Escaping The Void

If anyone is wondering, I write to release my feelings. There are many times I look back on this story and wonder, what the hell was I thinking? But it's a part of my past, and perhaps my future, so here it is.

"Don't do anything stupid." That's the line that it seems everyone in my life has told me at least once. And for a while, I listened. Everything seemed right. I did what I was told, and my life was perfectly normal.

But it wasn't just a while. It was 13 years - following order after order, never having highs or lows. It was one word: mediocre. A flat line. I was never grounded, I always did my homework, I always got Bs. I had no hobbies, no interests, no talents. And although I couldn't explain it back then, the truth was I felt nothing inside me. Nothing but emptiness. When I was younger, I thought it would pass. But it never did.

Everything was an illusion. I had no hopes, no dreams, no wishes for the future. I couldn't say I loved, or just liked, anyone, not even my family. On the other hand, I never hated, or in the slightest way, disliked anyone. It wasn't even dull to me; then again, it wasn't interesting either. It was a fantasy that no one could release me from.

Don't do anything stupid. Ironically, that is why I was sitting on the edge of a cliff. My parents took me here every week. The rocky cliff has safety railings, securely built. But since the railings were made to look over, at the crashing blue waves and white foam of the river below, it was simple for someone to climb over; the government didn't care enough to spend money on it. That was politics; that was the world.

So here I was, my feet dangling awkwardly off the rough edge of the cliff, my backside seated dangerously on the mere sixteen inches between the railing and the uneven edge. For a moment, I forgot why I was there. I leaned back, placing my palms on the back of my head, feeling the icy metal behind me digging into my hands, the chill running through all my veins. Sniffing, I could easily smell that fresh, brisk, clean mountain air I had always taken for granted. It's funny, isn't it?

Everyday, no matter what you do, you breathe. It's impossible to go through the day without breathing; yet, you never really think about breathing. There just isn't enough time to concentrate on each breath. Maybe once a day for only a second. Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Then the moment passes; your train of thought disappears, and you think about what you're doing, or try not to think about you're doing.

But now I could feel it. Each warm, heavy exhale weighing down the light, carefree, invisible wind. Every short, pained inhale sucking the life from each energetic particle. It felt like ice was running through my veins, the steel railing was biting into the back of both of my hands, the coarse surface beneath me painfully wearing down my faded dark blue jeans. They are old and ripped anyway, I don't care. I don't care about anything anymore - I don't know if I ever did. It's not normal. I'm not normal. I would wish I was, if I had wishes, a dream I would dream if I could, I hope I would hope. If I could. But I couldn't.

"Don't do anything stupid," the words echoed throughout my mind, over and over, taunting me in it's twisted little voice. It wouldn't stop, it just wouldn't stop!

"Stop," I tried to say, but all I managed was a anguished whisper.

Something I didn't mention was that I'm a writer. I write stories and poems to escape this fantasy and create my own, but I would hardly say I'm talented. Yet, as I shuddered there in terror from the sinister phrase, these words crept into my mind slowly, as if trying to slip by unnoticed, as I so often did:

Do you ever feel like life is overrated? It's not what people might call suicidal or even depression. Sometimes, you just wake up and feel like everyday is the same; nothing ever changes. To me, it's like we're all different songs stuck on repeat; some don't mind; others want to be stopped, or at least paused. Or they want to modify the song; perhaps switch with someone else. But you can't make that kind of choice in life; it doesn't matter how much freedom you have. Therefore, some resort to suicide to end the pain. We all live on a flat-line that has occasional spikes, and eventually ... all of us will die of boredom. Some will die faster than others; some will rush; some will slow down the process. But in the end ... it is all about enduring until release.

And I had endured for long enough. I didn't care much for the things I hadn't seen; I had seen enough. This was the conclusion. Sorry to disappoint you, but this isn't some fairy tale where they live happily ever after; this is life. Nothing has a perfect ending; few things even have decent ones. So what do I want you to understand?

I want you to understand

that I'm not perfect; I don't

try or pretend to be.

I want you to understand

there are things I've done that

I'm not proud of, but will admit to.

I want you to understand

that the past can be dark or light;

it can't be changed; it makes us who we are.

I want you to understand

the present is temporary; an illusion

that always passes.

I want you to understand

the future is a very uncertain

thing; build it now.

I want you to understand

that promises are forever, and

that's a long time.

I want you to understand

that people will come and go;

don't chase after them.

I want you to understand

staying in someone's shadow is for

those who don't have their own.

I want you to understand

anything that hurts something

will heal it; all it needs is time.

I want you to understand

blindly following orders can lead you

out of a storm or over a cliff.

I want you to understand

material things will fade away without changing

you; non-material things won't.

I want you to understand

that you can't give someone else something

until you give it to yourself.

I want you to understand

that dreams aren't impossible

until you lose hope in them.

I want you to understand

that each night brings a new

morning; never let either linger.

Most importantly,

I want you to understand

life has ups and downs, but it is what you make it.

And I made it into a worthless void that is better off ended.

The noises have stopped now; everything is crystal clear. The frigid sense is running through all my veins, but is something else, one thing I thought I would never comprehend: determination. Impenetrable unwavering perseverance.

It was all the courage I needed. I stood up, brushed off my bottom, and took a deep breath of that fresh mountain air; it would be one of my last. I closed my eyes, and my feet gave a small hop. It felt like time froze; there were no brisk winds whistling around me; the mountainous scent vanished; my throbbing heart stilled; then my blood rushed, and it all passed. I was falling faster, yet slower than ever. I just wanted it to end, but I wanted to savour every last bittersweet instant.

I hit the water with an immense splash; my soles aching from impact. Iciness like nothing I could have ever imagined swept me away; the black waves consuming me.

"Don't do ... anything ... stupid ..." The words played slow-motion in my mind. But the iciness was swiftly replaced by the most wonderful emotion, the one I had longed for all my years: release.

I had escaped the void.

-The End-