NO black in her eyes Rachel: My name is Rachel Hyste. I am a journalist for my high schoolís newspaper. The other day, I was reading a year old newspaper. There were all the typical stories: war, homeless fights/deaths, anti-war rallies, you know the rest. However, this story about a young lady who was in prison for the murder of her step-father, it intrigued me. I had to know more. The newspaper only told of the sentencing. I decided to take the steps to tell her story. I talked to my high school newspaper editor and the counselor. They agreed that it was a good idea to publish the story. I researched and was granted all my press privileges. I met with Kelli Previn two weeks later on March 23rd. We introduced ourselves and got acquainted. Hereís the actual interview. Rachel: I saw your picture from your trial in the newspaper over a month ago. I could see there was no darkness behind your eyes. Could you tell me about your upbringing? Kelli: Iím not a dark person. I will start at the beginning. On the eve of my first birthday, my father went out drinking with his buddies. My mom was up all night decorating for my party. When the cab dropped him off around 3am, she cussed him out and told him that she was done with him and that he needed to leave. He left. He never came back. He never called either. My mom was great growing up. Sheíd tell me stories and taught me everything she knew. She was big on trips. She always had wild ideas and then she would make them come true. It was great. She was great. Until, she met Jack. Rachel: Jack is-was your stepfather? Kelli: Yes. We met him at a park we had never been to before. He was walking his friendís dog. Since we were lost, Mom thought it would be a good idea to ask the first person who came by. Come to find out, his car was parked where ours was. He volunteered to escort us back to it. Rachel: You roll your eyes. Like you wish it did not happen. Kelli: That was the beginning Rachel. They made a date for coffee, when they both had free time. Since mom was my educator, that was difficult for her. After, about a month or so, her little 8 year old (me), convinced her to call him and make a date. I was really tired of hearing about him. I believed that if she saw him or talked to him she would let him go and it was back to me and her. Only in my dreams! Rachel: Did you not like him from the start? Kelli: It wasnít that. He was nice. Probably the nicest one around through an 8 year oldís eyes. They met for coffee. Then lunch. Then it was dinner. Before I knew it, I was staying at a friendís house so she could go out all night. He started coming over on Sundays to cook breakfast for us. It was cool, because Mom finally had a day off from cooking. She was really all over him. He was her world now. Rachel: Did that make you feel inferior? Like you were being replaced? Kelli: I knew I was being replaced. I donít want to ever see it that way, but it was like instead of us traveling somewhere. Jack would end up there too. He never rode along with us, he was always there. Our longer trips ended about then also. Mom resorted to day trips mostly. Rachel: How old were you when he married your mom? Kelli: He moved in before I turned 9 and they married on Valentineís Day. I was almost 10. After he moved in, we started functioning like a family. I no longer felt like I was outcast. It was real peachy. Rachel: When did the peachy-ness end? Kelli: As you know, Mom home schooled me all my years. Then it came time for me to start high school. Mom had planned to still home school me. However, Jack, felt the need to express that every teenager needed to experience high school. Despite my objections, Mom finally agreed. Before I could throw a tantrum and roll on the ground screaming, I was enrolled into Bierman High School. I had no friends there, so it was a fresh start. [Bleck.] Rachel: Did you have those first day jitters? Did you find the right clique? Kelli: At first, I was nervous. The other students looked at me like one of my eye balls was hanging out. Then I met this one girl, Melissa, she was from the track team. She escorted me to all my classes, bought my lunch and then brought me to her track meet. She did discus, shot-put, 100m & hurdles. She was really good. Rachel: How long did you hang out with her? The first week? Or did she train you fro track. Just kidding. Kelli: Melissa and I started hanging out more often. On her birthday she invited me to go to this underage club. Surprisingly, Mom let me go. When we get to this club, I found out it was a queer youth club. I had no clue she was gay!! At first, I felt uneasy, but I was there to have fun. So I loosened up and danced. Rachel: So you let yourself have fun. Thatís good to hear. Kelli: Then the deejay fucked up my rhythm, by starting a slow song. Rachel: That bastard. The nerve of some people. Argh. Kelli: Yeah I know. I was walking to the juice bar, here comes Melissa. She cut me off and asked me to dance. Mom was always good about telling me to try new things. We danced. Rachel: So Melissa was a good dancer? Kelli: Hell yeah. If I knew that girls were better dance partners than boys, I would have traded years ago. Rachel: How did that night affect your friendship? Kelli: Melissa and I started splitting our downtime between her house and mine. Rachel: Did anything develop from there? Kelli: My freshman year we just hung out and went to dances a lot more. I got more comfortable in the queer scene. By the middle of my sophomore year, we were a closeted couple. We had arm-boys. They were a closeted couple, as well. Obviously, nothing went on. Rachel: Anyone ever assume at home or school? Kelli: Jack. He began assuming things were different the summer between my junior and senior year. Rachel: Did Jack ever question you? Kelli: Yeah he did. He was blunt to. He cornered me one time and asked me one of the most appalling questions Iíve heard. Rachel: What did he ask you? Kelli: Iíll tell you word for word what the asshole said. ďSo how close are you and Melissa? Do you let her finger you? Does she lick you?