Sabrina Vazquez

I pulled up to the house around 10 o’clock, 4 hours later than I told Frankie I would arrive. I sighed as I looked out to see the house enshrouded in darkness, she must have gone to bed. I rested my head against the seat thinking about all the work I still had to do back at the office. I got out of the car and saw that Frankie hadn’t brought in the trashcan, she was usually diligent about anything to do with the house, but as of lately had ceased to care.

I walked into the house, it seemed cold and lifeless, but anytime I arrived and didn’t have my 16-year-old daughter greet me, the house felt bigger, colder. I dropped my briefcase on to the dining room table and walked into the kitchen and spotted a plate on the stove, I thought back to this morning to the conversation we had while having breakfast,

“No altercations today okay hunny? I don’t want to receive another call about you snapping at your chemistry teacher.”

“Not my fault he is an arrogant assh…”

“LANGUAGE, I do not know where this attitude is coming from Franceska, you never snapped at teachers, or used foul language.”, She stared off into the distance instead of making eye contact, if she hadn’t randomly cut her hair into a pixie cut, I am sure she would have been twiddling with it, a tick of hers.

I looked back down at my phone, so much to do, I had a big case coming up and had worked on it nonstop for the past 3 weeks.

“Dad, I really need you to be here on time today okay? I’m making your favorite dinner, I need you to be here, I’ve been feeling out of sorts and…”

I looked up, she had a sentiment in her eyes that I couldn’t decipher, “I’ll try hun, you know how busy I am, with this case and all”

“I know, but I don’t want to be alone again today”

I grabbed my briefcase and slid my phone into my pocket, I drank the last drops of my coffee and kissed Frankie on the head, “Be good okay?”

She stood up and gave me a hug, “Come home at 6, daddy, we will have fun, I love you”

As I walked out of the kitchen I called out “Bye my little monster”

“Goodbye, Daddy.” I heard her say before the door shut.

As I heated up my dinner, I thought of the last few years, life had been hard since Frankie’s mother passed away 4 years ago, the love of my life consumed by incurable cancer, we lost her in the span of 7 months, it changed me, I buried myself in my work, tried to be a rock for Frankie, but she was the strong one. She never cried, she was such a good kid, I knew that I should have made more of an effort, but work distracted me, and made me lose track of time. I’d make it up to her tomorrow, take the day off, take her out to her favorite place, make a day of it.

There was a knock on the door…, if it was that pesky neighbor again… I opened the door to two police officers, with looks that could only be described as pity.

“How can I help you.”

“We are so sorry to have to inform you Mr. Munstrein, at 7:48 this afternoon we found your daughter’s body, she hung herself off the old bridge, we believe she died almost instantly…”

“No, no, no, no, no, what, wha… that can’t be right, my daughter is upstairs sleeping, what kind of cruel joke is this?” I couldn’t make sense of what they were saying, my baby was asleep, she had made me dinner and gone upstairs, she had to be upstairs.

Something in his hands caught my attention, Frankie’s gold necklace with her initial hanging off of it, “I am so sorry sir, but is…” “What is that in your hands? Is that Frankie’s necklace? Why do you have it?” I snatched it from his hands

“Sir, once again I am so sorry, you are going to have to come down to the coroners to identify the body, we will…”, the police man’s words blurred as I dashed up the stairs

I ran to Frankie’s room, she wasn’t dead, she was upstairs sleeping, she was fine. I opened the door to her room and the emptiness hit me like a gust of frigid air, I looked to her bed, but it was empty of her small body, she wasn’t there. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NO, NO, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, YOU WERE THE ONLY THING I HAD LEFT!” I screamed into the empty room hoping this was all a nightmare, hoping she would walk through the door and tell me she was fine, that it had all been a misunderstanding, that it wasn’t her body that they had found hanging. I crumpled onto her bed, unable to grasp why my baby, my daughter had cut her life so damn short, at that moment I could have died from the pain that consumed me on her small unmade bed.

I awoke the next morning, for one second or less, I had peace, than it all came crashing back, the police officers, having to go to claim the corpse of my child, my baby girl, having to think of the preparations of the funeral. I turned to my side, I had no will to get up, no reason, the small bed protested because of my weight, but it didn’t matter, nothing did. I glanced up and there, propped up on her mother’s picture was a letter, sealed with a butterfly sticker.

My tears saturated the flimsy printer paper,

“Daddy, for months I tried, I promise you I tried so hard to get better, to be better, for you, to not cause you pain. I know you’ll blame yourself, but please don’t, after mom’s death you focused on work, and I don’t hold that against you. I am sorry I couldn’t carry the pain, I am sorry I couldn’t be stronger for you, but my sadness was no less deadly than mom’s cancer, it destroyed me. I know that you can’t make sense of this now, but I had stopped living a long time ago, I was merely existing. I’m free now daddy, free from the burden of life, death to me will be the sweetest rest, and I’ll have mom with me, take care Daddy, always, your monster.”

Review

In remaking a scene out of Frankenstein, I choose the scene where the creature kills Frankenstein’s beloved Elizabeth. In this story it tells the sad events of the day the daughter of a busy lawyer decides to kill herself, and although it never is clarified she is suffering from depression. In this remake I wanted to focus on Frankenstein’s avoidance on anything to do with the creature, and in having to face the reality of the situation. Frankie’s father is a workaholic, and has ultimately left his daughter by herself, because he beliefs she is stronger than him, or at least that is how he justifies it. They are still living in the home they shared with Frankie’s mom, and it weighs on both, but he stays at work, while she must go home. Frankie is showing clear signs of suicidal behavior, she has made a drastic change with her hair, she is acting out, losing interests in all things, misbehaving. She is calling out for help, she has isolated herself and the one person she calls out to does not see her in distress, her father. In his own need to avoid his home, to avoid the reality of his wife’s death, he ends up avoiding Frankie as well. Much like Frankenstein, Mr. Munstrein is too late, they are not able to save their deeply loved beings. In the novel, Frankenstein’s creation kills Elizabeth, while in my remake it is depression that claims her life.

I wanted to bring the story forward and make the characters everyday people, to tie it in with a mental illness that is a bit of a monster itself, or in how it is viewed. Depression can come from anything, an event, a chemical imbalance, alongside another illness, and although it is quite easy to get help for, many people do not. Much like the creation, a bit more of attention and facing their realities could have saved the lives of their loved ones, but they focused on what was wrong with them; in victimizing themselves, Elizabeth and Mr. Munstriein’s daughter became the real victims. This short remake of the scene through this short story can convey the helplessness of the situation. How these men’s actions inadvertently jeopardized the lives of the people they loved most, which if they had faced their realities, the outcomes could have been very different.