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Mission of Life (Revised)
On the outside he smiles and laughs. He’s the type of guy everyone laughs with.
No one could guess that under those perfect Hollister sleeves there are 23 cuts. The expression of his feelings.
On the inside no one knows what he really feels. What could be so wrong? How could it get this far?
I ask him how he’s doing. Fine, he lies. Then, the truth. He did it last night, all 23 of them. I ask him what’s wrong. His answer?
I tell him I’m here for him, if he needs to talk I’m here. I tell him to not take him out on himself.
We talk later. He tells me he’s about to break down.
What do you mean by break down?
He wants to die.
The feeling that goes through me is horrible. Panic rushes through me as I fight to hold back the tears, the nausea.
I ask him, beg him to hold himself together, to make it through the weekend. I tell him Monday we’ll go get help.
He says okay. I ask him to promise me he won’t do it.
The wait for his answer is unmistakably the longest five minutes of my life. Finally his answer comes.
Relief washes through me, but only for a minute. Should I trust his answer? I have to. There’s nothing I can do until Monday. I try not to cry, but I’ve never been this scared in my life.
I’ve never felt this helpless either.
I have to hold myself together, be a good friend. Don’t let him go. I’m on a mission now, to not let him go. To get him the help he needs.
To keep him alive.
I’m cold, and I’m shaking. I’m so scared, I can’t even imagine what he’s feeling. I don’t know what to do and feeling helpless is horrible.
About three hours later we stop talking.
I let my tears fall now.
That night, I can’t sleep. I’m afraid that if I do I’ll wake up and he won’t be there anymore. That it will be my fault. I stay up trying to preoccupy my brain but everything brings me back to feeling helpless. I can’t let him do this.
I struggle through the next two days running only on a few hours of sleep. Sunday night he asks me can we talk? I answer of course. He tells me what’s wrong and I try as hard as I can to say all the right things.
He tells me he feels better. He thanks me for helping, although I still feel like I’m not much help. He tells me he’s glad he has a friend like me.
I’m still scared, afraid that he'll feel want to do it again. I know it will happen, I just don’t know when.
But until then, I just have to make sure that he’s okay. That he has someone to talk to. That I stay on the mission. Maybe someday all of this will get better. I hope so, for him.