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As she looked upon the piece of paper she had set aflame she yearned for a time when her imagination ran free and her heart could let loose. Nowadays her heart was frozen and her wrists were scarred; she never wanted to end up this way. It just happened and now there was no reversing it. Her mind often wandered to places where she’d wished it wouldn’t, her eyes would remain dry as her body cried out for help. On nights when her eyes refused to shut, she would lie awake with her wrists bleeding onto shirts that she hadn’t worn in awhile. She had never cut deep enough to die, just deep enough to hurt. Though she hoped the worst was behind her, she knew it was not so. After all she’d been through, there would always be more. “These tribulations you are experiencing are just that, tribulations. They be over and you will be stronger,” she heard people say time and time again. Those words were like their catch phrase, as sure as she was that no one felt her pain she was ever so wrong. She sat alone on the most beautiful of days pondering the ins and outs of everything, exclusively life. The thought, after seven suicide attempts, of leaving her friends and family made her stomach churn with dread. She never understood why she was born and these past two weeks had made her wonder why even more so. How do I know, you ask? I know because I am she.
I grabbed the trashcan and trudged back into my beat-up ole trailer house. I paused at the end of the crooked, old steps as angst rose in throat. I knew what lie beyond the cracked wooden door of my house--Hell. I slowly and reluctantly dragged myself and the trashcan up each uneven and wobbly stair. As my hand clasped the cold, metal door handle I felt like running away. I pulled back the door and walked straight into the storm. My sisters were scattered amongst the various mix-matched furniture we had in our humble, crowded living room. He sat right in the center of the room in the chair that reflect his personality--big, old, and useless. (He hardly did so much as talk to me, much less look at me. My mom figured he was just jealous of me, “I bet that’s why he does the things he does,” she’d say. All I knew was that I needed more ways to vent than I had readily available. All because of him.) I cautiously made my way around all the obstacles that had found themselves scattered about on the worn hardwood floor. I never raised my head high enough to make eye contact with anyone. I made a beeline for the kitchen, where I could put down the trashcan and retreat back to my room. All I wanted to do was disappear when I was at my house. I have learned that the more attention I draw to myself - good or bad - the worse everything gets for me. There was no need for unnecessary attention--there was no need for attention.
When I was well within the sanctity and serenity of my room I kept my mind busy. I had created a rotation between my guitar, my ukulele, my computer, my piano, and my phone - sometimes I would squeeze in my sketch pad. For they have been all I needed to survive the past two weeks out of school. I strummed absentmindedly on my guitar and wished I would die. I didn’t want to kill myself - no. I just prayed that the roof would cave in or that a murderer would waltz in, put the bone-chilling steel of a gun against my head and pull the goddamn trigger. No such relief would come, instead I was left to wonder why I lived at all. My heart jumped at the thought of stopping it’s never-ending pump. Then immediately slunk back into it’s sluggish, heavy rhythm against the wall of my ribcage. I attempted, to no end, to try and focus on my music, but failed to hold attention to thoughts of anything but wishing to die.
Why do I have to be this way? I have friends, I have a boyfriend; people care about me, I wondered in frustration. The Darkness quickly countered that thought with, True, but your “friends” aren’t texting you; they don’t actually care about you. You’re just another burden for them to bare. Your “boyfriend” he finds you annoying and that’s just what you know he thinks about you. I bet he thinks you’re a b**** who never shuts up or leaves him alone. So does anyone really care about you? I hung my head in defeat as I wanted so desperately to conquer the Darkness that had manifested itself inside my head. When I’m alone, this is all I am--Darkness. Without music blaring in my ears to drown the thoughts of perpetual self-doubt and unending fear. I am consumed by the Darkness - which takes it’s strongest hold on me late at night, when I’m too afraid of my dreams to sleep. I’ll ask myself “When does it end?” and somehow I sense it’ll be forever a dull pain in the back of everything, showing up every once in awhile to take me. Maybe one day it’ll take me, consume me completely and wholly, so I can drown in the Darkness I created.
The plastic knob of my door creaked as someone on the other side grasped it. There was no need for them to rotate the knob, the knob never operated properly. The knob had been broken for as long as I could remember. My door fought as the person slowly shoved it open. I feared who was on the other side and wasn’t too enthused that they had decided to disrupt the silent sacrality of my room. When my door gave way enough to show the person’s face I realized that it was my mother. She and I had brought our mother/daughter relationship to a rather shaky climax in the past few days. She hesitated with each step that she took further into my room. She did not hate me, but she certainly was not happy about what I had done. She paused at the end of my rickety bed and opened her mouth to say something. She closed her mouth as she rejected the thought. I glanced up from my laptop, where I had been busily typing at some nonsense I would never finish. I closed my laptop and sat it aside. I sat up straight and looked at her, trying to read her expression. She looked worried and cautious, but her eyes were full of pity. She positioned herself in front of my heater to warm up.
