It would go a little something like this.
I would kiss them all goodnight; mother, father, family. I would bid my brother bye-bye with a slap on his head. I would sweep through the kitchen door, dropping punchlines in my wake, and they would all be none the wiser that this was the end.
I’d drive home, letting Maxwell sing me to sleep for the very last time. I would ease into my apartment, lay my keys, hang my coat. I would step out onto the balcony and lean in. I’d become the city’s problem. My body would fall, my soul would rise, and the summer I spent at my sister’s bedside, convincing her that life was worth fighting for would mean nothing.
The sun would yawn over a new day. My roomie would tiptoe around the apartment, not knowing that I slept eight floors below. They would all be notified slowly. Police would break my parents in half. “Come home,” they would tell my sister, and she would know by their tone that her sister was gone. My betrayal would leave a scar on her spirit and she’d be reluctant to believe in good things again.
People wouldn’t accept it. They’d lament in droves what they would have done, oh God, if only they had known. They’d rack their memories, searching for a sign. “I just saw her,” they’d protest, “she seemed fine.” They would examine my jokes a little closer, trying to remember what exactly I said when I laughed that way. They would indict my every move as a cry for help. And in one fell swoop, I would have dropped to the ground, ruining waves and waves of lives.
I thought it through yesterday. I pictured myself underwater, face pressed against a glass wall, bubbles streaming from my mouth as I silently screamed. This is what it felt like. Phone in hand, I hovered my thumb over my go-to names and felt shame build a barrier between us. How do I explain that amidst all my blessings, something has convinced me that I shouldn’t be here? My head fell between my knees and I reluctantly phoned a friend, laying my situation on the table. Because this kind of darkness can only be driven out by a very harsh light.
It went a little something like this. I kissed them all good night. Mother, father, family. I bid my brother bye-bye with a satisfying slap on the head. I swept through the kitchen door, promising to return tomorrow. I drove home, letting Maxwell sing my soul to peace for the hundredth time. I eased into my apartment, laid my keys, hung my coat. I sat down on my bed and leaned in. I opened my laptop and began typing, basking in the beginnings of a very harsh light.