Her skin was as white as an angels wings, and felt more cold then the freezer at home. No matter how hard I gripped her hand, no matter how hard I prayed, I couldn't fix what was about to come, and nor could I handle it any longer, as the warm tears began to slide down my face.
"Please don't cry," she whispered in the raspy voice that I couldn't bare to hear.
"I can't help it," I whispered back, gripping her hand tighter. It was all I could do until it was time.
Footsteps were approaching behind me, and I gripped my mother's hand tighter, praying for her dear life that it would be good news.
"I'm sorry" were the words that came. "But we have to let her go."
My tears came more fierce, more powerful, slipping down my face and hitting my bare feet on the ground. I had never cried like this in my life, the one person who meant the world to me was slipping away, and knowing I could do nothing about it made me feel worse.
I leaned forward, not wanting to let her go once I had wrapped my arms around her. I knew that my tears were soaking into the thin fabric she was covered in, I knew that my loud sobbing was disturbing the rest of the ward, but right now, I just didn't care.
"I'm sorry, Terry," she whispered. I looked up and saw a few tears sliding down her cheeks. "I'm sorry for everything."
"Please, don't be," I whispered. "You've done nothing wrong but been a great Mum to me and Kath. You helped us with everything we've ever needed, you raised us both from birth by yourself, you never complained when we were annoying, you are the best mother anyone could ever have, and you always will be. What is it that you could be sorry for?"
"That I'm leaving you both before you grow up and leave home," she cried.
"That's not under your control," I told her, still having a few tears strip down my cheeks.
She used both her hands to grab both of mine and whispered to me, "Promise, you won't let anything happen to Kath."
"I promise," I told her through sobs. "I promise I'll take care of her, and Gemma, and Millie."
I leaned in again, hugging her one last time, before the doctor behind me said, "It's time."
I backed away, still holding my mother's hand, still looking into the crystal blue eyes that we're fading to a sky grey.
"Goodbye, Terry," she whispered again. "I'll always love you, no matter where I am."
"I love you too," I whispered, beginning to sob again. "Goodbye, Mum."
Three single tears slid down my mother's face, as I gripped her hand tighter, as my face began to soak up my own tears, as the small zig-zagged line on the life support went flat.
1 Year Later
Pain shot through me like a knife, like a bullet, in fact, it was exactly like a bullet, with one more hit I ended back on the ground again, coughing and tasting blood.
"Far out, it's been 6 months!" He shouted at me, overlooking me with his powerful, nearing red eyes. "You can't even put out after 6 months!"
I tried to crawl back up, tried to stand back on my own two feet again, but his hand grabbed my leg and shot me back to the ground, letting the pain shoot through my ankle.
"Please...stop..." I pleaded with him. He then shook his head and grabbed my wrist, pulling me up so that my face was only inches from his.
"Now, are we going to do this the easy way, or the hard way?" He asked, his deep voice getting angrier and angrier.
I shuttered as I said, "I can't, you know I can't."
He squinted his eyes, before turning me around and pushing me against the wall. I coughed and spat out blood on his floor, my whole body was aching and I was certain that I was on the verge of dying.
That's when he ended up right behind me, his hand slipping up my leg, going up my skirt.
"Adam, no! Stop!" I cried, trying to push myself away from him, trying to break free of his cage-like body. As I began to try and hit him and push him away, he only just grabbed both of my arms and placed them above my head, pinning them down with his strong right hand.
His left hand began to glide up my leg again, as I tried to plead and reason with him.
"Adam, please, don't do this," I cried, tears beginning to stream down my face, and this is what he noticed.
"Stop your fucking crying," he nearly yelled at me, grabbing my underwear and stretching it so far that it snapped right off me.
"Adam, don't...please..." He then grabbed my left leg and pulled it away from my right one.
"You made me do this, Terry," he said to me. "I do almost all I can and almost everything for you, and yet, I can't seem to get any fucking gratitude for it."
"But we don't have to do this," I said. "Anything but this, please..."
"Nope," he whispered. "This is what I want."
That's when I screamed, when I felt the pain shoot through me once more.
