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The Final Decision

“The greatest freedom is the freedom of choice, but you are not free of the consequences of each choice!” Those were the words Carlos, my stepdad, said to me as I sat in the car with the keys in the ignition, the windows up, and the doors locked.

“Don’t do it kid! You have your whole life ahead of you!” He shouted. Carlos didn’t realize that the words ‘you’ve got your whole life ahead of you’ just made things worse. I didn’t want to live the life that was ahead of me. I wanted a different one. But no matter how hard I tried — life never changed.

“Bennie, son, don’t do this. Think of your mother! Turn the car off and unlock the doors.” I could tell he was worried, but it didn’t matter. I knew my mom would be hurt, but that didn’t matter either. I knew they’d be fine. I knew that within time, they’d realize that they were better off without me and that I was actually doing them a favor.

As I sat there, I could see Carlos from the corner of my eye as I was staring at the steering wheel. He was holding on to the door handle. He didn’t have his phone, extra keys, or anything on hand. I could tell he was debating on what to do, just like I was.

I knew that he knew, the very moment he’d let go of the door handle, I would drive off with the intention of ending it all. Carlos holding on to that door handle was the only thing stopping me from finalizing the decision.

My heart ached, but I was sick of crying. My throat tightened, but I refused to be sad. It was time to be angry, it was time to be done.

“Your life isn’t that bad, son. You have so much to be grateful for!” Carlos shouted while looking around. It seemed he was seeking help from someone nearby, but no-one was around. It was late in the morning and people had gone off to work. My stepdad had taken the day off to be with me, and I guess, to figure out what was going on.

He walked into my room that morning after a light knock on the door, though permission was not given to go in.

“Not going to school again, huh?” I was still in bed with the desire to be left alone. My eyes half closed due to the lack of strength, and my mind couldn’t think of anything except wanting to go back to sleep. I hated being awake. I had been like this the whole week. Actually, I had felt like this for months, but now was the time where I could no longer cover it up.

“Bennie, can you at least come down and have breakfast with me?” Carlos asked.

“Not hungry. Just tired. I’m going back to sleep.” I managed to mumble out. Figured it would help get rid of him. I had nothing against the guy, he was alright. I just didn’t want anyone around.

“Well, um,” Carlos said as I heard him take in a deep breath and loudly let it out. He continued,

“Listen. You’ve been doing nothing but sleeping, skipping school, skipping meals, refusing to talk to anyone, and we are worried about you. Me, your mother, your teachers — we’re all worried about you. I can bring breakfast up here if you’d like? I just want you to eat something.”

The ache in my heart quickly turned to anger.

“You just want me to eat something? You just want me to eat something!” I couldn’t believe everything he had just said to me. I firmly got out of bed and my body began to tremble from the anger.

“And you are all worried about me? How come no-one was worried when I said I was tired of life?” I asked as I got right in front of him.

“Um, well,” He stuttered.

“How come no-one was worried when I explained how exhausted I was about things going terribly wrong all the time?” I aggressively asked.

“How come no-one, and I mean no-one, took me seriously when I said I needed some kind of help?”

“Well,” Carlos began as I began to pace back and forth in my bedroom, deciding on what to do next.

“Son, it’s just life. Things happen. You have to be strong. You have to push through. We told you everything would be just fine. Everyone struggles at times. You just got to keep going.” Carlos calmly said.

“So, it’s just me, then.” I wondered.

“Is it really just me?” I asked out loud but wasn’t sure who I was directing the question to.

“Is what really just you?” He asked.

“Am I really just that weak? Am I really just that stupid? Am I really just that much of a loser in this life that I have so much trouble being strong and pushing through?” Again, I asked without knowing who I was actually talking to.

“Oh, stop it, Ben! You’re acting crazy, stop being so dramatic!” Carlos shouted. I could see it all over his face, he had – had enough.

Breath by breath, my anger faded. I was no longer enraged, and I was no longer sad. I just was.

“You’re right.” I said to my stepdad. “You’re right. I am being crazy. I am acting a bit dramatic.” I agreed.

My stepdads shoulders dropped with relief; but he had no idea that, now, knowing I was crazy and dramatic only pushed me over the edge. Not only was I weak, stupid, and a loser, but I was also crazy and dramatic. At that point, I became aware of how I would never survive in this life. It was at that point that I realized my whole future would be miserable and embarrassing to live.

“Alright Carlos, let me wash my face and then I’ll meet you downstairs for breakfast.” I calmly told him.

“Ok.” He said with a look of mistrust as he slowly backed out of my room.

I went to the bathroom and washed my face. When I was done, I looked into the mirror and the heartache began again. There was so much disappointment in the image before me. There was so much hate for the person I was staring at.

