**This story contains suicidal themes that may be triggering to some readers**
“I was suicidal for two months when I was writing this book,” I would say to people when it’s done – thought Meera, as she turned in bed once more, digging into the pillow with her head in an effort to stifle another bout of mad sobbing. But deep within, she knew that she could never admit to being suicidal in public. Expressing the fact that you are raw inside makes you the kind of vulnerable that Meera would die before letting others see.
People who wouldn’t understand anyway mustn’t be allowed to see her at her worst. The few people who would understand – and Meera knew there were a couple of them – didn’t deserve to suffer seeing or hearing something as grotesque as her confessing about the darkest side of her being.
There will be good days, Meera whispered, trying to caress her left shoulder with her right hand as she lay in bed.
Her eyes burned from being forced by their owner to shed tears for almost a week in a row. Today, they rebelled quite outrageously – conspiring together with all of Meera’s muscles and flesh. She couldn’t blame her body. There’s only so much it could do for her.
She was drowsy and strands of tangled hair kept getting inside her mouth and eyes, adding to her misery.
In the morning today, her friend Nisha had texted her – “I know you don’t want to talk but can you send me a flower emoji every day as a reply? I don’t think I’m asking for much. Just to reassure myself that we have each other’s back. Will you do it for me?”
Meera sent a sunflower in reply with the single word – “okay“.
She sat up on bed and looked at her dishevelled form in the mirror in front of her. If Nisha thought Meera might do something to herself on impulse, she was wrong. Meera had assured her just that morning – Don’t worry about me. I will be okay.
“I won’t do anything… at least not until I finish my book. I deserve at least that much from myself,” Meera said to the mirror.
She tried to think about the things she was blessed with. A helping of gratitude would do her good.
She had a roof over her head. She had decent food to eat.
People are dying on the hospitals and streets from disease, from floods and from hunger. And all you care about is your own useless troubles.
She stopped, sensing the familiar bile of self-loath rising in her gut again.
She knew from experience that if she allowed that train of thought to continue, she would end up wanting to disappear from the face of earth. She would want to jump off a cliff, or better still, a bridge.
She imagined herself standing on top of a long, isolated concrete bridge. She closed her eyes. It would be a dark night, with a star-lit sky. There would be a cool breeze washing over her face, her spread-out arms, her legs, her hair.
For once she felt calm.
She got up from her bed and seated herself on the wooden chair of her study-table. A lifeless pen, the blank side of a used page.
She set down to write the scene. The girl from her head would not kill herself, she would jump off the bridge to liberation and to fresh blue waters that would bring her to life.
Anything was possible in her head. In her head, she could jump off a cliff only to spread her wings wide and free. In her head, she could jump off a bridge and swim to the ends of the earth.
In her head, she could see in vivid colour, see it all happening, and when she transcribed them on paper, however badly, they would still help her feel even if a little – happy.
She would live only if for the love of writing. It was beautiful, to be in love with something that makes you want to live a little longer.
And maybe someday she could grow to love life as well.
MORAL OF THE STORY: (I’m sorry but I am so often misunderstood over the smallest things that I felt the need to make the message I intended to convey through this story, clear while keeping in mind that the reader has the right to interpret howsoever they see fit) In any case:
-This story does not promote self-harm or suicide. In fact, it intends to do quite the opposite. If it failed in that respect, I am sorry for being a bad writer. Period.
-The purpose of this story is to show that writing heals. Anyone can write. I believe that just as strongly as Remy believed in Auguste Gusteau’s words, “Anyone can cook”
Thank you for reading.
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