Sometimes you just lose your will to live and that’s okay until it lasts. Until death isn’t just that thing you think about when your lonely. It starts out at the end of a corridor as a whisper and soon the thought echoes and bounces off the walls. It becomes the only thing you can think about day and night. You stop caring and you detach yourself from everything, longing to be saved although you know if you detach yourself no one can save you. You know you’re the only one that can save yourself but maybe you don’t want to be saved. Maybe you’re tired of saving everyone else. Maybe you just want to let go and hope for the best. Death beckons me, I hear its call. The sound of its name bounces off the walls in my mind growing ever so louder. It screams and screams for me to join it but not today death. Not today. I may hold onto almost nothing but it’s just enough to keep me from finding where the voice of death comes from. It keeps me from walking down the corridor to meet it. Find a way to hang on for those of you who know what I speak of. You never know when something good will happen. There’s a book I read once called “Girl Over the Edge” by Amy Kinzer. In it there’s an old man convincing a girl not to jump off a bridge and he tells her the story of the kid who jumped just a few weeks before. This kid wanted to become an actor so badly but couldn’t seem to land a part and one day he decided to end the pain. What he didn’t know is a week later they released a cast list and he had landed the major part in the play that would have changed everything. You see, you never know what tomorrow will bring so hold on a while and stay away from death, don’t walk down the corridor because your luck could change. Remember that someone loves you. If you can’t think of someone, I love you. Stay strong because everyone deserves to be loved. I don’t care that not many will see this. I don’t care if no one will read it but I have to try because people are worth it despite how awful they are sometimes. They need someone sometimes and I’ll be there for whomever really. Just people need to know they’re loved and that they matter. They need to know that tomorrow could be better and they’ve got to stick around to see what will happen.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. My mother told me when I was eight what love was like. True love in her words. I wonder what happened.” She says.
“Stop it Emma” Her father says.
“Apparently it wasn’t true love!” She screams angrily. “In order for it to be true love both parties have to be in lov-” she’s cut off by him slapping her across the face.
“It wasn’t my fault she killed herself because of it I didn’t know” her father screams enraged at his daughter’s outburst.
“AND IT WASN’T HER FAULT THAT SHE APPARENTLY WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU. IT WASN’T HER FAULT THAT YOU LIED TO HER ABOUT YOUR LOVE FOR HER BECAUSE YOU COULDN’T LOOK PAST THE DAMN SCAR ON HER FACE.” She screams the words so loud her throat hurts.
The very same year her mother told her about love was the year her mother was attacked in her own home. She was slashed across the face, her eye swollen shut. Ever since then her father just didn’t look at her mother the same.
“Your mother chose death. She chose the easy way out and I’m sorry because I know that’s hard for you.” Her father says calmly.
“The easy way out? YOU CHEATED ON HER. YOU HAD A WHOLE OTHER FAMILY WHILE BEING WITH HER AND IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH YOU BEAT HER AND YOU CALLED HER NAMES!” she screams.
The look on her faces displays fear as she knows she’s gone too far.
She wills it all to stop. She asks it all to just go away and leave her alone forever. It doesn’t. It follows her your own shadow when the sun is bright and hot. It stings like sharp thorns on vines wrapped around her arms and legs. Love hurts, but it shouldn’t hurt this bad. Its unnatural the pain she’s in. It was a unique breakup, but then again every breakup is.
She turns, her arm visible in the bright full moonlight, bite marks cover her arms. He looks like a shadow, a quick one though. A shadow that could be at one place and then another in less than a second. He looks through her with those unforgiving black eyes. Tears run down her face but she wills the tears to stop because they like it when you cry.
“P-p-p-p- l-l ease” she chokes out.
His sharp teeth glitter in the silver light.
“I thought you loved me?” He asks her, the tone of his voice dark but smooth.
Perhaps like velvet? He inches closer gracefully. He bites her like he always does. The expression on her face is one of shock and horror. Tears run off her face. She continues to cry. She screams. The screaming stops. Her body slumps to the ground.
The worst part is she did love him although she didn’t want to. Although he did horrible things to her. Although she got weaker and weaker each time he visited. The pain became an obsession, a hunger. So she let him in. She allowed him to enter her home. Because she loved him. She loved his dark eyes and his dark hair. She loved the angle of his cheekbones. The hunger, the need, her obbession. Most of all her undying love was what killed her in the end. But the very worst of it was, that the monster loved her too. But he couldn’t control the thirst.
He slumps away, his dark eyes focusing on nothing. Walking over the blood stains on the carpet, and he tries to cry. But he can’t. For everyone knows that the dead cannot cry.
