Hope For The Living

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Stewart led a normal, privileged life. Now, its hanging by a thread due to serious circumstances. Will he jump?

(Song included in the story: What Will You Give Me?)

Submitted: December 04, 2014

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Submitted: December 04, 2014

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I stood on top of the metal rail facing the deep blue, darkened ocean. I stared down.

Must be icy as hell. I gulped. I had to do this. The purpose of living, fighting and hoping didn't make sense to me anymore.

 

(An hour before the suicide attempt.)

Eighteen and still a senior in high school. I had to take the year over. I didn't want to, of course. I was basically forced to do it. Next thing I know, I'm kicked out of my dad's house without a penny in my pocket. It's all because he's disappointed in his idiot excuse of a son. Then I wandered around the street. I have nothing except my gray duffel, the jeans, sweatshirt and tennis shoes I've got on. Where to? I don't fckn' know. Everybody's celebrating their Merry Christmas like the happy go lucky people that they are. Whoever they are. They can be … I dunno. Families, I guess? Probably even the junkies and the hookers. Yeah, even them. I felt behind my back pocket. My wallet's still there. Sure enough. I popped it open. There was only ten bucks left plus some change. I could waste it on anything. Food, cigarettes, a condom for a one night stand with God knows who. I laughed quietly to myself. All those were possible options. Nah. I wanted to do a good deed. I don't know, I just felt like it.

I walked around some more. It was beginning to snow. Well, fck. My jacket was sort of thin. I gazed around for a split second. I realized I was around the darkened alleys of town. Well, what the hell do you expect from Brooklyn?

Some black dudes were staring at me. Yeah, like what the hell is someone like him doing here? Shouldn't he be back home with his cozy family? I rolled my eyes and walked past them. No, wait.

“Hey,” I said turning to them. I knew this was gonna be an insanely stupid question, but I just had to ask.

“You fellas have somewhere to go to tonight?” They both looked at each other and then at me, as if I was crazy.

“No, man,” the taller one said. “What about 'chu?” He shot back. I scratched my half short, brown strands shamefully. “Nope. Hey, you guys hungry?” I asked impulsively. The shorter one walked up to me, his fists balled. “Hungry for what?” He jumped. The taller one made a hand motion for his buddy to calm down. “ 'Is fine, J.T.” His brown eyes lowered to my wallet and my duffel. For a moment I thought he was gonna rob me. 

“How much you got?” He pressed. “Only ten bucks.” The shorter one looked at me suspiciously. “But you look like one of 'em rich dudes.”

 I laughed. “I was, up until a few hours ago.”

The taller guy's eyes suddenly shone with compassion. “Waste it on yaself, man.” No. Tonight on Christmas I wanted to be kindhearted, even to an enemy. Not that this guy was an enemy. He seemed like the best friends for life type.

I took the remaining bill out of my wallet with the few coins I had left and pressed it into his cold hand.

“Nah. I don't need it. You guys take care now,” I smiled, as I walked off. “Merry 'Chrismas!” the shorter guy called.

“Same to you.” I waved with my back turned to them. Well, I did a good deed. Good for me, I guess. Now with my duffel. I really wanted to end everything. But before I did, I wanted to be kind to strangers before I actually went through with it. As I kept walking along the glassy sidewalk, I felt my teeth inadvertently chatter. It really was getting colder. Oh. A salvation army. Okay. I'll just dump my duffel there.

?????

As I gave it to the blonde chick at the counter, I noticed that some poor people were sitting outside around some tables with barbecue. The salvation army guys must have done this. Bless them for being so kind.

