Never alone, I often wonder. More like forever alone. Sitting at the kitchen table in direct sunlight, the orange alpenglow flooded through the blinds. The PVC tablecloth is still messy from our rush earlier in the morning to get out the door to school. Carson never learns how to keep sugar on his cereal. If anything, that boy manages to get more of the topping on the tabletop. There's nothing like a sunny Wednesday afternoon to kill yourself, I reflected. Contemplating my life and how utterly dull and tedious the past months have become, I can now see why. An outcast; a reject to everyone. I'd rather not hear more excuses of why, or how I shouldn't have a place in the world. What I should do in order to keep them quiet. I've already witnessed the cruel offerings long enough. The worst part is I have nobody to tell.
Tell Dad, some might say… he'd say, "buck up and take it."
Only I'm not sure if what I got myself into is normal bullying. Though, how is it I can describe it like that. Common bullying.
Mom is too preoccupied with her role in the hospital. She's a doctor now. Whenever she arrives home, my brother and I get a zombied mother. One who is just too tired to socialize, talk… do much of anything. You see her coming in, then typically Mom will disappear to her office, rarely coming out of the room. Not even for dinner. On the odd occasion, if she does cook us dinner, rather than ordering takeout, those are the times I cherish. Dad runs his own garage a couple of blocks from here. Cars have always been that man's life; something is for sure, it's not going to be mine. Possibly Carson will pick up the trade long after I am gone. I love that goofball more than anything. It's just I can't pretend anymore that everything is normal when it ain't.
Something changed for me, I don't know what, and I have no clue as to how long ago. Only, after all the bullying and shit in my life, it feels like I am numb. At one point in my life, I was able to cry listening to sad music because it would have helped me oddly. Who can believe listening to depressing music would drag you down further. Well, some will say: just it can help. I'll never understand how the process worked; all I know is when I went in one side, miserable and depressed, I came back out the other feeling better, relieved I cried.
Only these days, I am lucky if I am able to feel a sense of anything. I don't know what it is; all I can say is that I can feel nothing literally. Well, that is a lie, I can still experience the let-down I am causing. I know deep down they'll all be better off without a burden holding them back. Comprehending that what I am about to do is going to change everything, and this appears to be gratifying. I'll never have to live another moment thinking who I will piss off today. Who will be waiting for me around the next corner to harass, belittle, push me around. I'll never have to see them again. Never have to notice that blond-headed kid either. Again, I won't see Carson believing I am the awesome big brother he thinks I am. Nothing will never be okay. I've tried to fix myself, to cure me of the oppressiveness. Still, it holds on, and I am slowly running out of patience and sanity. Actually, I have run out of patience.
Peering down at the tabletop, and giving a sniffle. Four items rest in front of me, each with symbolic meaning to what I am about to do. A pen, the very same I just used to write my final goodbye. The truth of the matter is I am not sorry; as I said, everything seems like a swoosh.
All conventions of my life are gone. If I do notice, it doesn't have the same value it once have had when I knew what I had. Next, to the pen, a sheet of paper layered with a couple of paragraphs written by myself. I figure you can call this your suicide letter as they always say in the movies. The note outlines the reason why I am offing myself. More or less the passage reads,
Turning my attention from my letter, I glanced at a single bullet set upright on the surface. I wipe my eyes since they'd grown soggy by the continuous flow of slickered tears. Following along my eyes roamed over Dad's Rossi R461 revolver. Swiping up the single bullet that will end it all, I crank open the pistol and load the cartridge into the slot. I figure this is the best time to do it. Nobody will be home for quite some time. Carson has Hockey practice. It's a Wednesday for Mom at the hospital, and Dad will be opened a little later to play catch up from a new backlog of customers.
Pushing away from the table, I return the chair to its original position, unlock the back door and head out down the yard. The moment Buster notices me, he barks within his confined chain-link enclosure. I remove a treat I got from the cupboard, and passing it through the hole in the fence he takes in gently, but drops it. He looks at me; sensing something is off. Dogs are smart, and it's the first time Buster has disregarded food. Paying no attention to our beloved pet, I walk down toward the lovely old oak tree at the end of the yard. Fresh spring leaves are beginning to bloom.
Slowing as I reach the tree, I hold the gun by the grip. Pulling one of the iron chairs from the alfresco seating arrangement. I face it away from the house toward the fence. Plopping down, I don't have a clue as to what I need to do. I figure, I put the gun in my mouth and squeeze the trigger.
