Two things I can’t forget; the look on his face, the pain in her eyes. They haunt me, those eyes. Every night since then. Every day since then. Every single time I close my eyes, I see her eyes. It wasn’t just pain in them. It was almost as if she knew.
“It wasn’t my fault really. I know I shouldn’t be saying this now. It’s too late. And I definitely shouldn’t be saying it here but honestly, it wasn’t my fault.”
Right now her eyes are closed to me. Closed to the world. She’s lying as the nurse left her. With her hands at her sides. I pick one of her hands and cradle it in mine. I wish I can pull her out of the coma the way I used to wake her up in school, back when we were roomies and everything was “a-o-kay” as she used to say. I would just play with her fingers, pulling on them gently, drawing circles in her palm and she would wake up slowly, turning to smile at me. I wish I could wake her up. I wish everything was “a-o-kay”.
“Will you please open your eyes and look at me? Can you stop this? Please?! End this for both of us now. You know I can’t deal with this without you. You know it’s not going to work if you’re not here with me. And I don’t mean just here. I mean here in every sense of the word. I need you.”
He comes to stand at the door, looking in at us. I can’t stand to be in the same room with him anymore and that’s funny because a couple of weeks ago I thought he was my world. I was ready to do anything for him. Even that.
“This will make you smile, remember that one time when we were in grade school and we wanted to run away? Remember how we decided we would take loads of shoes? We thought we were the smartest couple of girls back then. “All the homeless people don’t have shoes” you said. “We’ll be the only homeless people in the world with shoes!” we were so smart and so stupid. That’s how I feel about it. I was so smart and so stupid. I thought I had it all figured out.”
Why did I do this? He’s still standing at the door, looking directly at me now. I look him in the eyes and suddenly, I know why I did it. It was worth it. I think. I feel like one of those girls in the movies, not sure what to do and in my opinion, doing all the wrong things. If I was watching my character in a movie right now, I’d probably be screaming at the tv. “Don’t make that mistake girl! He’s not worth it!” but he is. He so is worth it. I turn back to her…
“Forget what I said earlier about it not being my fault. It was. It still is. I’m responsible for my actions and I did what I did cos I wanted to. Given the chance to redo life, I’d do it all over again. Maybe I’d tell you from the beginning and save us both the trouble but if I had to choose between this and not having him, I’d choose this. He’s worth it. I look at him now, and I remember the first time you met him. I should have spoken up then. Let you know that I already knew him, that we were more than friends. That we were ‘trying things’. That’s what he called it. I should have. There are so many things I regret. I regret what you did to yourself. Yes. What YOU did, I didn’t do this to you. He didn’t do this to you. You took the blade and cut. Your. Own. Wrists. I’m looking at you now, at the bandages on your hand and I’m wondering when it all went wrong.”
Slowly, he walks into the room and comes to sit by me. I’m angry now, angry and hurt. I think he was listening to me all this time. I’m glad he’s here. He pulls my free hand into his and squeezes gently and now I’m doing all I can to hold back the tears. But I have to finish before I break down. I need to finish.
“What I’ve been trying to say all this while…” deep breath, you can do this. “what I’m saying is this is your fault. It’s true. You thought you loved him, you thought he loved you but he didn’t.” I turn to look at him and he’s crying now. I feel the tears on my own cheeks and I realize I’m crying too, I turn back to her. “Oh who am I kidding? He loves you. He loves you so much. Just not that way. We love you. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we still haven’t let them pull the plug even though the doctor thinks they should. We love you totally. You know I love you. You’ve been my sister since forever. You didn’t need to do this to get our attention. The world did not end that day. It did not. I don’t know what else to say, just that I’m sorry for your pain and I forgive you. I hope you forgive me too.”
I start to pull on her fingers gently, thumb, forefinger, right down to her pinkie and then I start drawing circles in her palm. Little circles, big circles, clockwise, anti-clockwise, and even as I draw the circles I feel her going cold. She’s leaving me. She’s going. He feels it too and he pulls me into his arms as the sobs takeover”