It’s like your heart is being squeezed with every breath you take because maybe you’re not meant to be breathing anymore.
I thought about this as I drove with my son to the park, I was crying and couldn’t stop and he sat quietly in the back watching a video on his tablet. I used to think I would never be one of those parents that would use a tablet as a substitute babysitter… everything changes once you actually have them with you. His handgun sat in its case under the driver’s seat. We hit a red light and I almost became afraid to carry on with it. I thought about the time I was raped by three of my closest friends… the way they took turns satisfying themselves and the way I squeezed my teeth as I tried to fight back and eventually got too tired. I thought about the time his father told me he was leaving me for another woman because I no longer satisfied him as a man. I thought about the look of disappointment on my mother when I returned home that day telling her she was right all along and he wasn’t a good man. I thought about my ex boyfriend and how I walked in on him making love to my best friend on my bed. And finally… for some reason I thought about he last guy that tried to date me. He didn’t seem like a bad person, he was nice to me… he called me everyday and was always there when I had car trouble or plumbing issues. He never mentioned a girlfriend, not even after three months and we had sex for he first time. I found out through a common friend… he was engaged. His friends didn’t tell me, it was an old college friend, she was her co-teacher. I found out one afternoon when I stopped by to drop off an invitation for my son’s 5th birthday party … she had a picture of them on her phone as a screen saver. Her phone was ringing while she went to the restroom and I picked it up to hand it to her while my friend graded papers behind her desk…and there he was. I gave the invitation to my friend and left, I didn’t even stay to find out if he was he one calling her. I sent him a text message that night letting him know I knew I had just been a hoe on the side.
My self-esteem was at its lowest now, it was my ex boyfriend’s gun… maybe he left it behind for a reason. I had attempted suicide in the past at least three times. All three times someone called or showed up at my house at the moment when I was about to drink a cup of car coolant, mixed with my entire bottle of sleep medication. I never really bothered to find out if it would actually killed me. One day you wake up and you feel it; or in the middle of the day you just can’t take it anymore. Sometimes it’s at night when you’ve done all your laundry, the house is spotless, the dog has been fed, your son is spending the weekend at his grandparent’s …and then,the bottomless pit of loneliness is overwhelming. You know some people may be sad in the beginning, but eventually they will be better off without you. There is the never-ending fear of the unknown of course; but this hurt today, and all the days prior, is unbearable and even what lays ahead, as doubtful as it may be, seems more welcoming than the hurt that is happening right now. I never wanted anyone to feel sorry for me, there were days when I wished with all my heart to stop time and be able to go back a few years back and be more of myself… I wanted to not disappoint and do things that would make me happy, skip around the people who had hurt me and feel like I have had a fulfilling life.
I keep driving towards the park with him in the background… I feel sad because I know this will somehow mess him up… I’m hoping it won’t, I hope that it will somehow turn him into an outstanding human being. Since the day he was born, I begged that he is stronger than I have ever been and that he makes a good life for himself. I want him to be better than me, often I have told myself that I feel so much unhappiness because I have given him all the one that was meant for me and he’ll never be sad a day in his life. I love my boy with all my heart, he’s the only good thing about me, is what I tell anyone that gets to know me beyond the joyful person I pretend to be. I exercise every day at the police department after I’m done filing papers for the deputies…. but I’m exhausted. They never explain the tired feeling when you’re depressed comes from existing and not so much from daily tasks you complete. Living is what hurts you, it’s what drains you.
I play in my head over and over again, the rifle marksmanship we went over in basic training while I was still in the ARMY… aim, breath control… trigger squeeze. I don’t have a rifle… it’s a handgun and he thought me how to use it a few times. I have a full magazine but I know only one bullet is enough… I was afraid to fail when I made the decision that this is how I would go; so I decided to leave all the bullets in the magazine and load the gun. I’m tired and afraid but I’m in control this time.
We’ve arrived at the park, I give him my cell-phone and tell to go play in the slide. Don’t take the tablet because the battery is almost out. In reality I want him to see he’s the picture on my screen saver. I want him to see it because I want him to remember when he thinks back to this day, that his face was the only face I cared to see and that although I never loved myself enough; I have loved him more than anyone can love another person. I love him to the point that it hurts me and that I know I’m not good enough to be his mother… I live afraid to turn him into me. There are other kids at the park… that’s good, it’s Sunday. I park under the acorn tree that stands like a loving grandmother, heavy with thick leaves and a firm trunk. I don’t even want the radio on, I let the engine run; next to me a handsome older man smiles as he walks by my window, I look up at him. I’m sure he can’t see my teary eyes from outside the car window… the sun is too bright. He’s wearing a gray shirt, sunglasses and a blue base-ball cap. His grayed trimmed beard, like a George Clooney, hugs his chin as he passes by me with a little boy a little older than my son. I almost regret what I’m wearing today… I took my time picking the right shade of pink blouse and white shorts and now I almost feel ridiculous. The short sleeve shows the heart-shaped birth mark on my left arm, not ironic at all I think. The white shorts are gonna be stained with blood though. I’m waiting until the real life George Clooney is out of sight to go under the car seat and pull the gun out. I don’t know the brand or what it is… a 40?… my son just left the phone in a bench and climbed the stairs to the highest slide. I want to stop him but I don’t want to save myself anymore. I’m done, I’m tired, I don’t deserve him or his grandparents …you piece of shit, you selfish piece of shit . He’s sliding face first down the slide… the magazine is already in, I don’t know why but I put the gun to my stomach, I see him slide all the way down and I’m trying not blink as I hold my breath in. Good… he put his hands in front of his face and didn’t land face first. He gets up with that million-and-one dollar smile and the single dimple on his right cheek as he looks in my direction and then gets in line one more time. I’m having problems pulling on that thing that slides on top… slide… there it is. click-BOOM!