Words splattered before her like rain. Hard unforgiving print. The looping handwriting familiar yet alien. She had written this letter.
Page after page contained a bit of her soul; line after line sorrow sizzled. Almost (and only almost) had the girl forgotten her prose. Such prose had been tucked away, concealed within a dresser drawer upon their completion. Kept in case needed.
The letter went something like this:
I am not prepared to die. I am shaking as I compose cool verse. My hands are like two trembling branches that cannot be stilled. I know it’s because of this storm inside of me. It thrashes around like a tsunami. Makes me feel heavy as if I’ve got an impossible weight to carry, breaking my back and my heart. Forgive me. Please. Please. I am compelled to say goodbye. I am compelled to make all this ugliness stop.
How can I endure any longer? How could any sane person really? Another twenty-five years looms before me, speaking its language of loneliness and, frankly, I’ll be damned if I have to face another twenty-five more. Of this I will not abide. I am incapable of dancing anymore; the quick step of living makes a mockery of my feet. It all hurts so damn much….
I’m existing not living. Mine’s a slipping down kind of life. Every single thing I have loved or tried has failed me. People leave constantly because they can’t stand my sadness. Constantly I’m being judged for my depression and anxiety. I hear phrases like, “Why not smile more,'”and “What do you have to be sad about,” all the time. Then there’s the classic try harder mantra from family members. Yeah, Uncle Dave it’s not as if I’m not already doing just that. I’m out of bed aren’t I? Got dressed even though it felt pointless just to hear you give yet more insensitive lame advice. Thanks a million buddy.
Well, you know what ladies and gentlemen? Fuck you too. If it were all that simple then I wouldn’t be writing this damn letter. I wouldn’t be wanting to silence these angry thought so badly that. . .that I’d be amped up to die. I’ve got an idleness that pollutes my sensibilities. With each new dawn I’m sucked dry by the pestilence of self hatred. It turns me into a succubus by default, and steals all joy out of my lungs as I steal away all the joy out of a room.
This is what I am: Insignificant and small.
To those that somehow loved me, thanks for that. However undeserving I was (and probably am) I was grateful for the affections you bestowed. Not one ounce of your tenderness will ever be forgotten. Not even in the next life if there even is such a thing. For all my faith I guess that’s what scares me the most. The silence will be a relief, but what if there’s really nothing waiting for me? What if I’m just going to simply cease to be? It’s a scary thought. Whatever happens, at least take solace in the face that I’ll have finally found peace.
Do not weep or place blame or rage on yourself, okay? I was always meant for this. Doomed from the start. Churchill once wrote about the black dog that hounded him and I’m no better off. It’s somehow funny because I always wanted a dog but instead I’m given the lousy “black dog is depression” metaphor as my pet. I’ll have to hand it to him, this animal does his job well. Hounded me pretty persistently. His jaws clamped down around me like barbed wire. Enabled shadows to creep around my heart.
Please, think of me no more. (That means you mom and dad). Time is precious and I refuse to steal any more of it from you guys. I love you too much to be your burden anymore. Instead of worrying about me now you can go on vacation. Take that lost honeymoon to Hawaii you guys so often talked about. Seriously. Go. I want you to live and be happy.
There’s not much else to say now really. Nothing left but goodbye. I’ll see you around sometime (crappy joke I know). I never was very good at humor or levity was I? Still, wherever your path takes you I hope it’s a better one than mine. I’ll miss you all.
Gulping air as if she had almost drowned, our writer tore her message to shreds. No, she was better now. She would no longer safeguard this note. It wasn’t needed. Not now, not ever.
With resolution in her eyes, the hearth within her heart was lit. Goodbyes were said, but only to the sadness. Clara didn’t need to weep any longer. She was stronger than her melancholy. Better than her fears. Now was the time for saying hello again. Clara deserved happiness; she deserved the world. And you know what else? Clara believed that herself too.
Taking a deep breath, the brunette gazed sideways at the clock on the wall. Her therapy session was to begin in fifteen minutes. Resolutely Clara took out a fresh sheet of paper. She wrote three words:
I choose life.
Smiling, she folded the paper and placed it in her pocket. The dog that hounds her wouldn’t be devouring her today. No. Not today.