Because today is R U OK day, I thought I would post a short story I wrote many years ago. Besides some major grammatical errors, I have not changed this from its original copy, it was a story that came to me in a flash and I would like to keep it as warts and all as possible.
Asking people if they are ok one day a year is great, but don’t forget people suffer every day of the year.
Michael breathed a sigh of relief, he had finally finished the letter he had been working on, as he perused over his work a slim smile broke across his face, “this letter will solve everything” he convinced himself. A watch beeped to indicate the time was 4:00 pm, Michael’s parents wouldn’t be home for another 3 hours.
“maybe one day soon they won’t have to work as hard” he mused.
A habitual glance to the left caused Michael to catch a glimpse of his reflection as he stood to get a better look at himself the familiar feelings of self-loathing and despair rose like bile in his throat. The ugly apparition that stared back from the other side of the glass tormented him with silent words that damaged more than any physical pain possibly could,
“You are Repulsive”
“It is no wonder Sally doesn’t like you. You’re worthless.”
“They pretend to like you because you pretend to be happy, if they knew the real you, they would hate you.”
“You are a disgrace……”
The sound of glass shattering reverberated throughout the silent house, Michael gazed at where the mirror once stood, and the accusing eyes were gone,
“If only it was this easy to remove all my problems” he considered.
The sound of something dripping caused him to look down; a small pool of crimson was forming at his feet, confused he looked at his hand, blood was flowing freely from a 4 Inch cut, the surrealism of the moment was intensified by the lack of pain. As he turned his attention back to the space the mirror once occupied, he felt a pang of regret. Now his parents will have to pay to get a new one,
“Just one more expense I have cost them, soon they will be better off.”
Michael returned to his desk where the Glock 9mm sat gleaming in the afternoon sunlight. He picked it up, and a thousand thoughts ran through his mind, he knew this would be for the best. He knew people would pretend to be upset, but they would move on, he knew his parents would have an easier life, he hoped Sally would find happiness, if only he wasn’t so worthless he could have tried to make her happy.
The sound of teeth on metal was the only sound in the room. The cold barrel had a powdery metal taste to it, Michael’s hand was cramping from holding the cold, heavy gun, his jaw was sore from being open so wide…
…A dog barks as a gunshot explodes through a quiet suburban neighbourhood.
Mrs McKinley checked her watch as she walked through the front door, 8:15,
“I need to leave work earlier,” she said to herself
“Michael, Michael are you home? I am sorry I am late.”
The red blinking light of the answering machine caught her attention.
“…You have one new message” the monotone voice informed her
“Hi Michael, It’s Dan, I just wanted to see how you were going, you seemed a bit quiet today and you left school in such a rush, if you need to talk about anything mate just give me a call, anyway I guess I will see you tomorrow at school, see ya”
……..The sound of anguish filled the church, tears of bitterness and sorrow flowed unchecked down every face, a young girl nervously approaches a very distraught couple,
“Mr and Mrs McKinley?”
“I am so sorry for your loss……..would you mind if I buried this with Michael.”
As she holds out her hand, confusion crosses the face of the distressed couple
“What is it?” the enquire
“well,” she responds tentatively “It is a note I wrote Michael the day before he…passed away. I was too shy to speak to him, so I wrote him a letter asking him on a date…you know what, it is silly never mind” as the young girl starts to lose her composure, the McKinley’s smile for the first time in days
“What is your name?”
“Sally” she responds
“ Sally, we remember Michael talking about you, of course, you can bury the note with him.”
Finally, the young girl loses her composure and tears for a lost future course down her face.
This story has no truth, I made it up to highlight a growing problem, suicide is fast becoming an epidemic, and unfortunately, a lot of these suicides can be avoided if someone just asked the right question, or better yet sat and listened. Even those who seem like they have it all can be screaming on the inside. Next time you get the urge to speak to someone you know, do it! Don’t put it off, better to annoy them when they don’t need you, rather than ignore them when they do. Don’t leave it for one day, ask every day R U OK