Part 20: Alex (The Final Chapter)
It was more than a month since the Valentine's day and Alex had hardly talked to her sister. She was mostly angry at her for going upstairs and attempting suicide all when her life was just beginning to look beautiful. But, now, all that had been gone. Darlene had been more depressed than she ever was after Sam's death.
She must've relived the night a million times.
It was hard to be angry with her when there was nobody else to comfort her this time. It was overwhelming for Alex and she cried in her sleep for continuously a week after Sam's death. She had lost a friend that day too. She liked Sam because everything about him was amazing but the most important thing for Alex was that he truly loved Darly. That was one of the major reasons Alex liked him around. He never played, he was always there for her, in bad and good times altogether. She couldn't for the life of her realize why Darly would go out on Valentine's day when everything looked so amazing.
Was it because he had gotten beaten up at school? Was it because he wasn't good-looking anymore? Was it because she didn't care about anything and she just wanted to end it--end her? Damn it!
She was sitting in her room and her thought process was abruptly interrupted by a knock. Alex raised her eyes to see Darly come in. She looked less sad and more alive. Maybe it was because of the dress she wore. It was a white long tee with alphabets written in the wrong order. She came and sat on her bed. She put her hand on Alex's cheek and kissed her forehead. Alex hated it that she loved Darly so much. Her back of the eyes watered heavily but she vowed she'd never cry in front of Darly. "I'm sorry I trouble you so much, Alex." Darlene said rubbing Alex's cheeks with her thumb and her forefingers wrapped around her other side. Alex sighed. There was nothing she could say. She couldn't actually scold her elder sister. All she managed was, "It's--it's okay."
Darly removed her hand and sat on bed upright. She put both her legs on the bed and folded them aside. She looked at Alex and said, "It is time you know everything, Alex."
Alex was confused but she was eager to know why she'd try to jump out the roof on a beautiful night that she thought was going so brilliantly. Darly sighed. "Do you remember the Winter Dance, Alex? The one, Sam--" she cleared her throat and Alex noticed how his name still gave her goosebumps. She continued, "Sam and I went? You remember?"
"That night everything was going perfect. The world had created an alternate illusion just for our love. We danced around and talked. It was going beautiful but--but then I--then something happened. Something horrible happened, Alex. I'd gone to the bathroom and when I returned I--" she licked her lips and her throat went dry. Alex wasn't sure why she was struggling to speak. "When I returned I was ambushed by couple of other boys. They--they forced me and--and they--they took advantag--" her voice broke heavily and her eyes watered.
Alex sat stunned. Watching her sister cry made her well up too. She licked her lips and cleared her tears away. "Th-that wa--" Alex realized her voice broke too and she sniffled. "That was the reason you wanted to end your life?"
"That, and so mu--so much more. I loved Sam but I didn't want him to love me just because I was broken. Sure, it wasn't untrue that I am broken. He knew it, you know it, probably everyone knows it. I--I am broken beyond repair and I--I didn't want him to waste his life fixing me. I didn't want him to waste his entire life fixing that cannot be fixed completely. A part--a part of me--a part of my soul died that night, Alex. I felt the weakest person on earth." She cleared her watery eyes but the red marks below her cheeks stood for the further proof that she's broken.
"Sam wasn't beaten up by 'some' bullys. He went to confront the ones that--that assaulted you, didn't he?" Alex realized her voice still broke. When Darly nodded, her heart died a little. She put her hands on her face and wiped away all the tears and said, "Why--why didn't you tell me earlier?"
"I couldn't, Alex. You're--you're my younger sister. I don't want you to think that the world is a horrible place. It is--it surely is but I--I wanted to block that parts of the world for you. I just wanted unicorns and rainbows for you. You're my only little sister I have, Alex. I couldn't and wouldn't burden you with anything horrible like this."
