TW: heavy discussion of suicide, suicidal ideation
Waking up today had felt like a daze to Aira. Her almost bare room which contained only the barest necessity was cold and threatening. Her eyes moves to the books packed at the edge of her bed and a bile immediately rises up her throat. It reminded her of what she dreaded the most, graduation. The thought of leaving university and moving to the outside world where she had nothing and nobody scared her.
To most people, Four years is a very long time. One could get married, birth a child and loose the child within this period of time. There was so much that could be done and undone in four years but to her, it was different. Four years was barely enough time to grasps the concept or basics of what she was supposed to be studying. Her four years in the university were marked with no prominent achievements. No nasty or epic adventure that could be used as a story for when she grew old, that's if she lived up to thirty. She laughs bitterly at the thought. Life was always a drag, she needed more time and yet didn't need any time at all. Sometimes she wanted to live to the fullest and on most days she wanted to end her existence.
She kicks the empty boxes as she makes her way to the bathroom. She stops as she sees the wooden cabinet she had made in her first year. Naive little her had envision a lot of awards and scholarships, but she had gotten none. She really tried, lord knows so. She spent countless hours in the library, staying up I'll early morning and when the results came out there were always at least a hundred person's better than her. So she stopped, stopped going to the library or reading. The fact she was graduating was a miracle in itself
In two days, she would tell the wall of education- that held her away from the real world of adulthood, taxes and never ending stress- a loud goodbye. She didn't have any plans for the future or anyone outside the school. All her friends were inside here, the thought of failing and repeating a year had occured to her but the lack of funds for another years tuition had put an abrupt end to the dream.
Today, she was going to start telling her friends goodbye, probably the last one. She doesn't know if she can take another year. Her friends were nice people, really nice people but they never understood her. During their time together, tey would all laugh and giggle while she was internally screaming in her head for someone to notice that she wasn't okay. To notice that she was lying when she said marks on her thighs were from slipping on tiles and that she loosing weight not because she was dieting but she was scared she would throw up the moment anything touched her tongue. They never noticed anything, and she didn't bother to show them. After all, she wasn't a needy person.
There was only one person she needed to bid farewell, properly.
That was Peeta..
They met during a stormy night where he tried to jump from a bridge
She was on the other end of the bridge watching him and he panicked when he saw her.
For a few minutes, he stared at her while she stared at him back.
He wanted her to stop him and she needed him to jump.
Three years later, he still asked what she would have done if he jumped and why she was at the bridge at the time. Her answer was always a shrug. Maybe she wanted to feel the breeze on her skin during the rain or maybe she wanted to jump.
After a cold bathe and a lot of coffee, she sets out to find him.
She finds him sitting under a tree in front of his dorm, soaking in the sun.
"Hmm" he opens his eyes and peeks at her
"Whatcha want ? Can't you see am sunbathing"
She smiles and sits next to him, under the scorching sun
He smirks and faces her.
"You know I am graduating and stuff, so I thought, yunn" "fuck" he shouts interrupting her.
'yeah, interrupt my speech' is all she thinks
"I knew I was forgetting something. You are going into the big crazy world and you'll need something to guide you" he stands up from the geounft and uses his twigly hands to remove the dirt on his trousers
"Soooooo, what do you have in mind ?"
"Ionno, maybe a self help book or sumtin" he mutters
"Just listen to me, this is important" she had a full speech memorized in her head and she needed to get it out.
He laughs "of course it is" and runs off
'if you ever die, make sure you die with a bang' that's what her mother used to tell her, before she died in the most silent way possible. Overdose.
It wasn't that she took the words of her mother seriously or even listened to them at all, but something about the words always appealed to her. There were many ways to end her life and if she wanted to do it, it wouldn't be through poisoning or jumping off a bridge. It would be something so epic that the university town would talk about it for years and, her friends could drink and cry about it for decades. Something that would thoroughly break them and maybe they would say "ah, we should have done something"
She wasn't suicidal, at least not today, but she had the thought several times.
Sitting in the midst of her 'friends' who were talking about future job prospects, masters education, family and the likes in a cafe where she couldn't afford their simplest cup of coffee made her want to abandon every thought of saying goodbye. Everytime she tried to speak, she was overshadowed by the big story and dream of another person.
"Ai what about you ?"
She smiles timidly ad she notices the group were waiting for her to drop her elaborate plans for after university
''I don't think I will live pass this year. I am finding difficult to breathe most times' is what she wants to say
" I don't know, I haven't thought about it yet" is what she says, but she finally has their attention
"and erhm, It is really fun hanging out with y'all an" "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' a scream interrupts her.
Someone just got proposed to. The groups attention shifted, they were more interested in seeing who the lucky human was.
At the end of the day, she wasn't able to tell anyone goodbye. Everyone was caught up in their own world. She drags herself to her empty room, where the only thing that waited for her was cold and dampness.
As she opens the door, she sees Peeta sitting on her bed with a book opened on his lap.
"Did you find the perfect gift ?" She made sure to add air quotes on the pefect.
She laughs bitterly
"So you wanted to say something important. What's that about ?" There's a look of confusion on his face.
They never talk about important stuff. The only time they talked about their families was through dark humor and sarcasm. It helped to deem the reality of their situation.
"I wanted to say goodbye" she sits on the floor " I had this whole speech memorized and whatnot"
"Did anyone listen to your farewell speech"
She looks at him pointedly
"I am listening"
"I don't want to be here anymore" she whispers quietly
" What about your farewell speech ?"
"I...I wanted to say thank you for staying with me " she knows he understands it is her way of saying this is the end, and she was grateful that he wasn't trying to save her.
He throws a book at her "that's a really short speech, isn't it ?"
There is total silence till he speaks again "I read a book once. A really stupid book" he lays on the bed and faces the other side.
"What did it say ?"
"The book is really stupid" he laughs bitterly "A aunt gave it to me after my mum died"
"If you read it then it wasn't that stupid" her reply is monotonous and calculated, she doesn't want to upset the balance of their relationship by knowing too much.
"Sometimes, the only way we can save a person is by letting them go"
"Peeta" she wants to assure him that she doesn't need to be saved
"I know, I know. I am not going to do anything. You don't want to stay here and it shows. I tried to do it once, so I think I understand, not completely but still"
" I don't want you to understand"
He laughs and drags himself up from the bed, "well, why don't you tell me about this elaborate plan to die. I know you, and you won't be going out without a bang"
She smiles gratefully "I don't have a plan, not yet" she lies
"Yeah" he could tell she was lying.