I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Jasmine.
In the rear view mirror, there was only blackness. In fact, all there was around me was blackness. That’s how I wanted it. If it had been light, that would have meant that the garage door was open. No, for this, the garage door had to be closed. I had even sealed up the hole through the wall where the dryer vent opened to the outside so there was no ventilation at all.
I loved the car I was sitting in. It was basically the only thing that was truly loyal to me. But even that was because I took care of the machine’s needs. Every leak, every scratch, tires, fluids– they were all meticulously attended to. I wanted the purr of the engine to sound like a plea for me not to do what I had planned. But all it sounded like was the throaty growl of the machine’s need to run. My cell phone was on the console next to me and I kept looking at it, almost hoping someone would call and tell me something that sounded like they appreciated me. But nothing came. I ran my hand over the Challenger’s leather seats and the dashboard, as if I was saying goodbye. I didn’t know how long it would take for the carbon monoxide and other gases to fill the garage to a lethal level, but I hoped it didn’t take very long.
Actually, I lied earlier. There was one other thing that was truly loyal to me besides the car. And that thing’s name was Jasmine. She was so beautiful, and she always did her best to make me feel better when someone would treat me like garbage. I always had a suspicion that she wanted something out of me, but over time it faded, and I knew that she really cared for me. I almost felt guilty for wanting to go through with…. I couldn’t even think of what I was doing. It was just… The Plan. I couldn’t bring myself to think of what I was about to do. I was just going to let it happen now. But a part of me felt guilty for doing this to Jasmine. I didn’t know how much she loved me, but if she loved me at all, this would hurt her. A lot. She seemed like she honestly did love me though. But even all the love she gave me wasn’t enough to soften the full force of the pain I felt from how the world treated me.
Then the phone rang. It was Jasmine. I picked up the phone and hit the “send” button. As always, she didn’t let me talk much, but it was so good to just hear her voice. When she finally stopped talking, I realized that she was waiting for a response.
“Pay attention, crazy boy,” she said, and I could hear the smile in her voice. “I asked if you wanna go to get a McFlurry with me, I’m craving one so bad!”
I turned off the car’s engine. And sat there for a second in silence. I was… actually relieved that she called.
“I’d love to. Pick you up in twenty?”
“See you soon, beautiful.”
I hit the button on the remote to open the garage door. Got out of the car and went into the house to shower really quick. I couldn’t smell anything on me, and as far as I know, the gases that come out of a car’s exhaust are odorless, but I couldn’t have Jasmine thinking that I was trying to do anything. So I went to pick her up and when we got to McDonald’s, I bought her the McFlurry. I owed it to her for almost leaving her today. I know she didn’t know what I was doing, but I owed it to her. While we sat there, she leaned against me and I could smell her vanilla body wash, like she had just gotten out of the shower, too.
She talked about a bunch of things that were going on with her other friends, and she knew I was only half paying attention, but that was how it always was. She and I both knew that she just liked to vent about what was going on and that I was only supposed to listen and cuddle her when she stopped talking.
“The sun’s starting to go down,” she said, pulling her feet up onto the seat as she cuddled in closer to me. She leaned her head back so she could whisper in my ear, “Let’s go out to The Spot and make out while the sun sets.”
I smiled and nodded, gently pushing against her so she’d get up. She took my hand, like she was leading me back to my own car. We drove out to a somewhat remote spot and I made sure there weren’t any cars close enough to us to see anything. She loved to sit in my lap in the car, with her knees bent over the center console and her feet on the passenger seat. If it had been anyone else, I would have been furious about shoes on my seat. But Jasmine, she could get away with murder.
That night was amazing, even though all we did was make out. She and I had lost our virginity to each other already, but we didn’t do anything much that night. When I dropped her off at home, she wanted me to come in and put her to sleep and just leave through the garage, and I did. I cuddled her and ran my fingers through her hair and kissed her shoulder until I felt her body relax and her breathing even out. And I left when I knew she was asleep deep enough that I wouldn’t wake her.
