Killing Myself, for You
I almost killed someone today. I say almost, because I was this close, this close to killing myself. I was over the convincing phase, having resolved that I was better off without this breath. Without this air in my lungs. Without this limp life in my body. I was this close to killing myself, having stepped out of my black jeans and oversized black T-shirt, squatting in a corner of the lone room, a sharp razor blade tight in my right hand.
I was this close to killing myself, having sliced the inside of my left thigh three times already. Having the blood drip onto the immaculate white tiles at my feet. Having let the mild pain wash over me, waiting for a minute to pass before I strike the main artery that would have been my gateway out of this earth.
I was this close to killing myself, but I waited too long for my hand to find the artery, so that the door burst open behind me and running feet dashed towards me. Then, I almost killed someone.
I don’t remember the last time I cried, but I weep uncontrollably when this person I almost killed continually rubs my bare back. When they slowly take the blade out of my hands. When they help me up from my crouching position. When they lead me to sit in the lone chair in the room. When they sit at my feet, rubbing them, and occasionally looking up at my eyes.
I know they are seeing this sadness I have tried to hide for the longest time. I know, because I know my tears do not move them. Not even when I fake a cough, and I almost lose my entire chest letting anger out of my chest in form of coughs. They hold tight to my legs, but do not attempt to stop me. I know they know this is not a cough, but they do not say anything. They wait, and wait, and wait, until the tears stop flowing. Until my body stops rocking back and forth. Until the goosebumps on my skin vanish. Until sound returns to my voice, and I whisper, “I am sorry.”
Then, my spirit returns to my body and I suddenly realise I am naked. That a man is looking at my nakedness, staring even. That they can see everything I have tried to hide in my voice. They can see evidence of the war that goes on in my life inside this body. They can see every scar, even those too ugly for my own eyes. They can now clearly see beyond my monosyllable words ever since we met. They are seeing me in a way I wouldn’t even want to see myself.
My spirit returns to my body, and I realise just how small my palms are; they cannot cover even half of my most glaring shame. So, instead of bringing my palms to my groin, I shrink into myself and let them cover my face, before letting out a scream that shakes the walls of the room we are in.
Later, when my body has found its way back into my clothes, and my heart is not threatening to stop, the person I almost killed asks whether I would like to speak about what just happened. Whether I would like to speak about how long I have been thinking about killing myself, and why I have not succeeded in this task. They ask how long I have been letting my voice turn cold whenever someone asked whether I needed help. How long I have been stuck in this maze that is my own mind, wanting so much to escape, but thinking, and knowing, that probably, there is no rest even on the other side.
They ask when exactly I knew I had lost it, and life would never be the same. They ask if the scars patterned on my skin do anything to relieve me of the emotional pain. They ask, and ask, and ask, but my eyes remain focused on the droplets of my blood on the white tiles, that are now beginning to dry. I stare at the drying blood long enough for the teeth to appear first, then eyes, the shape of a familiar nose, the ears, before your face completely forms, and I have to jerk myself from that reverie.
I say your name over and over again, until I lose breath, and my eyes begin to water again. I tell this person I almost killed how you took your last breath in my arms. How your eyes disappeared into your head while in my arms. How your tiny body began turning cold in my arms, so that I held you tightly to my chest, as if my warmth, and wants, would bring you back. I tell them how your mother rolled on the floor, screaming, coming apart at the seams, pounding the ground with her fists. How when all was said and done and we laid you to rest, she questioned my inability to cry. To show any emotions whatsoever. To look and feel like someone who had lost their child.
She questioned, and questioned, and questioned, until I packed my bags and left, just two months after we laid you to rest. Then, I started trying to kill myself.
I tell the person I almost killed how your face showed up in my dreams everyday, and tired of being ignored, started showing up on my walls when I went to sleep. So I began talking to you over and over again, but when you didn’t respond, or at least acknowledge my presence, I began fighting these walls where your face never left. I fought, and fought, and fought, until my knuckles bled, until I lost consciousness, until the people around me dragged me to this person I almost killed, begging me to talk to someone.
I speak about you until I run out of words. Until I cannot speak again without crying. Until this person I almost killed finds his voice and says, “It is okay. Tell your heart it is okay. No one loses a one-year old son everyday. No one knows how to react when death comes knocking. It is okay; your pain is valid.”
I lock the door behind me just as he says, “And next time, if you try to kill yourself, wear boxers, please.”