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Suicide Is Not An Option
I hated the man, my mother knew that, but she went ahead and married him anyway. I knew that something was wrong with him the moment he set foot into my mother’s life. I told her to leave him, begged her, but it seemed that the groom-to-be was far more important to her than I was. It broke my heart, being less important. In fact, it was heart-wrenching. How could my own mother turn away from me now that I needed her the most? I am a mess, my life is a mess. But then it is’ a feeling that I have learned to grow accustomed to. When the nights are cold and my world seems to have dimmed out of its very purpose, I grab my jacket and stroll out into the cold eerie night. My world is dark now. Tonight is one of those nights. I have to get out of this fucking house. Hearing him and my mom laughing makes me so mad. I have to get out.
I am here in the streets now, thinking about life and all its cruelties. Why him? Of all the random men who dwell on the face of this earth, why him? I remember a day when my mom was off to daily routine at the spa and I came back from school and walked in on him. I didn’t expect anyone to be home because as always, when my mom was at the spa, he was always off to some business of his over in town. I pushed the screen door open and walked in, whistling as I bustled about. The next thing I remembered, I was punched in the face, and while I was still trying to re gain my balance, he grabbed me be by the collar of my shirt and rammed me against the wall. “You little s***! I wish you could just die!” It’s no surprise, this is only the hundredth time he hit me and called me s***, sometimes other nasty names. My mom has no idea of what goes on in her absence. She never cared to ask. In fact, her attention and affection revolved around him all the time that most of the time she has no idea of where I am or where I went.
After hours of being in the streets, thinking and trembling in the cold, I finally decide to go back home. It is the place I least want to go back to, but what other choices do I have? I trudge my way, still thinking of what I should do. My eyes brim with tears, but I hold them back forcefully. I would not cry now. I have to be strong for myself. I can hear laughter now. My mom and Sam are laughing about something. The feeling is back, the dark and hopeless feeling that I dread. I open the front door and- “Hey honey. Where have you been?” I slouch at that, not wanting to be bothered now. I want to go up to my room and blast up the music and shut them out. Instead, I straighten up and say, “I’ve been out.” I expect her to shrug and just walk away, but she stands now, scrutinizing me. I know she’s going to say something now that would start up our usual arguments, but instead, she closes her eyes and says, “Out where Cody?” “I’ve been out, just out”, I said. She is about to say more, but I cut in and say, “I have to go upstairs. I’m not feeling well.” At that I walk up the stairs, becoming the mute teenager who ignores his mom when she’s about to say something. I can see Sam out of the corner of my eye, watching, but I do not care. I’m ready if he comes again for me tonight.
I will not lie, I love my mom, but she loves Sam now. To her, I have become just another typical, ordinary human being who lives under her roof. I am not a son anymore. I am a stranger. I can’t tell if somewhere deep in her heart, she still loves me. She fell in love and devotes her time and all to Sam, and that’s’ all it takes to feel stripped of my being, of feeling somewhat lacking importance. I do not know what I did to deserve such cruelty in this world, but to be humble, I say its’ okay. Its’ okay if I get beaten for no reason, its’ okay if my own mother never bothers to check up on me anymore, and its’ okay if the world turns its back on me. I am fifteen; I have to believe that it’s okay, even when it’s not. I grew up too early, understanding things that I did not want to understand yet, seeing and feeling things that I shouldn’t have. My name is Cody Simmons, took after my father who died in a hit-and-run accident, and my life is a fucking mess.
I am now awake and in my room. My left eye is swollen due to the ruckus that took place last night. It’s no big deal; the swelling will fade in about a week or so. Mom and Sam had a huge argument last night after he attempted to punch me the second time. I knew he would do it. He saw the way I ignored mom and walked up the stairs, trying to ward off whatever she was about to say. I do not care. I wanted to feel the pain anyway. After they had that argument, Sam walked out and slammed the door so hard I swear I felt the house vibrated. Mom came into the bathroom to see if I was okay and started saying things like, “Oh Cody, I’m so sorry baby…you shouldn’t have-“ “It’s no big deal, mom. I deserved it anyway. Sorry for walking away last night”, I said, cutting her off. I wasn’t looking in her eyes the whole time I said this, but when I finally lifted my head to look at her, I saw tears threatening at any moment to cascade down her cheeks. I forced a smile and said, “Mom, don’t cry. It really doesn’t matter. I deserved it.” She lifted her hands to my left cheek, just below my swollen left eye, held it there and said, “I’m so sorry Cody.” Her voice broke at the last word, and then she stood up and walked outside the bathroom. It hit me hard, like a thousand tons of bricks. She really did not care. I stood there, with my hands pressed against the swell of my left eye and wept. Was that all she had to say, “I’m sorry Cody.”? I went to bed after that, unable to sleep. And now I am awake, sitting in bed and recalling all the things that took place last night. I should be getting ready to go to school, even though my left eye looks like s***. People ask and I just laugh and say, “I fell.” They believe that, no matter how many times I repeat it as an excuse whenever I had a black eye. But then again, they don’t care.
