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“This isn’t such a bad view to look at, right before you die.”
The girl swayed on the balcony, the roar of the sea in her ears. She was alone, and it was very dark.
“It’s not that I have a bad life- I really don’t, honestly. It’s nice, and it’s not like I’ve wanted for anything. My parents seem to care-even my mother, sometimes. My brother’s nice enough, and I get to look at the ocean all the time. I guess I should be happy.”
There was no one listening to this monologue, which was barely heard over the wind. That wasn’t important to the girl.
“See, the main problem is me. That’s the one thing I hate, the one thing I want to change desperately. I mean, I’m the kind of person who enjoys stuff not because of what I’m doing, but because of the time it takes up. Any time I do anything, I find myself checking the clock, waiting for it to be over so I can do something else, and then when I do something else, I check the clock so I can see when that’s over too. It’s like all I care about is what people happen to think at any given time and- and that scares me.”
A gull cried overhead. She continued, oblivious to the shrieking.
“It’s not like people haven’t supported me. My parents have tried. I mean, you can see it- that they’re trying, in their way. I just can’t get across to them, though. Every time I try, it’s either taken the wrong way or twisted into the wrong thing. Ninety percent of the time, it’s better off for everyone if I just say nothing at all. I hate spilling my guts out to anyone- they’re always ruined when I do that. If I just keep them to myself, they’re like a secret: it’s all dark and glamorous in its horrible way, and then when I tell someone it’s ruined,” she scowled and rubbed her arms, remembering the marks that had slowly faded away into ugly blotches.
“The only thing that makes me feel even the tiniest bit better is that I know who I am-at least, sort of. I’m the person that people are secretly annoyed by while they’re alive, but the second they die everyone starts crying and saying how much they loved them and how talented they were and how much they could have accomplished. It’s all bullshit, of course. That’s another thing that bothers me- how much of life is just bullshit, and how much everyone fakes it. That used to terrify me- the idea that everyone was lying to me, that they all hated me but no one would admit it.”
She threw her hands up in the air. “Now, of course, I don’t care. I don’t have it in me.”
She paused for a second, looking down at the brick tile below. It was a very long way to fall, and no one would hear a thing: the wind and the crash of the waves would ensure that.
“I guess I should probably say this: I’ve been counting down the minutes here, too. Except I don’t know which way to exit,” and she let out a mirthless laugh.
Sometime soon there would be a knock on the door, and then a shout, and then urgent questions that needed answers the girl wasn’t completely certain she wanted to answer. She wondered what it would be like, for the truth to come out. That scenario was one she hadn’t rehearsed over and over.
“Well, I guess it’s time.”
She stared out, into the spray of foam against the inky sky.
Slowly, a hand let go of the balcony.