3 Months Later
Kath hasn't left me alone all week. Always coming into my room, saying she needs to check on me, she needs to know if I'm okay. If anything, I would be so much better if she just left me alone, in my solitude, where I have been for the past 3 months. I couldn't go outside my room, I couldn't leave this house, I was in too much fear, too much pain, too much regret.
I can't even look out the window anymore, knowing all I can see is happiness, all I can see is bright sunshine, which I can no longer handle, which is what I'm hiding from.
My life had never felt so empty, never felt so unfaithful, so unprotected, so unwanted then what it did now. I couldn't even cry anymore, knowing that all my tears have somehow been washed away by my sadness and guilt, by my world that I have decided to come and make peace with. The world that I have tried so hard to resist, with counselling, talking, pill-popping, but no mater how hard I try, I just can't escape it. The darkness has officially surrounded me, taken me in as its own.
Then, one day, Kath came into my room, saying she would be out for a few minutes and asking if I needed anything. I, of course, just responded with silence, thinking if I just kept quiet, she would go away. It was the last thing I needed, was my sister checking me every 5 minutes, to see if I'm still okay. I'm not okay, I never will be.
As soon as I heard the start of the engine to her car and it backing out of the driveway to our house, I stood up, then slowly and wide-eyed walked to my bedroom door. I twisted the handle, listening to the creek and screech of it as I pulled the door towards me, peeking out into the dust-covered hallway. Once I knew that no one was around, I slowly forced myself into the bathroom across from my bedroom, then, shutting the door behind me, I proceeded to sit myself on the stained toilet, that made my arse itch with the rust. Everything around me seemed to be so depressing, so unhappy, I knew what I had fallen into. Everything that was once a happy lifestyle had all just turned into memories, memories that I did not dare want to reach anymore.
As I stood up, flushed and walked over to the sink, I stared at the pale faced reflection that was haunting me. My eyes were swollen and black, while the rest of my skin was a pale white that reflected off me and made me look incredibly bright.
That's when I looked down, and noticed my sister's razor, sitting in front of me. I could've sworn that if it had eyes, we would be in a great staring contest. I didn't know how long I was standing there, until a small pain shot through my leg, after having it fall asleep and making me become limp.
I couldn't stand this pain anymore, there had to be a way to break from this darkness, this depression that I had suffered for long enough. That's when I finally picked up the razor, running my finger over the small blades, leaving 3 small cuts in my thumb. That's when I knew it, my time had come, I just couldn't stand this feeling any longer. I took a blade out of the razor, studied how thin it was, and how soon this life would be over for me.
I reached over to the small radio that rested on the counter, turning the knob until my favourite radio station had come on. They were playing My Immortal by Evanesance, a perfect song for my fate.
I knelt down on the cold, bathroom floor, hanging the blade over my left wrist, getting ready to make the first slice into my skin, into my veins.
"I'll see you soon, Mum," I whispered, before finally pressing down hard and moving the blade across my wrist, letting drips of blood stream down my arm. The pain, it was unbearable, but it made me feel so much better, knowing that soon my mother and I would be reunited. I then made an incision from the cut on my arm and made a large slice all the way to my elbow, letting blood pour out of my arm and onto my pants.
Using the strength I had left in my left arm, I then sliced another cut down my arm, then 3 small cuts from across, until I had made a puddle of blood right underneath me, glistening from the small bathroom light hanging above me.
I then began to feel light-headed, numb, weak. I then slowly made my body rest on the cold floor, letting all the blood from my arms slide out and spread itself all around me, making me see nothing but red.
As my eyes were beginning to close, I knew that I had to let myself go, soon enough so I could be back with my mother, so I could be whole again.
Then, I heard a tune, and a voice. An amazingly, lyrical voice that I had never heard before. And a song that I knew I couldn't turn away from.
"And I'll explode into the sky and meet the sun. To place you with the stars above, cause that's where you belong, ruby red..."
