Photo by Angelo Nico Daroy
It was 3 a.m. I was tossing and turning, making a mess out of my sheets, clenching them, hoping to get a release from my thoughts. It was an ungodly hour to be alive, yet there I was, eyes wide open and my mind, on a troubleshooting state, faster and faster until my imagination offered nothing but a static, buzzing sound of pure frustration.
I’ve asked myself a billion times, wallowing in self-pity and replaying the shattering moments of the week. How home feels like cold Alcatraz, how friends turn to strangers. Appreciation now a scarcity of everyone’s virtue.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Pushing myself till I looked in the mirror, I saw no reflection smiling back. Life was still falling apart, leaving me laying down at night, staring at nothing but space — just darkness offering its embrace.
I always hear the words, “You are the one I can count on.” With my family, I’m used to claims of, “We’re doing this for your own good”, and basically, “Thank you,” to all the souls that walked my way.
I tried difficult to believe in them, to take it by heart and assure myself that they mean all of it.
They can count on me. I can count on them. Despite the rejected phone calls I made when I ran to the bathroom, crying my heart out, in need for someone to talk to. Every time I see a green blip beside their names, I send greetings along their way, but somehow always ending up being seen zoned. Patting myself on the shoulder, pathetically, saying, “They’ll be there for you. Maybe it’s just the timing.”
Times when I was forced to sit down with my family, listening to my mom bragging about the time I ran away and how funny it was because it lasted for hours. Gritting my teeth as I forced a smile, watching my relatives indulge in the comical story. When getting beaten by a thick bamboo stick because of my Math grade of 74 was professed as an act of love, and waking up the next morning, getting my bruises treated. Even as a kid, the mantra to it was, “They are doing it for me to be good.”
Yet here I am with my hand on my chest and my fingers attempting to dig deep, so that I could hold my heart and rip it out, ending the tightening feeling that’s been bothering me all night. I craved for death. The only way for things to end is for us to vanish into ashes.
But I know I don’t have the guts to jump into oblivion just yet.
When my eyes caught a thin, silver, glinting object, I ached for a little bit of its touch, a little bit of my life’s end. My fingers trailed along its construction, pressing lightly on the tip, making faint contact to know it was sharp enough. Tiptoeing my way to the bathroom as quietly as possible, I shut the door and filled the tub with water, the feeling of vulnerability and doubt clouding my thoughts.
No, I’ll do it.
Slowly, I felt the water drenching my body in its usual coldness, in which I normally respond with a shiver, but somehow, I stiffened at the moment with my eyes glued to the knife I just brought in. The sight of it made me calm at the expense of a giggle building up in my throat. I was thrilled with my hand gripping unto it, gesturing its way to my wrist. Taking a deep breath, I quickly pierced the knife and slid it in a horizontal motion. As
I suppressed a scream, along with the rest of my nerves, out of the motility to my actions. Yet, my heart was pumping so loud at the rush of stimulation that I never felt before. Seemingly under a spell, I did it again and again, swearing along the way, but grounded enough to develop a sick laughter. The cuts got deeper, along with the throbbing pain that’s spreading throughout my whole arm. I didn’t care, even if I was aware of the tears running steadily, and my lips swollen from all the bite marks I caused. My Pandora’s box opened before me that night, and eventually for the nights to come, yet I gladly gave in to the demons that I hid from the world for so long.
Hypnotized by the new hue of the water, I thought to myself: Indeed red is my favorite color.