Holiday Thriller Drama

TEN. It’s nearly midnight and I am standing on a ledge overlooking a cheering crowd. They are gathered here in celebration - another year gone by, another come again, the cycle repeating as it always has and always will, ad infinitum. 

Most of them would call it a good thing if they were still sober enough for abstract thought. But no, they are drunk on alcohol and reckless joy and the companionship of loved ones and they cannot see the unbreakable, unbearable hold of the chains of time.

They must have sadness and sorrow in their life, pain and struggle. Some would know the meaning of suffering, but at least for now they are happy. At least for now, they are carefree.

If I jump I might hurt some of them on the way down.

NINE. The hands of the great clock already, prematurely rest on the new year, only the thinnest recognizing it is not yet time. Not for nine more seconds. The crowd is counting, thousands of strangers shouting in unison that is nearly miraculous. 

The sound is like a physical blow to my chest, drowning out the myriad noises of the city and creating an odd, loud sort of silence where I am alone, or as alone as anyone ever is in the city. 

They shout for the new year thinking it matters, that years themselves matter, like there’s any difference between the second that resets that calendar and the one before it.

There isn’t. It’s just another arbitrary definition in a society of arbitrary definitions, lies we tell ourselves are truths, with no greater importance than birthdays or family or Bi-Polar Disorder.

Life doesn’t happen in years or months. It happens in nows. I’ve wasted so many nows, carelessly tossing them to shatter into regrets.

If I kill myself now I’ll never get any more.

EIGHT. Many of them will have Resolutions, these grand declarations of change and transformation, taking the chance to become their Better Selves. As though we can change. Maybe some of them can. Maybe some of them changed between this year and the one before, or the one before that. 

But when I look in the mirror I always see the same eyes. The anger, the sorrow, the despair of that kid the couldn’t sleep for the burning ache in his chest. I feel the scars with my fingers, the ones I was so careful to make where no one could see. 

Silver and pale, they have grown nearly invisible even to my familiar fingers. It has been over a decade since I made them, but I can still feel the pain of the cut, and the same dull ache that brought me to do it. All I’ve changed was learning to talk like I’m smiling.

I spent all my life trying to change. All my life fighting to become a Better Self. It’s never going to happen.

I’m never going to change.

If I kill myself I’ll stop trying.

SEVEN. I spent seven years in hospitals. Seven years in recovery. Seven years. I was twelve my first day in, nineteen when I got out. And every day, every single day I heard that damned sentence.

“For now, recover. Life can start later.”

Like I wasn’t alive, wasn’t a teenager who wanted to be stupid and have fun. Wasn’t human. No, all I was allowed to be was depressed and manic and, on a good day, stable. I was just a patient and every word I said could be found in the DSM.

Well, I recovered. I mastered my emotions, learned how to meditate and bio-feedback and mind my heart rate and blood flow to understand my own psyche. I learned how to dam the screaming storm within me behind high walls where it can’t hurt anyone, turning my sorrow into emptiness.

I watched the people around me to find the smile to strap on my face. Learned how to cry without tears, how to be angry without anger, how to laugh without happiness. How to love without love.

For seven years I fought, clawed and bit to learn skills most people never knew they had. But life never did end up starting.

If I jump it never will.

SIX. I should be crying, but I’m not. Why aren’t I? If I kill myself my mother will never forgive me.

FIVE. I’m twenty-four. Did I already run out of tears? If I kill myself I’ll show up on the evening news and my father doesn’t deserve that.

FOUR. It’s nearly midnight and I am standing on a ledge overlooking a cheering crowd. They are gathered here in celebration - another year gone by, another come again, another spent in stasis, another waiting to be wasted. All it would take is a step, and it will be over. Years of suffering, ended just like that, like a bubble popping. 

My tears, my scars, my endless nightmares and the memories growing ever heavier, all will just stop. I will just stop.

My foot leaves the ledge, beginning its last step.

Life is a mistake, sentience another. It has no purpose, no rhyme or reason. There is no destiny, no entity guiding our steps, no intention. Our lives are to do with as we wish. Our purpose is as we wish.

There is no point to existence.

But if I die now there will be no point to my existence.

THREE. If I die now I will never become anything.

TWO. If I die now it was all wasted

ONE. If I die now there was no purpose for my pain.

If I die now there was no purpose for my pain.

If I die now there was no purpose for my pain.

If I die now there was no purpose-

I step back onto the rooftop. Hot wet tears melt their way down my cheeks as the roar of the crowd below me rises in a crescendo, a joyous, violent declaration of celebration and life. I roar with them, in my throat a ragged battle cry, defiant and desperate, the roar of the last stand, the roar of the survivor.


January 03, 2020 22:45

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Agathe Burrier
16:35 Jan 09, 2020

Absolutely amazing! Great writing, great story. I have nothing to say except that I'm enormously impressed.


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Sasha Senaratne
12:33 Jan 09, 2020

Well done Yair, this is exhilarating! You’ve taken us on a roller-coaster here. The highly creative, descriptive writing lets us experience every emotion. The build-up was immense, and the sense of dread came across superbly. A terrific idea for a story—very well done.


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Suzanne Kiraly
21:30 Jan 08, 2020

Wow! That was an emotional journey you took us on there, Yair. Raw and real - I felt very compelled to read on. The pacing was good in most places, especially as you neared the end. I was sure she/he was going to jump and so it was very pleasing to see that didn't happen. Your expression was superb in places. I loved this: "dam the screaming storm within me behind high walls" and this: "find the smile to strap on my face". The deliberate capitalisation of Resolution along with Bi-Polar Disorder and Better Self was also most effective. And th...


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Cassidy Caldwell
21:15 Jan 08, 2020

A great read. Heartfelt and honest. Amazing job


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