This is How it Ends
The loud banging at my front door, simultaneous with the vibrating of my phone jostles me from sleep. I struggle to bring my memory to my eyes, before I recognize I am lying in a heap of dirty laundry on the floor of my bedroom.
It is 11:47 p.m., still Saturday night. I ignore the strange number calling, and wait for the banging on my front door to stop. It doesn’t.
I lift my body from the heap, the damp smell clinging to me tightly, as if I had woken up from the dead. The faint light from my bedside table finds my face, and as if by reflex, I turn my face towards the mirror directly opposite my bed’s headboard.
Nothing has changed: Sad, low-hanging eyes, evidence of my profuse crying before sleep came to my rescue. Few strands of my hair have fallen out of my bun. A red rash on the left side of my neck. An old, baggy red t-shirt that ends just below my butt, with nothing under.
The banging on my front door intensifies. The vibrating of my phone does not stop.
I tip-toe across the bedroom floor littered with dirty make-up brushes, empty bottles of lotions, broken glasses of cologne, dirty underwear and socks, pillows, and chunks of what used to be my mattress.
Out of my bedroom door and into the hallway, the mild darkness swallows me, I trip against an extension cable, and begin falling. In my attempt to lessen the impact of the fall, my head lands against the kitchen door on my left, flinging it open.
The smell hits me before my body hits the ground. Left over bean stew. Dried milk tea. Rotten avocado. Overripe bananas. Rotten tomatoes. Fermented porridge. There is nothing I have not tried to cook in this kitchen in the past two weeks. There is nothing I have tried to wash in this kitchen for the past two weeks. The fruit flies, the houseflies, the roaches, the rats, all seem to be rushing towards me at the same time.
The banging on my front door intensifies. The vibrating of my phone in my hands does not stop. The smell from the kitchen arouses a want to vomit.
It is the thing that happens when you have lost everything you held dear to your heart. When the one thing that held you together begins to crack, before falling on your head. When you lose all desire to live. To breathe. To move. When everything you touch seems too foreign. Too strange, bringing you too much guilt. Too much shame. Too much pain.
It is the thing that happens when you stop living, and start existing. When your heart tires from all the fighting to keep you alive. When your body wears out from the beatings. When you lose yourself, finally, after struggling for ages to remain on your feet. When you give in to these things keeping you awake, because, you ask yourself, what is the point?
So you lose sense of your own being, cruising through life as if you do not belong here. As if this world is too foreign for your existence, yet it won’t let you go. As if this living is worthless, and the hands of death have begun to look like the most comfortable place you have ever been.
So you lose the hope in your heart, and replace it with despair, and a deep longing for all this to go away. So that when you step out of your clothes at the end of each day, you leave them scattered everywhere, hoping that this mess you are creating will be the last thing you ever do on earth. So that when hunger comes to you and drives you into cooking, the voices in your head saying ‘there is no point’ cripple you with anxiety.
Then, everything burns out. You run out of gas. You vomit right next to an open can of powdered milk. You lose your breath trying to get out of that mess. Then, one week later, with the banging on your front door intensifying, you hit your head against the kitchen door, the rotten smell hits your nostrils, and reminds you of the one thing you have always been too afraid to accept; It is over!
I beg my stomach to hold whatever vomit is threatening to leave my mouth, even though I already feel its acid taste rising in my chest and into my tongue. I swallow, bitterly, summon all strength left within me, get on my feet, and move into my living room, and towards the front door.
Ed Sheeran’s Supermarket Flowers is still humming from the television set, bathing the room in faint white light, so that when I turn the key in the lock and pull my door open, I see exactly who has been calling, and banging the door intensively.
“You are naked. And dirty. And…what is that on your forehead? Are you bleeding?” She asks.
But my mind has done that thing again; wandering inside myself, back to two years ago when I first saw this face in front of me. Back to that night two years ago, curled naked in bed, weeping, and begging myself to leave. Asking myself why I kept doing these things to my body; availing it to people and places that treated it like second options. People and places that did not bow in its holiness. People and places who stripped it everything that gave it meaning, and left it for dead.
My mind is doing that thing again; recoiling into itself, too afraid that bringing back these memories would hasten this journey towards death.
She knows what my mind is doing; going back to two years ago when she held my naked body against the wall, and attempted to choke me to death.
She knows all these, so she clears her throat, looks me in the eyes, looks into the parking lot, stares at a car whose full headlights are in our face, and whispers, “It is time; let’s go.”