I have a hangover. A ’13 Reasons Why’ hangover. And it’s a bad one.
If you don’t know what I’m referring to, it’s a TV (Netflix) series, based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The show revolves around a student who kills herself after a series of negative incidents brought on by school mates. Running over 13 episodes, the central character, Hannah Baker, narrates the story via tapes she has left as evidence for her suicide. Each episode ‘outs’ one of the students, outlining their impact on her final decision. It is harrowing and compelling, and has left a lasting impression on me as a parent.
I binge-watched the last 4 episodes last night because I needed to know what happened. I simply couldn’t think what Clay, the shy boy who loved Hannah who acts as an audience surrogate as he listens to the tapes, could have done to her so I had to watch his episode, tape 11. And then, well, there were only 2 left and I couldn’t sleep not knowing what had compelled this young bright girl to finally take her own life. (In the end, I couldn’t sleep anyway, because the content was so alarming that I kept dreaming about what life-changing horror the suicide of one of my kids would bring.)