Trigger warning for suicidal thoughts/suicide attempts
You woke in a cold sweat, your throat raw with shrieking and crying. Once you had calmed your shaking enough to keep a grip on your phone, you checked the time. ‘5:50, huh? May as well just get ready. No way I’m going to be able to sleep now… keep it together, at least for these next few days.’ Though you knew that the week had barely begun, you also knew that there was no other alternative but to live quietly the way you were.
Your friends couldn’t tell the difference between ‘before’ and ‘after’, but you knew better. As a friend of yours blabbered on about something she found while she was doing research for one of her many stories, you wondered why it had to be you, why it had to be then. ‘Damn it – pull yourself together! Pity won’t get you anywhere. You’ve survived for two years; you can go for a little longer.’
Deep inside though, every breath felt like a gasp of pain; every word you said was a plea for help. Behind each utterance of “I’m OK, just tired”, the pressure behind your emotional dam built at a rapid pace. “I’m OK…”
Soon. It would be over soon. ‘Just a week or so.’ The days trudged on, and before long, you were stuck at home during the day, earning yourself ugly stares, ugly words… and ugly bruises. Save me…
The week passed in that manner, with the nightmares blending into your waking hours until you were unable to tell whether it was all reality or all nightmare. On what you believed to be the final night, you sat on the ledge of the window in your room, your window to a better existence. ‘Or nonexistence.’ I’m trapped in a vile world, where the endings are the same as any other… You looked down past your dangling feet, though you knew you wouldn’t see the ground from how high up in the air you were. ‘Jump; fall; do something! This is what you wanted!’
After minutes of sitting there in tears, you collapsed backwards as you recoiled from the windowsill. Save me…
Just then, your long-silent phone vibrated in your clenched hands. Though your voice was broken from crying, you answered it when the vibrating persisted.
“You OK?” The accent startled you; it was not a voice you were used to hearing. “Your voice doesn’t sound too good.” You drowned out your mind’s voice, defaulting to your standard response.
“I’m fine, just tired. It’s past 1 AM here, you know.” You heard a laugh and then a sigh from the other end.
“You know that doesn’t work on me of all people, right? I know you’re not fine; what’s going on?”
The dam broke.
As you finally released the pent-up resentment and fear of the past year and a half, you found that there was almost no sound but your voice and the whistling of the wind.
“What’s that sound? Are you outside?” Before you knew what came over you, the story of why you were looking out your window was transmitted through phone and Internet lines to the other side. “Oh… oh no. No, please don’t.” You found yourself falling into the blue-purple of the voice, despite the storm of white in your eyes and in your heart. “Trust me; you of all people can make it. You’ll be OK; just hold on for a few more months if you can’t take more assertive measures.”
“But how much more do I have to take? How many more scars? How am I supposed to ‘hold on’ when I’m sitting on a windowsill and all it would take is leaning forward?!” You realized you were shouting and tried to compose yourself. “S-sorry… I…” He interrupted you before you said anything else.
“Sh, it’s fine.” He paused. “If you ever need anything, you have people all around who care deeply about you, in person. And I’m here if need be.” That was new to you. You thought that this was an issue you had to tackle alone – the thought of unloading your burden onto friends was at once uplifting and uncomfortable. Your shock clearly didn’t escape his notice as he reaffirmed his statement.
You realized that telling your friends meant asking them to share your burden. You didn’t know whether you had the heart to do that. ‘No one should have to carry this weight but me.’ It had dawned on you that you wouldn’t last much longer in your current state, but what was there to do about it? Surely, this was something you couldn’t possibly ask of them…
“I’m here if need be.” His voice echoed in her head, a swirl of cobalt-lilac in a sea of white almost-silence. I could use some guiding light, someplace to go.
“Save me… please…”
(Photo courtesy of Iain Ridley)