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End it with a Jump

There’s a heap of clothes on the bed, a stash of souvenirs in the bottom drawer, and a mess on the floor, yet I still don’t know where to begin.
I look out the window and stare in awe at the palm tree greeting me, my face basking in the warm Florida sun. The roar of the air condition hums in my background, but right now, I only can hear the sound of depression grow throughout my room.
The four walls of this small room seem to grow darker, and the plush carpet appears to feel rigid as I skid across it, flopping onto the bed.
My room isn’t the only thing that is a train wreck, though. So is my life.
I sigh and look at the ceiling, remembering that vacation is a getaway from life. Not reality. I listen to the voices of the new family arriving next door, and immediately envy them.
“Oh, where to begin…” I say out loud. My clothes could be a great place to start, I only had 80 articles of them. I lean down to pick up a shirt, but stop halfway. What’s the point?
I sit back down on the bed, and trap myself under the covers. I can’t bare going back home. Not now, not ever.
All I want is….well, gosh. What do I want? I don’t even know anymore.
My fingers brush across something cold. My bracelet. The one my boyfriend gave me. I’m instantly reminded that I’ve got a life at home. Friends, grades, romance, family. I can picture myself sitting down at my kitchen table, the one dad imported from Poland. I’m working on homework with my best friend, Cami.
I can taste the food Mom makes for dinner, the scrumptious mashed potatoes and corn bread stuffing filling the house, gathering my family.
And then, just for a teency moment, I can feel myself in a trance, as the most perfect guy in the world devours my lips as we kiss. He pulls away and says he loves me. I love him too.
This was the good parts of my life.
But before I can remind myself more, the rush of wind disturbs me, and I realize I’m still under the covers, now shivering.
You’ve got to get a move on.
***
Time ticks by, seconds slither into minutes, and minutes simmer into hours. I’m still sitting here, confused.
In my mind, I hear the school sl*t calling me names, and a teacher explaining how I’m struggling in class. I can hear Mom and Dad arguing over another bill, my alarm clock buzzing for a new day, my boyfriend laughing over something clumsy that I did.
But why does it all seem different now? I’ve been doing this forever, it’s a routine. Life, I tell myself. Life.
I think about my husky, her warm fur slick and shiny as she paces around outside. I remember the time I walked her over to Cami’s house and she chased her into the pool. Her mother told me never to bring my dog again. That was two years ago.
My brain clicks into memory.
Two years ago wasn’t the best moments of my life, either.
That was when the accident happened.
And sometimes, sorry doesn’t cut it.
***
Tears bounce off my lashline, slowly sinking into the pillow. Why me, why was I stupid? Why did that accident have to happen? I wipe my nose and stiffen, hoping no one else can hear me cry.
Charles was so young, so beautiful. A sweet little boy. The baby of the family.
His dimples and blond curls framed his stunning blue eyes, and his soft voice sent everyone’s heart melting. He wasn’t even in first grade when it happened. It just did.
It’s like those street lamps you see in New York City. One moment they’re beautiful and glowing, but the next, they’ve suddenly burned out.
If only those morons weren’t drunk. If only they hadn’t been driving the car and crashed into the sidewalk where Charles was coloring chalk. If only I was paying attention.
But it happened.
And like a light, he was once there, brightening our day. Then he faded.
And like little statues, we all became very still over the months. No one talked, no one knew how to ‘live’ again. My little brother was gone like a light. And us moths had nothing to see.
***
I finally wipe away the tears, trying to calm down. I cry every night usually, for him. For little Charles The guilt taunts me. I have to stop this, I mean, what kind of life am I living? What I want is Charles, I say. Yes, Charles. My cute little brother, who didn’t even get to experience anything, was dead. Over two morons.
I don’t know how to continue on, anymore. I’m so depressed that I just don’t want to think about living.
Jump out the window, an evil voice calls. I’m startled by the thought.
You can end it all. All the pain and tears and guilt. Jump. Jump.
It takes me a few minutes, but I finally consider this idea. I leap off the bed and towards the window, pushing forward on the panes. It opens, and my body drapes over the side as I look out below. I’m dangling on this decision, should I? Could I do this? To myself and everyone? Even my lover? The window shows me the world outside, the green grass and Florida palm trees, the people buzzing about outside. The sun is starting to set, and my life is about to re-appear. I can jump. I could do it. I should. My mind finally snaps, and I shoot up onto the ledge. I glance down. Asphalt has never looked any better now. My legs curl into position.
Jump it. Jump.
And I’m about to, until a flash of light to the left suddenly catches my eye. It isn’t a normal light, not like a star. It’s more like a glorious, golden light that shimmers and blinds you.
It illuminates my pupils, encasing all around me in black.
I love you. No. A small voice echoes through my mind.
But it’s not a thought. It’s talking to me. Is that possible?
No sissy.
I can’t help but cry. Charles? Was that Charles?
My mind now flashes to my home, where we were still a family on Mulberry Lane.
It pulls me into my boyfriend’s arms, and out into the mall with Cami.
It dances me through the streets and into the school. It whips me into ups and downs. It’s life.
Decisions.
The light dims now, and my mind reverses back into the moment, where I’m now staring at the street. What am I doing?
I quickly pull back and land on the carpet, staring into the chaotic room.
I love you, Lily.
I sniff.
I love you too, Charles.
The light fades into a small orb and slips away.
***
I stare back at the room again, looking all around me. Clothes, souvenirs, a mess.
I’ve got a plane to catch, a brother close in my heart, and a life to look forward to at home. So what do I pack first? I smile. I want to live again
And I’m officially ready to begin.



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