You Killed Her
by Micailah Moore
(Seattle, WA, USA)
Dear man who killed my friend,
She wasn’t yours to take.
She was intelligent. She was born with the capacity to create, to love, to enjoy gummy bears, to sing, to be anything she put her mind to. She was kind. She loved her friends well. She had a good heart. Her heart was good enough to find something good in you, no matter how many times you hurt her. If she would have survived, she may have even been good enough to forgive you. But you didn’t give her that choice.
You took away her life. Because she said no to you. You’ll never understand the anger I feel at this. She had a right to say no. She had a right to live. You didn’t just take away her future; you took away her dignity. You made her into some object that you were entitled to. If you could not posses her, no one could. You succeeded, you bastard. To the remorse of her parents, her sister, her little brother, her best friends, and people who spent enough time with her to know what a loss this is to those people you succeeded.
It is your fault. Her blood is on your hands. But we live in a society where this kind of violence is easily forgotten. It is not reported as an act of control or power, but the act of a heartbroken teen, filled with hormones and sadness. It is a sad day for you because you threw your life away for a girl. No. You are a man. If you had the ability to go out and buy a gun, you are old enough to take full responsibility for your actions. I even fell into this trap. I would often say “Oh, we lost him too. It’s so unfortunate that he gave up his future because he wanted to be with only her.” This is disgusting. This is wrong. You chose to kill her. It was not about heartbreak. It was about control. It was about manipulation. It was because you felt that she was property. If she was not yours, she could not belong to anybody.
You are the reason I cannot walk on the streets at night. You are the reason my heart stops when someone cat-calls me. You are the reason I cried in embarrassment when I had to report sexual harassment to my boss. You are the reason girls feel so incredibly guilty for breaking up with someone.
Breakups are normal. They are honest. Breaking up with someone because you don’t see a future with them is much better than staying with them despite those feelings. And yet we demonize whoever does the breaking. We burn their clothes and speak bitterly about them. We have to stop this. Yes, feel the pain. Seek friends who will comfort you, but understand that whoever broke up with you has a right to say no.
Because when we minimize someone’s right to say no, we minimize their right to their own opinion—their own body. We end up with situations like this. When you walked into a party and killed my friend.
I’m unapologetic. I’m angry. I hope someday I can forgive you, but today is not that day.