From the edge of the cliff where I stood, everything seemed to freeze. I felt as if I was the only one here, as if I was the only living creature who existed. The wind that used to play with my hair, I couldn’t feel. The trees whose branches and leaves used to dance in the breeze, I couldn’t see. Even the crickets that used to sing me a tune, I couldn’t hear. It was as if, they can feel the heaviness inside me and paid their respects. Only the solid ground, which I’m stepping on, made me remember I was alive even with a bleeding heart.
I stood still, feeling the moonlight shower upon me, causing the tiny piece of metal tightly clenched by my hand to glint. I looked below, to the pitch black, the seemingly endless abyss. Seeing the darkness sent shivers down my spine. It mirrored my thoughts. It mirrored what I felt.
“Give me that razor.” I heard a man speak from behind me. His voice was warning. I didn’t have to look behind to know who it was. It was him- the love of my life. I turned to look at him anyway, just so I could see the face that made me fall, and the man who made me bleed.
One last look.
“Give me that razor.” He repeated, referring to the tiny piece of metal in my hand. I laughed a bitter laugh. I offered him my love. I am willing to give him anything, everything. And yet it was this tiny piece of metal he would prefer to have.
I have loved him since we were in high school. Even then, we’ve been the best of friends. We always did everything together. Always. I remember him comforting me when I felt low, holding my hand when I was afraid, and defending me when my detractors come. He saves me everyday. It was through his thoughtfulness that he had cut me open and made me vulnerable to the world.
Being close to him made me long for something I thought I could have. He made me feel special, important. He made me feel something I thought would blossom into something more intimate.
But he drifted away from me. I got tired making up excuses for him. I knew he wasn’t busy, I knew he wasn’t sick; and I recognize that familiar sparkle in his eyes, so familiar it could have been my own, only it was not for me.
“Sal,” he called my name this time, as if waking me from a trance. “The razor,” he reminded, extending his arm to get the metal
I moved my arm holding the metal towards his, blood oozed from a shallow cut in my wrist. His eyes widened in shock at the sight and snatched the metal quickly away from my hand. I laughed another bitter laugh.
When he came into my life, all my doubts of being unloved disappeared. Somehow, I felt important. I felt alive. Only now did I realize that I was wrong. I wasn’t loved at all- not by anyone, especially not by him. But why did it have to be him? Why did he have to be the one to prove to me that I was wrong? My world had revolved around him but now, the world that I had built collapsed and turned to muck. I had no world. And now more than ever, I felt empty.
“Tell me something.” I said, closing my eyes. I didn’t want to see that sparkle in his eyes. “You love her, don’t you?”
I heard him let out a heavy sigh. “Let’s head back. You need to rest, clear your head off.”
“I’m not good enough for you, am I?”
“Sal, stop it.”
“Just say it.” I demanded, almost knowing what his answer would be.
“Yes. I love her.” His words were knives that stabbed me straight to the heart.
“I know.” I said, looking down.
“I’m sorry.” His voice was softer now, almost a whisper.
“It’s not your fault. It’s my fault that I’m not good enough.”
“It’s not like that. We’re best friends and I can’t see you any other way. And whatever happens, life goes on.”
“At least for you.”
He stared at the blood oozing from my cut. I tried to hide the pain but the tears fell, anyway. He looked into my eyes with pity and I felt pathetic all the more.
“Stop hurting yourself!” He screamed as he threw the tiny metal down the cliff.
I fell silent. His request was an absolute impossibility.
He sure had saved me from a lot of things- humiliation, physical pain, fear. But there’s one thing he couldn’t save me from. He couldn’t save me from myself.
“Promise me one thing.” He said, his voice softer now. “Don’t ever hurt yourself again.” It sounded more like a plea.
But living without him means living a life of pain. “I promise.” I whispered, unsure if he could hear. It was a promise I made for myself. If living without him means living a life of pain, I simply choose not to. “I promise not to hurt myself again.” I whispered while closing my eyes and taking a single step back knowing there will be no solid ground to catch my feet.
Note: Life is good. Be optimistic, be happy!
Date on archive: March 1, 2010