The Pain of Hope

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is about a man who is contemplating suicide, but memories from the past change his mind...for now.

Submitted: May 09, 2014

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Submitted: May 09, 2014

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A smoky haze fills the dark room of a messy apartment. Brian sits awake, rocking back and forth in his rocker. He is wearing an old Michigan State T-shit and some Spartan green athletic shorts, which are a size too small. A tiny crack of light creeps into the room from behind the blinds, but the rest of the room is dim. The time is early morning. The taste of cigarettes is still on his breath from the night before and his head throbbing from all the shots of whiskey downed the previous night. His mouth is dry, craving for a big gulp of water. Brian folds his hands across his lap as he continues to rock, back and forth, back and forth. The apartment is a dump. Cigarettes, empty beer bottles, and remnants of cocaine litter the coffee table. Clothes, pizza boxes, and empty soda cans are scattered all across the floor. The apartment reeks of filth and smoke. The familiar ideas flash through Brian’s mind wondering if he wants to face another day or just end it all right now. The first few thoughts come with little aggression. They are just playful and nothing to worry about. Brian allows one of the thoughts to creep in and engages in conversation with it. What would life be like without him? Who would live in the apartment after him? Who would really miss him? The temptation begins to sit in and once it’s in, it doesn’t like to leave without a fight. Brian quickly shakes it off, but it doesn’t want to go. “Your worthless Brian,” the temptation speaks. “No one is going to miss you,” it says again. Brian rubs his eyes and stretches out his face. Brian wants to get cleaned up, but has failed so many times in the past. He doesn’t think sobriety is an option for him. Maybe some people are just meant to participate in their own living hell and just hope for a brighter tomorrow. “You have been in and out of rehab with no success; you’re soon going to be just another statistic,” the temptation tells him again. Brian sits back in the recliner, looking off into space, thinking about all the hours he has wasted getting high and drunk. Shame, guilt, and disappointment in himself and what he has become is only thing he can feel. So many people he has let down and failed. Brian thinks back to his early childhood, to the boy who used to laugh and play. That younger Brian had so much potential and everyone always told him he could be anything he wanted to be when he grows up. Well Brian is all grown up now and his life has spun into an absolute disaster. This was not the life he wanted, but it was what he choose. He no longer talks with his family, doesn’t have any friends, and can barely hold his job sorting out mail for an accounting firm. Brian begins to believe the lie the temptation has been speaking and lets it settle in. He gets up from the recliner and stumbles into his bedroom, pulls open the top drawer, searches through his underwear and white shirts to find a revolver and one round. He trips back into the living room and heads to the coffee table. After pushing aside cigarettes and cocaine powder, he gently places the gun and bullet down as if it were fine china. Brian heads over to the window and peers though the blinds, letting out a sigh. The sun is blinding as Brian squints to see out. It’s the same sight he sees every day. Cars driving by on their way to work, so caught up in their own lives that they fail to see the suffering in others. He has no place in that world. He never has, he never will. Brian lets the blinds slide slowly between his fingers and go back to their resting place, shaking off debris of dust as they settle. He places his hands on his hips and begins to pace back and forth turning this idea over in his head. He is so sick and tired of life! The last thing he wants to do is to face another day where everything is just routine and be with people who are so cold and empty. Brian heads back over to the coffee table and picks up the revolver with one hand, admiring the beauty of it. He places the barrel next to his temple, getting the feel of what it would be like. The cold metal presses against his skin as Brian pushes it firmly to the bone, then applies more pressure to cause some pain. He cocks the weapon and pulls the trigger. The revolver clicks. It could all be over right now if the round was in the weapon. Brian lets his arm go limp and the revolver falls down by his knee. With sweat seeping from his pores, Brian paces yet again. He runs the barrel of the gun through his hair, allowing the barrel to press into his scalp. The once fleeting temptation has turned into a very real possibility. Brian walks back over to the coffee table and picks up the round with his other hand. He throws it up and down a few times, catching it in the flat of his hand each time, then holds it between his index and thumb. He brings it close to his face to examine it. So strange that such a tiny thing can cause such devastating results he thinks. Brian opens the magazine of the revolver revealing six slots for the rounds to go. Brian fingers over each one of them, then drops the round into it. He pushes the circular magazine back into the gun then gives it a spin. With the revolver still spinning, Brian looks back to the wall and notices a crucifix off in the corner. So strange that he has looked over it so many times but forget it was there. With the gun pointing to his temple, Brian fails to pull his eyes off of the crucifix. Being so sick and tired of life and with all the bad cards he has been dealt it’s time to end this. “I’m going to finish it this time. I’m not backing out like all the other times,” Brian mutters out loud; his voice shaky and cracking. With hands shaking and knees trembling Brian counts down from five. “Five.” The memory of a time when Brian was out at the lake over the fourth of July with his family comes to mind. The sounds of laughter, fireworks, and the cracking fire fills his mind. He remembers the love of his mother’s voice as she put another marshmallow on his pole. “Four!” The snap of bottle rockets exploding in the air echoes through is memory. His dad helping him light it, then both of them running clear away to watch it go off. “Three!” His mother’s arms wrapped tightly around his waist as he sits on her lap, cuddling with a blanket as ghost stories are read by the fire. “Two!” His father carrying the sleeping Brian to the camper after the fire has gone out. Brian was barely awake, but came to it as he was being carried back. His dad laid him down and tucked him in. Then told him how proud he was of Brian and how special he is. “You are very special and I know there are big things in store for you Brian,” his father whispered to him, with the moonlight beaming through the camper.  “One!” Tears steam down Brian’s face as he so desperately wishes he could go back and do it all over again. To be a little boy with a mom and dad who loved him and cared about him. When he used to be happy and could laugh, joke, and cry. Brian craves so bad for something he knows he can’t have. He can’t do it. His trigger finger twitching, but unable to pull through. Brian falls to his knees and weeps even harder. His head falls to the floor with both hands on the back of his neck. He looks back up to the cross and continues to sob, cursing the cross and the life that it gave him. Brian takes the bullet out of the revolver and places both of them back in his top drawer. He lived to see tomorrow.

 


© Copyright 2020 Derek Mitzel. All rights reserved.

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