Susan is depressed. Depression like a log between the eyes, like a murderous flench of dolefulness. Once bitten, once is forever. Ever and ever mad, brain rushing, wishing for a coma to numb the electric, bouncing thoughts. Wishing even, for the experience of simple sorrow, not this hounding depth of intensity.
She reaches for comfort, a piece of chocolate, a Snickers bar. And another, and another, until she has had seven, all of the seven she'd been keeping for the week. Now there's something new to think and worry about. She will definitely die from all that sugar, and she has gained five pounds.
Waiting for the black, encompassing cloud to lift. Desperately wanting it to lift. Waiting impatiently for an azure sky to rise again, and with it, the sun. It does not rise. It is night. She is all alone in the blackness of her room, this prison. She is thirteen years old.
Nobody makes her bed in the morning. She is most mornings found sleeping there by a distraught mother, begging her with hot tears to get up and go to school. School is the worst thing. She is laughed at by the girls, punched by the boys, and was raped once in the girls' bathroom. The memory makes her shiver. Cold envelops the room.
Susan is a petite girl. She cannot withstand physical punishment. This is why they choose her to bully. They like to pick on the helpless, who don't know how to fight back. She has dark hair and blue eyes, and depending on the angle by which you looked at her, and whether or not the sun was shining, she could be called pretty.
She looks around. Somewhere she has hidden some crack. She remembers. It's in the bottom drawer of her dresser, with the socks, where else? She opens the drawer and grabs the small brown paper bag with a despairing longing to fly out of her little body and outside the window and be high above the trees. She lights up a little, then climbs into her soft bed.
Half asleep, her mind flutters over the scene. She in her fluffy bed, cat on the floor looking up at her with bright but somewhat sorrowed eyes.
The cat's name is Canine. "Canine," she says, moving closer to the cat, what's the matter? Don't you know I'm going to be all right?" Canine sticks out his pink tongue and touches the tip of his nose with it. Then he cautiously slinks into a lying down position (moving slowly because he has just been fixed).
Susan sighs. Sleep does not come, only a semi-coma that hides some of the pain. She decides to finish the bag of crack. Once done with that, she looks around for a cigarette. Finding none, she sighs again.
She is overly-stimulated now, having the torturous sensation of "crawling out of her skin," and surely can't sleep in this condition.
Shining little pink stars float in front of her eyes everywhere she looks. Her mother comes by and opens the door to check on her. Quickly closing her eyes, Susan lies still, breathing softly. It is tough to make it appear she's sleeping, because her heart is racing and she trembles.
She knows her mother means well, but Susan does not want her to know how over-stimulated and sick she feels. Because then her mother might get a clue that she had been up to something. Susan does not want anyone to know about her drug habit, especially her mother.
After a restless night during which she debates the good points and bad points of suicide, she finally decides that the good points win. She would seek oblivion.
She does not know, because nobody has told her, that this life and death is but a portal to the next life, and she would surely live again. And somewhere, somehow, she would have to answer for the sin of killing herself. There is no oblivion. If somebody had told her, would she take this chance?
So she walks deliberately to the medicine cabinet and very deliberately swallows one aspirin after another, about 30. She begins to feel woozy and sick, then follows that with 10 valium (her mother's) that she finds there. Not sure that's enough, she downs 5 ibuprofen, finishing off the bottle.
Feeling sicker, she was already high on crack. She's mixed that with aspirin, valium, and ibuprofen. With a little whimper as her heart stops, she drops to the floor.
One hour later, her poor mother enters the room, sees the empty bottles and her child sprawled out on the bathroom floor. She cries, "Oh why, Susie?" then quickly calls 911 on her cell phone with trembling fingers, then collapses to the floor next to her daughter's lifeless body, holding Susan's wrist hoping to feel a pulse. She does not see any breathing. For a few minutes she tries artificial respiration. Nothing.
The cat walks in quietly, surveys the scene, and starts licking Susan's face.
The mother picks up Canine and holds him gently, still crying. "We'll miss her, won't we, Canine?" And the cat yeeowwls in a voice the mother has never heard before, that sounds almost like a young child.