Thank you Simon for challenging me. I’m still not sure about it.
Photo shows our faces smiling
Eternal love placed in a frame.
Outside shows faces contortimg
unbeknownst inside the frame.
Anger in our faces rising
Never betrayed by the frame.
Tempers uncontrolled and hurling
Shattered faces broken panes.
I regained consciousness with a tube in my trachea, many more attached to my body, and an expression on your face that I could not discern.
I tried to tell you that I remember the accident in its entirety and ask if anyone survived. If anyone died, my life would be truly pointless. The others in the car were my mom, sister, nephew, and your parents.
If my sister died, her children would become orphans, as their father died nearly two years ago. If she survived and my nephew died, she would be devastated with the loss of a child and a spouse, within two years. If my mom and your parents died, we would have the loss of both parents in common, along with our love of football (soccer as others call it). The possibilities were endless. I needed to know that all others survived.
You left the room. You left again. I tried to yell for you to come back. You leaving is what helped this chain of events. I know it sounds selfish, but I need to know your intentions from that night and why you ran away from me.
The tube prevented any of those words from escaping and I blacked out.
I remember the day we met. I was at the apartment office making sure my rent payment cleared. You were applying for your residency. You asked how long I lived in the community and if I would recommend it to a friend. I responded 12 years and I did just recommend the last unit to a friend, so you were probably SOL due to that recommendation. I quickly added a, “Just kidding and good luck” to my response. You asked me my name and I said and spelled it. It is a difficult name to spell. I returned the question. You answered. I asked you if it was spelled with “ea, au or aw” as it could be spelled many different ways. You told me you would text me for the avoidance of doubt. I retorted that it was a clever way to ask for someone’s phone number, but I gave it. My phone buzzed with your number and the word “Shawn”.
It has been more than 30 years since my attempt. It is misconception that a suicide requires a note. I had one written in my mind. It has stayed with me along with many of the prevailing feelings. The triggering beast lingers with a glance or (un)spoken word. Here it is.
Dear Daddy, Mom and (Sis),
Thank you all for deciding to be gone today. When you return, I will be gone. My body will be here and for that, I apologize. The mess that I am will be gone.
I don’t want to write this because if I fail, just add it to the list.
You may have noticed that ‘A’ doesn’t come around much. I told her to stay the fuck away.
Daddy, I said horrible words to you…they were awful enough to make you put hands on me. The idea was to make you believe sis was better. I think to an extent it worked. Our relationship changed in the weeks after that.
If I fail I will have to accept accountability.
I am nothing but a fuck up. If it is not fucked up and I touch it, it will die (aka I will have fucked it up).
You all don’t need that.
I love you and I do apologize.
I’m writing this from my bathtub.
I hate when Android tells me that I need to upgrade my apps. They usually work fine so I wait until the last-minute.
Today I decided to update. The phone warned me that I’d be unable to make or receive calls for an unspecified time. No biggie. I survived three days last year without a phone. Who cares about a few moments?
As I selected “Make Updates”, I saw a menacing guy outside my place. We made eye contact and I thought, “Oh shit. Not now.”
I locked the external doors and made my way to the bathroom. Our community procedures say this is the safest place in the event of a tornado. I figured the same would apply to a psychopath.
My phone kept updating. Why was application #22 taking so long? He breached my external door. I should have listened to my Aunt and selected a higher level.
As application #57 of 60 updated, I heard the bathroom doorknob break and a voice say, “I’m here for you, bitch.”
The train crept into the station. The purpose was to transport a body for identification. My family was waiting on deck and I was voluntold to identify the body. They gave me a picture. They knew the person but didn’t want to board the train. I called them cowards. In defiance, my youngest nephew who knew the meaning of the word, insisted on boarding the train with me. My family gasped in horror. They all agreed to board.
The conductor was menacing but I saw the wink he gave my nephew. I identified the body based on the picture that my family provided. We stepped back into the vestibule but I noticed that my family was gone. The conductor grabbed my arm and told my nephew to exit the train. The doors slammed shut. I begged the conductor to let me off, too. He obliged, but I had to crawl through a window. As my feet touched the ground, I saw my nephew hop back onto the train.
As the doors were closing, the conductor told me to enjoy the poison in the air.
My family waved goodbye from the train. My hands and lungs started to blister.
I wake up in a cold sweat.