This story is by Melissa Guckin and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
It’s dark. Where am I? Oh man, It’s cold. How did I get here , why can’t I move!? And JUST WHERE the HELL is everyone?
I was just, there wherever there was. I remember panicking but with a sense of calmness I hadn’t felt in quite a long time. I can’t see… wait… what is that? It’s dark and I hear something. Is that…crying?
I’m dead. I was dead. That was the cold hard truth of it all, at my own hand and quite by accident. Hell, nobody is more surprised than me at this turn of events. I’m dead yet I can’t understand. I see… Is that really? Why am I seeing her? Am I seeing her? No. Why am I remembering her? I can hear her crying. Why? This girl who mourns for me now was tormented so many years ago in school for being different, yet I stood by. We were never friends. She had no friends. I understand how that happens …now. Back then I thought it was a conscious choice to ignore the pleading eyes of a lonely person. The angst of a rebellious teenager. Maybe I really got it back then too not wanting to see the pain and sorrow of another person. Maybe it hit too close to home. I had a tendency to excuse away bad behavior for not stepping in and helping someone in need, someone weaker, someone bullied. Perhaps this is how I have rationalized that it was ok to turn a blind eye and give a finger rather than lending a hand. Truth be told, she wasn’t the weaker one as I saw her. I was. She got up day after day and faced her demons. I sat back and watched silently.
I’m dead. I was dead. That was the cold hard truth of it all, at my own hand and quite by accident.
Is that my sister I hear? Oh please, not her. Please make her stop crying, she did all she could. My very first best friend and the very bane of my existence. She followed me everywhere! I pretended I couldn’t stand to have her around, but she really wasn’t a bad kid. A pain in the ass to be sure, but not a bad kid. She was my biggest supporter. Oh my God what have I done? I can’t send a text and make this one go away. We can’t rely on her stupid snarky remarks to put this behind us. I wish I could be there for her….but then, she wouldn’t be going through this. She has lost so much already in such a short time. I promised I’d be there with you…for you! I’m so sorry. If only that was enough to take away all this. I would do it, for her. I always told her she was my “one”. I hope she felt it. Hold on, she is talking to me!
“ You stupid bastard. I always knew the day would come that I would get this phone call. It was always when and not if it would come . Well now you’ve gone and done it. I bet it was an accident too. You probably had NO intention of things going like this. Well, what a surprise, this monkey really got away from you.”
She is right, it certainly did get away from me. Oh my Lord, what have I done? It’s so hard to hear her through her tears…and from my grave of all places. Now what is she saying?
“ Now I’ve never been one to say I told you so but, I told you this was going to happen!! You insisted you had it under control. You promised me, PROMISED me you would not leave me by myself, the last of the ‘Core Four.’ I only hoped it would be much later in life. Now I pray you find the peace that has eluded you. Say hi to everyone for me…I Love you, always.”
I’m heartbroken. I wish she could hear me. Thank you. Thank you for believing in me and never thinking I was “less than”. Thank you for always sticking by my side even at my worst and most trying times. I always wondered how many cheeks one person could have…you continued to turn them each time I slapped you. Slapped you, fuck, destroyed you. I can’t believe the things I used to say to you, names I would call you. Yet there you were, unwavering, ready to receive my next text or call in your ever forgiving manner that let me know it hurt you and it happened ,but you would never leave my side.
I’m dead, I was dead. That was the cold hard truth of it all, at my own hand and quite by accident.
I’m confused. I see you…Why? Hey! Those are my parents! I’ve missed you both so much. Wait Can you see me? I’m sorry, this wasn’t supposed to happen. They warned me, hell everyone warned me but I was too pig headed to listen. I thought I had it all under control. I always had to have it under control. Always had to know the next move never letting the pieces just fall into place. Well I really let it get away from me this time. I’m so sorry the child you protected for all your life never heeded your warnings and turned out this way. I’m sorry for all the sleepless nights and restless, stomach turning days I inflicted upon you both, agonizing on what you did wrong as parents and what you could do to help me. You did nothing wrong. I love you both. I always have and I always will. You were always my unwielding support team and I was to blind to notice. Well I notice now. I notice how you always stood by me, loving me even on my most unlovable days. This tells me I am worthy of love. I notice how you always encouraged me to get back up, when I quit or failed at something, feeling like I didn’t have it in me to go on. This tells me I am stronger than I ever thought I was. Each time I got up was a tribute to your love and guidance proving to me that I am, no… I was worthy…and I just threw that all away. I cannot say I’m sorry enough for realizing too late that I was enough. I’m scared. What do I do now, where do I go?
I’m dead, I was dead. That was the cold hard truth of it all, at my own hand and quite by accident. I’m in a mess to be sure. How am I going to get out of this one? I can’t believe I’m actually in this hole. It’s all up to me, I guess nobody is going to be able to save me this time. All my life I’ve had someone rescue me. My shortcomings, bad decisions, lack of follow-through, I was never accountable for any of it. Enablers all of them!! No, supporters, cheerleaders. I’m the asshole. Everyone who entered my life served a wonderful purpose, I was just too closed minded to notice those who stood behind me always encouraging me to try again and then , yet again, forever putting their own lives on hold to build me back up from my ever spiraling self loathing. How did I repay them? Hid behind my addiction and never took responsibility for my own self. I heard but didn’t listen to their cheers, instead chose to let words of naysayers resonate in my head and take over my very existence. Well no more. I will no longer allow the voices of my loved ones be silenced in my soul. I will cast away the negative and ensure years of dedication and love they have given me encapsulates my very entity. I only hope it is not too late.
Yes, I’m dead, I AM dead. This is the cold hard truth of it all, at my own hand and quite by accident. I’ve never been a religious person, but I always heard that when one forgives themselves, they shall be forgiven. I forgive myself God…and I believe in You. I only hope You still believe in me.
Word count: 1374