The Hanging Tree

Dear Mom,

I’m tired. Tired of the name calling, tired of the bullying, and most of all, tired of feeling like the world is against me. Today someone gave me the last piece of a puzzle that I’ve been trying to figure out for weeks.

Every day when you would ask how my day at school was, I would lie to you and tell you stories of how I wish it was. I would tell you about my imaginary girlfriend, about all of my imaginary friends, and all the imaginary things we did during the day. In reality I was being picked on for being labeled as gay, and though I cannot deny the words hurt, what hurt worse was the lack of interest from anyone else.

I’m not gay. I do like girls, but girls don’t seem to like me. As a matter of fact, no one seems to like me. It seems like I have a sign on the back of my shirt that says, “Bully me!”

The puzzle, it seems, has been part of my life since I started high school. It started with the first bus ride and it ends with a rope and a tree. One of the bullies supplied me with the idea of hanging. He had made a comment about hanging me by my dick and letting the birds pick at my balls.

I imagined myself hanging from a tree at that moment, with my favorite t-shirt and my holey jeans. I thought about this earlier, so I set out my Sunday’s best so you don’t have to search for it.

By the way, I cleaned my room. I didn’t want you to walk in and maybe miss the note as random trash and throw it away without reading it. I know I wasn’t the best with keeping up with my chores, so I took out the trash before I sat to write this letter to you.

There is no stopping me. I chose tonight because you’re working late and by the time you read this, you’ll be in my room trying to wake me up for school. I’m in the woods near the school. Look for the tree with moss hanging from it. I seen this tree and knew that it would be my tree. The tree that wouldn’t just hang moss, but also my life.

I do love you mom, and if Dad were still alive, maybe things would be different. Maybe he could have taught me to be a man, like he would say so many times when he would see me crying. But it’s life, and life is cruel.


Your Son — Nathaniel James Michaels