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A World Without
The thought was bitter, like swallowing a spoonful of coffee grounds, choking me, the dust causing me to gag and feel like vomiting up everything that was in my stomach… or rather, everything that wasn’t.
It was like the blood that cascaded in a delicate waterfall down my wrist, beautiful but revolting, the pain not sinking in for a few seconds. It was like my mind didn’t realize how f***ed up my thoughts were until I truly considered it.
It was a mask, a plaster covering that I showed the world, refusing to allow them past. I wore it all the time, faking, constantly faking. The funny thing was, they were convinced I was okay.
I ran my thin fingers through the uneven ends of my freshly cropped hair, stroking the nape of my neck. God, where had it become so bad that I had even started to consider this? My fingertips began to tremble, the way they did when I was about to shatter into a million jagged pieces, almost impossible to fit back together again.
Yet he had done it once, he had been able to convince me that somebody cared.
No, the voice in my head shouted at me. No. You will not think about him. You don’t care. Remember that.
I remember alright. I remember everything that had made me feel like a human for once, instead of the harsh reality that I was nothing but a wisp of a shadow, unnoticed.
I removed my hands from my hair, clenching my fingers into a tight fist, my fingernails cutting into my palm. It forced them to stop trembling, forced myself to keep it together. Just a few more days. A few more hours of dealing with this, and then I could finally let go.
I licked my chapped lips. I had once cared so much about my lips… my appearance. I had once obsessed with the amount of lipstick I had on, how much I weighed, whether or not my eyebrows were too bushy. Seemingly insignificant things had become my entire world, pushing me into a tunnel of depression because I wasn’t that perfect girl. I wasn’t the one the boys flocked to to date, and I never would be.
But he… he had cared for a few sweet weeks, the flavor of that beautiful but brief moment in my life staining the back of my tongue, lingering despite the bitterness of everything I was trying desperately to swallow and digest.
My eyes blinked a few times, determined to not cry about this again. I was not going to cry. I had done that enough. Instead, I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head and ducked into the bathroom, shutting myself into the farthest stall from the door. Breathe, breathe.
It was absolutely disgusting in there. The previous occupant had found it unnecessary to flush, the tiles were stained with bodily fluids, and it reeked of urine. But who was I to have standards? I locked the stall, and slumped into an exhausted heap in the corner. I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted it to end.
You can call me dramatic if you like. You can believe that I’m just looking for attention, because really, that was what I was doing. I just needed somebody to notice, to cup my face in their hands, stare into my eyes, and tell me that they cared, that they would care if I died.
He had been my last hope. He was the last one who had ever cared.
I screamed. It was a loud, agonizing scream, one that shook the walls of my chest, one that was accompanied by a sore throat and a tear-stained face. It was one that released everything I kept inside of me during the day, filling the girl’s bathroom with ugly, horrible thoughts.
You know you’re truly dead when screaming doesn’t make you feel the slightest bit better.
I bit my lip, kneading it with my teeth, gnawing on it until I’d removed all the chapped skin and my lips were nothing but raw, sensitive skin. I wish I could do that with life… bite away all the bad bits until I was a new person.
Just make it through this day. Just make it through the next few hours, and it will be all over and you can finally rest. You can finally say goodbye to everything and everyone that has tethered you here for this long.
I heard the door of the bathroom creak open, so I grabbed my backpack and left. I didn’t need people asking questions. I didn’t need people wondering if I was okay, and I didn’t need anybody preventing me from doing what I really wanted to do… what I needed to do.
My feet carried me through the day, but my eyes didn’t see anything but faceless figures, my mind didn’t register anything but static. I was just moving with the river of people, trying not to draw any attention to myself. It was better that way.
And then it was over. My last day on this planet had ended. Nobody was going to stop me now, nothing was standing in my path.
I had the gun stashed under my bed. It’s cool metal had felt good in my hand; solid and firm, the trigger one press away from stopping my life all together. I could almost picture it, the tool most associated with destruction now my sole remaining savior, the barrel pressed against my temple, my finger ready to shoot.
I shuffled home, numb and distant. This was really it. I wouldn’t see these plants again, I wouldn’t walk on this sidewalk, I wouldn’t exist under this sky. I would just end.
Perhaps it was for the best. Perhaps my end would not just benefit me, but those I was surrounded with. No more Me to upset them, no more Me to weird them out, no more Me to depress them. No more Me, period.
I turned the doorknob of my house and walked across the threshold for the last time. The house was empty as usual, a lonely silence settling in around me, filling the cracks between the furniture and coating the walls and suffocating me. I tried to breathe, just a few more breaths until it was over.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
My backpack was left in its normal spot, the house looked the way it did every other day. I shut myself in my room, sliding my hand along the bottom of the slats of my bed, trying to locate the gun. My fingertips brushed against the cool metal, and I quickly, silently removed the tape holding it in place. I wondered how long it would be until they’d find my body.
It was already loaded, all I needed to do was flip off the safety and pull the trigger. Nothing too difficult, nothing a smart girl like me couldn’t figure out. I liked the weight of the gun in my hand; it felt secure and tangible and complete, something every other solution I’d ever thought of had never had.
I positioned my body so my back was facing my bed, then at least I’d fall on something soft. Maybe they’d even think I was asleep, if it weren’t for the blood. I almost felt sorry for them, having to find me like that.
I raised the gun to the side of my forehead, directly above my right eye. Get rid of my brain, get rid of the memories, get rid of the pain.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.
Press the trigger. Bang.