You don’t have to do this, they told me. You don’t have to go this way. You don’t have to do this. That’s what they told me. That’s what everybody says. But how come they’re never there when I need them? How come they’re not here, on this bridge? The lights are so bright, I can’t believe nobody has seen me. It’s a Saturday night, everybody is too busy having fun. Too busy having a good time. Too busy to notice me. That’s what everyone said. I was the least of their problems. Divorce, counseling, and boyfriends came first. They had their priorities, but I was never one of them. That’s cool, I’ve got one priority right now. These next two steps. They’ve pushed me away, ran from me, called me crazy. All these years I put up with them. They never really cared about me. They weren’t pressed about having a real family, they just wanted to have fun.
That’s probably what they’re doing right now, having fun. Where am I? Who knows, I don’t even know. I just remember we came here on a trip and I decided to make a final decision.
“You should take care of yourself” they told me. “You should stand up for yourself.” Coming from two dudes I barely saw, I found that hard to replicate. They were never there for me, when I fell down. When everyone around me was two and three inches bigger in every sense of the word. When I got beat down at school, which was daily, they have me ice packs. When I got arrested for drug possession, they asked me if I liked it. When I got drug raped in our hotel on one of their vacations, they told me to practice more often. They said “I’d get used to it”. That’s all I’ve ever done. Well, I’ve gotten over their fantasy marriage. I’ve gotten over the neglect, incest, and excellent care I’ve received from those two. When I say excellent care, I mean eating food whenever, having clean water to drink maybe, and getting a safe night’s rest “if I was good”. Of course, thanks to my doctor who said I was “bad”, my parents took full advantage of me. No wonder I’m always sick and in the hospital. That’s what happens when you play pretend with the human body.
I’m getting sleepy now, and I know if I go to sleep I’ll be found, brought back to my parents, and probably have at least six of their “friends” waiting for me. I don’t want that to happen. I was going to put an end to that. Maybe they’d find a new toy. Maybe they’d start using themselves. That would be funny.
One more step. They say that your life flashes before your eyes in these moments, but there’s nothing to flash before my eyes, except for scars, hospital trips, and morning sores.
I hear a car nearby. I look around, and I realize it came from under me. Crap. I’m standing over a street. I don’t want to get hit by a car. I might live. I don’t want to live. Live to see another big D on my paper, and in my room. Live to see another beatdown on school property. Live to see another “vacation” in which I get left at home for nine or ten days with barely anything to eat or do. That’s protracted death. Kinda like what they do with cancer patients. Give them all those meds that will supposedly cure them, and then they still die. I’ve had enough. I’m an American, however you spell that. I have my rights and my freedoms. Wherever they came from. Spain I think. I can choose when to live, and when to end, and I’ve chosen to end it all. Nobody else will. Not my sick parents. Not my teachers. Not my friend, who really wanted to get under my sweater. So if nobody else has the courage to do it, ill do it.
Overlooking the bridge, there’s a two way traffic circle. So appropriate. Some people take one turn, and others take the opposite turn. I was in the middle of that circle for a long time, 14 years actually. But not anymore, I’ve made my turn.
One more step.
The night air is cold.
My bare feet are free, finally.
I put my hand against the railing.
Let it go.
No tears, no sadness. This is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given.
Close your eyes.
Screeching. A carseat flies out the side window. Then silence.
I made my choice.
And two others with me.