Alex realized she hadn't talked to Darly this long in a month's time. She liked talking to her and she finally got the reason to why Darly wanted to kill herself that night. "I get it, Darly. I get it. I even get why you thought the only way to move past was to kill yourself but I--I don't get why you'd do this to Sam? To me? We love you, both of us do--did." She felt ashamed. "Did you think you were unloved because you would the most wrong person in the world if you thought so."
Darly jerked herself and licked her lips. "No. No, I didn't think that I was unloved. It's--as I told you, I did not want to trap Sam and limit him to me. I--I wanted him to live his life out and you--you too. You have been taking care of me since you came to senses, Alex. I was a burden to you--" before Alex opened her mouth Darly interrupted her and said, "I know! You won't say or won't believe but I am. I really am. I am a burden. You take care of me and forget to live your own life. It's selfish of me. Incredibly selfish. So, to put you both on a path that destiny had desired for you, I--I just gave you a gentle push."
"If you died, Darly. I'd be lost. I'd really truly be lost." Alex spoke out her voice crumbling.
"I wanted both of you to be independent of me, Alex and I'm sorry Sam died because of it." She put her face down. Alex put her hand on her chin and raised her head and looked in her eyes, "It wasn't your fault, Darly."
"You know wh--you know what was the worst thing that happened on the night Sam died?"
"Besides him dying?" Alex knew this was no time for humour but she wasn't sure where Darly was going up with this. "What--what--what--what was it?" She asked her.
"Sure, I wanted to die when I went up. I did. I had made up my mind. But, the moment Sam came up with his messy hair wringing about in the cold wind and the way he talked me out of it, for a moment I second guessed my act. I wasn't sure if I was ready to die. I wasn't sure if I--I'd leave him hanging like this. But then when he came up to me, I--I jerked and the snow on the slippery slope slipped my leg and I jerked down when he caught me. I--I slipped and when he pulled me back up I'm sure--he did too. He slipped."
"Yes. That's most terrifying because for a moment I thought I'd live and everything would be happy but when he slipped, I instantly died. I screamed at him that the slope was slippery but he didn't listen. He wouldn't listen. He just jumped up and tried pulling me. In the process, he--he slipped. So yes, Alex, it is my fault."
"I'm sorry you think so, Darly."
"I'm sorry too. I'm sorry for everything, Alex. I won't ever do that to you. I can't live without you. Please, forgive me."
"You can't live without me? Did you, my dearest sister, ever think that applied to me too? That I couldn't live without you either?" Alex confronted her.
"I won't try to kill myself, Alex. I want to live."
"Because of Sam?" she asked eagerly.
"Sam, you. But mostly, because of me. Life is strange, horrifying but given only once and taken back too quickly. I would rather have my heart break, dance drunk and play with you all night because life is all about the little moments. Sure, there are sadder ones too but that just makes up life what it is. It is terrifying but it is an axis on which it revolves. Life is just a big great illusion. The smaller parts combine together make a big memorable one. All the sadder moments and the happier moments are masked up and that--that my dearest sister, generates life. I'm going to live and so are you, because we only live once, don't we, Alex?"
Alex wiped her tears and sat in aghast. She never knew her sister to talk this much. She had grown a lot since Sam. She loved her and him for it.
You never really know what's going on in a different person's head. May you be his/her's parent or a best friend or the closest sibling or even your one true love. You just can't know anybody completely.
Sometimes the only way to win the battle against depression is to die..
..and sometimes it is to live.
*The entire moral of this novel/novella was to get people's attention towards Depression and how it is very, very real and frightening. It is not a phase, it never had been a phase. It is lethal and it is threatening. I know I have been very rash with the characters in this novel but it was all because of this chapter. This chapter is the moral and the final chapter.*
The college life was interesting, infact awesome even though,
i didn't smoked, nor drank ever with my friends, but yet it's wonderful because of the memories, we made together enjoying, studying and staying with each others in tough times.
Well, every good thing must come to an end, and so it happened. We'll miss those happy moments .......lived together.....with my roommates, my college friends and of course with Divya, she was my best friend indeed, during my college life.
moving on to another phase of my life, ..... am going to earn now, mum and dad were so happy......when i told them about my job, finally their hopes and my labour achieved my dream.
