The Melancholy Death of Julia Scarlet

05/25/2011 02:58 pm ET | Updated Jul 25, 2011
  • Monica Cruz 7th grade student at I.S. 162 in the South Bronx

My name is Julia Scarlet. I used to be the age of 27. Used. I have light brown eyes, the color of caramel, light skin that light bounces around, and lips that were only all smiles. I had a house, a family, a life. Everything a human could possibly want. But that all changed when I was murdered by my neighbor, John Rackner. Rackner was a man the age of about 42, a widower. His wife had died on their anniversary. And surely, I thought it was tragic for him. As friendly as a neighbor would be, I felt suffocated by the fact he was all alone. I decided to pay him a visit.

I told my husband, Peter, and my son, Josh, that I was going to see if John was ok all by his lonesome. My loving family insisted on coming with me, but I thought it would have been a little uncomfortable for him to see a family together. Something he never really had. Of course it was a mistake for a helpless woman like myself to go without any protection. It is like a baby rabbit seeing a snake. The snake is the predator and the rabbit is the prey. Rackner was the snake, and I was his target. His lunch. And when he was done with me, he would keep slithering around for more. More to kill.

No person knew how Mrs. Rackner died. Some say she cut herself with a knife when making dinner. All I really know was that there was a piercing scream that night and when the police came, there was blood everywhere. Too bad none suspected Rackner as a suspect. He hid the truth well, telling the police that it was their anniversary and he didn't know what happened. All with fake tears that should have been blood. Bloody tears that others had shed when he ripped their hearts open. Literally. When he has a broken heart, he thinks that others should too. So many families that shed tears of their love turning into sadness, then hate, then a scar for life.

I remember walking through the night sky. Stars shining bright, it made me have hope that things will be fine. I was wrong. Down the street was his house. It was not too far away, maybe about 5 houses down from mine. My house had a cheerful white color, which me and Peter painted while Josh was yet to come. I remember when we entered Home Depot, after observing how our new house needed to be perfect when our son sees the world in its color. White was the color of angels, brightness, stars that shined at night. That was the color I desired. We took our time, painting the outside of the house, and the inside. We also bought blue and yellow paint for the baby room. Peter waved the paintbrush over the room and I drew stars with my treasured black marker, which was given to me by my grandmother, long before she perished. I painted yellow inside and slightly out for visual appeal. It took us not long to finish the entire house, about a week.

I remember when I saw Rackner's house I felt a bit of uncertainty. I forgot how bleak and old his house was. Grey and creaky was all I could possibly think of. Approaching his doorstep cautiously, I stepped onto the porch, which wasn't fixed since his wife's death, and rung the doorbell.

"Who's there?" yelled John, probably in the kitchen.

"Julia Scarlet, your neighbor." I said.

He opened the door in a flash, with a wide grin. "Julia, come in dear. I'm sorry to keep you waiting out there in the night."

I remember looking around the house. It was clean; the blood was cleared from the floors and furniture. "Your house looks better than last time," I muttered.

He ignored that. "What are you doing here anyway?" He asked.

I stuttered. "I know you are still depressed since your wife's death so I came to see if you were ok."

"I'm not depressed." He said quickly. "I am- Danielle meant a lot to me."

I gave a suspicious look. I turned my head away from him to see a porcelain doll and some other knick-knacks that looked like they belonged to Danielle. Or maybe a little girl.

"Did you have a daughter?" I asked as I picked up the doll.

He swifted to me and took the doll from my hands "No." He put the doll back down on the table.

"Did these belong to Danielle?"

"Yes, I bought them for our anniversary."


There was nothing else to say. I decided to leave, but..

"John, I should get going, my family must be worried."

"Don't be silly! Stay here a while, I am sure they won't mind."

I started to panic. I have three choices: Insist to leave again, stay for a little longer, or run. I liked the third idea best, only because my nerves were being wrecked. I had to relieve that pain. I made a quick move and headed backward to the door but toppled over. My shoes were no use to me today. I tried to get up but couldn't. Rackner was holding me down.

"You thought I would let you leave, eh?" He whispered. I was shaking in horror as he bent down next to me. He clutched my right leg in his left hand. "Wh-why would you do it?" I stuttered, shaking at the most possible magnitude. He came closer, almost touching my face. "She tried to leave me." He said in a soft, yet evil voice. I was sure that the devil himself was speaking to me.

After that I blacked out. Sure to be dead, but wasn't. When I woke up I was in the hospital. Still alive, was the miracle in my head. Repeating that word, miracle, over and over as I stared in Josh's eyes. He looked at me with his innocent big brown eyes as if he thought I was gone already, but wasn't. A smile came across his face when my eyes opened slowly. Practically jumping onto the bed, he hugged me so hard it hurt. I must have been abused while I was knocked out.

Peter was behind Josh, and grabbed him to stop. Peter knew the pain I was in. He saw the cuts and bruises covering my body. Cuts here and there, a bruise on my leg from the deadly clutch, some more cuts, and even more bruises. I stared at Josh again at those thoughts. Peter interrupted my odd trance.

"John Rackner got arrested."

"How did you know?"

"Know what?"

"That I was in trouble."

Peter hesitated. "You were gone for an hour..."

I was going to say something but the words did not come out. Maybe death was coming for me. But that did not happen; my heartbeats were still going on. A thought suddenly came up to my mind.

"Do you remember when we learned Japanese together?"

"Hai. Yes."

"Obete iru toki watashi wa kano sei wa lu watashi wa anata aishite? Remember when I could not say I love you?"

"Hai. Yes."

"Mo watashi wa arimasen ima. Well I do now."

"That's good to hear." He smiled. I laughed lightly. That was all I was able to do, now. I was dying. My heartbeat slowing. I stared once again at Josh for no particular reason. My son, my only son. My whole life. He kept switching his eyes from the heartbeat meter, to me. The tears in his eyes started to show, but he tried to prevent them by shutting his eyes. I could see that was unsuccessful. The tears came down even faster. "Mom.. don't leave us.. please don't." My eyes started to close and my heartbeat got even slower. I whispered the loudest that I could, my last word. "Arigato... Thank you..."

My death ruined most. I try not to think about it but that is impossible. My stupidity got me into the worst for my family, and me. The worst part about being dead, is that I have to wait. I have to wait to be reborn again. There are no problems left to solve in life. John is in jail, and I have no other thing to do with Peter and Josh. They have to get over my death eventually, but it will always be inside. Always.