I am now walking down the hall at school. People are chattering like a thousand flies. People are staring and to some, I give them the finger. They shake their heads and mumble Loser under their breaths. I have not much friends, in fact, I have none. The girls think I’m such a loser and the boys think I’m such a dick. I am now entering my classroom. I open the door and sit down at the back of the room, where the losers sit. I look up the clock that hangs on the wall. It reads 9:27 AM, meaning I am three minutes early. I bring out my iPod, headset, and my sketchbook and start drawing. I am wondering what to draw when the bell rings and people begin to pour in like a swarm of bees. I take off my headset, grab my sketchbook and shove them in my backpack. The teacher is talking about World War 2 and the impact that had on the smaller islands.
I am lost now. I don’t know what the teacher is saying. I think it’s something about Adolf Hitler, whatever. Finally, the bell is ringing. I grab my backpack to head out the door when Mrs. Zimmerman calls me to her desk. I walk back and stand in front of her desk. She lowers her glasses and says, “Cody, what’s going on?” I try my best to look as if I don’t know what she’s talking about. “What do you mean, Mrs. Zimmerman?” “You know what I’m talking about Cody, and don’t act as if you have no idea. Your grades have not been good lately. And you rarely pay attention anymore. You stare out those windows like you have your mind on something else. What’s going on Cody? You know you can talk to me whenever.” I shrug and say, “Nah, I’m okay. Thanks anyway. I’m perfectly fine. And uh, about my grades”, I scratch the back of my head and say, “I’m working on that. So don’t worry about it.” I force a smile and she says, “Okay Cody. I’m here whenever you’re up for talking. You don’t have to lie to me Cody. I know you. You’re a great kid and I know when there’s sadness in your eyes.” She smiles the prettiest smile and went back to shuffling the papers on her desk. I walk away, wanting so much to shed tears, but I hold myself. She’s a great teacher, in fact she’s my favorite teacher, but I can’t tell her about my troubles. No, I will not be burden. She has her other things to worry about than some fucked up boy. I exit the building and begin walking home, thinking as I walk the whole way. What would it be like if my life was different, if my mom hadn’t met that asshole?
I am sitting at the edge of my bed with a gun in my hand. My finger coils around the trigger. I found the gun in Max’s belongings and started thinking, what if? I hold the gun now in my hands, sweat covers my forehead. Mom wouldn’t care right? I’m just trying to find the guts to pull the trigger. My hands are trembling and tears are constantly coursing down my face. I raise the gun to my temple and hold it there. Closing my eyes, I try to muster the courage. One, two, three- Bam! It’s not the gun. I realize that. Mom is standing at the door, staring at the gun in my hand, and then at my face. I realize that she had kicked the door in, and don’t ask me where she got the strength from. She knows what I tried to attempt, mothers always know somehow. She begins to whimper as she crumples to the floor. The gun is still in my hand. I’m too shocked right now to realize what I should do with it. I slowly put the gun on the bed and approach her. I’m scared. I don’t know what to expect or what to say. I kneel down beside her and say, “Mom, I’m sorry you had to find me like this. I-“She slaps me. Then she slaps me again. I just keep my eyes focused on the floor. There is pain in her voice as she says, “Cody, why in the world would you do this to me? Huh, Cody? Are you listening to me? Look at me.” Her voice breaks at every word. I slowly lift my head to meet her eyes and say, “why should you care, mom? You rarely pay attention to me anymore.” I say this with tears falling down my face. “I am still your mother, Cody. I still love you and that’s never going to change. I make mistakes. I am human. I fell in love with Sam and may have spent more time with him than I should have you. But you should’ve known that my love for you exceeds the love I have for any man or human being that dwells on the face of this earth. I’m so sorry if I have been a terrible mother to you, Cody. What can I ever do to make it up to you?” She is crying the whole time she says this. “You know, mom, it’s really okay. I, uh…I’m so sorry you had to find me like this, I really am. It won’t happen again. It was stupid of me. Let’s just forget about it.” I try to make eye contact as I say this, and there in her eyes, I see raw pain. She takes my hand and presses it against the left side of her chest and says, “Cody, baby, you break my heart you know that? Do you know what it’s like for a mother to walk in on her son who’s trying to take his life away, knowing that it’s all her fault? I would die a thousand deaths if I had walked in and-““She sobs, all the while holding my hand against her chest. “It would kill me, Cody. You are my heart. Please let me make it up to you. Let me fulfill the job of being your mother. I can’t bear to lose you, please.” I pull my hand free. I feel sorry for her. I try to say something when she says, “Sam and I broke up. After he punched your face, I couldn’t take it. It dawned on me that he may have done this a dozen times when I wasn’t around. And it hurt me. Tell me baby, did he hit you whenever I wasn’t around?” This takes me by surprise. I say, “Look mom, it really doesn’t matter. You didn’t have to break up with-““She presses her finger to my lips and closes her eyes. She opens her eyes and held my face, lifting my chin so I could look her in the eyes. Her eyes are red and puffy from crying. Sniffling, she says, “It does matter. You are my very world. You are the child I carried under my heart for nine months, gave birth to, and nursed. You are my all, to me, you matter the most. So don’t tell me that it doesn’t matter, okay? I love you so much it hurts to see your eye swollen. And all the time I asked what happened to your eye, you always said you fell. You hid the truth from me, and it hurts like hell. I broke up with Sam because not only did I want to, I needed to.” I lower my head and say, “I’m sorry. I thought you didn’t care at all. I mean, you were always busy with Max, I felt less important. I understand now. This won’t ever happen again.” She says with a trembling voice, “Good. I can’t bear the thought of losing you. It kills me. I want to make it up to you. How about we go have dinner at a restaurant, or go see a movie?” I smile the real smile and say, “Okay.” She holds me in her arms and we cry. I can see light now. I’m elated. I know that everything’s going to be okay now that Max is gone.
