They always say that you can't judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes. They say that you can't truly know some one until you become their shadow. I wish that the semi-intelligent human that came up with that saying never existed. That is correct; I am stooping low enough to state that I want someone to be erased from the world. This bitterness inhabits my very essence. Why? How did a girl like me become so invested in bitterness? What reason did I have?
On a chilly evening in March, I was sitting alone in my room with my normal, haunting music playing over the small speakers. The guitars crooned their melodies and the drums beat quietly. For the first time in my life, my mind started contemplating the future. I knew that time was creeping up on me like a cat does to a mouse, but I couldn't run as a mouse would. There were no holes to escape to, and no crevices to take refuge in. I had two years left in high school and I had accomplished nothing in life.
In the next few weeks, I delved steadily into the levels of depression. I thought about my parents, and how the divorce that occurred when I was eight, had to be a result of my bad behaviors. I reflected on the fact that my mother had fallen into the traps of alcohol, and other substance abuse. The way my dog looked when a truck had struck him in the street, the way that the electricity was shut off when mother was in a state, the looks that dad gave me when I went to visit him, the way that boys in school didn't give me a second glance, and the way that my friends were slowly drifting away were all signs that the world was falling apart. It was all a product of my failure. It was entirely my fault.
Everyone tried to give me advice. Movies and books try to make it seem that when someone is hurting, no one notices. This circumstance is only the truth when the person that is hurting tries to hide their pain. When that soul that is aching for something hides behind a plastic smile and pretty things, that is when the world is ignorant. When someone is so plainly dying inside, people become heroes. By that time, the damage is done. The person in pain can do nothing, but try with all their will to look at the sun, or give in.
My friends said, "It will get better." My mother handed me a joint. My father took me to seek medical attention, and the doctor wrote me a prescription for a sufficient amount of happy pills to take the edge off the world. There was one problem with this. When the world became fuzzy, it became bland. When everything was bland, it became sad. I couldn't escape. My counselor told me, "There are so many people that have it worse," but it did not matter what anyone said, or any quotes that people pulled off of the Internet. I was convinced that I couldn't be fixed, and that my life was wrong. I was worse off than any other teenager in the world. I felt like I was the only one who felt pain. I decided I would end it once and for all. I was done with the suffering, the pain, and the weakness. I didn't even think as I did it. My hand didn't twitch as I turned the key in the ignition of my mother's car in the garage. I let it rumble, and the fumes carried me into oblivion.
When I awoke, my first thought was why on earth would I still be awake? My second thought was why couldn't I move? I was laying on a floor of tile, looking up at a strange boy sitting on what resembled a kitchen chair. As my mind continued to defog, I realized he was alone in the damp morning. It was almost time for a boy of his age to be at school, but he was dressed in dirty clothes, and boots. I realized that as he moved to get up, I slithered along the floor behind him. He traveled to the kitchen counter, unaware of me sliding along. I saw his hand go to a picture of a man and a woman. They were holding each other, and they looked happy. A tear slid down the boy's face, and I immediately made up a synopsis of what must have happened. The boy's parents had died, and he had to work to keep himself from going into an orphanage.
My heart throbbed, and my body drifted behind him for the whole day. I saw his sorrow, his suffering, and the work he put in to overcome it. He was strong, and I wished I had the strength to overcome such an ordeal. I knew I would never amount to this boy, but I looked up to him. When he went to bed that night, my body floated beneath him, and as he closed his eyes, everything went black.
This went on for what seemed like a year of days. I became a different stranger's shadow every time one went to sleep. I saw a girl who was beaten with such ferocity by her father that she couldn't see straight, but still got up to take care of her injured siblings. I followed a boy who was raped by a strange woman, and then was shunned for complaining about it. I was the shadow of a girl who had no legs, and a boy whose face was disfigured from burns. One day, I woke up for the very last time.
I was in a hospital bed. I could hear the I.V. dripping into my arm, and I could hear voices at my side. I was amazed that I could move my fingers. I could actually control my body, even if it ached all over. I forced my eyes open, and I saw my mother and my father. They were holding each other, and looking worried for me. Mother looked sober. I closed my eyes again, and all of the other kids that I had shadowed flashed through my mind. At that moment, I made a promise. I made a vow against self-pity. I knew that things were not as bad as they could be, and that I could get over anything. I opened my eyes again, and the world glowed with a whole, new light.