A red night
There’s nothing like it. So uncontrolled, unpredictable, and vaguely inevitable. Life can end in such a dazzling array of monstrous climaxes, but none are so turbid as suicide. The sinister machinations that twist the mind into believing life is an infection whose only cure is death are too complex to reckon.
Desperation takes hold of your throat with a cold, clammy grasp enough to make you gasp for breath and blur your eyes with tears, but not enough to suffocate you. Disaster casts you into a free fall until you hit rock bottom, whose jagged crags are enough to leave you bloody and broke but not enough to kill you. Choked for hope, flayed by life itself, death is a release to an otherwise pitiable existence.
Seventeen of my friends have committed suicide, and one cousin. I witnessed three. Of those, one sticks out.
My dear friend. She had suffered cruelties in her relatively short life that many would not have nightmares over. Abusive parents were the absolute least of these, but here they play a prominent role.
The month leading up to her death, her mother and father locked her in a room on several occasions while they spewed vile and woeful words at her through the door. The room had one opaque window that was barred from the outside. No furniture, nothing to sit on but the hardwood floor. Before entering, she would be stripped of anything her parents deemed distracting and, on occasion of severe hate, she would sit in the room naked.
The majority of the people at her school shunned her because she was wicked. She had a mean streak a mile long and we used to light fires in the school field when it wasn’t an act of terrorism to carry a Bic. She would be teased and beat up and, because of this, she would lash out at her friends because they’d never help her. They shunned her. I never did. I knew the agony festering in her soul and couldn’t bear to turn away, to even blink, because I knew what she would do to herself.
Her parents planned a family vacation, to which she was not invited. They were going to Hawaii. That’s the place she always wanted to go. She was left completely alone.
She called me that night while her parents were gone. She told me how much she appreciated me and that she wanted to thank me for something. I never heard the rest of it because I was running as fast as I could to her house. I didn’t even hang up the phone. It must’ve dangled there like a disembodied ear, taking in all her feelings.
I arrived at a pitch black house, panting, my mind in bedlam. I must have been savage with the door because seeing it later in that evening it looked as though a lion had ravaged it. There was one light in the whole house that guided me to the bathroom. There she lay on the floor, her arms criss-crossed with gashes so deep…
“I thought you hung up on me.” she said.
I called the police and then dropped into the growing puddle of her blood. I held her in my arms and have never looked into someone’s eyes that way again. She was lonely. I could feel her desperation like a frigid vice around my lungs. Before she died, I said something very similar to this to her.
She died, bleeding in my arms. I still never say her name because I’ll be overwhelmed with that lost feeling. I still have the clothes stained by her blood.
There is, and always will be, light at the end of the tunnel. If no one else will be there for you, I always will.