The office was big and, had so many new recruits, like me.....
i was trying to settle among them, as an worthy employee,
.....but, some of my seniors were often busy in criticising others, instead of their own work
, simply pathetic.......
But the good part iss, my boss is honest, ....
kind when you're doing your job correctly and rude, when put your nose, in others work instead of your own......... exactly what a boss should be,
as a result those pathetic seniors usually get their dose from the boss.
Life became trapped in papers and documents, busy became a daily schedule .
I bought a Georgette saree for my mother and a shawl for my father from the first salary received, a happy moment for all of us, right from the village i have covered tonnes of milestone to reach where I'm today, mum wore the saree ....she was smiling and her eyes were filled, dad was profounded by the shawl, it was enhancing his persona........
well i didn't bought anything for myself, apart from the food items and other stuffs, so they both took me to the shop and bought a shirt of blue which was looking quiet nice over me,
Those were some moments which you never forget in your life..........
but soon the office work was grasping my patience,
A very busy life, yet somewhat satisfactory.
Part 19: Sam (A long chapter filled with roller coaster of emotions).
He waited by the dining table and started eating cookies Darlene had left for him. They were caramel coated and he cherished them. Alex went inside in her room. She always left the two of them alone every chance she got. All night she was avoiding them and trying to get them alone together. Sam caught on it and actually thought it was pretty thoughtful of her to think so. He sat and waited for Darlene who had just went in her bedroom. She said that she wanted to give him something and the hair on the back of his neck stood. He'd been waiting restlessly and then, she came. Her presence made his heart ache. He stood up from the table and noticed she had a paper in her hand.
As she neared him, he died every moment.
She took out the paper and handed it to him. He looked at the paper and it was a drawing. He hadn't seen anything so beautiful ever before.
My God! That is absurdly ridiculous!
It was a painting of him and her. They sat by the dark in the moonlight of stars above their heads. Darlene had her head laid on his chest and they looked up at the stars. The painting was powerful, incredibly amazing. They sat in abyss wanting to go deeper in the void and loose themselves in the chaos and loveliness of a beautiful emotion; love.
He didn't know how to thank her. This was the second gift she'd given him and he had never given her anything. His heart broke at that thought. "It--It's in--incredible. It's lovely. Than--thank you--thank you so much, Darlene. I'm sorry I didn't bring anything for you." To this she only smiled and said, "It's alright, Sam. It is not a competition."
How come when we both stood in the fire, you were merely smoldering while I completely burned?
He leaned onto her and kissed her lightly on the lips and they sat together in the balcony watching the stars and made the painting come to life. He couldn't get enough of her. He loved every moment spent and he knew he'd cherish it until eternity. After watching the stars come alive in silence, Darlene broke it up and asked, "Sam, what--what is love for you? I mean, how'd you define love, -by Sam?"
Sam wasn't sure what to answer to it. He licked his lips and then sat back. "Um--I think it's, um--Love is to be a candle and kill yourself with water if it meant saving the firefly you so adore." He looked at her and could see she loved his response. She smiled at him. He asked, "What about you? How'd Darlene define love?"
"I think love for me is to pray for your partner without them knowing and always doing what's best for them no matter the consequence."
That is a beautiful answer. He fell in love a little more.
"Go on, what's love to you even further?" she asked.
"I think love would be hoping to find the littlest part of your partner in every stranger I'd meet again in my life." He smiled at her hoping to see hers and he continued, "You go."
"Love for me would be to find a beacon of hope in forests of apathy. You!" She punched lightly on his shoulder.
She was having fun. She's loving my company.
He thought for a while and then said, "Love is to finally find a rainbow after a never ending storm." He raised his eyebrows at her.
"Love is when you're in agonizing pain and the only remedy is to blur your partner's memories but you'd rather die in pain than comfort yourself by censoring it."
