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Rebecca Sedwick told her mother she loved her before going to bed that Sunday night, September 8. The next morning, the Lakeland, Fla., 12-year-old was supposed to wake up her 19-year-old sister Summer to do her hair before school. She didn’t. Normally, Rebecca would put on her school uniform, grab her cell phone, and head out the door. But on this morning, Rebecca took out her phone and cleared everything on it, deleting all of the pictures, videos, and texts. She then sent two text messages to friends who lived out of state.
“I’m jumping and I can’t take it anymore,” read one, sent to a 12-year-old boy in North Carolina. The other said, “This is my goodbye for everything.” She then changed her online username from Rebecca to “That Dead Girl” and left her phone on her bed.
At that point, Rebecca would have been running late to catch the 6:45 a.m. bus to Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, where she’d recently started. Instead, she walked down her street, a swampy side road lined with sleepy mobile homes huddled under large willow trees and dangling Spanish moss, and turned right at the peeling McDonald’s billboard advertising an Egg White Delight McMuffin. (“Great taste, all yolks aside.”)
As she walked down Main Street, her aunt drove by. She braked and asked Rebecca if she wanted a ride. Rebecca told her that she was headed to the bus stop, though she had already walked past it. She also wasn’t wearing her school uniform.
I wrote a longread about Ask.fm and suicide and I’m very proud of it. You should check it out if you have time.