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Finding Peace is Never Peaceful
I am a murderer. Today, I will go down to the police station and confess my crimes. It will be the third time that I have been there and probably the third time I will be sent away. The lady at the front desk will smile at me when I enter. When I ask for the chief of police, her smile will fade. She will call him anyway because she doesn’t have the heart to send me away. As I walk to meet the chief, she will look at me with pity. I will tell the chief why I deserve to be behind bars. After all, I’m the reason she is dead. My best friend. My favorite person. My greatest happiness. She was Taylor, my little sister. I had been there for her since the day she was born to the day she shouldn’t have died. I should have noticed the change in her demeanor. I should have realized that she was crumbling away inside. I should have fixed her.
0 is the number of days I have lasted without crying. Without collapsing into a sobbing mess. Without sitting in that old rocking chair where she used to do her homework. Where she used to text her fake, backstabbing friends and laugh. Where she used to talk to her newest boyfriend. Everyone loved her. How could she have killed herself? How could she have disregarded everyone who loved her? How could I have not realized that she was struggling?
12 is the number of books I have checked out of the library since her death. All of them about life after the death of the one who you loved the most. The main character is always a pretty, nerdy girl who lives in the shadow of her sister her whole life. She is upset for the first 50 pages. Then, a bad boy with shaggy hair and a motorcycle comes to her school and they fall in love. This girl forgets her pain. 63 is the number of days since Taylor died and there is no new boy with shaggy hair. There is no sunlight forcing its way through my dark cage. I’m trapped and can’t get out. I find myself losing all my human emotions to grief. I don’t have hope for the future. I don’t feel happiness. All I feel is the numbing pain that I have grown accustomed to.
17 is the number of pills my sister swallowed. She was nothing but thorough that girl.
35 is the number of empty bottles I have found hidden in strange places throughout the messy, unkempt house. The house that is oddly quiet and filled with the carcasses of dead flowers. Flowers that were supposed to make her death okay and make up for all we had lost. The bottles belong to my mother. It is an awful feat to lose a sister, but to lose a daughter. For my mother to realize that the blonde baby girl she had raised from a 6-pound pile of cells to the tall, beautiful woman that Taylor was, had felt life was not worth living anymore. To realize that she thought there was no way out. That the only escape from the darkness that no doubt clouded her mind was death. I can’t imagine the guilt she feels. She thinks she’s a failure of a mother. So every day she wakes up under a pile of blankets and a mountain of her frizzy, light brown hair. She speaks in a raspy and broken voice like she will shatter if you throw a pebble against her broken soul. There is only so much you can fix. This you can’t. No amount of deep metaphorical fixing glue can ever piece back together what we have all lost. Sadly, we ran out of deep metaphorical fixing glue so my mother uses the next best thing. Alcohol.
47 is the number of days it has been since I have seen my dad smile. He used to be the person in the family that was able to make us all laugh, no matter what. While my mom was yelling at me over some stupid mistake I made, he would make funny faces behind her to make sure I knew everything was okay. Now he skips breakfast and goes to work. He eats dinner out at some crappy fast food place alone in his car. Unlike my mother, who I had never seen drink a drop of alcohol before Taylor’s suicide; my father has always liked to eat fast food. He never ate it because he used to say he needed to stay healthy so that he could annoy us forever. I guess now he doesn’t feel the need to annoy me in the future. He is slowly eating himself to death. Well, I guess it's not the worst way to go.
2 is the number of seconds that it has been since I thought of Taylor. The therapist tells me there is no way I could have noticed. She says that if someone doesn’t want help they are able to hide it well. That there was nothing I could have done to change Taylor’s mind. I’m nowhere near close to being a genius and I can tell that she is lying. After all, that’s what therapists are paid to do. That and medicate you to fake happiness. There is a bottle of antidepressants I have hidden in my closet that she gave me. I can’t even look at them without being tempted to follow in Taylor’s footsteps. I would never do that though. I couldn’t do that to my parents. I’m trying to move on. I’m trying to be happy again. I’m trying to realize that there is always something worth living for. One person who you make happy. One thing that brings a smile to your face. One person that loves you. And you owe it to yourself to live your life to the greatest possible that it ever could be.
1 is the number of real, true friends, I had. I had prided myself on my relationship with my sister. I thought that I knew her better than anyone. I thought that we made each other happy and that together we could do anything. I had woven together an illusion of such bliss that I hadn’t noticed the cuts on her wrists and legs. I hadn’t seen them until I was crying over her cold, lifeless body. I was the one who found her. I was getting ready to go to a party. I went into the bathroom, screaming at her for taking so long. I finally picked the lock on the door with the bobby pin I kept on my bedside table for this exact purpose. The door had swung open and to this day the image of her dead on the floor is imprinted on my eyelids. Her blond hair was spread out around her. Her skin was pale and the bottle of oxycontin was opened on the counter. Her eyes were still open.
I can’t remember her laugh. I can’t remember her smile. Sometimes I go over to her side of the room and just sit there, trying to get a smell or a sound of something Taylor. She will never come back though. This I know. It’s hard to live this life.
It’s hard to wake up everyday and flash my broken mother a fake smile. It’s hard to act like I don’t see the pity filled glances that are thrown my way at school. It’s hard not to yell at the girls who called themselves her friends, but in reality, they must have made her life a living hell. Life is hard. I will miss her every day. Eventually, the guilt will bury me alive. Eventually, I won't be able to live with what I failed to do. But I will try to live my best life for her. For what Taylor will never have.