Three years after and here I am, 18 years old. I think better of myself now and I have made a lot of friends at school. People don’t call me loser anymore and Mrs. Zimmerman says I’m doing better. Although she’s not my teacher anymore, she always gives me the thumbs-up whenever I pass her in the hallway. She was one of those who cared. I’m dating this girl now. She’s awesome. She’s pretty, smart, and most of all, she makes me feel important whenever she’s around me. Her name is Ellie. People wonder how in the world I ended up with such a fine girl. I tell them I don’t know. She would’ve left me long time ago, but instead she stuck by me, even when times were hard. At night when she would come over to spend, she would rub my head until I fell asleep. Or when I cried, remembering those awful times, she would hold me and rock me back and forth. She’s such a great human being. She understands me, she makes me laugh, and somehow she makes me feel safe.
Now, about mom, she always fuzzes over me, and sometimes it embarrasses me. She’s more affectionate than before, oh, and real emotional. I tell her to go out and find someone who could make her happy, someone who is unlike Max. But she tells me that she couldn’t make the same mistakes again. I tell her that not all men are the same, but she tells me no, she can’t bear to go through with the same thing that happened in the past. I tell her that I won’t ever attempt to take my life again, made an oath, but she refused. I say, “Mom, how about meeting someone again? You know, go on dates and stuff.” She kisses me on the forehead and says, “Cody, baby, we went through this a lot of times. Dating is the last thing on my mind.” “But mom, I hate seeing you like this. I think you’re lonely. I think you need someone to be with.” I said. She pushes back a strand of my hair and says, “I have you, and that’s all that matters.” She smiles and walks away. I hate to think that I am the reason why she refuses to date anymore, to meet a man, to fall in love again. But she tells me over and over again to never ever once think that it’s my fault she refuses to meet someone. She says that it’s her choice. I remember at some point that Sam came back to ask my mother for a second chance. She began to cry the moment she opened the door and knew that it was him. She slapped him across the face and screamed at him to leave. That was the last I heard or seen Sam. My mom seems content with her life the way it is. She gets scared when I she realizes that I locked my bedroom door. It reminds her of that time when I held the gun in my hand. She always tells me that she felt suffocated the moment she busted in through the door and saw that gun. Even before that, she knew that something was wrong when she came back from work, which explains why she had busted in through the door. I ask her how she knew and she says, “Cody, I am your mother. When something’s not right with you, I always feel it.” I don’t know how that’s possible, but I guess that’s how it is with mothers. She also told me that when Sam punched me the night she had witnessed the whole scene, she cried herself to sleep just thinking about it. The next morning, she told Sam she was breaking up with him.
I love my mom. She means the world to me. I kiss her either her forehead or cheeks before I head out the door to go school, and I do the same when I come back home or when I go to bed. I am practically a man now, but I do these little things to show her that I love her so much. I do these things to show her that I appreciate all the sacrifices that she put through. I always would laugh when she would say, “Cody, you’ll always be my baby regardless your age.” And at that I would laugh and then she would smile and ruffle my hair. Sometimes I would joke with her and we would laugh and laugh. And I love it when she laughs. The whole world seems to light up when she laughs or smile. We came a long way, and for that, I am proud. I still urge my mom to go out and meet someone, even though her answers were always no’s. After all, she’s only 33. Yeah, I forgot to tell you that part. She had me when she was quite young. She married my father and then after my father died in that hit-and-run accident, she went out with Sam. My mother could turn eyes whenever she walked across a room, and she could sure make men drool whenever she smiled or do that thing that she always does with her hair. Life seems to have taken its turn for the better. I learned to forgive Sam. I made my peace. Suicide would never be an option to consider anymore. I promised my mom that, even though she still has her doubts. Everything is at great pace. Life is good.
The story ends here. My name is Cody Simmons. This is my story. This is the tale of people with intertwining lives, the pain, the lies, and the love. This is a story that I have always wanted to tell you from my point of view, the story of my life.