I have been here before. And I know I cannot control this. I know it is out of my reach to make myself stop feeling. So, I decided to make myself stop breathing.
“Stop being so whiny all the time. It is annoying.” Her Mother said as she stormed out of the room.
What she did not realize was that her daughter, a piece of her flesh, was actually having a mental breakdown. What she did not realize was that she was actually pushing her daughter off the edge, that her daughter was already too close to the breaking point. She failed to understand that all that little soul needed was one last push into insanity.
There she sat, crying her eyes out, silently, without making any sound with the fear that she will be called whiny, annoying, stubborn, weak if someone found her crying again. She washed her face and made herself look pretty enough so that she doesn’t look less appealing to the eyes of the judgmental, worthless people around her who don’t even matter to her.
“Finally!” Someone across the room exclaimed. Em turned to face her and realized it was her not-so-favorite clingy aunt. Her aunt walked towards her with a glass of wine in her hand. Tipsy aunt Klieman. Brilliant! She thought to herself.
“Where were you, little birdie?” Aunt Klieman exclaimed.
“Oh. There you are!” Aunt Klieman turned to greet someone and left Em behind, alone.
She was okay with it. She felt relieved. But she knew she did not belong here. Where did she belong? She wasn’t sure.
It was her parents’ 25th anniversary and it had to be about them. She did not want to steal the thunder by crying out about her problems. She did not even try to. She was just crying in her room, unnoticed as always.
She grabbed a glass of wine for herself and took a seat in the corner of the room as her thoughts drifted back to what happened earlier that day –
“I really don’t know what to do… I don’t know what you feel about me…” His throat bobbed. She noticed. She always noticed everything about him. “I don’t feel loved, Em.” Joey said as his face twisted and she knew that expression. He was hurt. She hurt him. And she never really realized. It was the last thing she had ever wanted to do.
“Stop… Really! Your words and your actions contradict each other.” He paused. “I cannot figure you out, Em.”
“I am sorry..” She whispered as her heart kept threatening her that it will explode.
“I am sorry. I don’t think we should see each other again.”
That was it. There it was. Her heart broke. And all she could hear was a blinding silence.
“I can fix it.” She heard herself saying.
“No. You cannot.”
A tear rolled down her cheek as her mother appeared, breaking into her thoughts –
Emma got startled and spilled some wine on her white dress.
“Good Lord. Why are you even crying? Don’t ruin this day for me for god’s sake!”
“I am sorry, Ma.” Em replied to her mother and walked away.
Depression. It is not just sadness. It is not just grief. It is one step closer to the edge. It is feeling numb. It is feeling nothing. It is being apathetic. It is not being able to get up. It is losing the will to live.
Em slowly slipped out of the room a while later when all the adults were drunk and failing sobriety. She walked out of the commotion, outside her place and let the wind hit her face. It was freezing cold and she was wearing a knee length, sleeveless dress. She wrapped her arms around herself and let herself feel her own warmth because that is all she had at that time. Herself. She needed a catharsis but her art was no where to be found. She looked inside herself and found darkness and there was no light at the end of that tunnel.
It was the sixteenth floor and the city looked beautiful. It was spread wide in front of her like an editorial spread. She took in the view and a deep breath as self-realization crept in and showed her a glimpse of the process of her becoming who she was that day.
Emma was the youngest in the family and yet the most misunderstood. In a family full of expressive people, she was the only one who was incapable of expressing herself. And even when she felt like doing it, she was constantly asked to suppress it. Maybe because they couldn’t handle it since they couldn’t handle their own. So, they expected her to pull it together on her own. It was not anger but whenever she tried to express, it came out as anger to others.
It was hurt. It was bottled up hurt. And it was the pain of not letting it free. It was darkness and she let that creep in. She was expected to be the listener. She did. She was expected to be the strong one. She tried. But she was failing at it terribly. She was dying inside and no one could see that.
The constant suppression of her feelings since childhood led to her becoming an emotionally detached adult. She could not express her feelings to anyone. When she felt love, she just felt it. When she felt hurt, she just felt hurt. She never let that show on her face. She kept her mask on and people called that mask beautiful. She thought he would understand. But he did not. The only soul she had wanted to understand, did not…
So, she let herself fall…
She fell off the sixteenth floor as someone yelled out “NO!” from behind and she just kept free falling, waiting for the end. She did not feel fear. A smile spread across her face and the wind took away her tears as she capitulated.