The rules are pretty simple. There are only two. Rule number one: You listen. Number two: You pass it on
CASSETTE 1: SIDE A
Now, why would a dead girl lie?
Hey! That sounds like a joke. Why would a dead girl lie?
Answer: Because she can’t stand up.
Is this some kind of twisted suicide note?
Go ahead. Laugh.
Oh well. I thought it was funny.
Before Hannah died, she recorded a bunch of tapes.
The rules are pretty simple. There are only two. Rule number one: You listen. Number two: You pass it on.
Hopefully, neither one will be easy for you.
“What’s that you’re playing?”
I scramble for the stereo, hitting several buttons all at once.
“Mom, you scared me,” I say. “It’s nothing. A school project.”
My go-to answer for anything. Staying out late? School project. Need extra money? School project. And now, the tapes of a girl. A girl who, two weeks ago, swallowed a handful of pills.
“Can I listen?” she asks.
“It’s not mine,” I say. I scrape the toe of my shoe against the concrete floor. “I’m helping a friend. It’s for history. It’s boring.”
“Well, that’s nice of you,” she says. She leans over my shoulder and lifts a dusty rag, one of my old cloth diapers, to remove a tape measure hidden underneath. Then she kisses my forehead. “I’ll leave you in peace.”
I wait till the door clicks shut, then I place a finger over the Play button. My fingers, my hands, my arms, my neck, everything feels hollow. Not enough strength to press a single button on a stereo.
I pick up the cloth diaper and drape it over the shoebox to hide it from my eyes. I wish I’d never seen that box or the seven tapes inside it. Hitting Play that first time was easy. A piece of cake. I had no idea what I was about to hear. But this time, it’s one of the most frightening things I’ve ever done.
I turn the volume down and press Play.
If you're affected by any of the issues raised in Thirteen Reasons Why, click here for a list of UK-based support organisations that can help.