, they can go to Switzerland, and mom can do that research project they tried to recruit her for. That’s important. But they’re stuck with a crappy daughter and trying to make it work somehow for me not to totally screw up everything for them. And they figure staying here for me, in this school, will somehow make it work. But I just can’t do it.

I wish I could.

So this will work out for them. They won’t be saddled with me anymore. I guess it will suck for them not to have a kid to be proud of. But they don’t have one now and that’s my fault. The least I can do is fix that, right?

And if they go to Switzerland, no one will even know they had a failure of a daughter and they’ll be OK. They can sponsor some genius kid and, that’s something they could do. Something that works for them. Not like me.

It’ll be better this way. I won’t disappoint them anymore. Wouldn’t it be cool if they were proud of me for this? You know, setting a goal and not stopping until you achieve it? And accepting nothing but the best? Well, I don’t know what the best is when it comes to something like this, but at least I’ll accomplish something for once.

No more Bs. Or things I can’t get right. Or programs I won’t qualify for. Or careers I know I won’t be able to do. No more letting them down.

Maybe they’ll be proud of me this time. For getting it right.

God it stinks in here. But I guess it’s supposed to. I mean, car exhaust stinks. That’s how this works. I even understand the chemistry of this. The carbon monoxide filling the garage and too little oxygen and…

And I’m not giving up. This isn’t physics, which I didn’t understand, or the violin that I couldn’t play, and I can do this as well as anyone.

As well as I should.

Ugh. Oh I hate that smell. My head hurts.


Oh God, it’ll be over soon, right? Please, I don’t want to… I’m scared.


Please, let it be over soon. I don’t want to screw this up…

and they’d find out…

and it would just be one more thing and I just can’t…


I can’t…

I ‘d just be…


and that’s not…



Renee Rebecca Ross, 17, of Boston, died March 25, 2010 at home.

She was born October 2, 1992, a daughter of Pierre David and Cathy Holmes Harris.

Renee attended the Bent Ridge Academy and enjoyed writing and volleyball. She was a much loved daughter.

Survivors include her parents, paternal grandparents David Paul and Linda Jane Harris; maternal  grandparents, James Michael and Linda Britt Cartwright; and many family members and friends.

Services will be held at Heath Memorial Home.