Should I have written a letter?
I mean once I slide off this roof, I’m embracing death as we all eventually will. Death comes for us all in the end, and today it is enveloping me. Strange how most people never take the chance to decide the manner of their death. They fear it and therefore leave it up to the banality of nature and disease to take them.
Today I am taking control and making that choice.
The cold breeze slides up the back of my shirt. The cotton clouds block out the sun, and I pull my leather jacket tighter around me.
Maybe I should have written a letter. At least to Jason. He deserved better. I doubt Connor would have appreciated one. Probably try and beat my corpse back to life. Would be rather fun to watch. Then again he can be quite surprising at times.
Jason would want one though. I really should have written one. Our whole relationship has been one letter to another ever since I’ve written the first one declaring those three particular words that I’ve ever said to him. He deserved a final one explaining why I’m gone.
I see tiny people below, and the wind steals away the meaning of their shouts up to me. I twist the silver band on my left ring finger and wonder where the flashing blue lights are. Poor Jason. He will be so confused when he discovers that I’ve gone. We seemed so happy to him. Always smiling, laughing, kissing, hugging and the rest. But it was on date night that I realised the truth. It was last Saturday, and I drove us to the Phantom Winger on Eastway, and we each ordered our usual. Jason devoured his fish and chips, barely taking a breath and smothering each bite with mushy peas. I picked my way through my chicken New Yorker, barely registering the flavour. I’m probably too used to it.
We chatted about sweet fuck all, and I kept zoning in and out. Distracted by waiters walking past, folks entering and leaving and fucking kids were just running around the place, making a fucking racket.
He asked, ‘Are you okay?’
‘Yeah, sure.’ I don’t think I was convincing. ‘I’m just tired from work.’
I leaned across and kissed him.
I drove us home after and long story short, I had him on his back by the end of the night. It was loud, and it was sweaty and full of explosive pleasure coursing through my body. And yet I felt nothing for him.
I definitely should have written a letter apologising for missing out anniversary next week. It was six years ago when I got down on one knee and asked him out. Yeah, I know I went full proposal mode for a simple date. He laughed so hard before saying yes.
I slipped my two-year-old band off my ring finger and placed it down on the ledge beside me. I love him so much and yet currently when I imagine his face with his deep eyes and dimples and his voice that made me tingle, I feel nothing. Just a sense of nothingness where heart pounding tremors once were. I stare at the ring. I don’t want it getting messy when I hit the ground.
I left Jason asleep in bed last night, but that wasn’t the only way I checked out. He was curled up in his duvet, eyes closed, looking so peaceful that I smiled as I looked at him.
On my way home, I dropped by an old regular. I hadn’t seen him in a few years since he got married, but we always messaged now and then just to keep up. But last night, his husband was away, and I had him over his bed. Fucked him like a bitch until he was satisfied and that my impulse was gone. But the nothingness remained.
And before you ask, I am not sat on this ledge out of guilt. I’ve had this planned for weeks. You may not realise this, but most suicides are planned. Rarely are any suicides spontaneous. How could they? To take one’s life takes immense courage that people do not appreciate. They call it selfish, but we have our reasons. When you feel nothing except the physical then what is the point of carrying on? Please tell me?
My phone buzzes in my pocket. It showed a message from Connor: Why the fuck is you on the roof of the bus station?!?!?!?
I place the phone down next to me and glance around. No one is near me, and I am too far away for anyone to see me.
For a long time, I’ve had conflicting voices in my head that speak with my voice, and yet all say different, contradictory statements. Internal traitors plotting to keep me caged in the closet, preventing me from applying for the careers I’d love and so much more. But now they are all in agreement. Each of the voices honestly speaks as one. To escape the nothingness of life that has engulfed me is to embrace death.
Footsteps behind me and that familiar voice on the other end of the text message, ‘I’m impressed you even made it onto that ledge.’
Connor crosses the car park and mounts the ledge a little further along.
‘Not going to lie,’ I say, ‘My heart feels. like that time I drank those five Monsters, and I thought it has exploded.’
‘So what you doing up here, pal?’ he asks.
‘Better question is what are you doing up here?’ I shoot back, ‘Why aren’t you at work?’
‘Lucy messaged me asking if I knew why you hadn’t turned up to work this morning.’ Connor looked over at me. ‘Then Kate rang me saying she’d spotted you up here from her office.’
He pointed down at the City Council building. ‘Unpleasant when two girls ring you because your best friend is doing something stupid and not to round twos.’
‘Seriously, I introduce you to two of my friends, you have a drunken one-nighter with each of them, and suddenly you have spies everywhere?’
‘Happy coincidence,’ He grins. ‘Now answer the question?’
‘Which one?’ I ask.
‘The one you are fucking avoiding. The one that you need to answer very fucking quickly before I do to you that which I told my boss I’d do if he didn’t get out of my way.’ Rage consumed his features with his eyes burning into me and his jaw quivering.
I inhale, look up at the dull white sky and exhale deeply.
‘Some say life is entirely about how we experience it both physically, but also emotionally. However, that mindset, while it offers us plenty of control also means we are subject to the pendulum smashing our lives to pieces when it swings back.’ I dare not look at him. ‘I feel numb… actually no that’s wrong… I feel nothing.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I’m a walking, talking, fucking corpse, who feels nothing for Jason, for you, for life in fucking general. Everything is blank, and I can’t call anything to the surface. I feel absolutely nothing for anything!’
His features soften, and his grey-blue eyes offer not rage, but sympathy… no, something else… empathy.
‘So you think death is your answer?’
‘Because death doesn’t happen to you.’
I frown at him.
‘Dying happens to you,’ he continues. ‘But your death happens to everyone else around you. You may not care about dying, but for the rest of us standing at your graveside as life carries on. We have to decide how we will carry on without you.’
He reached into his leather jacket and tossed me a coin. It was bronze with a skull embossed on one side with a rose on the right and an hourglass on the left of it. The words: MEMENTO MORI hung above and below the skull.
‘Turn it over.’
On the other side, it read: YOU COULD LEAVE LIFE RIGHT NOW.
‘Let that determine what you do and ay and think,’ Connor said. ‘And you are leaving early before it is your time.’
I turn the coin over in the fingers.
‘You don’t understand, do you?’ He spoke again. ‘You are my best friend, my brother and I need you.’
THIS IS A PIECE OF FICTION