I am writing because I am unable to do anything else. Unable to breathe. Unable to think. Unable to sleep. I have been able to eat, but the food has been unable to stay put within my stomach. So, I am unable to get up from the toilet floor because every time I try to, the vomit comes back tenfold.
I am writing because it is the last thing I can do, seeing that I am even unable to cry further. The river in my soul has run dry. The hyacinth that is my thoughts has choked the lake in my mind. The rhythm of the songs in my heart has turned into an annoying clanking of metal against stone.
I am writing because the rattling of my teeth has ceased to be a sign of impending freedom. Instead, it has turned into a reminder that I have failed, again, at something I want so bad for myself. It is a reminder that again, the world is so cold a place to have dreams. It is a reminder that in the end, at the finish line, I will always be on my own; the cheering squad will have long lost faith in my ability to ever win.
I am writing because seven years ago, during my first attempt at this thing, you begged me to at least let you know in advance, in case there was going to be any other attempt. Seven years ago, with my head thumping as a result of the excessive pills, and my feet slowly giving up on me, you held me against your chest and breathed new life into me.
I am writing because seven years ago, you were the one person I hated with all might. You drove me to insane heights. You rebuked all my efforts to be a better person. You continued to take and take, and take even more from me, forgetting that unlike a well, I could run dry.
I am writing because seven years ago, my well ran dry and forced me to the edge. I do not remember the pills. Mostly, I remember the dizziness that was slowly sending me to unlimited freedom. I remember the ground at my feet going in circles before finally letting me sink in. I remember the nails tugging at my nerves. I remember the sudden shrinking of my skin, threatening my flesh to tear away.
I am writing because I remember the constriction in my chest. I remember the loud bang in my head, and the subsequent screams.
I am writing because seven years ago, I was at the exact spot that I am today; only that this time round, I do not where you are. Only that this time round, I am not tired of running; I am itching for the kind of relief I believe lies in the afterlife.
I am writing because I feel a deep urge to let you know that after this, I will have succeeded in one thing in life; death. Maybe, then maybe, people will finally put respect to my name.
I am writing because I am tired of the inability of the void within me to ever fill up. There is always going to be a void.
Like when my mother tells me ‘your father’, as if he is no longer the man she married. As if he is not the man she gave up her youth for. As if he is not the very man she bedded for years. As if he is not the man she bore kids for, and let them carry the burden of his name. As if he is not the same man with whom they exchanged sweet nothings.
‘Your father’, as if we are talking about a complete stranger. As if someone else sired me, and I forced myself into her womb.
There is always going to be a void.
Like when my significant other calls to say they do not understand me anymore. That they no longer see the need to keep checking on me because the more they try, the further away I push them. That they do not know how to handle me, because my silence has been a weapon I continue to sharpen every morning. That they do not know what to tell their friends because I keep saying, ‘I cannot go out. I am not yet ready.’ That they feel lost whenever they are with me because my eyes carry a storm that threatens to swallow them. That they are tired of being the ones who carry my emotional burdens, because whenever they think I have made progress in healing, I suddenly fall back right into the abyss of darkness
That they no longer know me, as if when they chose me, they had all my mysteries unraveled before their eyes.
There is always going to be a void.
Like when my friends keep calling and calling, and calling some more, and I keep pressing the silent button. Like when they say I try too hard. Like when they throw tantrums, and my heart crumbles at all the facets I have created for them. Like when I tell them I am sleeping hungry for the second time in a row, and they give a mocking laugh saying ‘Pretty girls like you can never go broke.’
Like when I call them in the middle of the night because I can no longer calm the storm within me, and they shut me up with ‘Heartbreaks come and go. Just sleep.’
There is always going to be a void.
Like when I have a feeling that something great is finally coming to happen. So I drag myself out of bed, dust my soles, clean the house, do the dishes, as a smile starts to break at the corners of my mouth. My eyes start to radiate bits and pieces of energy, as if I have been blind all along. My heart stops racing and for a second, I think my life is finally falling into place.
Hours later, nothing. My phone doesn’t show anything. The wetness in my heart suddenly starts to dry, and I can feel the void within me begging to be filled.
When my phone finally vibrates, I want to scream my lungs out.
Hey Pearl. We are still wowed at the expertise you have so far portrayed. However…
I stop reading and collapse, face down, into the hollowness that is my bed, letting the tears have their way with me. The little fires within me finally go out, and all I want is to escape from the face of the earth.
Still, when I call to say I have been let go, they throw the casual ‘They do not know what they are missing’, ‘You are brilliant, you will get something bigger and better’, then hang up on me.
With time, phone calls have become something that drive me to anxiety. My phone vibrates and suddenly, I cannot contain my heartbeat any more.
You see, there will always be a void.
Even when I ask for flowers because I want something that reminds me of beauty and light, they do not ask for my address. Instead, all I get is chuckles and ‘What is the point when they will just wither at the end of the day?’
I am writing because on my grave, I want you to remind them that the flowers will still wither, and it will be a waste because I won’t even be able to smell them. Why? I have lost the hope of ever finding beauty and light.
I am writing, Pat, because this is something I have wanted so much to succeed at; the death. Each year, for the seven years that we haven’t seen each other, I have been trying it out. You know? Take the noose around my neck and kick the stool at the base of my feet. I have been building my threshold. I have been pushing past my limits. I have been practicing how to live without breathing. Every year, the pain became lesser and lesser. So today, I know it is going to be a smooth ride.
Dear Pat, I am writing because I tried, so hard, but I am tired of waiting for something that seems like an illusion. This time round, I hope you do not wail too much. You knew this was coming, someday.