I opened the door to my apartment, and saw the small blinking light by the phone. Twenty missed calls, twenty messages. I looked at the clock, realizing I’d only been gone a few hours.
Not gone long enough, I thought.
I knew it was her that had called, her voice on the other end of the messages. I wanted to rip the phone out of the wall, throw it to the ground, and pummel the machine to tiny bits with a baseball bat. Instead, I hit play…
The first message started as they usually did, wondering how I was, and if I wanted to see her. She sounded normal enough. But I knew that would change in the messages to come.
Around message four the blame started. I caused her unhappiness, it was my fault for how she felt. I ruined her life.
Message number ten was when words started to slur. I could sense hatred in her voice. Hatred of self, resentment of us. I should have stopped there, but a part of me needed to feel her misery. It made it easier to hate her.
Around message fifteen was when the anger reared its ugly, inevitable voice. Threatening me with violence, then begging me to just “be a man” and come see her. She knew I was avoiding her, and her manipulation over me was unbearable.
The last few messages were quieter in tone. I thought that maybe she was passing out, or just giving up trying to reconcile with me. But then the realization of what she was doing came to light.
“I took them all. I’ll miss you forever. I’m sorry for everything, but you won’t have to deal with me anymore….tell them all I love….” and then all I heard was shallow breathing, mixing with soft, muffled crying. Then silence. I tried to call back, but only got the busy signal.
You selfish rotten bitch, I thought.
She talked about killing herself all the time, but I always ignored her. In my mind, it was just another way to control me, manipulate me like putty to do whatever she wanted. I never had any say in anything. But, I thought, I have a choice now, don’t I?
As the last message finished, I sat in my dark apartment, looking at the phone. Calling 911 never crossed my mind. I didn’t want her to be saved. What I did want was to see her at her lowest, in a situation where I would be in control, not her.
Thirty minutes later, I arrived at her place. The door was open slightly, a faint light coming though the crack. Jewell, her favourite musician at that time, was playing softly.
Just walk away, it’s not your concern.
But a part of me, a dark, confused, angry part of me wanted to see what was behind that door. I pushed the door open slowly and called out her name. A groan emerged from the back room.
She’s still alive.
As I went through the kitchen, I saw papers strewn about. I picked them up reading what was written. They were written to her true love, apologizing for past regrets. Then I saw the kitchen table. It has been cut and sliced with a knife, and carved into the center were the words ” every other touch feels pale and shallow”
She wants to kills herself over another man, yet calls and blames me? God I hope she really did it. I’ll be free….
A small, crumpled mass lay in the corner of the back bedroom. I bent down to her chest, and laid my hand on her breast. Her breathing was shallow, but she was alive.
As I touched her, she mumbled thank you, thank you for coming, I knew you would…and then ended that sentence with another man’s name. I wanted to kick her, smother her, give her what she wanted.
But I didn’t. I held her hand, spoke kind words to her and told her everything would be alright. I should have called an ambulance, but didn’t. I stayed with her all night. I kept her alive, and yet felt myself dying every minute I was there.
She survived. I should have broken it off then, but co-dependency is a bitch. I went through similar scenario’s twice more, until finally I had enough of her self destructive behavior, wised up, and left.
I hope someone helped her, but it wasn’t to be me.