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four stories

I was on my ninth drink. The vodka took swords and knives to the back of my throat as I forced down the lukewarm caramel bubbly liquid. As I lay reclined on your bed listening to our favorite vinyl on loop, I couldn’t help but throw side glances at that elephant in the room. I couldn’t help but hear the silence so deafening between the twangs of the guitar strings being plucked. I couldn’t help seeing her in the room, a face so familiar yet so strange. Another sip, or was it a gulp? I placed my hand on the fabric of your bedspread.
Cotton. I began counting the fibres that passed by my finger. I started counting the ornate sculptures of owls that lined your dresser. I vaguely recall your enthusiasm as you explained your fixation on owls. I vaguely recall thinking to myself, I could like owls. I began to count things I don’t ever remember seeing in your room. In fact, I began counting everything except her. I raised the cup to my lips and to my surprise I found the sweet elixir of relief to be gone. I mumble something about the vodka being gone and wobble out of the room. Down the stairs I went counting them as I descended, one, two, three..four… I reached the bottom and poured myself another elixir soporific. The red solo cup rattled gently as I shakily lifted it from the granite.
I took another swig and felt hot wet tears come to my eyes. I felt nothing. There was no pang of regret, no stab of grief, only hollow emptiness. I delved deep into my soul to find the meaning for this void, but to no avail. I smiled a crooked, wretched ugly smile; a smile that was akin to the Joker, Hannibal Lector, and Satan himself. I smiled not out of delight but rather out of complete and utter despair. No relief is sweeter than realizing that you have hit rock bottom because you have nowhere else to go, right?
I found your bowl that you left downstairs and the little bag of the sweet smelling herb that filled our nights together. I packed myself a nice one and lit it up. The smoke filled my mouth and I remember those nights where you would breathe your smoke into my lungs. Those were the twilights I cherished above all else. I smoked because I wanted to feel again. I hated being logical. I hated being rational. I wanted to do something reckless, something that risked everything about my very being. I turned to the window.
It was the hand crank kind. I cranked it with ease as my great hands twisted the knob until it opened fully. Outside the sill was a balcony. Onto it I stepped, grasping the sill tightly as my knuckles turned white with pressure. At last I sat down outside the window, the sill slightly above my head so no one could see the crown of my hair outside the window. Something inside me urged me to go to the edge, to spy the drop.
As I inched toward the edge, I could hear the sweet songbirds chirping as dawn began to break. I could make out the ivy growing on the ground cover far below.
I’d say it was about four stories I fell.
Most would ask why I did it; why I would let myself fall so far so fast. Most would also blame it on the intoxicants I consumed. But was it I who consumed the substances or did they consume me? I would ask because as soon as I fell, I fell at peace. I fell like there was nothing left for me upon that ledge, in that house, or in that life. I pined, burned, and rued for something new. I needed the song of lament played over me to know I was important; to know I was worth something more than those nine solo cups and a puff of smoke.



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