“You have to let go. It’s over. It has to be over, and there is only one way.” I calmly thought to myself.

So, I went downstairs and walked past my stepdad. I swiped his car keys and quickly walked to the front door.

“Why do I hear keys?” Carlos yelled out.

I turned to look at him in the kitchen as I was about to close the front door. Instantly, we made eye contact; and at that very moment I knew, and he knew.

I ran to the car, got in, and locked the doors. Within the blink of an eye, he was there, attempting to open the doors of the car. Everything became so real. It was now or never.

I knew that if I didn’t go through with this, the coming days would be of me being hospitalized and probably drugged up on prescription drugs or something.

At this moment, I realized something. I realized that my life went from bad to worse in less than an hour. I realized that my future shifted to something completely different in the time it took me to leave my room and reach this car. I realized that I had no idea what my future looked like, but I knew it didn’t look like something worth living.

“Let go of the door handle!” I yelled out to Carlos.

“I’m not letting go, son! Turn off the car!” He responded.

“Dad — let go of the door handle.” I calmly said to him as I looked into his eyes. Right then, he knew there was nothing else he could do. He had never been called ‘dad’ before. We both knew it was my way of saying goodbye.

“I don’t know what to say Bennie. I don’t know how to help you! Please tell me how to help you!” Carlos began crying as he begged with no hope.

I put the car in reverse and without even looking behind me, I hit the gas and pulled out into the road. I could hear Carlos yelling and I saw him running toward the car from the corner of my eye. I put the car in drive and sped off.

I didn’t care if I hit anything, I didn’t care if the car would flip, I didn’t care if the police would see me. All I could think about was finding the perfect place to have my final breath. One that would guarantee my decision to be final.

Next thing I knew, the sound of a horn interrupted my thoughts; and it wasn’t a regular horn… it was one of those that come from a huge truck. I naturally looked toward the direction the sound was coming from and I saw it, this semi-truck speeding in my direction. I couldn’t have even counted to one, that’s how fast everything happened. Yet so many thoughts filled my mind in that single third of a second.

I woke up to a nurse saying my name over and over until I responded. Apparently, I had been out for 7 days. It wasn’t what I was aiming for, but I guess it was good rest. Not that I remembered any dreams or even how long I was out for. It felt as if I had closed my eyes when the truck trampled the car and then I opened them to nurse Gina. There was nothing in-between.

So, that’s why I’m here. You do Mental Health Coaching and it’s part of my recovery.

“Well, Bennie, how do you feel about being here, then?” Mariyah asked.

“Well, if you’re talking about ‘being here’ as in being alive, then I’d say I’m okay with it. But if you mean ‘being here’ as in here with you, I’m upset about it. No offense.”

“None taken. However, why are you upset about it?”

“I wish my life would have been different. I mean, there are kids from my school going off to college or getting jobs while I’m trying to start over from the very beginning. Why couldn’t my life just have been normal?”

“Seems like a legit reason to be upset about being here. Let me ask, though, how do you feel knowing you get to start over from the beginning?”

“Well… I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m upset about having to start over from the beginning, but the way you asked — you make it seem like it’s a lucky thing. You said ‘get to’ as if I’m privileged. I don’t ‘get to,’ I have to. It’s a burden, not a blessing.”

“Well,” Mariyah began. “You can live a life being burdened by thorns or blessed by a garden of roses.”

“Yeah, well, thorns hurt, and I won’t pretend like they don’t.”

“Wear gloves. The thorns will no longer be a problem.”

“So,” Bennie’s anger and curiosity began. “What you’re saying is… I should find ways to ignore my problems?”

“No. What I’m saying is, you can live a life of solutions or a life of problems. There are beautiful roses to see and a scent to breathe in; but you’ll miss out on the glory if you focus on the thorns incorrectly.”

“What do you mean? ‘Focus on the thorns incorrectly.’ What’s that mean?” I asked.

“Well, Bennie, you have a beautiful garden of roses. Your eyes bring inner peace from the sight and the smell brings a soothing sense to your soul. Without those thorns, the roses could easily be destroyed by animals and that beautiful sight and scent would be gone. Those problems, or shall I say thorns, serve a purpose.”

“Okay. So, what I’m understanding is that my problems are actually protecting me somehow? As in, me being dramatic, crazy, stupid, and weak are all beneficial some way?”

“Well, first let me ask, why do you describe yourself that way?

“That’s who I am. That’s who I’ve always been.”

“Based off what?”

“Well, my grades have been terrible, I have a hard time making and keeping friends, I’ve never had a girlfriend, even my parents barely hangout with me, I overreact, my emotions get the best of me, I’m searching for a bigger purpose in life than there actually is, I get angry and upset easily, I quit easily, and everyone else has it all together.”

