During this difficult time in my life, I began weighing the value of my existence to the value of the existences of others. Using a certain philosophical and mathematical principal, I discovered that my life holds a value less than or equal to that of the average person. Basically, what this means is that if I were to die at anytime, in any place, nobody would care. I could disappear from the universe and life would go on as if I had never existed to begin with. As I mentioned earlier, though, the same could be said of every human being. In the end, we’re all going to die, and we’re all going to live equally meaningless lives. Whether you’re a schoolteacher, or a famous novelist, or an actor in a pornographic movie, the sad truth is that nobody is going to miss you when you’re gone. They may think that they will, but really, humans by nature are only concerned with their own happiness and well being. Your death is inconsequential to them. With this utterly hopeless and pessimistic view on life, you may be asking yourself, dear reader, why I have yet to terminate myself and move on from this cold world? Honestly, I’ve considered and toyed with the idea of ending my own life prematurely, but every time I ready the noose or position the knife against just the right artery, I get cold feet. I tense up, and I find myself unable to proceed. Most of my attempts end with me crying in the bathroom or in the corner of my room, while I punch myself in the stomach trying to force myself to go through with it. I begin to feel like an attention whoring teenage girl whose been molested by her father one too many times and desperately seeks the warmth of another. However, in my case, attention is the last thing I look for. Whenever somebody asks me if I’m feeling all right, or if I’m depressed, I want to tell them how much it hurts to live and how badly I want to die, but I blush and regress into my own mind. I lie and tell them that I’m perfectly all right. I really, truly want to die, but I’m too much of a coward. That’s all there is to it. I’m a coward.
The next day, after my session, I returned to the bench outside the office of the girl’s dormitory and sat there waiting for Lily. It took about ten minutes for her to arrive, and by then I’d already smoked two extra cigarettes and consumed a handful of my prescribed Amitriptyline. She came up with a somewhat bored expression on her face and sat down quietly next to me. I noticed something strange about her movements and mannerisms. Compared to myself and the other partially insane kids I had seen around the facility, she seemed to be rather normal. For me, I had a particularly bad habit of picking at my fingernails and scratching my head nervously when I was in public situations. She, on the other hand, looked perfectly fine and could pass as a sane, average member of society, whatever that means. Despite that, something did look awfully desolate about her. Like she had nothing inside. Like she was a hollowed out shell that a soul had taken temporary residence in. We sat there together, in silence, for another five minutes before I decided to talk to her first. It took all of my courage and energy, but I managed to gargle out a few words.
“So, what’s wrong with you?” I asked. A very eloquent question.
She looked over to me with that deadpan expression on her face and said, “That’s a secret. I’m not at liberty to tell you about it.”
“What? But I told you everything about me. I feel that the least you could do is share a bit about yourself,” I pleaded, only half-sincerely. Honestly, I didn’t really care about her condition. I was just happy she was listening to my lonely dribble without asking for a paycheck.
She winked at me and retorted, “Just because you’re lonely and gullible and willing to spill all of your dirty laundry onto some girl you meant in a place for crazies doesn’t mean I’m as blatantly retarded as you.”
This struck a chord with me. My cheeks became incredibly red and my face grew hotter. I had trouble breathing and I realized that this girl was mocking me. How embarrassing. I fell for her cheap trick. She just wanted to feel better about herself, so she got me to confess all of my issues to her. Hell, she may not even be a patient here. She might actually just be visiting a relative or a friend and she thought she’d take the opportunity to pick on some anxiety-ridden brat!
She must have noticed my discomfort, as she added another bit to her statement. “Dude, chill out. I was only kidding. I just don’t feel right telling you all about my shit, okay? That’s it.”
I stopped. Was she telling the truth now? I sighed, even though I wasn’t completely sure she was being honest with me. I felt better though.
“Well, okay then,” I began to speak again. “So you won’t tell me your trauma, which I suppose is fair enough. However, I would like to know why you’re waiting out in front of the office.”
“I’m wondering why you think it’s a good idea to smoke in front of the office.”
Immediately, I noticed how moronic that decision was and in one swift motion I threw my cigarette onto the ground and stomped it to pieces. Afterwards, I looked around to make sure nobody saw my idiocy, and I heard her giggling. This was the first time I’d seen her without a tired, droning expression on her face. It alleviated a lot of my stress when I saw her happy like that. She really was rather cute.
I restated my question, hoping to arouse a response from her. She looked at me and sighed.
“Well, if you need to know,” she began. “Apparently my doctors are getting pissed at my lack of cooperation and sarcastic remarks, and they feel that they aren’t making any progress or something. So they sent me here to wait for my parents to pick me up.”
“Two days in a row?” I asked. This girl must have been obscenely stubborn for her to warrant a trip to the office two days in a row.
“Well, today I did it especially to meet you. We did promise to meet up again here, didn’t we?”
This shocked me, for whatever reason. She was willing to get herself into trouble just to listen to me talk about my problems? And we had only met just yesterday. At the time, her remark made me feel rather happy and warm and fuzzy on the inside. Now, however, I see that it wasn’t as sweet as I had assumed. In truth, I never should have returned to the girl’s dormitory office to meet with Lily after this day, for if I had known her issues prior, it would have been less painful.
© Copyright 2016 UN Owen. All rights reserved.
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