Once Again – Short Story
Dedicated to people who had suicidal thoughts.
Saber felt devastated and fell asleep from the tire. The last thing he remembered, was listening to Adele’s song “Set the fire to the rain.” It was one of Gillian’s favorites. Saber knew it, and started to understand clearly the meaning of the lyric behind the voice.
That song was about pure emotions – not good, but real. Gillian was gone with the wind forever.
The sun was shining through the window. It was around the afternoon and Saber had a headache.
“Too much alcohol,” he thought, but it wasn’t from that.
Saber stood before his latest painting – it seemed dark and bloody. His artwork was hung near his bed, and a bright light touched it. The picture was a portrait of his woman. Saber called Gillian his muse.
The man went to the bathroom and washed his face twice. His eyes opened, and he became soberer. Saber looked in the mirror and accidentally fell on the floor.
Later, he found himself on the hospital bed. Saber opened his eyes and looked around. People with white clothes were moving around him.
“Doctors” – he thought, “I hate them” – and his sight went foggy.
He slept again, hearing voices around him that he was in critical condition – Heroin overdose.
Saber woke up, and stood in a dark tunnel that moved. On the walls were his paintings. The faces in them smiled at him. It was dark and wet. He wore strange clothes in abstract form.
Where was he?
Saber walked on a steamy road. The figures of his paintings began to move out of the walls and stopped before him with grinning faces. It was grotesque. He did not pay attention to them and walked on.
Saber began to hear loud laughs. Different shadows moved and danced around him, speaking some unknown language.
Saber swayed his head and covered his ears. The man continued to walk.
Was he going insane?
Before his eyes, the madly dancing shadows did strange movements. He had strong willpower, and he knew that these were only illusions.
Between the shades, he recognized many old friends of his, who were already dead. He could be cold too.
Was this the journey to hell?
Saber wasn’t religious at all, but sometimes he thought something like Hell, or Paradise, could exist.
His dead friends stopped before him and tried to speak, but he didn’t hear them. The man decided to put his hands down and listened to the words.
Steven was his best friend when Saber was younger. The man was murdered in a street fight, protecting Saber.
“We are brothers,” said Steven in his last minutes. They weren’t biological siblings, but they were family – more realistic than Saber’s parents and sister. He felt that the fault for Steven’s death is his.
– It’s not what you think – told Steven’s shadow with a gentle smile. His face was glowing in transparent light, which color was whiter when he looked at it. – I decided it’s better to save you than myself. You know, I was a sinner.
– And so was I – answered Saber.
– But your heart is pure, and you haven’t killed anyone in your life – replied the shadow that became whiter with every word.
– I think I should join you in that place, and we will be together again. It’s fair like that – told Saber.
– It’s not and I don’t have more time to speak now. On the edge of your existence, you should let me go, and fight for your life once again. Let go of the guilt and painful memories in your heart. Only this way, I will be free, and you know I always wanted that. – The shadow began to fade away – Let me rest in peace, and not be stuck into that subway. Forgive yourself, I beg you!
– But, what will I do without you? I often dreamed of our joyful moments, and they gave me strength. – Saber knew he was sober at the moment, and tears began to fill his eyes.
– You will live once again. It’s not your time to go here now – smiled Steven – Don’t forget you’re an extraordinary person with an innocent heart. You have to live once again for yourself, and me. I have to leave now. Please let me go and remember me.
– If I let you go, a part of me will die. – whined Saber.
– It will die and be reborn again from our memories. Now I really should leave. Let me go! – Steven’s shadow became like a puzzle of small stars that let the light through them.
– Okay, brother, I let you go and will remember you. That is the only thing I can do for gratitude toward you. – Steven’s tears fell on the floor in this dark passageway. When they fell, the flowers began to bloom in the wet place.
“The power of true love,” Saber thought. “So it is a real saying, I see” – he wiped his eyes and looked for a minute at his hands. They began to become transparent on the fingers.
“Maybe I also don’t have much time,” thought the man, but he continued to move over the small field of flowers toward the darkest parts of the tunnel.
The dance of shadows continued. They were somehow unknown.
Saber wondered what happened with Gillian, and he wanted to remember why he overdosed on heroin. He usually didn’t take much of it but had too many white spots in his memory. Saber wished to see Gillian and ask what happened.
Why did she suddenly disappear?
Saber walked and continued to become more transparent. He heard more joyful laughs as they welcomed him to the dark tunnel.
“Probably, that is the underworld,” he thought.
Was Gillian also dead? Or was that the reflection of his latest portrait of her? The painting of her was almost like the real thing.
– Hello, my dear! – smiled Gillian – I see you got overdosed. You should not proceed that way. It’s a weakness, and you know I don’t like to see any in tough people like you.
