I stare myself in the mirror. My hair is in tangles, I can't remember the last time I had a bath. My cheeks have become hollow, my eyes are bloodshot. I look like a maniac. I scream at the mirror. Scream at top of my lungs. I scream until my voice becomes hoarse and then I start sobbing uncontrollably as I fall on the floor of the bathroom. I leaned on the wall, wiping away the tears.
Depression is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is different from the mood fluctuations that people regularly experience as a part of life.
I have lost interest in everything. I lost my job a couple of weeks ago. My boyfriend deserted me, after sleeping with my only best friend. My parents are no longer in this world. I am alone, stranded alone in this world. I have lost weight for the past couple of days, I couldn't have a proper good night sleep, I don't feel like doing anything. And I am having thoughts of ending my life.
I overdosed on some pills and hoped to join my folks in heaven. But my neighbor, Mrs. Ritz, a concerned woman found me unconscious after she found my front door open. Doctors recommended psychiatrists and therapists who tried to understand me. Depression, that's what they told me. I am suffering from depression.
But even with a visit to therapists still haven't cured my depression. God has been very cruel to me for these past few weeks. He doesn't really care about me. I lost everything. And I still feel, why should I be in this part of the world when no body gives a shit about me?
I eyed the knife that I brought from the kitchen. I have looked up on the internet about how to slit my wrists with the knife.
If you cut your wrists vertically, it will be more dangerous as veins will get affected. And you have to slit multiple times if you slit vertically If you cut horizontally, it will slit and sever both the veins and arteries in the wrist. You can only slit once horizontally.
I hold the knife, looking at the blue colored veins running across my wrist. My hand which is holding the knife is shaking as I bring the sharp edge of the knife closer to the wrist...
A dog started barking.
I dropped the knife. It seemed as if there is a dog inside my house. The barking is echoing from the living room. I frowned, as I don't own any dog. I must have left the front door of the house, open again.
I walk out of the bathroom and padded into the living room. A cream colored Labrador is in the middle of the living room, it's tail wagging at me. It barked merrily at me and immediately jumped at me, licking my face. I try to push the dog gently away from me. I wonder whose dog was it. Probably it belongs to one of the neighbors.
I sighed. Another failed attempt of suicide, thanks to my carelessness of leaving the door open.
I walk towards the front door and throw the door wide open. The streets seemed empty. It's almost nighttime and everyone is inside the comfort of their homes. Maybe the dog must have escaped from it's kennel or something I thought.
There was no leash on the dog. Sighing, I grab my jacket and then walk out of the house towards Mrs. Ritz's house. To my utter surprise, the dog started following me, closely behind, as if I am it's new owner.
Mrs. Ritz opened the door and she almost gasped at the sight of me.
"My dear child!" she exclaimed. I am not really a child--I am a thirty something year old woman. "Are you all right?"
"A dog came into my house," I said lamely, allowing her to glimpse at the dog.
Mrs. Ritz looks at the dog and shakes her head.
"I haven't seen this dog around," she said softly. "But you can try Mr. Donovan. But he never leaves his dogs outside."
"I can't keep this dog," I said. The dog started licking my feet.
"Ah! This dog seems to like you Rhea," Mrs. Ritz smiled. "It's almost bedtime so why don't you keep the dog with you and then see who is the owner tomorrow?"
I wanted to argue but then she is right. Some are early sleepers and wouldn't be too thrilled of getting wake up. And I don't want to keep knocking on each of the neighbor's houses asking if the dog belongs to them as this time of the day.
"OK, I will do it tomorrow," I replied.
"Rhea, you look like you are hungry, wait here, I made some meatballs and ravioli. Let me wrap some for you,"
"I-" I said but she vanished back into the house and arrived with a food container filled with meatballs and ravioli. And I saw some sausages stacked with the food containers.
"Rhea, if you are having any problems, you should tell me..." she said in a motherly tone. She knows about my first attempt of suicide. If she knows that I tried to commit suicide again, she will have a fit and probably would have forced me to stay with her, so she can monitor me.
I smiled at her.
"Thanks Mrs. Ritz," I said. I walk across the road back to my house, with the dog trailing after me. I closed and locked the door and look at the dog. The dog sits down, facing me, studying me, it's mouth open, tailed wagging furiously, making thumping noise on the floor.
