Hey, it’s Hannah. Hannah Baker. Don’t adjust your, whatever device you’re hearing this on. It’s me, live and in stereo. No return engagements, no encore, and this time absolutely no requests. Get a snack, settle in, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically why my life ended.
And if you’re listening to this tape, you’re one of the reasons why.
I’m not saying which tape brings you into the story, but fear not. If you receive this lovely little box, your name will pop up. I promise. The rules here are pretty simple. There are only two. Rule number one: you listen. Number two: you pass it on. Hopefully neither one will be easy. It’s not supposed to be easy, or I would’ve emailed you an mp3. When you are done listening to all thirteen sides, because there are thirteen sides to every story, rewind the tapes, put them back in the box, and then pass them on to the next person. Oh, and the box of tapes should’ve included a map. I’ll be mentioning several spots around our beloved city. I can’t force you to visit them, but if you’d like a little more insight, head for the stars. Or just throw the map away and I’ll never know. Or will I?
You see, in case you’re tempted to break the rules, understand I did make a copy of these tapes, and I left them with a trusted individual who, if the tapes don’t make it through all of you, will release these copies in a very public manner. This is not a spur of the moment decision. Do not take me for granted. Not again.
Put your finger on C, your other finger on 4, then bring them together. That’s our first red star. I know right? A map. Old school, again. No Google maps, no app, no chance for the inter webs to make everything worse, like it does. You’ve arrived at my first house in this shitty town, where I threw my first, and only, party, where I met Justin Foley, the subject of our first tape. It was just a party. I didn’t know it was the beginning of the end. Justin, you were in love with my friend, Cat. My only friend. So you see, that’s where the trouble began. That smile. That damn smile. The one and only Cat moved away before the start of school. She was the kind of friend that couldn’t be replaced. +
I never thought it would come to this. I never thought my life would come to this end. But it has. It all started with a simple rumor, which escalated into something worse. That rumor started a chain reaction of horrible events. And that rumor is what led me to make my decision today. Believe me, this was not an easy decision to make. But everyone at this school, this fucked up school known as Liberty High, everyone at this school has made this decision difficult yet quite easy at the same time. What you all did, or didn’t do, is what sparked my decision. Justin, if you hadn’t started the rumor, none of this would’ve happened. We could’ve been happy...but you just had to brag. Jess, you were so sweet and so kind in the beginning...what happened? Alex, you should’ve thrown the list away when you had the chance. Tyler, why did you have to take those pictures? Courtney, you could’ve accepted the kiss, yet you chose not to because you figured it would’ve ruined your reputation. Marcus, you couldn’t keep your hands to yourself, could you? Zach, you were so sweet. Those notes, those precious little bunnies, they made my day. And then they stopped popping up in my bag, all because of one little confrontation. You took away my lifeline that day...You broke my heart all over again without ever knowing it. Ryan, why did you do it? Why did you publish my poem without consent? Sheri, we are responsible for killing someone and you do the right thing and take initiative. We should’ve gone with what I said, but you kept it for yourself. Jeff is gone because of us... Bryce, I have no words for what you did. No words. Justin, you should’ve told her the truth. Clay, oh Helmet, you have such a kind heart. Why didn’t you tell me that when I was still alive? Now it’s too late. All of you are responsible, but I’m responsible too. We are all responsible for what is about to happen. Now listen carefully, I have a grand total of seven tapes prepared for you. Those seven tapes each hold the true story of why I did what I did. The thirteen of you will receive these tapes first. And the last one to receive these tapes, it’s your choice what you want to do with them. Keep the secret +