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Memories, thoughts, emotions, their ability to control people is amazing. He sits and thinks about this, but he doesn’t think for long before tears spring to his eyes. Tears filled with so much pain and suffering he can hardly take it.
I’m weak, pathetic.
Where did this come from? He can barely remember. Moments flash through his mind. His mother crying, a teacher yelling at him, being punched in the gut, thin, white scars littered across his arms, his friends, their kind eyes, their laughing faces.
It doesn’t make sense.
He remembers a conversation long passed. The girl is crying, she doesn’t understand.
‘You said you loved me.’
‘I’m sorry.’ Stay composed.
‘Why are you doing this?’
‘It just won’t work out.’
That was a month ago now. He’s been planning this for a while. He did love her, he does love her, but she deserves more than the pain he will surely bring. He had to save her the anguish while he was still capable, distance himself, and allow her to move on, so that she could live without him.
He has a life, family, school, work, friends, but blood is thicker than water and his genetics are holding him in place.
When will it stop? Never.
Never unless he makes it. Destined to suffer and not game enough to share it. He’s had enough. Too many times has he lain on the floor of his bedroom weeping, pleading for some way of escape. Too many times has he lined his skin with deep, red marks because he could not bear to burden those he cares about. He lives in constant agony. Fluctuations in levels of misery, but too much is always going to be too much, no matter how much excess there is. He can’t take it anymore; he just wants it to end.
He’s convinced his mother would barely notice. Made of the same stuff as his father, he’s ignored just the same.
You’re wrong. She grieved for Dad and she’ll grieve for you.
His friends wouldn’t even see it coming, masterful as he is of his façade. They noticed to begin with, how could they not? But over time he’s learnt to hide it. Yet he cannot hide forever, it’s draining, overpoweringly agonising. If they knew they would try to stop him. They would want him to live, but he doesn’t want that.
They’ll get over it. Life, death, I’m just another piece of the puzzle, a piece they could do without. They’ll realise soon enough, it won’t take long.
He knows how, he knows why, but when has always been the problem. If there’s one thing he learnt from his father it’s that, ‘timing is critical.’ He learnt that one the hard way. His mother won’t be home for hours. Now is the time, now is critical.
Leaning under his bed, sifting through piles of books, paper, and assorted objects, he reaches for a container pressed against the wall. His box of pills is all he needs. He doesn’t count them, as he knows it’s more than enough. Handful by handful he swallows them, adrenaline pumping, already anticipating what is sure to follow. He waits.
The minutes pass slowly, but as it progresses he notices the change. His vision blurs, his heart loses its rhythmical pace, his mind becomes clouded. Only one thought remains as he falls into unconsciousness, as the rest slip away, as his emotions fade.
Peace at last.
‘I knew him, I knew him well. Seventeen, full of life, intelligent, kind and, I’m sure his friends will agree, absolutely hilarious.
‘Did I see this coming? No. But I saw something, not that I knew what it was back then. When he smiled he was convincing, when he laughed and joked with us we believed him. There was something missing and yet no matter how much I tried I couldn’t figure it out. I know now, it was in his eyes. They were dimmed, suppressed by the depression he inherited from his father. It had taken hold of him, so fiercely, that he could no longer stand being trapped within.
‘What he didn’t realise was how much he would be missed. He didn’t notice how much his mother cared for him, how he reminded her everyday of the husband she lost. Nor did he see how much we appreciated his friendship. He must have convinced himself that we would “move on.”
‘If he had known how much we were going to miss him I know he would have stayed, because he cared for us as dearly as we did for him, even if he couldn’t see it. I’ve never met anyone as selfless as Jay. That is why I loved him, as a friend and so much more.’