“Goodbye,” he said as he stood there watching me intently. He stared deep into my eyes, practically staring into my soul.
“Goodbye,” I returned. I watched his eyes for a moment then I broke gaze and moved my focus to the ground. I knew something he didn’t. Our "goodbyes" were different with only one similarity. It was similar in the sense that it was the same word. Our "goodbyes" were different though. He would be here tomorrow. His goodbye was temporary. He had something to live for. He was loved. He would be missed. Me, on the other hand, my "goodbye" would be the last one he would hear me utter. My "goodbye" was, well, mine was forever. I wouldn’t be here tomorrow. I had nothing to live for. Nobody would miss little ol me.
I felt his gaze still on me. I glanced up. He pressed his warm hand against my cheek and smiled reassuringly. He obviously knew something was up. I didn’t have the nerve to say what was wrong exactly. He had no clue I was suicidal. Nobody did. He believed I was this happy, petite 15-year-old. Happy? I can’t remember how that feels. I haven’t been happy in years. Petite? Maybe in his eyes, but my mirror told a different story.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Monica,” he whispered in my ear as he pulled me in for a tight hug. I almost cried. Nobody hugged me like that. I felt terrible. He had high hopes of seeing me tomorrow, but he wouldn’t. He couldn’t. I didn’t want to hold on for another day. This was something I had to do. There was no question about it. It had to happen.
“See you around, Mickey,” I lied. I kissed his cheek and walked away not staring back. I couldn’t look back or I would go back and tell him everything. Maybe that wouldn’t be that bad of an idea. Maybe he could help me. Maybe if I told him, he could make me happy. Maybe, just maybe, he would care. Maybe he would be the only one to miss me. "No," I told myself. "Nothing would or could make me happy. Nobody, not even Mickey would notice that I was gone." I continued forward, feeling his eyes following me. Not once did I look back, and killed me.
I loved Mickey and that’s why I couldn’t tell him what was wrong. I’ve known him for about five years. He was my best friend. He was my everything, but he was dating my friend at the time. Everything about him was breathtaking. His black hair and green eyes were my favorite. Hell, they still are. I would do anything to be able to look into his eyes again and have him hold me tightly. When I was with him, I felt like I could do anything. I was invincible around him. I felt no pain, no fear. I wasn’t numb, but I wasn’t happy. I felt contentment when I was with him. We joked and laughed and teased each other. That was our relationship. We didn’t lie, we didn’t cheat each other. We were honest. I fell for him, but he only thought of me as a sister and went after my friend. When I found out they were together, my whole world crumbled. He lied. He told me he would never go for her. He knew how I felt about him. It killed me to hear they were happy together. I envied her. I wanted to be in her shoes.I hated him for what he did to me and loved him all at the same time.
I headed home, not looking back, and I tried not to think of Mickey. The more I thought about him, the more I knew I wouldn’t follow through with my plans. I couldn’t get him off my mind. I kept thinking of how he would feel knowing I was gone. I kept thinking I could hold on just a little longer and hopefully his feeling for me would change. I reached my porch and sat on the top step. I contemplated what I wanted and what I needed. I needed to try again. I wanted to give up.
I wasn’t going to give up, not yet. I got up and headed to the other side of town, where Mickey lived. I needed to tell him. I needed him to help me. I just needed him altogether and in so many ways. It took me about a half hour to reach his house. When I got there he was slouched up against the railing, smoking a cigarette. He was only in his boxers. All his tattoos showed. His black hair glistened under the midnight moonlight. As I got closer, I saw there was something different about him. His eyes were bloodshot, and he had bruises and scratches all over his body. I ran up his steps practically tripping. He caught me in his arms and pulled me close to him. I realized that he was drunk and crying.
“Mickey, what’s wrong?” I questioned him. He was too hysterical, he couldn’t answer. He just stood there sobbing. Nothing I did could nor would make him stop. He smoked cigarette after cigarette trying to calm himself. Finally, he dropped to sit on the bottom step.
“Moni, it’s ove,r” he broke. He placed his head gentley in my lap and began to sob trying to not make it obvious. “She cheated on me...She cheated on me the whole time.” He cried harder trying to get the words out.
I sat there not knowing what to do. I had no clue how to help him and I felt more helpless than I already had. “I’m sorry, Mickey.” I began to rub his head trying to soothe him.
“When we ended it, she punched me and scratched me all up.” He sat up and looked down at his body trying to show me where she had gotten him with her claws. I look at him with pure sympathy and fell into him to hug him. He needed to know things were okay just as badly as I had. He clung tighter. “ I don’t wanna be here anymore, Moni.”
“Neither do I,” I mumbled under my breath. Mickey pushed back and wiped his eyes to look at me.
“What?” was all he could manage to say. He seemed baffled as if he seriously had no clue about my depression.
“I said neither do I. I don’t wanna be here either. I didn’t plan on being here after today...” I looked at the ground ashamed of my confession. “I needed to see you. I started thinking and I needed to come see you. I couldn’t go through with it because of you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He sounded almost angry and I felt like a child being reprimanded. I didn’t know what to say. How does one answer a question like that? “Well?” His voice broke the silence.
“I was scared.” That’s all I could mumble. I couldn’t bring my voice above a whisper.
“Scared of what?” Pure confusion rolled over his face and voice. He was still slurring.
“Scared of letting you down and you being disappointed. I didn’t want to upset you. I was also scared of you stopping me. I wanted it so bad. It felt like my only outlet.” That was all I was willing to admit to. I couldn’t say anymore. I could not bring myself to admit to the years of self-harm. I slowly began to tear up.
“Upset me? You’d upset me if you did it. Your feelings are valid and you need to speak about what’s wrong. Your feelings are more important than mine.” We stayed up for hours talking about how he wants to help me and how I want to help him. His break up had done a number on him.
We had discussed how no matter what nobody is worth losing your life. He told me I was valuable. I matter.
We went to bed closer to 3 in the morning. I fell asleep exactly where I’ve craved to be. In his arms. He wasn’t mine but I took what I could get. We both were vulnerable and needed comfort.
Afternoon came and we woke up. I woke up next to his smiling face looking down on me as I rested my head upon his chest. I don’t know what had come over him. He tilted down his head and gently placed a kiss on my forehead and whispered good morning in my ear.
Today was the first day I woke up feeling okay. I woke up in the arms of somebody that loves and protects me. I hope to call him mine and I feel invincible. He’s happy to be around me and he keeps holding on to me. Saying goodbye today will be hard 'cause I’ll miss him when I go home. But with every goodbye, there’s an even better hello. There will be another hello. Tomorrow is a new day. A new beginning. Yesterday’s burdens are tomorrow’s lessons. Saying goodbye ends the adventure. Tomorrow has the potential to be an amazing day. Tomorrow will be okay.