Day 1 of Vicki’s WC7 – Secrets…
I’ve got a secret… well, more than one actually… but don’t we all?
This secret though… this secret is one of the very last things I told Tina about my past and the only reason that I told her is because I had given my solemn promise that there would never be secrets between the two of us. I didn’t want to tell her… I didn’t want to reveal that side of me to her. I didn’t want that secret to be the last straw… the straw that was one straw too many. The one that would make Tina decide that it was all too much, that I was too damaged. But a secret can also be a lie and I could not live with that lie between us. It would have eaten away like a cancer, destroying every good thing that Tina had tried to do for me… for us. So I told her.
I let someone die. I held her in my arms and I did nothing. I stroked her hair and waited for the pills she had taken to do their job. I let someone die because she was in so much pain and so much torment and she begged me not to stop her. I let someone die because her pain and her torment were even greater than mine and I knew that…
I don’t remember how many times I looked at my phone… at those three glowing digits on the screen waiting for me to hit Send… then back at her… as her breathing slowed and her face became only a blur through my own tears… until the grip of her hand on mine gradually relaxed and her chest rose one last time… then fell… and she was gone.
I tried to tell myself that if I stopped her… if I hit Send and she didn’t die this time… she would only try again… and again if necessary. I tried to rationalize that it was better this way because she was at least with a friend… someone who understood her pain… someone who would not judge her. I told myself that she was now at peace.
Three weeks later I boarded a plane with a belly full of booze and a bottle full of pills… ready to let go of that last thread that I had been hanging on to… giving up the fight… as she had… realizing that I too… had finally found ‘too much’.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
7 September 2013
(Writing under a large mushroom, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest)