Little Bird

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT, BLOOD, VIOLENCE, TRIGGER WARNING The door slammed and it was only seconds before the chorus of fighting started up like usual. Yelling over rent, money, food, me. I wrapped my blanket tighter around my shoulders, hoping to give myself some kind of comfort. It only helped the empty alone feeling set into my bones for the night, that feeling where you have only yourself and you’re not sure if that is enough; it was the same feeling I got every day when I came home. Just thinking about crossing the door’s threshold into my house brought to life growing anxiety and dread, which seemed to intensify everyday my brother was gone. He was in college now living his own life, away from our “happy” little family of three. To give him credit he didn’t know how bad things had gotten since he left. I didn’t want to worry him, so I told him stories I wished deep in my heart were true. Tales of Mom, Dad, and me going out for dinner, ice cream, or them coming to watch me in the school play, things I thought would make him smile. All the lies almost seemed to take life when we talked on the phone; I’d get so engrossed in the part I was playing and his excited voice that all the lonely nights, cut wrists and shed tears seemed like some nightmare I woke up from. It was all beautiful until I’d hear, “Okay, Bree I have to go, love you,” and the phone line would die. I tried to think of those nice conversations as I lay in bed. I could hear my parents clearly now; they were right outside my door. “She’s a menace, a trouble-maker! Why should we have to put up with that in our household?” That was my dad; step-dad was more accurate. He wasn’t my biological father. My mother had had a time when her husband wasn’t the man she wanted. It was obvious after I was born, my wavy red hair, green eyes, and pale complexion didn’t quite fit with his black hair, and blue eyes or my barbie doll clone of a mother. He didn’t take it well and even when I was small, I could tell he treated my brother differently, had more patience and affection for him. “What, the hard work and silence not enough for you?” That one was my mother; she tried to defend me most of the time. I think it’s her way of trying to make up for the mistake she made with my real father. Like since she made things harder on me she could make them easier too. I didn’t blame her, not when I saw the bruises the day after she had stood ground for me. How could I? I understood her reasons, after all my “Dad” was an abusive, close minded jerk! My mom wasn’t the only one who displayed his anger on her skin. “Hard working! All that girl does is sit in her room all day!” “How would you know she….” I blocked the rest of their right out. It was all the same things only different words. Turning to my side I hugged my pillow to my chest, burrowed deeper into my squishy bed and started watching stars fall from the sky outside my window until my eyes felt heavy and I drifted off into sleep. * * * * At school the pain went away or was dimmed to a small speck in a dark corner of my mind, my friends helped me feel a bit of happiness. I watch them smile and chat at our picnic table outside the massive castle of a school. “Did you hear what happened at Connor’s party?” “No, what?” “I heard him, and some girls got so drunk they-” “Daydreaming again, Little Bird?” A familiar voice whispered in my ear blocking out the others. I turned to confirm my best friend Cole peering down at me. Just looking at him made me smile. “Always, the world of dreams is much more entertaining than this lunch table.” “Why don’t we go for a walk then?” He didn’t wait for my response but turned to walk away, knowing I would follow. “Sure.” Standing, I went to his side walking in perfect sync achieved by many years of getting used to one another. “Thanks, you saved me from their vapid stories,” I sighed to emphasize my point. “Guess you owe me one.” He winked and the piercing in his left eyebrow caught the light. We walked in silence, he a dark cloud next to my sunny appearance, but we were content with just each other’s presence enough to satisfy the moment. Which was when Cole decided to speak. “Did you ever wonder if things are more peaceful after death? If there is a Heaven wouldn’t it be nice to go there, your own paradise made to please you.” A glint of what looked like hope seemed to be in his eyes. “That’s a big ‘if’ though, what happens when you die and find out you’ve been gipped?” “I’d be pissed. All that advertising and I get nothing promised; that would be just my luck.” Cole waved his hands in the air to underline his point. His brow furrowed in thought. “Your luck is more along the lines of you getting to Heaven and finding out everyone there now wants you to be their new god.” He smirked but didn’t laugh out loud. Cole was like that, he never really showed much emotion, happy or sad. “Uh huh, that’s really going to happen. Really though. Ever thought about it? For real? There are so many theories out there and ‘poof’ that’s the one that’s supposed to be true? How many theories are out there? And how do we know which one is true?” I was silent for a moment before answering, “we don’t, and never will.” “Wrong, we can always find out. It just takes courage to find the truth. All you have to do is die to find the truth, and-“ ~Ding, Ding, Ding~ The bell cut him off announcing that lunch was over. “Well I’ll see you later Bridin.” He was the only one of my friends that called me by my actual name, instead of Bree for short. I don’t even think most of my friends knew that Bree wasn’t my whole name. Cole said he thought it sounded better than Bree; more unique. “Wait, what were you going to say?” “Nothing, forget it.” He gave a half-smile and turned to walk away. The rest of the day was mundane, and I went through classes in a daze. When I got home my heart sped as I hesitantly walked up my driveway and turned the doorknob to the front door. After a second, I realized the door was locked, that meant I was all alone in our house for a couple of hours. My mood instantly brightened, and I quickly unlocked the door. Walking into the foyer was still like going into a strange land. We had just moved here a few months ago, when Dad got a raise at work. Our new house was big and bright, all the walls painted a very subtle peach were lined with photos; most however didn’t consist of our family but of places we had visited. The ceiling grew into a tent as you walked past the double staircase into the “living room.” I never understood why we called it that, no one was allowed in it so how could we live in it? Oh well. My stomach began growling. I must need food. Thinking back, I didn’t eat lunch today. I cut through the dining room heading straight for the fridge. When I got to it, I saw a note tapped to the top half, I ripped it off and glanced to the bottom right away, my Dad’s signature. Skimming