“Do you need something, Mom?” I asked, trying to not sound rude.
She shrugged her shoulders. “Nope. Just checking on you,” her voice swung in a way that could only be described as motherly concern.
“Well, I’m fine. Thanks,” I knew I was being a bit short with her, but I really wanted to get back to my laptop.
“Have you eaten today?” She looked me straight in the eye.
“Yep,” I lied.
“Okay. Well, as you were,” she walked out of my room without another word. I pulled my laptop back over my thighs. I began vigorously typing away at my computer to try and release any angst I had built up. Senseless words flowed from my fingertips with ease. After everything I’d been through in the past two weeks I was hoping that next year was to be a better year. Christmas break had taken a toll on my skin and psyche that was unbelievably huge.
I impatiently awaited the hours to pass, but to my complete and utter disappointment they did not. The hours lugged on with cantankerous tenacity. My thoughts danced as I sat empty-bellied in my room. I wanted someone to text me or call me, but I felt no need to disturb one of my dear friends with the babblings of my nonsense. So I sat criss-crossed on my bed with my computer atop my lap and various notebooks of scribblings and doodles splayed precariously around my bed. The sheets of my bed were tangled and stuffed behind my back to support me. I glanced up at the mess of a room I had created. My guitar leaned gently against the post of my shelf, which was made of old siding from our house. My ukulele sat like a shadow in it’s case behind the guitar. An old nostalgic homecoming dress hung from a screw that had been drive into another post on my shelf. My clothes were tossed carelessly onto the shelf. My band uniform hung delicately from a hook. The remains of my battered hope chest sat gloriously above the rest of my room; parts of my hope chest had been burned thanks to my dad. My mirror was veiled in light dust and a ragged halloween costume. A broken jewelry box rested under the dusty mirror; in it hung a necklace from last summer’s concert and bits of jewelry that rarely graced the surface of my fair skin.
My door erupted open with a great force and that’s when I saw him standing in my doorway. His eyes were full of hate and his grimace full of unkempt anger. He charged at me and grabbed a handful of my hair. My laptop tumbled into the floor and my notebooks scattered pages across the room. He yanked my head to meet him and hissed in my ear, “Why didn’t you do the laundry as I told you?”
I whimpered, “I-I did, I swear.” His eyes grew full of disbelief and hatred. He growled and pushed me away from him. I looked up at him in horror wondering what on earth I did to deserve this.
“You f***in’ lying piece of s***,” he shouted. “Go do your job.” He spat on my floor to spite me. He started to make his way down the hallway when I heard his footsteps halt and begin to get louder. I trembled in fear as I realized he was coming back. He reappeared at the threshold of my door. He stared around the room in discontent. “You need to clean up this disgusting room too,” he slammed my door. I listened carefully to his fading footsteps and the soft whisper of the curtain as he walked through it and into the living room. I heard the signature creak of old, decrepit chair he generally sat in. When I exhaled slowly to reset my psyche, only to realized I had been holding my breath.
I numbly rubbed the throbbing area of my head. I thrust myself out of the comforting bed and dragged my legs down the hallway. I checked on the laundry only to see what I already knew was true--I had already done as told so I returned to the safety of my room. I simply wished to disappear. This was not the type of house I wanted to live in--this was not the type of homelife I so selfishly prayed for. I stayed in my room for the rest of the day and didn’t eat, I hardly ever do. I adjusted my pillow for nightfall and turned off my overhead light and turned on my humble lamp. This was generally how I prepared for the Darkness. Not the darkness that slowly took reign of the night, but the Darkness that drowned me and suffocated my mind, wiping any memory of Light until I was living solely in the Darkness. I haven’t any idea why the Darkness has plagued my mind and how it has only occurred in the more recent years, but the one thing I do know about the Darkness is that it can either be so consuming and enveloping that I can’t sleep or it can simply just be like a constant pain in the back of my head.
Tonight the Darkness has grown too much to bare. I’m going to leave a note. I’m going to leave silently and in the middle of the night.
Her pen fell to the ground as she finished and she folded the trees and picked up the braided nylon. She left the window slightly ajar and let the cloth, which were strung loosely above the glass, flow gently through the room. She left into the Dark and hung as it swallowed her. Her note read:
“Dear whomever it concerns,
I’ve left this for you all. Do not take my absence personally, I loved you all and that is why I had to leave. I wanted to leave before the Darkness consumed you all as well. It consumed me, every second I remained breathing. I promise you this was the right choice. I won’t make this long. I’m gone, and now I’m finally content. The Darkness can’t get me here.