I couldn't do it. I couldn't let myself go, until I found out what this song was and who was singing it so beautifully. But, as I tried to keep my eyes open, as I tried to lift my body off the ground, I was too weak. I was going, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Of all the regrets I had made, this song made me realise this was the biggest one of them all.
"Singing, nothing's gonna stand in our way. And nothing's gonna save the world, so come closer..."
Everything about this song was making me scared. I was dying, and all it took was this amazing song to make me see otherwise. I was only wishing that I had thought about it sooner.
"Terry?" I heard Kath's voice say, as the bathroom door slowly opened, as my eyes finally closed.
"We were the colours, we'll die like colours, so paint me black and blue..."
2 Days Later
All I felt was the horrible pain in my arms, and something wrapped around them, tight, almost non-breathable. I tried to move them, tried to get the feeling back, but I couldn't feel anything. My arms and body were so numb, I was almost sure I was there, in heaven.
"Terry?" I heard a voice say, sounding like my mother. In fact, I was so certain it was her.
"Mum?" I whispered, wanting to reach out and hug her.
"Terry," the voice said again. "It's me, Kath."
That's when I opened my eyes and found my sister, leaning over me, almost crying.
"Oh my God," she whispered, her eyes watering. "You're okay."
Okay? Where was I?
I looked to the left of me to find my arm hooked up to a machine and having tubes sticking out from underneath the tightly wrapped bandage. Everywhere I looked was white, no red, no darkness, it was all white, and I was alive.
"Kath," I called to my sister, looking over at her. "Where am I?"
She sighed, before explaining, "You're in a hospital. I found you, on the bathroom floor, your arms were bleeding and you were so pale and cold, just like..."
She chocked up before continuing. "I thought I had lost you, I thought you were gone. What were you thinking?"
At that moment, I wasn't sure what to tell her. I didn't know why I did it, I didn't know why I put myself through all that pain, all I knew was there was only one reason I was fighting it all. That one song that was playing on the radio.
"Kath," I got her attention again. "You know when you came in and found me.."
She nodded, her eyes getting teary-eyed again.
"What was that song that was playing on the radio?"
Kath gave me a profound look, before looking away and then saying, "I think the band's called Short Stack."
"Short Stack?" I repeated.
"Yeah," she said. "It's like a song from their new album or something."
I thought it over, imagining that night all over again. Once that song came onto the radio, I couldn't continue on with my suicide anymore, I just had to listen to that song, that amazing melody and voice, it saved me.
That's when a man in a white coat stepped into the room and said, "Alright, let's check how you're doing..."
2 days later, I went home, back to my room, back to the darkness that had adopted me. But I couldn't go back to it, I just couldn't. So when I stepped into my room, I got Kath to open my blinds and let in sunlight for the first time in months. She smiled as she exited the room, something I hadn't seen her do in a long time.
That night, she made us pork chops as we ate in front of the TV, watching the evening news. Laughing talking, having one of the most amazing nights that we had for months.
When Kath started to do the dishes, she switched on the radio and I sat at the kitchen counter, searching for the amazing band that had saved me from leaving my life behind, and they didn't even know it.
"And now, we would like to welcome three very special guests tonight in the studio. Coming in to talk about their new single, Bang Bang Sexy, and their recently released single, Ruby Red, it's the one, the only, Short Stack."
Could it be? Could the one band that saved me was on the radio right now. Kath saw me staring at the radio and turned it up, letting me listen to the interview like it was my life.
"And now, we would like to open the phones to fans of this famous band, and how their music has changed their lives..."
This was it, this was the chance I was getting to let them know. I looed at Kath, who smiled and nodded, reaching for the phone and dialling the number straight in. She then handed it to me, mouthed the words 'good luck' and I pressed it up against my ear, listening to the dial tone until someone answered.
"Hello, you are on with famous band, Short Stack. Who is this speaking?"
"Hi, this is Terrisa."
"How's it goin, Terry?" Someone else in the studio asked, possibly one of the band members.
"Yeah, great..." I blushed as they called me by my nickname.
"Alright Terry, what would you like to say to Shaun, Andy and Bradie?"
"I wanna say.....thank you. You guys...saved my life..."