I'll admit it – suicide is not easy. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously bluffing. Look at all the time and hard work that goes into it: first you have to decide whether you really want to kill yourself or not (and indecision doesn't help), then you have to decide how you want to off yourself ("Will it be the pills? Or do I hang myself? What about jumping?") and finally, you have to decide what you're going to leave in the wake of your death.
Every step is questioned and every breath is accounted for. You want to live but you also want to die. What do you do? What about your friends and family? Would they miss you?
No, of course not, or so you think. Or, so you like to think.
I was thinking the same thing when I stood on the bridge. It was about five in the morning and I was just standing there, looking down at the gushing river beneath me. The wind blew my short, black hair backwards as I stood on the edge and imagined my body drowning in the river. It was 4:45 in the morning and I didn't think anyone would come to my rescue. I didn't think that because I didn't see anyone. I thought that I didn't see anyone; I knew I should have worn my glasses before running away from my home to commit suicide.
"One…" I whispered. "Two, three, four…"
I counted till ten and then, I leapt forward into the cold air. My body froze on contact with the polluted water. I let the waves swallow me and I struggled to not breathe. It was the most important thing at that moment – not breathing – and I tried my best doing it. They say your mind goes dead if you don't breathe for six minutes straight. I had remembered that vital piece of information and was clinging to it in my last moments. I counted the seconds and did not spit the dirty water out of my mouth.
I gave myself to the river. All the dust of my hideous life collected in one corner of my vision and swept over me with the blackness. I thought no one was watching me.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I opened my eyes in a room with white walls and gulped in air. I didn't want to see the world, so I closed my eyes again and went back to being dead and prayed that nobody had seen my previously open eyes. There was warmth on my face, like somebody's hand was on it. I knew that if I opened my eyes, I would see shadows bending over me in the shape of nurses.
Something was put against my chest, just over my heart. "Her breathing is stable now," an unfamiliar voice, perhaps a doctor's, muttered. I still didn't open my eyes.
"Is she okay now, Doctor?"
I knew that voice – it was my mother's. I trembled ever so slightly.
"She is physically okay now, Mrs Lane, but I can't say much about her mental health. She attempted suicide…she must have some underlying, undiagnosed mental illness…like depression."
I heard my mother gasp. "B-But my daughter's perfectly fine. She is always smiling and making jokes about one thing or another. She has got top grades and good friends, s-she can't possibly be depressed and she certainly didn't attempt suicide!"
"Depression doesn't have a reason, Mrs Lane, and neither is it a choice; it's a chemical imbalance and she'll need medication and other forms of therapy. I suggest we – "
"Nonsense!" She was hysterical now, I could sense it. "The man who saved her said that she had slipped off the bridge!"
"He was an old man. His eyes must have tricked him, or he was just lying to spare your feelings. Why was she at the abandoned bridge at five in the morning, anyway?"
"It's her habit to take a morning walk once in a while. My girl isn't depressed!"
There was silence for a moment. I could imagine him searching his coat's pockets.
"If you must know, the nurses found this in her jacket," he said after a short while.
I knew he was talking about the slip of paper that I had put in there. A single word was written on it: Goodbye. It must have been soggy by then and I could almost visualise the water stained ink and my blurry handwriting. I don't know why I had put that small piece paper in my jacket. It…it had just felt the right thing to do at the moment.
It was a note for the people who were supposed to fish out my dead body from the turbulent and deep river. But instead of being fished out dead, I had been fished out alive and I couldn't decide whether to feel relieved or annoyed. The scales were tipping towards annoyance as I heard the conversation going on between the doctor and my mother.
Who was this doctor insinuating that I was mentally ill? I was perfectly sane, thank you very much! I just wanted to…die. Was wishing for death a mental illness? I didn't think so. I ignored the voices telling me otherwise; voices were just hindrances that I sought to ignore. After all…they were only voices that said bad things about me. I usually was successful at ignoring them, but this morning they had been particularly overpowering and I had just gone with the flow of things. I had built this plan and I didn't want to abandon it at the eleventh hour. The morning had just this aura that I could accomplish my suicide.
Alas, I had failed; all because of a stupid, old fisherman. Ugh.
One of the doctor's sentences pulled me out of my reverie.
"We should move her to a psychiatric hospital."
My mother stayed silent. I chose to open my eyes and tried to get up at that moment. I was partially successful and managed to prop myself against the pillow. I groaned and suddenly all of the people in the room noticed me. They came fussing over me, gathered around my bed and looked at me with concerned eyes. I noticed a new figure in the room – it was my father. He was carrying my half asleep, little sister, Kit.
"I couldn't bring myself to stay at home," he told my mother. Then he turned towards me. "How are you feeling now, Lilith?"
I glanced towards my mother and looked her right in the eyes.
The nurses packed my clothes into a black suitcase that my father had brought from home. I had apparently been lying unconscious for ten hours before my mother had found me at the hospital. She had called and called and after ten missed calls, someone had taken out my phone from my rejected, wet jacket. One of the nurses had picked it up and told her that I was at the hospital. She had rushed, leaving behind Dad at home with Kit.
I had turned their peaceful Sunday morning into a nightmare and I didn't feel guilty at all. I just wanted to die; why were they raising such an alarm over it? Didn't every person want to die at some point in their life? I thought it was normal – welcoming death with open arms. I didn't see what was wrong with it. Even the voices agreed.
I had been made to sit in a white chair as the nurses packed away my clothes. I stayed silent and watched them do their work. They did not bother talking with me – I was probably a freak to them; a freak who wanted to kill herself. My hands clenched my pale blue hospital gown. I hadn't been lying when I had said that I felt the same to my Mum. I did feel the same; I still wanted to die – nothing had changed on that issue.
I thought of my black diary back at home, lying innocently on my study desk in my bedroom. It had a note in it. This note was way bigger than the one word letter I had slipped in my pocket. I tried to remember how it began.
I want to die.
I smirked at my straightforwardness.
Nobody had probably checked it by then, though I couldn't say that with surety, given my mother's sneaky nature. I didn't want anyone to check either; it was my personal diary and I am sure no one wants their personal diary to be read by other individuals.
I suddenly felt very tired.