I drove home in complete silence, remembering the feeling of her body on my lap, her hands on my face and then arms around my neck and how soft her lips were. I couldn’t help but smile.
My phone rang again the next day, which was the day before yesterday. I was scared that something had happened with Jasmine like she got sick or someone broke in to her house or whatever. But the number was one I didn’t recognize. I picked up, curious as to who had the wrong number this time. But it was actually someone I knew. I knew her very well. Her name was Carina. She was one of the popular ones at school. And she always gave me a hard time, but she had left me alone after we graduated.
But she called that night, thinking that I could laugh about all the things they did to me. All it did was remind me that people are cruel. And I made up my mind.
I’m going to call Jasmine and have her come over tomorrow, even though I wish I could do it tonight. But she’s busy tonight. I know it’s going to kill her, but I want her to be there when I do it. I don’t want to die alone. JASMINE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MY SUICIDE. I’m doing this because I can’t handle being here anymore. I love you, Jasmine, but I can’t stand to live anymore.
16 June 2011, 6:49 pm
It’s obviously hard to hear when someone commits suicide. You just think about how bad things must have seemed for them to see no other way out. Only the most morbidly curious ask how the deceased person committed suicide, but I find myself one of those people. I won’t go out of my way to find out, of course, but I do like to know when it was someone I was close to. somehow I always find myself wondering how the next of kin finds the guts to clean up the mess. I mean, if the deceased used a gun or slashed their wrists, there’s a huge mess to clean up. Same possibility with pills I guess, if there was vomiting before the death. I can’t imagine walking into a room expecting someone to be going about their usual activities but finding them with half their head missing, brains on the wall, and a gun in one hand. Or a body’s worth of blood all over the bathroom or their bedroom. Are there cleaning companies that specialize in cleaning messes that dead people have left behind, to take the emotional burden off the kin? I can imagine that there should be… I’m sure thousands of suicides and murders happen every day across the country.
But anyway, I’m getting off track. I got on this subject because I found out the hard way about the suicide of someone I loved very much. His name was John. Actually… he did it right in front of me. I had been close to him for several years, so I knew that he worried a lot. he spent money and then worried about something happening that would require the money he had just spent, like a health issue or something. A lot of people made fun of him because he was born with cleft palate and he had the surgery to fix it, but people still made fun of him. When he and I started getting close, he called me his angel. He always told me that I was the one who kept him sane because I loved him and treated him like he deserved to be treated. Actually… we fell in love. We were dating. Everyone thought I was too pretty for him but I knew that he was the one for me. I would have done…. anything…. to make him feel as special as he really was. He and I lost our virginity to each other.
But one day when he and I were hanging out at his house, he told me this girl had gotten intact with him. I thought he was going to tell me that he was going to leave me for her, but he just kept talking. She had been the one to lead the pack when it came to making fun of him, but she started leaving him alone when we graduated high school. But I guess she decided she wanted to reminisce. she called him and wanted to talk and laugh about all the mean things she and the others did to him in high school. I don’t know how she got his number, but she did, and must have thought he would be able to look back on it and laugh, just like she was able to do.
I was so angry with her. i couldn’t’ believe she had the balls to do something like that. I talked to him, to try to make him realize that some people are just stupid and what they say isn’t worth a listen, much less a second thought. He was so anxious, and when I tried to hug him, I saw that he was hiding something behind his back, but I couldn’t’ really see what it was.
He got really quiet for a few minutes, and I didn’t want to push him. but I could tell that he was replaying whatever she said in his head, feeling the pain all over again. I just knew that’s what he was doing/
I wanted so badly to help him, but this was his choice– to just replay those words over and over again.
Suddenly, he spoke to me. It kind of startled me, actually. He said, “The note’s under my pillow.” At that moment, I didn’t’ realize that he meant The Note. Like, in capitals. I didn’t’ realize what he wanted to do. I got up from where I was sitting to look for the mote he mentioned, and when I turned around, he had the gun’s muzzle up against the center of his head, under his chin. I tried to knock the gun out of his hand, but he was ready for me. He pulled the trigger as soon as I moved, blowing a hole upwards through the top of his head. He had come into this world with a part of his face missing, and he left his world the same way.
