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My new Beginning
Having the cold metal pressed against my temple caused my skin to break into a clammy sweat. Goosebumps engulfed my body, and I could feel my stomach twisting, making me have to swallow down the sour bile that was rising into my mouth. Each breath I took seemed to get shorter and shorter until I couldn’t manage to get a breath in me at all. The objects in the room seemed to be spinning, until the colors swam together, and all I saw was mixtures of tan, brown, and black.
Lot’s of black.
Having my hand on the trigger, I pressed it down, and set off the rifle I had to my head…
It all started a few months ago. My mom and I were coming from the funeral. I was watching as she cried while driving our old BMW. Even though I was emotionless, I could taste my mom’s tears in my mouth as they smeared mascara down her face. An ocean of guilt and salt, causing a lump to form in the back of my throat. Looking away, I stared out the window, at the sunny Saturday; welcoming children to play at the playground, BBQ’s to start.
This got me angry.
How dare the sun rejoice by warming the day when my dad’s dead? It should be wet outside, like my mom’s tears. The Earth should be mourning his early departure.
Waking up in my room a few hours later, my anger, guilt, and frustration slammed into me like a monster truck would a clown car. Sitting up, I loosened the black silk tie I wore to the funeral, not taking it off before I passed out. With the cloud of frustration choking my mind, I took the closest thing to me, a clock on my night stand, and threw it toward the opposite wall. I didn’t hear the crash it made when the clock and wall made contact, or when it crashed to pieces on the floor. Nor did I hear the clank my lamp, picture frames, mirror, or glasses made. Taking my hockey stick, I slammed it with as much force as I can into the television repeatedly. Watching the wires inside the metal box spark blues and reds, I sank to the floor, drowning in my emotions on top of the clothes that littered my room. My best friend, brother, mentor, and father is gone. And I now just realized he isn’t coming back.
Going into school the following Monday was painful. The usual pine smell that invited me in with its familiarity only made me realize nothing would be normal again.
It will never be the same.
Looking around, all the kids who used to call out my name, say hi to me, or simply ignored me, now stared at me; carving a path for me to walk through in the middle of the hallway. Which reminded me of the Red Sea parting for Moses, but in this case, it wasn’t as glorious as it was in the bible.
They made me feel like a leper, the way they wouldn’t get close enough to make contact, how they held their breaths when I got in close proximity to them. Making my way to my locker, my best friend, Clementine, ran up to me.
“Hey Travis,” she whispered once she caught her breath. Breathing in, I detected the faintest scent of strawberry, her favorite shampoo. But looking at her disgusted me. I’ve known Clementine since grade school, and now we’re juniors in high school together. We’ve seen each other through our worst, was there for each other when the other was lonely. Now, in my darkest hour, she was a stranger to me. The way she angled her body away from me, how she wouldn’t make eye contact, taking shallow breaths, like the air around me is contaminated. Watching her mouth move, I could see her talking; watch her gum flapping on her tongue with each word she said; the way her teeth clamped down, forming words. But whatever she was saying was only a murmur in my head. While she was still talking, I closed the locker, and walked away.
Three months later, I walked into the house early. It was a half a day, so, instead of getting a ride from a friend, or taking the bus, I walked home. A car I’ve never seen before was parked beside our rusty one, but I didn’t notice.
I never seem to care anymore.
That was, until I was standing in the entry way to the door, looking in to see my mom cuddling with some man who she once said was ‘just a co-worker’. His arm was around her, exactly like my dad used to do after a long day of work.
How could she do this to me? To dad?
She looked up at me when my back pack made a thud on the floor from me dropping it. Scooting an entire seat cushion away, she looked at me guiltily, as if telepathically pleading for me to either understand, or to not make a scene.
But understand what?
The only thing I could comprehend was that my mom’s moved on. With out me. I’m still in the dark while she’s basking in the sun. My own mother has abandoned me, her only son, and dad, only a few weeks after he died.
Standing up, she tried reaching for me, like touch could bring me into forgiving her. I don’t know what her new boyfriend yelled at me, or if my mom was okay, but after pushing her to the floor, I ran out the door. Running and running, I couldn’t stop. But eventually I came to a jog, then a quick walk, but I soon started to crawl, dragging myself.
Falling to the ground, I was cushioned by the grass, softening my fall. Closing my eyes, and having my ear pressed against the Earth, it was as though my heart beat matched the Earths drum. Synchronizing it in a deadly melody, filling my head with its constant, steady pounding; consuming my thoughts in its dark familiarity. Taking a deep breath through my nose, I inhaled the scent of lavender and lilac. Taking big breaths, I opened my eyes to see I was in the cemetery dad was buried in. Looking up, I saw that I collapsed right on top of his grave.