Once I get back home I’m exhausted. That is definitely enough interaction for one day. I jump onto my couch. Its nice to be distracted from thinking of him for a while. I turn on the television and watch random crime shows. Then the telephone rings. In an unsually happy mood I walk over and its the girl from church.
“Hi! Uh I was wondering, if you wanted to come over from a bbq on Wednesday?” She asks uncertainly.
“Sure, its not like I’m doing anything on Wednesday” I say
When I get to her house its only her and what I’m assuming is her boyfriend’s car parked in the driveway. She says her boyfriend is nice. When I ring the doorbell she opens the door almost immediately with tears in her eyes.
“Please don’t hate me but I lied to you” she says.
I shift uncomfortably.
“I don’t really have a boyfriend, I was just trying to fit in a little until I could tell you” she infrorms me.
“What are you trying to get at?” I ask her.
“I have…. a girlfriend” she says looking at the ground.
I respond immediately “that’s okay!” I say truthfully.
She breathes a sigh of relief and invites me in then tells me the whole story.
“I joined the church because I like the religion but I didn’t think about it being against gays or lesbians. So when I invited people to the barbeque I planned to tell everyone. I only told you about the boyfriend thing. So when they found out they freaked out. Apparently they’re totally against gays and lesbians. I guess I just didn’t think about everything before I made the plans. Its just that they seemed SO nice! But now they hate me completely!” She finishes out of breath with tears in her eyes.
I feel horribly for her. What a horrible thing to happen, everyone just being against you because you like something different.
“Well I don’t hate you” I say.
“Okay well we have lots of food” she says, twirling around with her hand up.
We head into the kitchen and I meet her girlfriend Maddie.
“April where’d you put the remote?” Maddie asks.
“Oh, uh, top of the tv I’m pretty sure” April says back.
“So what’s your full name?” I ask.
“April Ann Arlington” she replies smiling, “my parents thought it’d be cute to have all the A’s, yours?”
“Jillian Marie Turner” I reply.
She nods, “that’s a nice name.”
“Thanks, so is yours” I say.
Once I leave April’s house I can’t help but wonder what its gonna be like for her with the whole church kind of turned against her. I mean there are only like five people that don’t go to that church. Everyone knows each other. Word is definitely going to spread fast.
When I look to my left I see the home phone’s blinking light, I peek at the tiny screen that lets me know how many messages I have. 28 messages. Wow, people must really feel bad for me. Maybe it’d be good to listen to the messages, I mean maybe it’ll help me heal. So I press the yellow blinking button on the answering machine and brace myself.
“Hey, its Erika, I’m really sorry about what happened. Call me, everyone is really worried about you.”
Really? You’re all worried about me? WHO? I have no friends anymore. My old best friend lives in Europe and we’ve been out of touch for years. No one liked me in school really. I wasn’t exactly the most popular. They all care now but they didn’t care when I cried in the bathroom about how I had new foster parents every three months. About how I wished my mother wanted me. I cried because no one liked me. I cried because I wanted someone to finally care. And now, the only person who ever cared, left me just like everyone else did. Yeah, he left me in a different way but it hurts just the same. I can’t even think about his name or say it anymore. I just don’t want to think about it.
“Hey its Ashley from high school, I hope your okay. You haven’t been talking much. I’m really sorry about everything. Call me back.”
The machine moves on, most of it is just people from high school I was acquaintances with that knew my fiance telling me they’re sorry. I hope they have good lives, I’m sorta happy I listened to the messages. I guess it just reminds me that people care. Almost half of the messages are people just trying to sell stuff. Its comforting to know that people cared though.
My stomach grumbles and I realize I haven’t eaten yet. Or gone out to buy food. I sigh and rush to my room to take a shower and put on my clothes. I jump into the car and head out to the local walmart. Since I live father out it takes me thirty minutes to get into town. Once I get into the store I realize I really don’t want to be there. Its a small town here in Wisconson. We all know each other. Sympathetic looks, well more stares are all directed toward me. I distract myself by picking out food to cook with. I buy raw chicken breast, potatoes, pasta and sweets. A little girl looks at me with her mother and smiles. I smile back and realize its the first time I’ve smiled since he died. When I go to check out I’m relieved and think its the last of the awkwardness. Of course I’m wrong. A woman comes up to me, I don’t really recognize her. She hands me a flyer and when she does, I feel like I’m about to break down. Its an invitation to his favorite Christian church. I’m not Christian, I just believe in what I want, but he was. I didn’t mind that he was, he didn’t mind that I wasn’t. We were happy together. Occasionally I’d go to Sunday service but not too frequently.
After the cashier finishes scanning all my groceries I leave as fast as I can. Maybe I should attend the service, I mean he did love it there. It could help I guess.
