X Years Ago
It’s cold. It’s dark. The floor is made of cement. For weeks, I was sleeping in the basement looking for pity. That final night, I was thinking of the argument I had with my wife. It wasn’t really an argument, more like a statement. She pounded her fist on the table while I was eating dinner and she shouted, “I hate you!”
The words that came out of her mouth, the words that could no longer be taken back, but apologized for whether she meant them or not, were now playing in my head like a continuous recording. I swallowed the first pill.
My alarm clock staring at me, I would time it right this time. Every three minutes I would swallow another, not allowing myself to throw up a heaping handful like the last time, failing. This time would be a success.
In between the flashes of my wife’s angry face with her fist on the table were pieces of audio. Me, on the phone with a self-help line. I was on the phone with them over an hour ago. It was now late into the night. The counselor, I think his name was Gary, kept telling me that I could get through this, that I had things to live for, to fight for. These were the bits of audio coming in between that intolerable statement. I hate you, you can get through this, I hate you, you have your whole life ahead of you to think about, I hate you, you need to fight for your marriage, I hate you.
The clock clicked over three minutes and I swallowed another. Finally, a plan to do this the right way. Finally, a way to just get rid of the arguments without facing them any longer. Finally, a finale.
I ended the conversation with Gary convincing him that I would be alright. I had tears coming down my face, but it didn’t show in my voice. I was very convincing. I was also convinced that the locked door and late night would hide my act.
Three more minutes. Another pill. Up to three now in just under ten minutes. At least that’s what the swirling numbers are telling me as the drugs take effect.
I had attempted this same act twice before. Once during an argument with my wife. I was taunting her, swallowing pills in handfuls as she screamed at me. I was in this same room, only I was standing in the corner angry as she stood there waiting for me to bluff. Instead, she had a neighbor call the police before our argument like she was anticipating me beating her or doing something else. I would never harm anyone. Only myself.
I lost track of how many pills I was up to and I was drifting in and out of sleep. I looked at the clock, and twelve minutes had passed. If I was on autopilot of swallowing pills, that meant I had seven of these whoppers in me.
My eyes twitched and I heard sirens. My eyes twitched so much I couldn’t see anything. My body convulsed, jerking itself across the cement floor. I felt my hands cramp together and were now no longer usable. It was working. My wife would finally regret something.
The sirens were getting closer and I wondered if Gary had called an ambulance unconvinced that I would be alright like I told him. I was right, Gary wasn’t convinced and I heard heavy footsteps coming down the basement steps. I heard my wife’s voice. My body still jerking itself across the floor, getting tangled in my blanket, my hands completely deformed and my eyes, my eyes scrambled around like marbles making it impossible to see anything. My body jerking, I felt a crack and pop in my back. All of my muscles were tense, my hands squeezing into my palms making them bleed. I grunted as my back popped and I could feel my spine tousle under the tight muscles.
That was the last thing I remember being in my own house. I was never allowed back home after that night. My wife made sure of that.
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