Sitting up, I let my dirt stained hands glide over the smooth marble of his head stone. I couldn’t help but feel lost. Like a child who can’t find it’s parents at the playground.
Alone, and not knowing if I can be saved.
The next day, I awoke in my bed to the smell of something delicious coming from downstairs. After brushing my teeth, and cleaning myself up, I trudged down the steps, and walked into the kitchen to find the co-worker at the table, in Dads seat, eating the breakfast I now know wasn’t meant for me. About to walk out, the woman who gave birth to me called, and asked me to join them.
“I’d rather not,” I said flatly.
“Come on Travis. We need to talk. It’s important.” She looked so normal, like nothing ever happened, and for a moment, I was swept up in it, feeling a tiny glimmer of hope, but He interrupted by telling me to sit.
“It’ll do ya good, son. Just take a breather.” I know he was trying to coax me into sitting, but I about had enough.
“First of all, I’m not your ‘son’, and if you ever call me that again, you’ll regret it.” Even though what I said was low, it was fired right at him; the venom of the threat sinking into his flabby skin, filling up every pore. His eyes widened at me in surprise, with a hint fear in them, but he ended up smiling at me again, only this time, it was forced.
“I think I should just say it. Travis, I’m three months pregnant.”
The next few minutes were a blur. The shock I felt when she told me this. The way the table flipped over when I was throwing myself at Him. How the opened bottle of syrup splattered every where when it was thrown across the room. How it made my clothes nauseatingly sweet smelling. The pressure my hands had around His neck. How it felt good when I was squeezing harder and harder; his face getting first red, the blue, then purple, then black. I heard my mom shrieking at me, hitting her fists against my back.
But I felt nothing.
All the while, even though the monster within me was finding some kind of twisted entertainment in the ordeal, I was numb.
Feeling His pulse slow under my grip, my sense returned to me, and I finally let go. Standing up, and brushing it off like nothing happened, I walked away. I heard my mom said she’s taking him to the hospital, and how everything was going to be okay. Heard Him call me the devils child, and how I needed therapy. But I ignored it all.
Walking into my dad’s old study, I took the dictionary off the top shelf of his library; dust falling down like snow flakes at Christmas. Opening it up, I took out the gun that was hidden in the hard plastic disguised as a book. Going over to the desk in the corner, I sat down, putting the heavy metal on my lap. Thinking back on how I spent my life, I realized I didn’t do anything significant. Nobody will remember me, and if they do, they’ll think of me as the boy who killed himself. My mom would be happy. She didn’t even have to do anything about her troublesome child cause he already took care of himself. She was obviously having an affair while with dad. She has a new kid to replace me, a new guy to replace dad. What’s the use I am to her?
What’s the use I am to anyone?
Lifting the cold metal to my head, I started praying. For a better life after my first one got screwed up. For my mother’s happiness. Even though I’m infuriated at her now, I don’t hate her. Maybe I’ll even see dad up their…
Having the cold metal pressed against my temple caused my skin to break into a clammy sweat. Goosebumps engulfed my body, and I could feel my stomach twisting, making me have to swallow down the sour bile that was rising into my mouth. Each breath I took seemed to get shorter and shorter until I couldn’t manage to get a breath in me at all. The objects in the room seemed to be spinning, until the colors swan together, and all I saw was mixtures of tan, brown, and black.
Lot’s of black.
Having my hand on the trigger, I pressed it down, and set off the rifle I had to my head. I heard a pop, but didn’t feel the pressure through my skull I thought I was supposed to feel. Was it that quick that I didn’t feel the pain I was expecting? Am I already dead? But, looking around, I could see that I was still in dad’s study room. Dropping the gun to the floor, it set off, shooting through the wall opposite of me.
I wasn’t meant to die.
And for the first time since dad died, I cried. Letting the tears flow freely down my face, I thanked my father for not letting that bullet be the way I go. For another chance. Now, I have to fix things with my mom. But first things first…
Walking back to the cemetery, watching the sky darkening, I smelled a storm coming; feeling the electricity of it in the air, and hearing the thunder coming closer and closer with each rumble. Going to my dad’s grave, I told him all that’s happen, and how, even if He was going to be in my life now, that maybe it’ll be okay. I was now out of the darkness, and breathing in the smell of Earth, I realized I did die. But looking at the sky, and seeing the sun shine through the clouds, having a ray of its shine landing on my father’s grave, I realized that this is the beginning of my new life. And now its time I start living it.
Hackettstown, New Jersey
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