Though will that work… it always works in the movies. Will my head blow off at the back? I sit a while, thinking of nothing in general. Just things. Looking at the yard fence, I wipe my face clean, bracing myself. Get it over, I figured. Raising the firearm to my head, I place the cold nozzle of the gun to my temple. I'd kill myself quicker here, right. My heart rate immediately takes off a million miles a minute, and my tears amplify dramatically. I taste the salted tears coming down my face, now dripping from my chin.
Nothing matters anymore. A moment of courage spews into me, and I rattle with a sob as I pull back the hammer. My thumb does it subconsciously. I close my eyes, then squeeze, but I don't hear anything. Nothing happens. Instead, I open my eyes, and everything is still the same. The gun hadn't gone off. I look at it sceptically. Then I remember I didn't put the bullet in the top cylinder. Peeking in between the openings of the chamber I see the round now resting on the bull's eye. It's all or nothing now. If I mean to kill myself, this is the now. After I do this, there is no turning back. Sadly, a change of heart hasn't happened.
Again, lifting the gun to my head for the second time, I shut my eyes, draw in a deep breath.
A crash came, followed with, "No Logan," a voice screams.
Cracking my eyes open, I peer around in the chair to find Carson slowly approaching me. The crash had been the backdoor. For a single second, I believed all my problems were solved with one final bang. Instead, it's my brother. The last person on earth I ever wanted to see me do this.
"Don't, please don't," he balled.
A sudden state of shock takes hold of me. I feel my heart sink a little and, in a way, I feel guilty. Lowering the gun as not to frighten him, I let my shoulders drop. Well, there goes my plan. How can I leave him like this? Why is he home early? Does he know?
"Why are you home?" I ask bitterly.
"I saw… Em… I… I came home because… Practice... Cancelled. I saw the note," he murmured. Fresh tears were streaming down his soft features.
"You saw it?" I enquired.
Neither of us look at each, but I hear him say, "yes."
The two of us don't say anything, just clandestinely looking at each other. Then eventually, Carson glanced to his left.
"Can... Can you throw the gun over there."?
In the last couple of seconds, my twelve-year-old brother has gained some ground. Something I hadn't foreseen. Doing as I'm told, I toss the gun over at the bushes, and it makes a dull thud hitting the grass.
"I'm fucked…" I murmured.
Pressing my hands against my eyes, I force out the light by pushing my palms into my eye sockets. The jelly of my eyeballs squished into the back of my head. Wetness trickles and leaks everywhere. Down my neck, my cheeks, hands; everywhere.
Then that's when I feel it: his small arms encircling me. Holding me tight in an embrace. He doesn't say much; Carson never does with me. I suppose the two of us always see eye to eye on certain things. This is no other. I lift the veil covering my eyes and let my hands rest on his shoulders. I bow my head; my chin meets with his crown. I feel oddly better hugging my little brother. The ruffle of messy hair atop his head is comforting.
Giving a sniffle, followed with a rattle, I hear him murmur into the confines of my chest," can we go inside and wait for Mom and Dad to get home?"
Unsure how to answer that question, in particular, I reckon my look says all I need to state at the moment. Navigating back inside, I hold my little brother by the shoulder, and he, by my waist. I completely forget about the revolver. That is until I get back to the kitchen, and two of us sit down at the table.
Carson opens the refrigerator and takes out two cans of Coke Cola. My brother slides a can across the table, then plonks down opposite to me. The two of us open our drinks simultaneously and linger before taking a sip. Neither of us talk, just sip on the Cola. When the can runs out, we remain quiet. Staring directly across at each other. Somehow his presence is welcoming. I get the impression that he doesn't want to leave me, and I am grateful for that. I can't understand why he doesn't think I am not sick after the note. Then I realize as I sit here for an hour waiting for my parents to come home, that dying at fifteen, is too young to die at all. Carson and I have stopped crying. Our eyes are raw from the grief. As I wonder what Mom and Dad are going to say, I can't help but contemplate… Can there really be life after this? Could this be a speed bump? Speed bumps can be navigated. Perhaps this is a speed bump. Just maybe there will be a tomorrow after all.
Then an amplified key turns in the barrel of the front door, it opens.
Mom calls out, "boys... you home?"
I glance from the kitchen door to Carson and nod; welling up. I choose to fight... and to not give up. After all, speed bumps can be navigated.
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