– What happened? – asked amazed Saber
– When, my dear? – Before or after I died? – grinned Gillian.
– You’re dead? – the man was stunned on the ground, without moving or knowing how to react
– Yes. I suppose I did die after we broke up. Don’t you remember? – Gillian’s face went gloomy – I rode my car after that, and went with the wind.
– I don’t! Why did we break up? Is that the reason you died? – Saber cried out.
– That’s not the reason why I died, and it’s not your fault. I got drunk, and one truck banged me. It’s because I allowed myself to be weak. As you know, I always showed differently because the weak are taken from the strong. – Gillian said it with tranquility in her voice. – My father always taught me that way.
– So it’s my fault, Gillian! Don’t release me from it! – screamed Saber.
– It’s not, and stops whining! I hate to see you like that because you’re more than a whining loser! – The woman got angry. – I don’t hate you, but I should! How could you betray my love and got overdosed?? You have to act wiser, and move on with your life. Your heart is pure as one of a baby. At the same time, you are as sturdy as a rock! How could you go to that state? I never liked that side of you, and it doesn’t suit you.
– Why did you break up with me? – asked Saber calmly
– Because I choose my career rather than your love. I always was ambitious, but you’re not – said Gillian – It was a hard decision, but I decided it based on my brain, not my heart.
– So that is how strong your love is? – grinned Saber. – Yes, I am not as ambitious as you. I am content with all I have.
– But I am not, and no matter how strong love was, I had to choose, and I did it – Gillian became transparent – Now, please let me go!
– I already did, you know? Now I see that I was the one that purely loved you and because of that, I let you go. – said the man with pain in his voice.
– I believe you will find a better woman than me for yourself if you only open your heart once again. – Gillian became a puzzle from leaves that flew around.
– I believe I have to find myself first. – Saber said silently to the air and smell that were the only Gillian’s tracks.
Saber stood silent, thinking about the situation, and what he had to do from now on. His tears were falling once again.
Surprisingly, a flower’s field was generated by his tears under his feet on its own.
“That is why I got overdosed. It was a stupid decision of mine. That would not change anything, so I should move on.” – Saber thought and grabbed his necklace.
It was Steven’s present. The boy should move on because of him. He silently promised himself that. Saber always fulfilled his promises. It was a matter of honor for him. Tears continued to fall on his cheeks, but he became clear-minded, and his vision – too.
Saber could smell the fresh air and breathe freely again. He stood on the flower field a long time without noticing that the shadows around him were gone, and smooth lighting came around his face. The man felt a warm hug around his shoulders. It was his own shadow and went into his body. He felt whole again. In a single moment, Saber decided to move on again. He continued to walk in the tunnel that was already brighter.
Saber saw in the distance a small light. He started to run toward it as if his life depended on it.
When he went out of the tunnel, the man looked back for a while. The field of flowers and their smells were his tracks. He was amazed by the beauty of that new view.
Before his sight, there was a clear blue sky, and beautiful roads with trees, and green grass. Modest houses, built on the ground, showed up, and a good smell came from them.
Then Saber heard his voice: “This is your soul now. Without regrets and faults. There is pain, but this is always the path toward a better life”.
Everything went black. Saber heard weird voices: “He is coming back. That’s a miracle,” and after a while, he opened his eyes slowly. He was in the hospital.
On his side were Valery – a friend he knew for a while, his parents, and Diman, who was current Saber’s best friend. His phone started to ring. Various persons called him to ask how he felt.
Once again, he was alive – inside and out. That time it was for himself, and in the name of people, he remembered.
In the next few months, Saber went to a hospital to heal his drug dependence. His stay there was six months.
Then he became sober from every single temptation to use drugs. He started to have a healthy life.
Saber still felt the pain from the myriad losses in his past. But he began to live once again for himself, remembering people that were by his side long ago.
There is always a light after the darkest hour.
When I was younger, I broke up with one of my lovers because of his enormous obsession and jealousy. He didn’t let me go somewhere without him most of the time. My ex-boyfriend was so heartbroken that he tried to kill himself. I saved his life, but then he became aggressive and started following me. That was one of the reasons I left my hometown many years ago.
I will share no more, but it was ugly for people who loved each other to be like that when parting their destinies. It doesn’t matter how challenging the situation is, the humans should act like ones. They should forgive themselves when making mistakes because everyone does them. That is the unpopular, little question about morals and respect.
I wrote that story not just for my ex-lover but for many other people that lost someone by suicide. My belief is self-killing takes courage, but it’s not the answer, because sometimes, depending on reasons, seems like running away from life.
For sure, many people will not agree with me, but still, it is not better to live, try and feel than leave everything go because of one deep disappointment that will make people better when they overcome it.