"Look, I can't have you here," I said softly. I found a plate and put some sausages on the plate and gave it to the dog. The dog started wolfing down the sausages, as if it hadn't had any food for days. I stare at the meatballs and ravioli, part of me want to throw the food away.
Instead, like the dog, I wolf down the meal.
For the first time in weeks, I had a bath. A nice warm bath. I remember the coconut scented shampoo I had bought ages ago and I put nearly half of the bottle into my hair. For the first time, I feel...refreshed.
After a bath, I look inside my fridge. I was ashamed that I have nothing in my fridge--a stack of beer bottles, a slice of half eaten pizza I had, probably weeks ago, and some eggs. I sighed. The dog is sitting beside me, obediently looking at me.
For the first time in weeks, I take my car and drive down to the grocery store. I buy dog food, milk, other necessary grocery items I have ignored for weeks. I then drive to a close animal shelter, where I meet someone who is working there and told them about the lost dog.
"Well, the best thing is you can keep the dog until the owner comes and collect the dog" she explained.
"But I can't keep the dog," I said, hoping that the shelter will somehow take the dog and that it will not be a problem anymore.
"Madam, I think it's better the dog stays with you than in the shelter,"
And so I left the shelter with the girl promising me to give a call as soon as she receives a message about a missing dog.
For some reason, I stop by the pet shop. That dog did not have a leash. I need a leash. I stare at the pet shop, thanking that luckily, I have saved money and is able to buy a leash at least.
Few minutes later, I leave the pet shop with a leash and a dog food plate.
A week has passed since the dog came into my life. I have put up posters around the neighborhood, and no one has come forward to claim the dog. I can't keep calling the dog as "Dog" so I gave the dog a name- Hope. The dog is a female (I checked). I take Hope out for walk in the evenings and play with Hope in the backyard. I cleaned up the entire house, throwing away the beer bottles and pills that have consumed the part of my life for almost two months. I went to the nearby gym to workout. I do grocery shopping. And I started hunting for jobs.
Few weeks ago, I was on the verge of depression with thoughts of ending my life. Since Hope came into my life, I did not have any thoughts of committing suicide.
"Oh, you are keeping the dog?" Mrs. Ritz asked as I was walking Hope, passing by her house.
I smiled at her. "Well, no one came forward to claim her so I am keeping her,"
She smiled warmly. "Rhea, I am so happy to see you happy,"
I am glad she noticed my change. I look healthier and happier than ever before.
Ever since my break-up with Josh, I had not logged into Facebook. I logged back in again, after being away for so long. So many posts, so many messages. Some of my colleagues from work haven't forgotten me and send their love through the messages.
Then I see a picture of Josh holding a baby with a caption "Proud to be a Daddy,"
If it was the old me, I would have thrown the laptop across the living room and maybe drank some pills to get rid of loneliness. Instead, I was happy for him, that he is starting a family.
I "unfriend" him from Facebook.
I am going to be a new me. I am going to start a new life. I am going to rebuild my life. And Hope will help me to rebuild my life.
A month later...
I got a job--much better than the previous one with a good pay and benefits. Hope and I have become best friends. Ever since Hope has entered into my life, she gave me a second chance. A second chance to live again instead of rotting it away. What if Hope had never come into my life? I remember the night in the bathroom, when I was going to slit my wrists.
Either I would probably be dead, or still rotting my life away.
It was evening, the stars twinkling brightly in the purple colored sky. Hope has grown a bit fat and is happily walking beside me. She likes her evening walks. As I walk on the path, I see another man walking a dog as well. The dog just like Hope is a Labrador. The man looks at me and smiles at me.
"Hi, nice dog," he said.
"Hi, you have a nice dog too,"
And Hope and his dog were barking at each other, happily, wagging their tails, as if they are best friends.
A year later...
A year ago, Rhea Ismail was suffering from depression and had thoughts of ending her life. Now, she is happy, healthy, and finally found the love of her life. Today is her big day.
Mrs. Ritz couldn't help the fact that if Hope, the dog hadn't turned up inside Rhea's house, Rhea's life would never have changed. Hope changed Rhea's life. Mrs. Ritz couldn't figure out how on earth a dog ended up inside Rhea's house out of all the houses.
Do you believe in angels? Maybe an angel must have sent the dog into Rhea's life.
And Mrs. Ritz wondered who this angel can be.
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That's sweet. I like the fitting name of Hope for the dog.