the note, I found my parents had left for a week, something about going on vacation. What the hell! They left without me? No doubt the idea of dear ol’ Dad, that wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was my mom had agreed to it. I thought she cared for me, enough to not leave me behind like some pet at least. Tears found their way down my cheeks, grabbing a knife from a drawer I ran to my room tripping on the stairs and in the hallway before I made it. I sat, practically falling to the floor next to my window, how could a bright summer day seem so cloudy? I turned the knife over in my hands, before placing it against my skin softly. I knew it would make me feel better, and as the first slice bit into my skin I felt some of the torture seep away, calm acceptance taking its place. Little beads of blood rose from my torn flesh; it looked beautiful and seemed to carry all my troubles. My skin crawled begging for another taste of metal; I answered its call eagerly. My eagerness was answered with more hungry cries and with every new pulse of crimson came Cole’s words, drifting around my head and my world sharpened, becoming as clear as crystal. Would death really bring me some peace and what would be waiting on the other side? I didn’t think it mattered; anything would be better than to have to return to this prison day after day. I’m tired of my life, the horrors of everyday existence drains me of my energy, not only that but I’m just tired. I’m tired of trying; trying to please the unpleasable with fake smiles plastered on my face. I have another option though; can I not drift away into an endless darkness? A darkness only achieved by a final slumber, of a life left lifeless. The knife glistened in the ray of sunlight hitting it from the open window. As I looked around my room, ordinary over all, and pretty girly. I reflected on what it means to me. My pink comforter still on the floor along with my dirty clothes scattered here and there. No posters line my walls, not after I got out of my boy band craze. I saw no need for the posters I once worshiped. Taking up most of the space in my room was my vanity, one I used less often as time went on. These things meant nothing to me, the only thing of any value to me was in my corner, a growing space of art. Art was everything to me, when inspiration hit nothing could stop the rhythm in my body as I itched to put my pencil onto paper. When it did, I couldn’t walk away until I had finished my work. Mostly of normal figures seen every day that I had painted distorted in some way. My masterpiece was a person looking in a mirror. The girl could have been any innocent bystander off the street, a real “Plain Jane,” but in the mirror’s reflection the girl’s hidden self stood proud. Her pretty hair turned purple and innocent eyes now one of a hawk’s, the smile on her lips was now a scowl. Two opposites in one body, just like me. I made up my mind. Time for the final leap. I let the blade kiss each wrist one last time, pushing down as hard as I could until it seemed to touch bone. A hot rush hit me, a delicious ecstasy. The blood that flowed form my veins now wasn’t just a drizzle but turned into a river, a river I watched spread onto my floorboards and made the brown boards black. Slowly my world of crystal began to blur, closing my eyes I focused on the breeze I felt from outside. One thing I did wish was to see my brother one last time, to hear his voice and see his smile. “Oh my god, Bree! Bree can you hear me? Bridin!?” Who is that? Why do I feel like I’m floating? Opening my eyes was so hard, they felt like they weighed a hundred pounds each, when I finally opened them, I saw nothing and was then thrown into darkness. * * * * My head felt groggy, and fuzzy, like it was stuffed with cotton. Trying to remember where I was, I listened and heard muffled shuffling and some annoying beep. It was going at a steady tempo, what was that? What happened? I remember blood, pain, and the crystal-clear world being stripped away. Something hurts, my head and something else, was death supposed to hurt this much? ~beep, beep, beep~ What is that? Slowly I opened my eyes to be assaulted by bright fluorescents. “Uuuuhhhh,” Stupid light, I can’t see a thing besides it. “Bridin? Bridin are you awake?” “Cole? Where am I?” as I turned my head toward the voice, I found it wasn’t Cole. “No, it’s your brother, Hunter.” “Hunter, where am I? It’s too bright.” A click and the lights went off. “You’re at the hospital. What were you thinking? Why would you do that?” His voice was gentle, but I could tell it was hard for him to keep it that way. “I-I-I don’t know, I just wanted…. peace? What…. why isn’t Cole here?” He should be. I know he wouldn’t let me be alone right now. Cole would have run here as soon as he heard. “Where’s Cole?” “Bree, he…. he won’t be coming.” “What are you talking about? He has to be here.” Why wouldn’t he come see me? Was he so mad at my decision he refused to see me? “Here, he left this for you,” Hunter handed me a piece of paper; there was just enough light coming through the hallway window that I could make out the words. I grabbed the note with an unsteady hand; it was just notebook paper. Probably something close by he could find. He must be so mad at me if he didn’t stay. Opening the note, I recognized the writing. It was Cole’s handwriting, an elegant print. “Bridin, I know you won’t understand but I hope someday you can forgive me.” My head started to spin as I read his words and confusion welled up. “I want to find the answer to the questions about death. The questions keep piling up in my head like it did today at school, and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. I want to know everything, you understand that right?” Tears welled up in my eyes; my vision became blurry for a second before the tears fell from my eyes. “If you’re reading this then my planning wasn’t as spot on as I thought it would be and I won’t be coming back to you. Do me a favor? I know you have trouble sometimes expressing yourself and being different from others, but I never want you to follow a path that someone else has laid out for you, you’re unique just like your name. Soar to new heights my little bird.” He always called me little bird after he looked up the meaning of my name, he thought it was so cute. I couldn’t breathe, I kept inhaling and exhaling but my chest was too tight. Sobs caught in my throat and I cried in silence, too shattered to cry out. “He was with a friend.” Hunter started but had to clear his throat before continuing. “His friend said that Cole wasn’t trying to kill himself–he wanted to experience death but not be a part of it. When his friend tried to revive him, he couldn’t wake Cole. Do you know why he would do that?” “To find answers.” #ShortStory, #SuicideAwareness, #LittleBird, #kevinzim, #everystockphoto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *