I look down twenty feet below and ponder if maybe twenty feet
isn’t so far down. I look up at the night sky and feel the howling
wind blowing heavily against my chest, discouraging another step
forward. The white shine of the moon blurs as the waterfall of
tears stroll down my eyes. The stars sparkle so faintly I forgot
they were even there.
I close my eyes, taking the last step toward the edge. I spread
out my arms and feel the aggression of the wind. My hands began
to shake uncontrollably, and my body starts to shiver. I felt my
heart pounding my chest as it tried escaping my suffocating body.
My oxygen quickly limited as I then resorted to heavy panting.
I shut my eyes tighter, forcing myself to ignore all the fear
building inside of me. Voices in my head poured in as I quickly
started considering how important life really was to me. My life
flashed before my eyes, from the happiest moments to the darkest
days. I reminded myself the pain that brought me here and how
I can finally make it all disappear.
This is it. This is the end of my pain. This is my answer to
freedom. I took one last deep breath of life, and then released
it from my lungs, dismissing my body from its last struggle
“Stop!” shouted a voice behind me, grabbing my waist and
pulling me back.
He sat me down, placing his arm around my backside, looking
at me. I hadn’t noticed his expression; my body was still in shock.
My mind still lost and confused, my head sulking down as my
tears blurred my vision. All I heard was…
“Come with me.”
The man led me to a place very familiar, a place I’ve been
calling home for as long as I could remember, a place where no
one belongs, a place where you go when you don’t have any place
to go, a place for those who’ve never discovered who they are and
never found their place in the world.
The man led me to his camp behind an alley where his
“survival” mates lived. There were two of them, a young adult
man (older than all the members here), and a young adult girl
about my age. They gathered close to their fire set up, protecting
themselves against the cool winter breeze. They didn’t have very
much, only what was needed to survive. The only thing worth of
real value would be their musical instruments, all of which were
in great condition considering the circumstances. These folks
probably haven’t lived out here for long.
“Please, I want you to meet my friends.” He aimed his hand
toward a young black man with glasses first. “This is Michael,”
the man said as Michael warmly greeted me. “And this is Amy.
She recently joined us a few days ago.” She glanced at me for a
second giving a brief weak grin and then lowered her eyes on the
There was something about her that attracted me. She
reminded me of myself—her gothic yet creative style choice
of dressing, her black dyed hair with highlights, and her
black style make up that matched her broken heart with her
I decided to sit with Amy, feeling the most comfortable
around her. Her mutilated wrists made me feel more at ease with
myself. They made me feel like I was around someone who’d
understand the pain I’m feeling. I knew anybody who looked at
me was asking questions such as “What’s wrong with this girl?”
or “what made her get like this?” Being close to Amy brought me
peace from my anxiety because I knew she was afraid of the same
lack of understanding.
“I know it’s not much, but what we do have is yours,” said the
man warmly but sensitively. “And don’t worry, you’ll be safe here.
Michael and I will give our lives for you, ladies.”
I avoided eye contact with him, making no response. Instead
I turned my attention at Amy who was still staring at the ground
with her arms folded around her legs. Looking at her gave me a
sudden desire to talk to her.
“I’m Rebecca,” I whispered to her as she very slowly
“Hi,” she responded, barely making eye contact.
Not knowing how to continue the conversation, I studied her
in hopes of understanding her pain. By focusing on her pain, I
figured I could distract my mind from my own. I made it a priority
to think about her pain as long as possible to avoid returning to
my own thoughts.
It didn't last. Eventually, the comfort of distraction faded
away as everyone fell to sleep. My mind no longer had distraction
to rely on. The fear was creeping back, and it was terrifying me!
Sleep became impossible due to the flood of negative thoughts
pouring in my brain. My body was shivering nonstop like I
was in a panic attack, and the tears wouldn't stop blinding my
eyes. I found myself rubbing my eyes so frequently they were
I hugged my legs, trying to gather up heat against the cruel
winter wind. My hands grew numb as my face turned to stone. I
felt my tears drying too quickly on my face, and my once runny
nose became so stuffed up I could barely breathe. All I could
hear was the sound of my own weeping and despair. The feelings
inside me were too much to bear. I desperately wanted to put a
stop to them any way I could.
Then suddenly, I heard a loud wailing from a distance.
Desperate for distraction, I pursued the voice. I didn't care what it
was; I just needed curiosity to replace my overwhelming despair.
I pursued quietly and carefully through the dark alleys, following
the shadow of a weeping girl straight ahead. I set my back against
the wall and stuck my head around the corner carefully, not
knowing what to expect.
My eyes widened as I gasped from the surprise of spotting
pools of blood on the floor. The weeping girl was Amy, and she
was using a pair of scissors to slit open her wrists and knees! I
saw her press the blade deep into her knees as she grinded her
teeth, trying minimize her volume. Blood spilled from her legs
down into the puddle that was expanding fast. Instead of the
pain scaring her, it seemed to only make her angrier as she started
digging into her skin more violently. The tears were quickly
pouring but not as fast as the blood was.
Witnessing such terror brought immediate attention to my
mind. It told me if I didn't act now, this girl will cut herself to
death! By this moment, I was granted the power over another
person’s life, but does that mean I act on it? Who am I decide
what one does with his or her life? It’s not my place to make
judgments on what people do with their lives. I’m suffering
unbearably because a man took away a decision that was mine
alone to make, a decision I’ve spent years finding the courage to
go through with. I hate that man for that! He had no right taking
my decision away from me, and I don’t believe I have the right
taking her decision away from her.
At that moment, I had my mind made up, but then my heart
objected the decision. I tried to rationalize with my heart, but
it wouldn’t reason because it couldn’t reason. Though all my
thoughts were against it, my heart was speaking a language I
couldn’t understand, a language I couldn’t make sense of. Thinking
rational became exhausting very quickly, and I was forced to act
“Amy! Stop! Right now!”
Unaware of my presence, she darted her head toward my
direction, giving me enough time to seize the blade from her
hands. Throwing the scissors on the ground, I wrapped my arms
around her, giving her the warmest hug my heart had left to
spare. Too broken to react, she accepted the situation and wailed
loudly while coughing violently after loss of control. I cried with
her silently as tears starting dripping from my bruised eyes.
We wept together for hours, and I never once released my
arms from her. I did this not only for her comfort but for mine
as well.Together we were releasing our long stored pain. I know
it seems wrong to think this under the circumstances, but I’m
happy I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m happy to know
I’m not alone, and that there’s someone else out there who feels
the way I do.
I’m thankful I met Amy, but I realize now if I’ve never been
saved, I wouldn’t have been here to save her. Like me, she would
have died alone, cold, and terrified. The man not only saved my
life but hers as well.