Sam stood stunned and all his organs numbed inside. She looked fiercely amazing and Sam realized how deep it was in her than he ever knew.
You never know a person until you ask them to define love for you.
He jerked back and wanted to continue the pattern. "Love is an incredible emotion. It is beautiful. It is rare. It is heartbreaking and it is tormenting. But it is the most beautiful emotion the world has to offer and they are the most unlucky ones who don't get a chance at it." He said and concluded the discussion. She loved it. She smiled at him and he leaned onto her. He kissed her lightly and they went back up in thr dining room. Alex was still in her room. They ate caramel cookies for a while.
Kiss her. Kiss her, again.
He wanted to but as if she'd read his mind or heard his thoughts she got up abruptly. Sam paused himself. "I'm--I--I'll be back." She smiled at him and went by the door. She was going out of the house. It was cold outside and where would she go at this time of the night? He saw her turn back and smile and he could swear he felt tears in her eyes but they weren't there. She said, "I really love you, Sam." and she left without waiting for a reply.
Sam sat there stunned. His entire world swung up and down. He never thought he'd hear Darlene say this to him. He felt beautiful and he erased every thought in his mind. He didn't care where she was going or what time it was or anything. He just sat there and dwelled on the last words Darlene spoke to him. It was amazing. He felt amazing.
Why'd she say that to me? Why now? He turned back and saw the door half-opened. Silence screeched loudly and Sam got up at once. He revisited tonight. She talked about love. She watched tv. She ate pizza. She kissed me. She gave me a drawing. She told she loved me.
He ran outside and top of the house and hoped he was wrong about what he was thinking. He ran up the stairs and when he reached the top his breath caught up with him and he felt heavy. His eyes blurred but his vision wasn't bogus. He saw Darlene. He saw her standing atop the barricade of the roof. It was too deep down and too dark to see at this time. She stood there and turned around when she heard him run upstairs. "What--wha--" Sam caught his breath and calmed himself. "What are you doing, Darlene? Get down from there."
The terrace was large enough and there was a slope on it. Darlene stood on it and was half hanging in the air. The wind blew loudly and the dark night grew darker. "Darlene, please. Get down!" Sam screamed.
He could feel her crying. "I'm so so sorry, Sam. You deserve better than me. You deserve to live your life in happiness. You--you deserve to be loved the way you love me."
"You love me!" He interrupted.
"No, I don't." She screeched back.
"Stop lying! I love you no matter what. I don't care what happened at the dance, Darlene. I'll always love you."
"That's what, Sam. I don't want to bound and trap you with me. I don't want to imprison you. You can find love elsewhere. Anybody would be lucky to have you--to love you."
"Am I really a prisoner if I'm bound willingly?" He traced her steps and leaned closer and closer distracting her by talking. The winds grew cold and he could feel the shivering in his legs. He went closer and closer and closed in with Darlene. "I love you, Darlene. I love you more than anything in this world."
I've said it. I've finally said it.
He leaned close to her and gave her a hand. Darlene stood on the top of the slope and just a push, a strong air or a tiny whisper could make her fall the other way. "I don't--I don't--" she whimpered and started talking rubbish. Sam gave no mind. His entire attention was to get her down from the longing escape of death. He gave her a hand and for a moment his heart stopped and the winds blew even coldly. He blacked out for a moment and found himself standing on the slippery slope with one hand down tailing Darlene. She was in the air only comforted by his hand. He wouldn't let her go. He pulled her back and he heard her worrying breath and smelled her teary eyes. He pulled her back up slowly and slowly. He reigned on top and he could see the mountains from afar. The dark cold wind rose and blew out the breeze more stubbornly. He pulled her back and then he remembered the winds flowing against his body. His messy hair twingled in the air and blew away. He heard Darlene scream from the top as he found himself slowly and slowly going down. He heard the wind cry and the night's cry puzzled over it. But, the cry he heard the most was Darlene's.
The moment he dropped down his eyes blurred and slowly closed and he felt as if the world had just died or it was just him...