Death. Even just the word gives you the shivers, doesn’t it? Death, on which many, many poems have been composed, thousands of essays written, tons of metaphors invented. Death, the great equalizer, the leveler, in the face of which the kings, so also the beggars, are equal. Death, which the three Peverell brothers wanted to thwart. Death, which was Voldemort’s greatest fear. Death, which lurks around the corner. Death, which comes as a surprise to some, while others go to meet him. Yet, no matter how much is said and written about death, there’s always something to be added, someone else’s views to be noted, someone’s story to be heard.
For many people, death by suicide is cowardly. It’s an easy, impulsive way out of the troubled life they have been handed or the mess they have created. If that is so, then this is the story of a cowardly girl.
I walked silently, moving through the trees with ease. I knew these woods like the back of my hand after 17 years. 17 years since I had moved to this city and yet, even now, there were places unexplored. But I would never get to explore them now. This was my last day here, last sunset, last twilight. What tomorrow would bring, I did not care to imagine.
I could see the sea through the gaps between the trees now. The sun was just about to set, and the water was pure gold. The sun-kissed clouds in the sky were a magical shade that lay somewhere between pink and purple. They remind me of little Agnes from Despicable Me, I thought randomly as I finally broke out of the woods.
It was a high cliff, overlooking the sea, on the edge of which I sat down, breathing deeply from the climb. My legs dangled over the side, the feeling of knowing there was nothing but empty space below caused an involuntary shiver to run down my spine. This was my special place where I escaped to when life got too difficult. This was my happy place, my paradise, shared with no one, unknown to everybody.
I sighed, content. The evening breeze played with my hair and kissed my face. It felt like it was welcoming me home. I sighed again, this time at the word home. After today it would never be home again. It would be left behind unceremoniously, along with the neighbors, my friends…and him. He who could not be forgotten. He, who had wormed his way into my heart so suddenly that it was neigh impossible to forget about him.
This was a sunset of sighs, I thought as I sighed again. But the mere thought of him made me give sorrow-filled sighs that seemed to come from the depths of my very soul. Conflict was never a good thing, and with him, it had always been a war. We were extreme opposites, in thoughts, opinions and actions. Neither could accept the other’s opinion without stubbornly arguing against it. Yet, a fierce love that was just as stubborn as the two of us had sprung up, and that was the cause of the sighs. The love manifested itself in both of us in different forms, but we had come to accept it…after a few battles of course. Very few times had I been so sure of something, as I had been of my love for him. My decisions usually were dependent on what my parents said was good and bad, what the society saw as good and bad. Except for him. He was all that I wanted, all that the society deemed was bad. The past 7 years had been a hard time, but we had finally crossed those turbulent waters. Now, it was time the peaceful sailing could begin.
If only life were that simple.
Life has a horrible way of making you question and doubt yourself all the time, just when you are absolutely sure of something. That dance competition you were sure you would win? Nu-uh. Think again. That formula you were certain you had got right? Boom! The chemical lab just went up in flames. That love you’re sure you’ll never let go of? Think again. Here’s another man for you.
The other man. The one I could not help falling for. The one for whom I hurriedly made space for without taking into consideration any of the ensuing consequences. The one who had given me countless sleepless nights; nights spent just staring out of the window or tossing and turning on the bed.
Very stupidly, I told him of all this before I could decide for myself. He took it surprisingly well at first. Later? He took it hard.
Guilt was the first reaction when I realized how I was acting. Then came the patent stubbornness – why should I feel guilty? Then confusion – what was happening? Why was this happening? And so many more emotions that, till then, I hadn’t even realized existed. Heck, I couldn’t even put a name to half of them!
I felt helpless, hopeless, guilty. I lost interest in everything around me, I couldn’t concentrate on the simplest of tasks. I ate fitfully; sometimes eating excessively while sometimes neglecting food altogether. I rarely slept. I was angry and irritable all the time. I hated myself because I had let these feelings for the other man surface.
I was lost. And I was afraid that I would never find my way again.
Another sigh escaped my lips.
This had gone on for far too long. I had troubled myself and him more than was acceptable. These last few days had been beyond horrible; I had taken to bawling at the slightest thing. I had nearly driven the both of us mad by endlessly (and futilely) discussing this matter over and over again. Of course, it didn’t matter how many times we had chewed it out; I was the one who had to take the decision. The decision to stick to my much-fought-for love…or the decision to give it up for something sudden, but irrefutable.
So, after much contemplation, I had decided. The wind in my hair and the glow of the sun’s embers behind my closed eyelids had strengthened my resolve, as I had hoped they would. There was no point in putting it off any longer.
I opened my eyes and stood up from where I was sitting on the edge of the cliff. Taking a last look at the setting sun, I flung myself from the cliff. Instead of flinging myself in one man’s arms and hurting the other, I flung myself into the vast Nothingness where it would hurt nobody.
Suicide is not cowardly and is hardly impulsive. It takes a lot of guts to even contemplate suicide, let alone do it. It is by no means a correct way out, but neither is it easy. I should know. I tried it once.
Note : The author does NOT support suicide. This post is completely fictional.
(I had posted this on my other blog http://eastuchepaul.blogspot.in/ earlier, but I have stopped using that blog now.)