Trigger Warning: Suicidal mentions and death. This story could be sensitive or triggering to anyone uncomfortable with suicidal topics and or mentions of death.
Authors note: Even by the trigger warning it's probably easy to guess; this one is a sad one. I've noticed that I tend to switch between sad, and fantasy. Weird combination? So I actually wrote this story a couple months ago(more like last year) and thought it fit this prompt so I spent the week revising and editing it. I really like it and hope you guys do too! Feel free to leave any feedback on what you thought!
She called me Len. I called her Ria.
Every day I come so close to seeing her again, but something stops me. Every, stupid. Worthless. Time.
Couldn't she help me? Couldn't she suck up her stubbornness and know that I’m sorry?
That I'm sorry that I didn't know she was hurting. I’m sorry I didn't comfort her. I’m sorry I didn't notice sooner.
I’ve gotten nothing from her for so long. Not one single sign that Ria even remembers me.
It's like she never even existed.
Her things were destroyed or donated by my parents as a way of grieving. Leaving a sad, colorless, bare, room for my mother to spend her days in
To relive so many memories of what feels like so few years with her.
As I walk by I can hear mother from Ria’s old room. She spends hours at a time in that room, some days she’ll end up sleeping in there. I can hear her crying, echoing through the floors, through the walls. The gut-wrenching sobs.
Every time I hear her cry I can feel a big weight dropped on my shoulders. It feels like t's my fault she's grieving that way. It's my fault Ria’s gone.
Mothers not even herself anymore. Her voice used to be soft, and smooth. Ria always told me it reminded her of warm hot chocolate.
After Ria di-left, mother’s words started to crack into small stuttering sentences like she can't catch her breath. And there’s always those sentences where she doesn't finish them at all.
As I walk down the hall and slip into my usual spot at the table, there’s a loose, airy timidness between the three of us.
Dad sits in his chair at the head of the table, scrolling through his phone and mother is digging in the fridge for something.
The tension felt unusually loose.
It had been so tense with the three of us, for almost nine months. This seemed like we could make something out of it. Maybe break the grief cycle my parents were stuck in. I only managed to get out a couple weeks ago. Mother made a noise and pulled out the milk carton, pouring each of us a glass.
I bite my lip and lean back in my chair. Maybe Ria heard our prayers and finally answered them?
I squeeze my eyes shut for a moment and sit up straighter, not wanting to dig into that memory.
It always seems to creep its way into everyone’s thoughts. I never know if it’s grief taking over memories, or memories taking over the grief.
“Leo?” Mother asks timidly.
I blink back into reality and notice that mother and father are staring at me blankly, their eyes not glancing away.
I bite my lip and my eyes dart between the two of them.
Dead, hollow, silence fills the room, swallowing it whole.
Mother tilts her head and her eyes become sad.
“You were thinking about Ria. Weren't you?” Her voice barely reaches my ears as tears start to fall from her grey eyes.
I look at my feet and feel my head bob up and down, stubborn tears escaping my eyes. I look up at mother, swallowing hard to try and push the lump of emotions forming in my throat away.
Mother’s lips lift into a small smile and she closes her eyes, pursing her lips.
I open my mouth, expecting words like, “today will be different” to come out of my mouth. But I quickly close it when I feel my throat go dry.
I sigh and stand up and out of my chair, leaving my parents in their silence, and trudge down the hall to my room. I squeeze my eyes shut as I walk past Ria’s room and lock my door as I step inside. Tears sting my eyes and my throat is still bone dry as I pace around my room. I let out a small, strangled sob as the memories flood back. Flashes of color and light cloud my brain. I could've done something! It was my fault and I should've done something! I squeezed my eyes tighter, trying to get the images out of my head but they wouldn't go away. Etched into the concrete of my memory.
I could feel the anger boiling inside of me. I was mad at everyone who told me it would get better. Everyone who lied and said it takes time. Everyone says it gets better as time goes on. That it makes you stronger. And I held on to that hope for months. But it didn't get easier. The only thing that got easier was being able to distract myself. There’s always going to be that empty, hollow pit in your stomach. Because death sucks. It does. It really sucks. And no matter how strong I became, it still hurt. I thought that I could be strong for her. We all did. And look at us now. We’re a mess.
I force myself onto my bed and press my shaky hands into the mattress. “Please Ria. Please let me see you. Let me find you.” I croak.
As I lay down on my bed, I can feel my eyes already closing. Too exhausted to even eat breakfast. I press my head into my pillow as darkness swirls around me, flashes of red lights disrupting the peace.
Why did they even try? Mother had found her, in her room, dead, and she knew it. Why get so much more attention? That’s not what Ria would've wanted.