*Three Days Later*
I forgot what it was like here. I haven’t been here in so long. People stare when I enter the church. No one dares speak to me. I sit alone eating my breakfast. I guess its nice to be out of the house. A woman argues with someone at her table quitely and then walks up to my table and sits down.
“They’re all afraid to talk to you” she says.
I smile, “that’s okay, I don’t know if I want to talk to them either.”
“I think its stupid that they won’t, you’re a human being not a monster. So, would you like to join me later for dinner?” She asks me.
Her bright green eyes are so happy. She has an interesting personality. I like it.
“Sure, its not like I’ve got anything better to do” I say smiling.
One by one, more people join me. People I barely know, that seem to want to get to know me. Obviously they feel bad for me but I’m good with that. It takes my mind off things.
Sure enough when I lift up the carpet, there they are. The prescription drugs, the bags of white powder and leaves. It broke my heart. To think I thought she was actually getting better. I turn, get out of her car and shake my head in tears.
“You are nothing to me” I say to her.
Then I walk to my car, grab my phone, dial 911 behind the steering wheel without her seeing. She stands there infuriated, not knowing what to do. Not knowing what will be coming within minutes.
“911 what’s your emergency?”
I pretend I dropped something and dip down below the steering wheel.
“A woman is at my house, she has drugs on her and I don’t know what to do other than report her” I say.
I barely hear the rest of the conversation between us. Me giving the address and then, minutes later, I hear the sirens. Judy Marshall runs to her car, I sneer, I used to call that woman mom. I get out of my truck quickly.
“Oh no you don’t!” I scream at her.
I sprint to her and pull her out of her drivers seat. Blood fills my nose and I feel like I’m drowning, but I don’t give up despite the metallic smell flooding my nose and filling my mouth. I take her down to the ground. She’s weak, but not as weak as I thought. She can definitely still throw a punch. My heart pounds, she stays on the ground, pinned down. The police run over, I explain that I know her, that she’s my birth mother. I explain everything I know. They take it from there. Hours later, they’re gone. Judy’s car is gone, she’s also out of my life now. Hopefully she won’t be able to bother me any more. I walk inside to our home. Pictures hang on the wall. Pictures of him.
Its then the tears flood back into my eyes because of all the memories associated with the photos. I make a horrible choking sound. Who cares any more? No one will see me cry here I remind myself. And so, I fall to the hard wooden floor. A thin layer of dust covers it. I’ve obviously not mopped in a while. There is screaming and tears.
“Why? WHY!?!?!?!” I scream up toward the sky.
My hands fly up toward my face. I get on my knees, tears continue to stream down my pale face. I loved him. Correction, I love him. I hold my stomach, I’ve been crying so hard that it hurts. I can barely walk, I stumble repeatedly until I make it into our room. I can’t help but think, I’m all alone now.
I’m not as strong as I seem to others. In reality I’m just a woman, who lost her very best friend and love. Anger overwhelms me. Why was he taken from me? I empty the soothing bath salts into my hot bath and step in the porcelain tub. I lay in there and drift off.
He sneers at me, his brown eyes show his feelings, complete and utter disgust. I thought he loved me, but he doesn’t. There are few things worse than that feeling of complete and utter rejection. Rejection of the person who supposedly loved you for years. I never loved you he says. Soon I’m in the battle field with him, he tells shows the man a picture of his fiance. Its not me. Horror takes over me. I scream for him, he’s distracted by my scream. Next we’re at the lake and he takes another girl’s hand. He kisses her.
And then I wake up from my nightmare. I scream. It may not seem horrible, but the feeling of him not loving me like I did him was horrible for me. For the next week nightmares continue. None like the one where he hated me though. I just watched him get killed. Twice in hand to hand combat, three times I dreampt he was shot and then the other two times he was blown up. The ones where he was blown up were the worst. Body parts being flung everywhere. After that week of nightmares I realize that the reason I might be having those dreams, is because I didn’t know how he died. Maybe it was my mind sorting through all the possibilities.
My hand dips into the soapy water, I stare blankly while moving the sponge in circles on the already clean plate. Nothing is the same anymore. Everything has changed. One of the worst parts of someone being gone, is the reminder of it. Well at least for me anyways. Everywhere I look in my home, I see the photos of us, and I’m reminded of the fact that he’s gone. He’s gone forever. Its never ending. I stopped answering the phone. Why? Because everytime I pick it up I hear about how great of a man he is. Its then I cry because I KNOW. He was a great man. He was so kind. WHY? Now I have to use past tense. Why did he die? There are so many others, ones that probably deserve death, but it seems every time someone dies, its a good person. A person who did extraordinary things. Then there are those people, the murderers who kill just for fun. That is what angers me. Its not what angers me the most but its something I think about often.