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It's Been Beautiful Pt. 3
Work went by quickly. I wasted most of the day just thinking about what would come next, after we died. I didn't believe in heaven, or in god, or any kind of supernatural thing. So I guess blankness was it. The lack of existing was hard to comprehend, but then again, so was Paradise.
Some people didn't show up, and the boss pretended to get mad, but she just ended up sounding really bored and depressed. She went back into her office and didn't come out until the end of the day. A few people thought they heard her crying in there, but no one really knew for sure. When she finally reappeared her eyes looked bloodshot, and her hair was in a complete mess. The usually neat, curled blond locks were frizzy and going every which way. She sniffled, and then, looking at everyone in within her field of vision, said that she hated us all. Stomping out, she left us all in silence.
When she was finally gone, we all just looked at each other, a little confused. We all went back to work.
I got home at eight that night. It had been twelve hours since I heard the news. I had eaten my last dinner with some coworkers, mostly people that I didn't know. We were quiet, and a lot of people left even before appetizers got there. Someone went to the bathroom and vomited up their dinner just before the check came. I felt nothing. There was no sympathy, no pity for them. Why should I have felt anything for them, anyway? It was happening to me too! I wasn't getting any f***ing sympathy, so why should I have given it to someone else?
There was a sudden urge within me to just beat something. I needed to beat the crap out of something. I ran over to my couch and grabbed a pillow. Staring at it for a few seconds, I figured that it would not suffice, but the thought of that only furthered my state of psychotic “p***ed-offness”, and led me to start pummeling at it anyway.
At first I just tossed my fist, slamming it with as much force as I possibly could. Again and again I brought my arms up, letting them reach high above my head before slamming them down into the soft cushion. It bounced up against the couch beneath it, and a few times I hit it in mid air. With each slam I grew angrier and angrier, and I hit harder and harder. My fingers were squeezing my palms, torturing them, nearly tearing the muscles apart.
I screamed, maybe in my head, maybe through my mouth, but I heard something. It was primal, so primal and so raw. It was agonizing, frustrated and hateful. I screamed again, this time I was sure it came out of my mouth. My hand gripped the pillow, and began tearing at it. Part of it was ripped in half, but that wasn't enough. It had to get everywhere! I had to kill this damn thing! I began to flail myself around the room, my head shaking every which way, my legs kicking against the ground, the tables, the chairs, everything. I held the pillow above me, brought it down and started tearing at it again, then with one hand I flung it around, not letting go of it.
A third scream, this one louder than before. I fell to my knees and brought the pillow down against the hardwood floor. It connected, and finally it tore in half. Fluff went everywhere, and I kicked at it, hating it passionately. I picked up the remainder of the pillow up and placed it in my mouth, grabbing it with my teeth. I snarled, and started tearing at the red fabric, until finally there was nothing left that I could do.
Falling over on my side, I hit the ground with a thud. One, final scream escaped my mouth, this time not a scream of anger or hatred, but of pain and unrelenting sorrow. I covered my my face with my hands and bawled, bawled like I never had bawled before. I was still, just laying there and moaning. Tears streamed down my face, and my mouth felt like it wasn't big enough to let all of this horrid agony out of me. I turned on my back, letting my hair spread out on the floor, and I bawled some more.
“It's not fair!” I screamed. “It's not f***ing fair! It never was! I hate it! I hate all of this s***! Why the f*** did this have to happen to me?!” I kicked and kicked and screamed and screamed. I pleaded with someone, with god, with anyone that would listen. I pleaded for them to help me, to spare me from this because I was so young. I had so much life to live, I could do so many good things. I would show them! I would show god that there was a reason to keep me alive.
“It'll get better! We can get better, we've always been able to do that!” I was speaking so quickly that my words barely came together. My elbows were against the couch and my hands were clasped together. “We can change! You don't have to get rid of us now! We can change! Don't make a mistake, you'll just regret it. I promise you will! Just forgive us, just one more chance and we'll get it right. Nothing can fix someone like the fear of death, and you've given it to us! There's no reason to end it now! We can go, and we can make up for all of the bad things we've done!” I knew it was useless, that there was no man controlling us from up in the sky. I knew that it was going to happen anyway, but I wanted to at least try and fix everything.
I called my mom at eleven. Told her I was sorry for not calling more often, and that I loved her. I called my friends from back home, said the same thing. I called my ex, said I was sorry. I called everyone that had ever meant anything to me. It took me three hours to get it all done, but when I finally did, it felt good.
Fifth sigh, but not a sad one. It was a sigh of relief.
I went out that morning, at around seven. There was just one hour left. No one was on the streets, but I saw the lights on in some buildings. The sunrise had been beautiful, and I pitied Bernie for missing out on it. I walked down to Starbucks and found the homeless man. I look the crate, and I saw across from him just as I had done yesterday.
“Knew you'd be back,” he chuckled.
“How did you know?”
“You just seem like the fella-”
“No, not that. How did you know that... How do you know that this is how to live life? How do you know something like that? What told you? What made you wake up one day and think 'This is it! This is how you do it!', what?” I asked him.
“Well, sonny, it's not that easy. You never just wake up and realize anything. You figure it out one step at a time. It's like a puzzle, really. You almost never put two pieces down at the same time, or more than that, at least. You can't. You've got to start off slowly, then build your way up, then learn what the hell you're trying to build. Then you start putting things together, and then everything makes sense!” He laughed. “It's crazy, isn't it?”
A few people started walking by us. They went into Starbucks. Must have wanted to get their last cups of coffee. I sat back. Everything was doomed.
For about fifty minutes I just sat there. I thought about my life, all the mistakes I had made, all of the good times, the great times. I cried a little bit more, quieter than I had done last night. I nodded my head and looked up at him.
Suddenly, I felt something knot up in my chest. A laugh escaped my lungs. Heads turned in the street. Within a few seconds I was cracking up. I fell off of the crate, slapping my knees and kicking the ground. I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed, and then I laughed some more. The old man was laughing too. He put down his poster and just cracked up with me. People looked out of their buildings, stopped in the middle of the street, and looked out of their cars. The world stopped around us, and before we knew it, the streets were crowded with people. They looked at the two of us like we were crazy, but before we knew it, they were all laughing too.
Two minutes left. Everyone was just looking at each other and laughing. Everyone was hugging each other, and suddenly we all realized that it was inevitable. It wasn't just a word anymore, it was reality. Inevitability. Wow, who knew?
I laughed and laughed and laughed.
“Why are we all laughing?” Someone cried out from the crowd. I stood up and jumped onto the crate. Tossing my hands into the air, I screamed,
“Because life is just that amazing!” The crowd roared, and then finally, as if on cue...