Did she even care about us? She took her own life and ruined ours. What about the people that loved her? That still do care about her and mourn every day? The people whose lives will never be the same without her? Did she really think we wouldn't be affected?
The hollow, empty voice of my Father over the phone telling me to come home. I could hear mothers sobs in the background. I could feel tears springing in my eyes as I heard mother wailing in the background. Just from mother’s gut-wrenching sobs. Every single word I heard from my father tore me apart and shattered my reality. Every note, card, post, message, text, call. They all said a variation of the same thing, whether they knew Ria or not.
“Sorry for your loss.”
It wasn't just a loss. They didn't know how it felt. I had lost someone who made my world. Without Ria, what am I meant to do?
Ria knew everything. She was just perfect. Without her-everything just seems, empty. Broken. She had put on a strong face and none of us had a clue. I should've known. I could've helped her. Been with her. I should've done something.
Why couldn't she just let me be with her? It’d be so much easier that way.
I open my eyes and stare at my ceiling, pleading to Ria.
“Please Ria. If you can hear me, let me go. Let me come and be with you. It'll be so much easier.”
And I felt myself drift off to sleep, too tired to even think about anything else.
He called me Ria, I called him Len.
It's been 9 months and he still won't stop. Every day, he continues to try and meet me up here. I was assigned to him to make sure my brother doesn't do anything crazy. When I was given my assignment, I was still distraught. Not knowing how I felt about being-dead. I started to not mind checking in on my family. But seeing them through that little mirror, watching them suffer, cry, mourn. It's heartbreaking. I sit there, watching them and I can't do anything to tell them that I care, and I’m sorry. Len’s prayers, pleading me to let him come. His sobs that he stifles as our parents walk by. He’s so much stronger than I remember.
We were told that tears would motivate us further, so we could protect our families. But every single time I sit there and watch him cry. Watch my entire family sit there, gathered in the same room, and say nothing to each other. I want more and more to let him carry through. To let Len just get it over with and we could watch over our parents together. I would do anything to take back what I did. Anything. It would be so much easier if I was given a second chance.
I was so trapped back then. Trapped in my mind, my thoughts, my stress. They swirled around me day and night, and no matter what I tried I still felt the same pain. That unbearable, shattering pain that I couldn't describe. The pain was unbearable, but no one was able to understand.
That day. That day I stood in my room, pacing around. My heart racing as I twisted my hands together.
Was I really going to do it?
I asked myself over, and over. My heart pounded against my chest and tears streamed down my face. I wiped them away and locked my door, and took a minute to stop my shaking hands and soak everything in. Then the darkness, the pain, the confusion, the sadness. They all took over. My body had no control over my mind and I did it. I just did it. And I wish I could take it back, I’ve tried to take it back. I would do anything to go back in time and slap my past self in the face and yell, “knock out of it!”
I wanted so badly to go back, erase what I had done. Mother’s blood-curdling scream when she found my limp body in my room, was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever had to go through.
I swallow hard and flip the mirror towards the bright green grass, and watch as my family dissolves into a blank, regular hand mirror. I drop the mirror on the ground and look up to see Liam running towards me, with a strange smile plastered on his face. Like he wasn't sure if he should be smiling.
He flips his curly brown hair out of his eyes and calls me over, yelling something about The Rim. A shiver shoots up my spine as his words reach my ears. Either something really good or really bad had happened and I immediately guess bad.
“So-uh what's the occasion?” I ask, brushing my wavy red hair out of my face. A small grin grows on Liam’s face and he nudges me.
“Don't be so nervous.” He tells me, picking up his pace to a jog.
“It's just a surprise.”
I scrunch my brows together but start jogging, my curiosity getting the best of me.
I had only been to The Rim two other times. Once to talk to The Big Boss, and once because Liam wanted to show me the view of Earth from Heaven. That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
What could be waiting for me at The Rim? New people arrive near the gates, so it couldn't be a person. But it's not like we get deliveries?
I clenched my jaw, questions taunting me like something just out of reach. We stop in front of the fog, shielding The Rim and Liam grabs my hand, locking his eyes with mine. He gives my hand a small squeeze and uses the other to clear away the fog. As we step forward I drop his hand and feel my heart drop to the pit of my stomach.
I shake my head furiously tears stinging my eyes. I look at Liam, begging him to do something but he stands there, not even glancing at me. I cover my eyes with my hands, hot tears streaming down my face.
“No! Please no!” I scream. I can hear Liam’s soft voice saying comforting words but I cover my ears and cripple onto my knees. “Please, please no. Take it back. Take it back!” I croak.
There’s a soft touch on my shoulders and I open my eyes slowly. I let out a shaky breath and bit my lip, meeting my brother’s eyes, stubborn tears rolling down his cheeks. His lips curl into a small, sad, smile and he squeezes my shoulder.