All I could do for a minute was stare at what was left. … There was a star-burst pattern of blood, and he had blown his brain to bits. I looked down at myself to see if I had any blood on me, but I didn’t. The force of the bullet took the mess back against the wall behind him,.
I kept staring at what was left, but I got my wits about me and called 911. I couldn’t breathe right, so I had to try a few times before the operator could understand what I was telling her.
The cops and an ambulance showed up pretty soon after I called 911, going by the time I made the call and the time it was when they showed up. I know because I was looking through his phone’s call record when they got there, There was only one unsaved number in the record, and it had to be hers. The one who pushed him to the edge. I memorized her number and his his phone closed and the note ready when they knocked on the front door. I opened it for them and led them to the room where his body was.
I wasn’t surprised when they told me to put my hands up, turn around, and spread my legs so they could pat me down and put me in handcuffs. I told them about the note and his phone, which I had put on his bed. The police put both in evidence bags.
They took me to the regional police station and put me in an interrogation room. They asked me exactly what happened and I told them. The officer who was leading the interrogation seemed to believe what I told the,. He asked if I had read the suicide note. When I said no, he took the iPad that was on his lap and pulled up the picture he had apparently taken of the note.
He brought his chair closer to mine, putting the iPad in front of me. I read the note and I was… to say the least, heartbroken. The first thing he wrote was that he was sorry. Typical of a suicide note, as I understand it. But then he said he did it while I was there because he didn’t’ want to die alone. He also wrote how he loved me, but that he just couldn’t go on and went on to tell why he couldn’t handle life anymore.
He had dated the note and put the time on it, and the officer asked me what I was doing on that day. I was at my little cousin’s choir recital. The officer left, presumably to call around and verify my alibi. When he returned, it was to remove the handcuffs from me and explain that there were pictures of me at the recital that someone emailed to him. they knew that I could not have coerced John into writing the note that assured police that I had not killed him and simply made it look like a suicide. I was free to go, and the officer even offered to give me the number of a local psychiatrist who specialized in grief counseling.
I refused and asked when I could return to John’s house to clean the remains of blood from his room. He told me that the crime investigation team would have the body removed by the next morning and that I could go back in the evening. He asked if I had a key to the house.
I told him I’d had a key to John’s house since high school, and thanked him for his help. I drove home in silence, half conscious because of grief and shock. I made it home safely, and I immediately went to bed. But I couldn’t’ sleep. all my brain wanted to do was replay the image of John’s suicide over and over. I called my boss in the morning and she allowed me to take a sick day. I stayed in ed all day, just… staring at my ceiling.
I decided to call the girl who had called him to reminisce. When she answered, she sounded a little tipsy. I knew what would sober her up. Three words. “John killed himself.” There was so much more that I wanted to say, but I decided it would be better to just keep it at those three words. She didn’t say anything, but I knew the line was still open because I could hear things happening in the background. She asked me to repeat myself, and I did. I told her what he told me, and that it was in his note that thinking about all the things that happened to him were a big part of why he did it, because he felt like things like that were just going to keep happening. She asked me if I thought it really was her fault. I told her the truth– she had a very big part in it, because he had seemed okay up until that call. He was kind of a loner, but he was starting to think that the people who made fun of him were going to leave him alone. It wasn’t all her fault, but she really screwed with his head. She didn’t really have anything to say after that. I’m just glad I got to tell her what happened before she found out on the news or through the grapevine. I hung up and went back to my ceiling-staring.
I didn’t know I loved him as much as I did until he left that gaping hole in my heart. I think that’s how I got the cuts to clean up. I wanted him to be able to move on. Maybe it was my one last act of love for him– to tie up the remaining loose ends in the hope that he could rest in peace.