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Put the Past Away
Nicholas wakes up in the hospital. He’s bewildered and doesn’t know where he is or how he got there. He looks around the room and tries to figure out where he is. He hears a continuous beeping. He’s lying in an unfamiliar bed. His wrists, wrapped with bandages. He sees a dry-erase board on the wall ahead of him. He notices that the date is different than he last remembers. He lost two days. He’s not sure how.
“Hey, welcome back,” says a voice he doesn’t recognize.
It startles him for he had assumed he was alone. When he looks up; he immediately looks away. He’s so angry with the boy standing before him that he can’t even speak. He stares downwards.
Daniel, the person of the voice who spoke before, could read the confusion on Nicholas’ face and knows that he’s going to be too stubborn to ask, so he begins to explain to him what has happened.
“You’re in the hospital,” he said, “You’ve been here for two days… you tried to kill yourself.”
He stops and tries to determine if Nicholas comprehends and whether or not he should proceed. He looks at Nicholas and can see the questions in his eyes. He continues.
“You slit your wrists. I found you at your house. You hadn’t been answering any of my calls and I was worried.”
He pauses when he sees the look in Nicholas’ eyes change from confusion, to remembrance, to furry. He could see the anger consuming Nicholas’ face. Daniel sits down in the chair next to his hospital bed and turns away while Nicholas remembers what he has done.
Two Months Prior
I was sitting in my room, starring at nothing, when my phone rang. It was Kendal. I was honestly surprised; he hadn’t been returning any of my calls lately. I answered it.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hey Nick! What’s been up? How have you been?”
“Okay I guess. It’s been a while.”
“Yeah, hey listen. Some of the guys are going out tonight. We were wondering if you wanted to come.”
“Yeah, that’d be cool. When are you leaving?”
“I’m not sure yet, but I’ll call you and let you know later, okay?”
“Alright man, I’ll talk at ya later.”
“That sounds good to me.”
Then I hung up. I waited for five hours; he never called me back. But I knew he wouldn’t. He never did anymore. And I was okay with that.
I had basically stopped spending time with any of my friends. I barely even spoke to my family anymore. I had distanced myself from the rest of the world; that’s how I wanted it.
When I was at school, I wouldn’t speak to anyone, I wouldn’t offer my answers in class, and I rarely turned in assignments if I showed up at all.
I was watching my life pass me by in fast forward and I couldn’t find the pause, or better yet, the stop.
Everyday I blended in and passed by unacknowledged. No one would notice if I just disappeared; I was already fading away.
When I would get home, I would go straight to my room and I wouldn’t leave. My mother lost all hope she had had for me. My father never had anything to lose. So now I was invisible to them. All that I was to them was an extra mouth to feed and dirty clothes to be washed. But I didn’t mind. I liked being alone.
One day when I got home and went to my four sided box with no windows, I sat and stared at my wall for an undetermined amount of hours pondering where I could possibly find my stop button. I searched for the perfect method; one that would be fast and easy. One way that I wouldn’t be able to reconsider once I’d done it. It would just be done. And so would I.
I chose a time. I chose a place. I was going to do it; I was going to do it tomorrow. And I was going to do it by jumping off the roof of the school. How’s that for getting me noticed?
That night I made my bed and I laid in it. I fell asleep peacefully for the first time in months. I had finally found my answer. I found my stop button! I found my way out. It was finally going to be done. And I was so excited.
The next morning: I woke up, straightened up my room, and got ready. I was smiling all the while. I went downstairs, told my mother good-bye, and left for school.
Once I got there I went straight to the stairwell that led to the roof. Determination was rushing my pace. I walked onto the roof. I felt the wind on my face and breathed in the pure relief. I walked to the ledge: closed my eyes, spread my arms, and began to step up when I felt a firm hand upon my shoulder. A voice asked me “Why?”
I stopped. I stood as still as possible, stunned. I thought I was alone. This guy was ruining everything. I still had my eyes closed. I made sure not to move. And I had no idea who was on the roof with me.
“Why?” he asked me again.
When I still didn’t respond he slowly pulled my back.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked him.
“I’m doing this because I can help you.”
For the first time I opened my eyes. This stranger is the first person who has ever said they could help me. I didn’t think it could be done. I slowly turned around.
He put out his hand and introduced himself as Daniel. Then he thanked me.
I don’t remember what happened next, but I do know that Daniel and I became friends. He understood me somehow. And he helped me.
Daniel introduced me to some of his friends. One of them in particular caught my attention, and my breath. Her name was Jezebel. She was amazing. And the best part, she thought I was amazing… that alone was just unbelievable to me. But I was so grateful to have her, and my new friends, in my life.
For a little less than a month my life seemed to be looking up. I had one really good friend, a few other friends, and best of all, I had a beautiful girlfriend. Things seemed amazing- I couldn’t have been more wrong, or so I thought.
I had gotten caught up in this new life. I didn’t deserve anything, surely not something this great. I always lost everything I gained. I knew that these friendships wouldn’t last. The ‘relationship’ I had with Jezebel couldn’t be more than her feeling pity towards me. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more sense that made. None of my new ‘friends’ had ever even noticed me before Daniel found me on the roof that day. They all knew I was going to jump and that’s why they befriended me. They felt sorry for poor little old me. I decided I’d show them.
I went to the bathroom and didn’t think twice about running the sharp, cold blade down my burning flesh. First I took it straight down the middle of my right wrist, then my left. My phone was ringing. I got dizzy. The room was spinning… faster… faster. Everything was becoming so distant. My phone rang again, but this time it was faint, so far away. My shivering body fell to the tile floor. I stared at the light on the ceiling. Everything spinning… fading… then black. I had faded into nothingness.
That was the last thing I remembered. I realized I was starting to cry, first because of anger, then just emptiness.
Daniel was still sitting next to me. He told me everything was okay. That he had been there with me since he had found me a few days before. He told me he had tried calling and had been worried. I was crying a little more now. I felt a cold tear run down my warm face. He had come to make sure I was okay and found me a half dead bloody mess. He said he barely got me to the hospital in time. But I was going to be okay. Daniel really was my friend. He really did care.
I glanced around the room full of hope. If Daniel really was my friend, maybe Jezebel was too… I should’ve known… just because Daniel was really my friend, didn’t automatically mean the rest of them really were too. Of course he was the only one.
Daniel, following my glance and reading my hurt expression, told me Jezebel was there. She had just run downstairs to the cafeteria to get some food, but that she had been there for me too. My face lit up. I could feel it. I could feel it in my face and my heart. She cared about me as well! I was so happy to be alive for the first time in what felt like forever. It took me almost dying to realize I was loved. But now I knew. And I couldn’t be happier.
I was finally ready to let go of all my pain. Let go of all my anger. I was ready to start over. I could finally be happy and enjoy my life with my friends and my wonderful Jezebel. Maybe I could even give my mom something to see in me again. Go to school and participate. Do my homework, and get good grades. She’ll be so proud. And maybe, just maybe, my dad will finally start to have a little hope for me. Maybe I could find something I can do that he can be proud of. I was so ready to start over, start a new and fresh life. I was ready to let go. I was ready to put the past away.