The Supporting Character

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is pretty different from the kind of thing I normally write, but it's directly related to a lot of heavy stuff going on right now. There's not a word in here I don't mean wholeheartedly.

I love her.

What do you think of when I say that? What’s the first thing that comes to mind? No, let me guess: you see something along the lines of a smiling, smooching couple waltzing in a park. Either that or a shy, lonely guy wringing his hands and staring at a beautiful girl he can’t talk to. How accurate was I?

I hope I was wrong, because neither of those things is even close to the truth, and I’d hate to say you guessed incorrectly. No, I’m not IN love with her. Not in that sense. She’s like a sister to me. She’s not my blood, but that’s not what counts. You know the expression “blood runs thicker than water?” Of course you do. Now, can you guess what I’m gonna say about it? Yep: Bullshit.

We don’t have to be biologically related for her to be my sister. For the sake of example, if I had a sister who was a total bitch and a friend who stood by me no matter what, who do you think I would really consider to be my sister? Aye, captain. The one who deserves it.

She is the one behind curtain number two. The one I wasn’t born knowing, but the one whom I want to know for the rest of the my life. We don’t have much in common, but that’s all right; we connect. I’ve never been sure how, because my relationship with her is one of the few things in life I haven’t analyzed. I don’t need to. I don’t need to think and process to know that I love her more than almost anyone else.

By now you’ve surely figured out there’s a catch. Nothing’s this happy without there being at least a small catch. Unfortunately, the catch here is a far cry from small. It’s monstrous. Horrible, shattering, terrifying. It’s a truth no good person would wish on their worst enemy.

She hates herself. She hates her life. She doesn’t want to live her life. She believes her time should be up, because everything around her is pretty much as bad as it can get and it’s not getting any better. Yes, she wants to take her own life.

I want to help her. Of COURSE I want to help her, you’d say. It’s OBVIOUS someone who cares about her as much as I do would want to help her. Any moron could see that.

Maybe to you, that’s true. Maybe you’ve never been where she is, maybe you’ve never really known anyone who was. If you actually believe the above statement, what’s obvious is that you don’t understand this condition.

Ever stop to think that maybe everything isn’t so black-and-white to everyone else as it is to you? Has there been any point in your life where you wondered if someone you love isn’t sure you’re being honest with them? That’s a pretty big side effect of the condition we’re talking about here. And no, we’re not just talking about sadness, which is what some (most) people believe to be called “depression.” We’re talking about ACTUAL depression. The kind that makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning because you know there’s nothing good waiting for you outside the bedroom door. Hell, there’s nothing good with you in the room to begin with.

Maybe to her, it isn’t so glaringly obvious that I want to be there for her. Perhaps she wonders if I really care or not. What if she goes to sleep thinking “does he really want to stay with me, or does he just feel like he’s in too deep and can’t get out?” It’s entirely possible that she’s concerned I’m bound to leave any day now.

“How selfish of her!” you might think. How could she even consider those things about someone who loves her so much! After all, if someone’s that bad off, shouldn’t they try to love the people who love them? Wow, what a self-centered person!

If you thought anything along those lines when I told you what she could be wondering, you and I are gonna have a real problem. A big part of depression that nobody ever seems to think about is this: WHY are they depressed? What made them this way? What started this frigid fire in the first place?

I’ll take a wild guess and say she’s had people walk out on her before. People who said they loved her as much as, if not more than, I do, but left anyway when the going got tough. And so now here I am, telling her I love her and want to help her. Well, she’s heard that before. The people who said it have long since abandoned her sinking ship instead of following through on promises to patch the holes in the hull. What makes me different?

Ah, and there’s the rub. What DOES make me different? I know that I care about her more than I’ve ever cared about most people, maybe myself included. But how do I let her know that? Just saying it isn’t enough, because words can be empty. So, I have to show her. And how do I do that? What can I do to show her that I mean what I say?

I have no idea. I don’t know what to do. When she comes to mind—which happens for more than a few hours during the day—I feel two things: love and helplessness. It really is a blend out of a nightmare. I love her vastly, but I’m fruitless in my efforts to make sure she knows. I try to cheer her up, and it rarely works. I try to give her reasons to live. I know none of them are good enough, but I can’t think of anything else. I know why I want her alive, but I just can’t tell her. Every time I try, it comes out horribly wrong.

I want her alive because I know she is a beautiful human being that has a chance at leading a happy life. I want her alive because I don’t want to live my own life without her voice, her conversation. I want her alive because I love her and I want her to be happy. I want her to pass away at an old age, lying on her bed with her children and grandchildren gathered around, looking back on a joyful life. I don’t want her to die believing she doesn’t deserve happiness, thinking it’s never going to come. The thought of that happening makes my stomach twist, my head hurt, and my eyes sting.

And yet there’s a part of me that wants her to have what she wants. Does that sound twisted? It feels twisted. There’s a part of me that thinks “If she doesn’t want to be alive, what right do I have to force her hand?” Maybe that’s true. Who gave me to power to decide whether she lives or dies? She certainly didn’t. So why am I so insistent on her staying alive?

Maybe it’s selfishness on my own part. It could be that I need her and I only want her to stay alive because of my own feelings. Perhaps I only want her to stay alive because I don’t want to feel like her death was my fault.

But I don’t think so. That part of me is telling me those are all part of my motive in all this, and maybe they are. But those things aren’t my main focus. They’re not what first comes to mind when I think about her. When I think about her, I think about how much I want to see her be happy. Truly happy. Not temporarily. I desperately want to see her in a happy life with periods of sadness, not a sad life with periods of happiness.

I love her. I want what’s best for her.

My greatest fear, therefore, is that death is best for her.

What if, after all, it never does get better for her? What if she lives a sad life for the rest of her life, and it’s my fault for forcing her to stay with me? What if I’m not doing her the favor I think I am?

Let the truth be told here, indefinitely and finally. I don’t know. I can’t see the future, and I can’t perfectly put myself in her shoes. Chances are, I don’t know what’s best for her. All I know is this: she is the first person I conjure in my mind when I hear the word “friend.” The emotional bond I share with her is something unreal, something I didn’t think was actually possible. She means the world to me, and I don’t want her to die in pain or depression.

I love her.

My only hope is that she knows how much I mean this.

Submitted: December 06, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Zak Magick. All rights reserved.

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