“I see. All valid reasons as to why you would believe those terms define you. Hm. Before we get into understanding what really defines you, if you’re okay with getting into that, I’d like to share something with you. If I may?”

“Sure.” Bennie said with curiosity.

“The greatest actors are those that are ‘dramatic.’ The greatest authors and inventors are those that are ‘crazy.’ Those that are believed to be ‘stupid’ are usually the wisest and those that are believed to be ‘weak’ are actually some of the strongest. You, my friend, have misplaced those terms into the wrong categories of your life.”

“What do you mean?

“Place that ‘dramatic’ and ‘crazy’ trait of yours into something you’re passionate about. Music? Writing? Art? Exercising? Exploring life? Whatever brings your soul alive.”

“What about the stupidity and weakness?”

“Well, I can teach you a lot about emotional intelligence, but I don’t know a darn thing about creating a building. Does that make me stupid?”

“No.”

“So, what makes you stupid, then?” Mariyah asked.

“I guess, I mean, I was failing every subject in school. But, then again, I was going through a lot also. I couldn’t focus… I wanted to end my life. And before I came to that desire, I just didn’t care about life. So, maybe, it’s not that I’m stupid — it’s just that I was in another world.”

“I like how you said that.” Mariyah said. “Another world. You were in another world and now you’re in a new one?”

“Yes, things have definitely changed.”

“Well, tell me about the world you want to live in?”

“That’s a question that gives me a lot to say.”

“Feel free.”

“Okay, well, I want to live in a world where there is freedom. Freedom to make mistakes and to be imperfect. Freedom to feel things emotionally and behave out of sorts at times without being judged negatively, but instead helped. I want freedom to learn from my mistakes and grow without having to be reminded of who I was as if I’m still that person. I want to live in a world where I matter. I want to matter for a reason, not just because I’m someone’s son or friend. I want to matter because of who I am. I want to live in a world where I’m a somebody. The world’s I have been living in are terrible. I’ve never been enough and I’m still not enough. I’m not sure if I will ever live in a world where I am enough. You’re asking me what world I want to live in and it just makes me angry as I describe it.”

“What about it makes you angry?”

“That world doesn’t exist, and it never will.”

“Did you know the world you live in right now was going to exist?”

“No.” Bennie answered with frustration.

“Okay. Bennie. Let’s try something?”

“I mean, what other choice do I have?”

“We can skip this if you’d like? But I believe it would be beneficial to your understanding of the world you live in.”

“Alright, I’ll give it a shot.”

“Okay. Let’s pretend you want something to eat. What would you like?”

“I could go for some chocolate-fudge cake right now, to be honest.”

“Ok, haha, that sounds delicious. Good choice.”

“Thank you!”

“Now, you’re going to make it.”

“But I’ve never baked before. I’ve never been in the kitchen unless it’s to get something out of the fridge or to wash dishes.”

“Okay then, let’s add to the story. You bake this chocolate fudge cake, and you get a million dollars. You get as many tries as you need. What do you do?”

“A million dollars? I will bake that cake to perfection.”

“Haha, great answer. How will you bake that cake?”

“First, I’ll look up the ingredients on a website, I’ll buy the ingredients, probably double of everything since I might mess up the first time, and then I’ll follow the directions exactly as written.”

“What if it doesn’t come out as wanted by the fifth try? Would you be willing to try again, or would you give up the million?”

“Heck, I’ll spend my whole life trying again. I’ll eventually get it and that million will be mine. Then I’ll pay people to bake cakes for me.”

“Love the answer! Now, note this, the million dollars are actually a representation of world you want — and the cake is representation of you!”

“So, chasing… the million bucks… is like chasing… the world I want?”

“Yes, Bennie.”

“The ingredients… are? Let me think. The ingredients are… my everyday actions?”

“Yes, and the directions are your thoughts”

“The ingredients are my everyday actions, the directions are my thoughts, and the cake is… me?”

“The cake is you, my friend. That chocolate-fudge cake that is worth a million dollars, is you. Notice, the cake didn’t get it’s worth after it was completed. It was worth the millions with it just being an idea. You, Bennie, with your directions and ingredients can create the cake you want.”

“It won’t be easy.” Bennie said as he sat up.

“No, it won’t be. But it can be fun, you’ll learn something new with each attempt, and you’ll get better and closer each time.”

“That sounds amazing.”

“You look amazing.” Mariyah said as she gestured to Bennie, then continued. “You’re sitting up, smiling, and you even seem to be breathing better. So let me ask, what defines you?”

“I define me.”

“And what is your new self-definition?”

“I’m a dramatic and crazy creator of myself and my world. I am strong, I am smart, and I am great.”

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Drama, Fiction, Self-Help

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