Thank You Luke

January 29, 2011
“What do you want?!” I scream at the top of my lungs, still gasping for air as I feel the walls encaving around my thin body. These voices, they won’t stop. I’m shaking rapidly and I can’t stop. The voices, they are getting louder.

“You will never be good enough Arielle.”

“Stop talking!” I am crying, eyes are swollen and shut. My fingers are tapping against my leg. I have to keep some kind of rhythm or I think I will explode with inner body movement. Just make it stop.

“Do you think you are worthy?” The voices are saying, surrounding me. I am screaming. I can’t control it anymore. No one can help me. Tears are drowning me. Sweat is pouring from my forehead.

“You will never be the one people want,” the voices won’t stop. I can’t block it out. They have doubled, tripled. They are like a gang, about to pounce on the innocent victim in the corner no one can help.

“You killed him Arielle. It was you.”

“NO! I didn’t kill him!” I say, shaking fiercely. “No, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t me…”

******************

“Arielle!”

Ms. Holly is trying to help me come back to reality.

“Open your eyes Arielle,” Ms. Holly is saying. Her voice is soothing yet firm. I am hesitant to do so, yet I know I need to. Finally I do, examining my surroundings intently. I am in the small, lightly lit room with plush pillows and a big couch. A wooden desk with a desktop computer sits on it, open to a document maker with charts and graphs and my name on the top.

“Can you tell me what just happened Arielle?” Ms. Holly says as calmly as she can. I am still crying and shaking, but it has decreased in intensity.

“These voices.. they, they keep talking to me,” I say. “They won’t leave me alone. I am constantly fighting with them, questioning my every decision. I feel trapped. I’m just… scared.”

”You know you shouldn’t blame yourself for the accident right Arielle?” Ms. Holly says, taking notes in a little black book.

Tears are still traveling down my face like a river. “I feel guilty everyday,” I say through heaving sobs. I put my hands to my face and just let it out. “I don’t know how to feel or think and just cry. I cry and try to let go of the emotion and guilt that I feel toward Luke’s death, but I just can’t. It burdens me every single day.”

I can’t take this anymore. I stand up abruptly and grab my things. I hear Ms. Holly’s voice in the background, trying to make me come back, but I don’t. I walk down the spiral staricase out the door and head to my car.

“It’s all your fault Arielle.”

“Leave me alone!” I scream aloud, seeing people watch me as I get into my Honda. Suddenly, I am struck with a revelation. Luke can’t be with me, but I can be with him.

Greave-stricken and hormonal, I race to the freeway in my little car and pull to Exit 82; Heaven’s Edge. Ironically enough, I get out of the car, slam the door, and run to the huge cliff that stands before me. My purple cardigan is flying all around me and I look around. The water is violently crashing below against the sharp rocks. I take off my shoes and the cardigan. Just sparing time?

I’m ready. Just let go of everything and be with Luke. Not feel this burden any longer. Feel like it is my fault for every single thing. I am done with this crap. Unanticipatedly, I feel scared. Alright, I just gotta do it. Deep breath in.. jump.

“Arielle!”

I open my eyes expeditiously. Standing 10 feet away was Michael Anderson. He was in my AP pschology class and one of my better friends to say the least. What on Earth did he want?

“What the hell are you doing?” Michael asks, glancing around to figure out the answer before I speak.

“It doesn’t matter anymore,” I say sighingly.

“This isn’t the way Arielle,” Michael says. “We both know that.”

“How could you possibly know that?!” I shout at him angrily. “You don’t know what’s it’s like to carry so much guilt I carry every single day of my life. A 17 year old should not have to deal with the crap I deal with on a daily basis!” Don’t EVER think you can say that this isn’t the way when you have never experienced something so traumatic!”

Walking toward me, Michael is nodding his head. “You’re right. I shouldn’t have said that. Because I have no idea what that’s like. But can you honestly tell me that jumping off this cliff will solve anything? What about your family? Your friends? There are people around that love you.”

“The only person that ever truly loved me is gone and I’m the one who killed him! Do you not understand that or something?”

“Arielle, you didn’t kill him,” Michael says, trying to understand. Finally, he reaches me and embraces me. His arms surround me and I start to sob. He took me away from the water’s edge and kept his hold on me. His shoulder and sleeve were drenched in my tears, yet he never once let me go.

“Do you really believe Luke wanted you to do this?” Michael asks finally after a moment of lapsed silence.

“No,” I guiltily say.

“What do you think he wants you to do?” He asks, looking up at the sky as if Luke was listening. I smile.

“To keep writing stories,” I say, also looking up at the brightly lit sky. The sun was shining in my direction. It was Luke, definitely agreeing with me. Michael took me home a few minutes later. I saw a rainbow on the way and couldn’t help but feel relief. That very moment, I knew I had a guardian angel.

And weeks later, those voices never came back. Never bugged me once again. Never floated in my head, causing me to second guess myself. And I still write. Everyday in fact. And everytime I do, I have to look up and thank my angel, brother. Thank you Luke.





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