The Hate List

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Chapter 51 - Kitty

I was nervous as I made my way to the graveyard. I knew that I had nothing to be nervous about, but I just was.

Maya had been dead for over a year, and I had never once gone to visit her grave. I just couldn’t do it.

I walked through the graveyard, passing by the older graves towards, the newer ones.

Every now and again I would look at some of the names on the tombstones. I even saw a few gravestones bearing my last name but for people I had never met.

A lot of people find graveyards creepy, yet I always liked them for some reason. They were a reminder that you were here. That someday, long after everyone who knew you is dead and the world has long forgotten every accomplishment you have made, all that remains is your grave. The last reminder that you ever existed and more importantly, that final reminder that you had been loved.

Maya’s grave was near the back of the graveyard. As I walked closer to it, I noticed that I wasn’t the only person who had come to visit Maya. A girl around my age was sitting by the grave. Her hair was shoulder length and dyed bright red. She had her back turned to me so I couldn’t tell who it was.

She heard my footsteps and turned to face me.

It was Alesia.

“Sorry,” she muttered as she stood up and quietly walked away.

“What are you doing here?” I called after her.

Alesia turned to look at me. “She was my friend too,” she walked off, leaving me alone at Maya’s grave.

I sat down beside the grave and read the inscription on it.

Maya Harper Khalsa
17th of April, 1997 - 7th of June, 2013
sometimes the darkness is too much to overcome.

After Maya had died, her parents spent weeks trying to decide what to write on her gravestone. As it came closer to the funeral, they came to Millie. Jude, Blake, Jonah, Aiden, and me to ask for help. Aiden was the one to choose the quote. It was from on one of the pages of her diary.

I still don’t know if she was quoting anyone or if she came up with it herself. Maybe it does matter either way.

The quote fitted. It was as if Maya herself was explaining why she did it. Why she decided to end it by killing herself.

It was then that I noticed what Alesia had left at the grave.

A bunch of flowers and a framed picture. I picked up the photo to get a better look at it.

It was a picture of Maya, Aiden and another girl sited in front of a wooden cabin. It took me a moment to recognise the cabin. It was taken during Year Seven camp.

I looked closely at the girl sited in between Maya and Aiden. She looked so familiar. Then it hit me.

The girl was Alesia.

She looked so different now.

The girl in the photo wasn’t the confident girl that I was used to. The girl with dyed red hair and who always wore too much make-up and clothes that left nothing up to the imagination. The girl in the photo was a brunette. Her hair was so long it passed her waist. She wore no make-up. Alesia was smiling widely in the picture, as her arms draped around the shoulders of Aiden and Maya. She looked happier than I had even seen her.

“Hey Maya,” I said aloud as I stared at the grave.

It felt weird talking to a stone on the ground, but I had been told that this was a way to help people deal with death.

“I’m sorry it took me so long to visit you. It's just that I wasn’t sure if you were really here. You have probably worked out by now, that even though I go to a Catholic school, I am not the most religious person. If anything, I would call myself an atheist.”

I took a deep breath before I started talking again. “I guess it's just that I don’t know if you can hear me,” I told her. “I don’t know how the afterlife works, and I don’t even know if there is an afterlife. Yet maybe if I convince myself that you can still hear me, I can get a small piece of closer.” I admitted.

I stopped talking and looked down at my hands. “I didn’t cry when Millie told me that you had died. I wanted to but I couldn’t. It just didn’t feel real.” I said. I stopped talking to take a deep breath. Even, after all, this time, it was still hard for me to talk about Maya’s death. “I tried to convince myself that you were gone, that you were never coming back but I couldn’t. No matter how many times I reminded myself, a part of me would still feel like you were about to walk in the school and apologise for missing so many days of school.” I told her. “It felt like one of those dreams you sometimes get, where you know that you’re dreaming but no matter how hard you try, you can’t wake up. It just didn’t seem real, and I didn’t want it to be real. I wanted it to all be a dream. I wanted to be able to wake up, and you would still be here.”

I raise my left hand to wipe away the tears forming in my eyes. “I didn’t even cry during the school memorial service. It wasn’t until the funeral.”

I rested my head in my hands as I sobbed harder. “I didn’t cry until the funeral because that was when I saw your body. I couldn’t pretend anymore. You were gone.”

I took a deep breath and wipe away the falling tears. “We are getting revenge, Maya. Millie and me. We are going make sure that Angelica never treats anyone the way you were treated ever again. Jude, Aiden, Blake, Jonah, and Tabby are helping us now. The only ones left are Angelica, Grace, Alesia, and Xavior. I promise you, we will take them down.”

I looked back at the tombstone and reread the inscription. “It would have gotten better, Maya. I know now that you had depression. Yet, I can still honestly say it didn’t have to end like this. I don’t hate you for taking your own life, I understand why you did it. Even though it didn’t seem like it at the time, it would have gotten better. Millie, Jonah, Jude, Aiden, Blake, and I would have been there for you. Why didn't you tell us how bad it was? Why did you keep all of the pain you felt bottled up inside? We could have helped you.”

I kept my eyes focused on the quote. “Maybe you didn’t have to face the darkness alone.”

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