When did I decide to live? Why? I remember the cold steel of ancient sewing scissors pressed against my skin. Then, the twin bite when I lost myself for a moment, awakening to find I had embedded them in my wrist. Hot and desperate. Overwhelmed. Do we not all experience that at times? Like being driven by an inner force. A manifestation of true desire, perhaps? Something that is not so easily released and shared with others. I wonder.
The trailer was filthy; there is simply no other way to describe it accurately. And, not merely conventionally dirty, but a kind of diseased wrongness which even seemed to mute what filtered light dared edge between the cheap, cigarette stained drapes. Dim, standing in a grungy kitchen, the sagging floor so matching my disconnectedness, I barely felt its sway. I remember the walls, unknown streaks of grimy sadness, peeling paint, ragged holes from midnight trysts. The screaming always hurt to hear more than the meaty sound of pounded flesh; my mother, bloody and broken.
Is crimson always so brilliant in low light, or is that characteristic reserved only for blood? I shuddered. Not with horror, discomfort, or fear. Pleasure. Anticipation. Hope. Maybe there could be an end after all. Maybe I did not have to continue that ragged, sick existence. Maybe pain really could be temporary. God, how I wanted that. The doorway to peace, rest lingered there, in my own hands. Had always. How could I have never noticed?
Somehow, shaking with an emotion akin to rage, burning fiercely, I pulled the gleaming red-tinged points from my arm. The dissonant, rattling clang when they struck the floor is what brought me back. I regretted. Bitterly. In my heart, in the deepest dwellings of my secrets, I knew. My chance was gone. Forever, perhaps.
Looking back, I have always chosen to live. In the beginning, it was mainly out of spite to my family. To prove that I could. I was fire-forged, stronger than them. I would go out into the world, casting aside their legacy and become… something. More, better, than they were. Than what they ever offered to me. Than what they ever said I could be.
I was not worthless. I would prove it to myself, not to them, for I had no plans to ever entertain those monsters again. Except, at night, especially in that strange, warped place between awake and sleep where I, even now, wield little power. They come. Now that… that is fear, always more intense and vivid than reality could possibly compete with. Rending echoes that have inexplicably gained strength and a kind of will all their own. I exist to be tormented.
Part of living is simply habit. I have never died, so what do I know about that anyway? How can a human become comfortably familiar with one’s own demise? An interesting, but probably worthless question. I live because I have never known an alternative. Ha. Pathetic.
My only regret thus far is that I chose to live. Many wonderful, beautiful things have crossed my path and, in fact, become part of my existence. Others might say, “oh, well, you’re just depressed. Tomorrow will be better.” But, I know depression and, its absence is what gives my regret so much weight. I lack the luxury of shrugging it off due to that particular flavor of emotional instability.
I am no one I would have ever chosen to be, so what has it all been worth? I want to die. I have always wanted to die. There has never been a single moment in my life when I honestly wanted to live. Yet, every day, I choose. To be here. Now, it is because my death would cause so much grief to others. The most selfish emotion, grief. Should one be forced to live every day just so others can go on happily? Even if the other exists in agony, waiting for it to-just-be-over? I would pray if I believed in a god. If a god who would care might possibly exist in this hellish place.
I am nothing but a shell. The pain is intense. Why can I not at least remain here contently apathetic? Are the body aches, migraines, seizures, hallucinations, flashbacks… Is all that really necessary? Am I some kind of receptacle for misery? WHAT IS THE POINT?! Release me, I scream silently inside myself so no one else might hear. It is nothing I can speak of. Who would understand? Someone, definitely; but, not a soul who cares for me. There is no rationality to be found there.
What has it all been for? Oh, I defied them all right. I still breathe. And, I do not live the way they do, selling my children for cheap pleasures. It is not a real victory, of course. Few are truly so vile. No one deserves praise for being a decent person. My tombstone shall likely read, “She was there,” because that is all that I am.