Ē Rachel: Thatís appalling even to me. Why would anyone ask that? Its not their business. Kelli: I started watching him after I started my senior year. Melissa would come over to help me with my homework. She was taking classes at the community college. And I was taking most of the same classes she did her senior year. Whenever she came around, Jack would act more macho. He would always keep an eye on us. It was creepy. Here was this man who was supposed to be my father-figure and he was sitting there acting like he was waiting for the chance to get off. He was repulsing. Rachel: Did you ever go to your mom? Kelli: No. After Jack, my relationship with my mom kind of died. It was never the same. She now revolved around Jack. He could do no wrong. Rachel: When did the event, for which you have been booked, occur? What was the down fall? Kelli: It happened the eve of my senior prom. Jack cornered me as I was going to bed. He told me he knew that I was with Melissa and then he grabbed my throat and shoved me into the corner and screamed at me, ďI WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY FAGGOTS IN MY HOUSE! YOU FUCKING DYKE!!!Ē Rachel: Thatís pretty sick. Where was your mom? Kelli: She came running out of the bedroom and she ripped Jack away from me. She scolded him and threatened to leave. I was out of the argument so I went to my room and phoned Melissa. Rachel: So what went on with your parents? Kelli: Their arguing descended into their room. The door slammed behind them. Of course, I tiptoed to their door to listen in. Rachel: Did your mom stick up for you? Kelli: All I heard was Jack yelling at her, ďDid you know your daughter is a dyke? Huh? Did you know you raised a fucking dyke? Are you going to answer me Linda?Ē Rachel: Did she ever speak? Kelli: She mumbled something through her tears and then I heard a smack. I ran back to my room and grabbed my prized bat. I went to open their door a crack. I saw my mom sitting there on the floor; her nose was bleeding, a gash on her cheek, and several bruises on her arms. Rachel: Did you black out or do you know what you did? Kelli: I was enraged. I knew what I wanted to do. With my bat in hand, I flung the door open and went straight for Jack. I whacked him in the head several times and his chest. After he was down, I gave him three swift whacks to his balls. Rachel: I am confused on how to reciprocate what happened. I think my brain is still trying to put the pieces together. Let me ask a different question. When you called Melissa did she ever call back to see if everything was ok? Kelli: I am still trying to believe I did it. I was just so angry and hurt. Melissa drove to my house and found me consoling my mom. An ambulance was called, two showed up. One took my mom, and the other loaded up Jack. I was told he died on the way to the hospital. They said he lost too much blood. Mom had a cracked rib and bruises everywhere. I guess when she fell to the floor; he kicked her in the chest. He was such a great guy, you know. I donít see why I canít be with her. I miss her so much. Rachel: How did you end up here? Kelli: Since I attacked him, I was taken to the station for booking. Then I had a trial and ended up here. Well, the courts were going to go easy on me. Mom said she thought I was a bomb waiting to explode and she didnít want that to happen to her. With her urge, I was sentenced to this fine womenís correctional facility. Rachel: How long have you been here? Kelli: Just 11 months. I was in jail for 3 months awaiting trials and the like. Rachel: How is your relationship with your mom now? What happened with Melissa? Kelli: Mom has been visiting 3 times on her own and has attended a few of my counseling sessions. She just came yesterday. It was my 19th birthday. She made me a beautiful cake and bought me a new blanket. It was really cool. Melissa came too. She is staying by my side through this whole ordeal. She isnít afraid of me and she is still trying to convince my mother that I am not a psychopath. Rachel: Your mom was fine with you being a lesbian? Kelli: Apparently, she knew before I did. She never confronted me with it, because she was waiting for me to tell her. Iím still confused myself. Rachel: Do you have any regrets for what you did to Jack? Kelli: I just wish he lived. That way when he peed he knew how disgusting he was. Rachel: Well, that sounds really fantastic and pleasant. What are your education plans? Kelli: I was so close to graduating it wasnít funny. I still kick myself for having this fuck up my life. This place has a high school and I am one credit short from getting my diploma. They also offer college classes that I can take. Rachel: Iím glad that I had this opportunity to chat with you. You really changed my point of view on some things. I am really excited to hear that you have education plans and life plans for after here. I wish you good luck and Iíd like to keep in touch if that is okay with you? Kelli: You would be one of the people I look forward to hearing from. I appreciate you taking the time to come down. Especially, someone your age. Thank you.