A little girl with long, frizzy chestnut hair came up to me. “Mista! Come and join us! Chicken's yummy,” she declared. Before I could respond, her little hand pulled my sleeve over to the table. An old guy in his seventies smiled, served me a plate, and quickly went back to his food. I lifted my eyes and looked at these destitute people. The barbecue was like the best thing they ever had in their miserable, daily lives. Tonight, the salvation army pulled a few strings to make them happy. Was I ever this thankful for anything? For the luxury I had back home? For the few friends I had? For the clothing I wore? Tears formed in my eyes. Then they flowed. The people stuffing themselves didn't care or even know. They continued enjoying their delicious privilege. So basically, I sat there, at the table, with a plate full of food, crying my heart out. Pathetic, so I seemed. Maybe even pitiful.

What was a young guy like me doing, walking around the dangerous streets of Brooklyn in the middle of the night? On top of that, it was Christmas Eve. I decided to take a few bites of the barbecued chicken, pork and mashed potatoes I was served. Before I knew it, I finished it all. I excused myself and left, loitering around the snowy streets again. The thought hit me. I don't have to be miserable for much longer. I can simply … make myself disappear.

 

(An hour later.)

I continued standing on top of the metal rail, facing the sea. The only option: death. I gulped. Somehow, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through with it. When I felt concentrated enough, and prepared myself for the jump, a feminine voice called. I turned around. A gorgeous girl with braided, blonde hair in jeans and a green jacket stood there, just looking at me.

“Hey!” She called with a smile. “What are you doing?”  What am I doing, she asks.

“Isn't it obvious? I'm jumping off!” I shouted back. “You sure?” She returned. Crap. I wasn't even sure myself.

“Stewart, you shouldn't. It's freezing down there.” She proclaimed. Wait, how in the hell did she know my name?

“Look, babe. Why don't you, I dunno, take a hike? You don't want to see a person commit suicide right before your eyes. It's gonna traumatize you and leave you marked for life, believe me,” I exaggerated. She looked at me pensively for a second, and smiled. “True, I don't want to see someone die. The thought of it actually terrifies me.” That struck me as funny.

“Really? 'Cause you don't look that terrified to me,” I observed. She laughed. “I am. But hey, I'm willing to jump with you.” I widened my eyes. “Why the fck would you do that?”

“To save you of course.” She said, matter-of-factly. Wait, what?! I couldn't tell if this familiar scene was from It's a Wonderful Life or Titanic. “Hold it, beautiful. I didn't ask for a partner.” I yelled.

“Why do you wanna die anyways?” She questioned. “Is it really gonna change anything around you? I have a feeling it will make things worse.” She ended seriously. That made me think. “C'mon, you don't wanna do it," she continued. " You don't. I tried it once and it wasn't a nice experience.”

That shocked me. What did she mean, she tried it once?

“Hey! What did you mean by that?” I tried asking. “That's not the point, Stewart. Just … don't end your life.” She voiced with concern.

The sea of death didn't seem so inviting anymore. Not after what she said. Whoever “she” was. For all I know, she could be a nosy passerby. I looked down once more. Nah. True, I had given up on everything, but I could always find a way around this mess. Yeah … yeah, I could. Just maybe.

I jumped down from the rail to the ground and glanced at her. She almost looked like an angel. The thought struck me. What if she is? There was something about her blue eyes and pale skin that made me wonder. “What's your name?” I asked.

“Naomi. You still want a death wish?” She asked, half joking. “No. I'll just have to tough it out. You know, my life.”

“Glad to hear it.” She smiled. I smiled back. She started walking away.

“Where are you goin'?” I wondered. She turned around for a split second. “Back home. They're waiting for me.”

“Who's they?” I tried again. She shook her head and offered me a kind smile.

I directed my gaze back to the sea for a moment and turned back. She was gone. The pretty girl who convinced me to stay down here vanished into thin air. No, wait. That's not possible. Or maybe. Who knows.

Yeah, perhaps I should tough it out. Life can be hard as hell. It can be annoying. It can be depressing. It can even be joyful. I live in a corrupt world, true. As long as I don't become a part of it, I'll be fine. As long as I keep fighting, I'll be okay. Maybe not A-okay, but I'll be just “okay” if that makes any sense.

 


© Copyright 2020 A.R.Silver. All rights reserved.

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