Words by Natalie, 19 VIC
I wonder what photo they will use when I am the next one to die.
I wonder what order my name will be in the list of corpses.
I wonder how much blood there will be.
I wonder what disease strangers will spread about me online.
“She should have known to not walk home alone.
She should have called someone.
She should have waited for a ride at a busier, lighter spot.”
I wonder how long my parents will stay up worried, after I said I’d be home in ten and it’s been an hour.
When my body is analysed for traces of struggle and penetration, comments will leak onto the forums.
“She should have known better.
This wouldn’t have happened if she was wearing something more modest.”
When I die, in jeans and a blood-soaked t-shirt, I wonder how many excuses they will make for him.
When I die in a fancy dress, I wonder how many accusations they will make of me.
I wonder how many minutes it will take for someone to try and convince my corpse that it is my fault I am in a morgue.
As I lay on the frozen metal, someone will blame my purple lipstick as the enticement that lead to my blackening bruises.
The blood that no longer pulses my body will become the venomous acid that victim blamers, and body shamers and wanna-be women tamers will seep into the open ears of anyone who will hear them.
I will have been dead for less than 24 hours.
And still you will write about me and the choices I should have made to avoid my own murder.
When I die next, I hope you are there that night.
When I die next, I hope you hear my screams and the pounding of my footsteps and the scratching of keys at skin as I fought for my life.
When I die next, I hope you feel every single second of every minute of every hour that I was left there, in the freezing, blood-soaked night.
When I die next, I hope the candles at my vigil set your house alight.
I hope the flames frighten you to the darkness and what lurks within it.
Because you and I both know that we fear the men who crawl from the darkness, their talons ripping open our insides before they leave our carcasses for the morning crows to pick at.
When I die next, I do not want you to blame me
When I die next, I do not want you to mourn me.
When I die next, I want you to save me.
So fucking save me.
Illustration by Aileen, you can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc