Illustration by Eduard Jude Jamolin
Trying to kill yourself on Christmas Eve is not a very easy task, I got to say.
I mean, who in their right mind would pick a building with a busted elevator to jump off from? Well the answer is me, but of course I’m not in my right mind. Not only that, but I’m also kind of insensitive considering I’m planning on dying the night before, as they say, the happiest time of the year.
I stare at the amount of stairs I’ll be climbing. It’s a long walk up but my burning determination to die pulls through and I start climbing. I can hear the sound of my footsteps echo around me, making me realize how quiet the place is. The building is empty. People are out with friends and families celebrating the holiday.
Everyone’s favorite time of the year. Christmas, the time when families get together to have a wonderful dinner. The time when friends go out on parties and enjoy their ever so happy lives. The time when couples kiss under the mistletoe and cuddle, drinking hot chocolate. The time when children are tucked in their beds dreaming of what Santa Claus is going to give them.
Christmas, the time when I start climbing these stairs to off myself.
I pause. I consider the thought. Why do I want to off myself?
I don’t have anyone to be with. I don’t have a family to go home to for dinner. I don’t have friends to spend the evening. I most definitely don’t have someone to kiss under the mistletoe this year, maybe even never considering I might die before the night ends. Obviously, Santa put me in his naughty list this year. Considering all that, I should be the most miserable man on Christmas.
And yet I feel nothing. I just feel empty.
I only feel indifference to it all. To see everyone else enjoy their lives, I should be crying. I should be sobbing right now as I take these steps. I mean, I don’t hate anyone. I didn’t experience a big traumatic event. I just don’t know why I want to end my life. All I know is that I want to. I have to. In the first place, do I really need a reason?
I’m spacing out. I start walking up the stairs again. I look up to see that I’m getting close to the roof. I check my watch for the time. 11:11 p.m. I laugh despite myself. Maybe I can wish myself some emotions. It’s the most magical time of the year after all.
But I know that’s not how the world works, because I still feel the same now that I reach the roof. I still feel nothing.
The air feel cold, and I feel the strong wind pushing against me. Ha! Maybe it’s a sign. I take a seat on the floor, my legs are aching and my shirt stuck to my back because of the sweat. I look up to the sky half expecting to see Saint Nick flying over the city. I laugh at the thought of Santa Claus convincing me not to jump.
I stand and start walking toward the edge of the roof. Each step getting heavier than the next. Do I really want to do this? I walked up those stairs for nothing if I change my mind now.
I reach the ledge. I feel the world spin as I look down. Jesus, am I high up. I look up to see the sky. Am I really going to do this? Should I kill myself? Should I end my life? I mean, I don’t even have a goddamn reason to be up here. I just want to know why I want to die.
The absence of an answer is making me frustrated. Give me a sign damn it. Give me something, anything. A damn Christmas miracle! Give me an angel that comes down to tell me I matter. Give me Rudolph’s red nose shining in the distance! Give me Jesus himself telling me to celebrate his birthday! Hell, give me snow!
But the only thing I got is silence.
Then I felt a raindrop trickle down my cheek. How absolutely cliché.
I feel my hair getting wet along with my clothes. I was still standing on the same spot, my eyes looking straight ahead. A smile forming in my lips. I check the time. 12:02 a.m.
I have never laughed so genuinely in months, maybe even in years. I look down to see the city lights shine up from below, reminding me of Christmas lights. I look back over to the door I came from. I make my decision, still smiling.