All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
She pushed back the grey, ragged curtain, peeking out at the world seven floors below. Cars whizzed by, with people in them that had somewhere to be, something to do, a life to live. She felt like a stationary object in the middle of a strong current. Everyone around her were moving on with their lives, they had plans. They all had plans.
Her life was like that moment when you were a kid and an adult bent down and looked at you and asked in that condescending tone, “And what do you want to be when you grow up?”
She used to panic. All her friends would smile and proclaim that they wanted to be the president, or an artist, or a doctor. But she felt like she was under the lens of a microscope, adults leering at her as she struggled to come up with an answer. It was always like that. And if she said something that actually made sense to her, that she didn’t know yet, or that she would just wait and see what happened, someone in the background would make a snide comment just loud enough for her to hear. She used to blush and hide in the bathroom for the rest of the night.
And nothing had changed since then. She always felt the need to hide out, not necessarily in a bathroom. But now there was the despair. The utterly consuming feeling of heart wrenching despair. All the time, every minute of every day. She tried to ignore it or push it away, but it was like avoiding the sun in the middle of a desert. In the daytime. In the summer. She stopped trying to make plans with friends, and they stopped inviting her.
Nothing tragic had ever happened in her life, and when she thought about it there really was no reason for her to be sad. Her apartment was a little shabby, but she had enough money. She saw her family frequently and they were all healthy, and so was she. At least, she used to think she was. But now she was starting to doubt herself.
She looked over her shoulder at the kitchen table, with her keys that she tossed there after work and her bag containing the documents for next week’s meeting. Then at the front door, with its taupe colored paint starting to peel. It would never open, no one would come barging into her apartment. No roommate, no close friend, no boyfriend, not even, she thought desperately, an aggrieved neighbor complaining about something or rather that she needed to take care of. She didn’t have any of those things. She was alone. Constantly alone. Every minute of every day. She had co-workers, but they barely exchanged pleasantries.
She gazed back out the window, wistfully thinking of a life without the overwhelming despair. She couldn’t take it anymore. She grabbed her keys and left the room.
She blindly jogged down the streets, not caring where she went, not caring what happened. No…that wasn’t true. She cared where she went. She wanted to be alone. But not alone in her apartment. That alone was like abandonment, unfriendly and cold. As she got away from the busy crowds close to her apartment, she broke into a run.
She needed to think. She wanted something. Something more than what she had. She wanted to be happy. But she couldn’t! Happiness was something foreign to her, but she wanted it. Like the pristine beaches you see on commercials in the middle of the winter. When its snowing like mad outside and you can barely remember what the sun looks like, the commercials with the beautiful beaches came out. Teasing you, making you want to plunk down any amount of money just to be there. But money didn’t buy happiness.
She realized she was clinging to bars, she had run to the bridge a few blocks away from her apartment. She used to come here when she wanted to think, or just relax. She couldn’t remember when she stopped coming. There was a long drop from the bridge, she thought, a long drop straight to concrete. There was no one around. She stepped over the railing. It would be so easy, to just…let go. No more apartment, no more loneliness, no more despair, no more anything. Nothing. She let one hand go. She moved one foot to the edge, slowly, working up to it. She took a deep breath.
Wait. No. This…this wasn’t right. This was easy. Jumping…would be the easiest thing she’d ever done. The easy way out of this hole of despair. She needed to think. She needed to try. She needed help, she couldn’t do this on her own. She scrambled back, away from the edge. She sat down on the bridge, breathing heavily. The enormity of what she almost did crashed down on her. She cried. She couldn’t remember the last time she cried.
Tap. “Hey, hey are you alright?” She looked up into the brown eyes of a guy in his twenties, maybe twenty-two, her age. He kneeled down next to her. She shook her head. “What- what happened?” He looked uncertain. She wiped her eyes.
“A lot of things happened.” She was looking at the edge of the bridge as she said it. He followed her gaze.
“I almost did it once,” he whispered, “a few years ago. It was a hard time.” He didn’t seem to want to let out any other details. She nodded. “You gonna be okay?” She hesitated, and nodded again, brushing back her red hair.
“Yeah, yeah I think I will be. Eventually.” She stared at him, studying his face. “I think I need help…or to get out more.” She smiled weakly up at him. Cracking jokes used to be something she did. A lot.
He smiled back. A small smile. “Admitting it is the first step. I could help. With both.” He smiled a little more.
“Thanks.” He nodded and stood up, offering her his hand. She took it tentatively. “Its just a matter of time, it’ll come back.” She murmured a consent. She could tell he knew what he was talking about. “My name‘s Kyle.” She regarded him with her bright blue eyes.