This Could Have Been Worth Something
“There is a black stain near my heart and every time it draws closer I say when it touches my heart I will kill myself. I don’t want to live too long; I want to die while there’s still light in my eyes. I’m terrified one day I’ll stop thinking and I don’t like the feel of other people touching me, and something I can’t see or know inside my skin cries and cries and cries.”
Holly opened her eyes and there was nothing but the brick wall staring back at her. And something I can’t see or know inside my skin cries and cries and cries. A bit of light sweat tickled her brows but instead of wiping at it Holly chose to go for the dampness in her eyes. What was wrong with her today? She was out of tea, it didn’t rain, and her heart hurt. It started to rain.
First fat slow drops. She saw three jump to their death near her rain booted feet. They frightened her when they fell, how could something want to die? After the entail three the rain came hard and fast soaking her through long before sixty had enough time to appreciate being a minute. The umbrella was in her hand waiting to be used, and she was in an alley staring at a brick wall. Virginia Woolf’s suicide note was dancing in her head. Holly had read it at least a dozen times and felt guilty each time. Surely Virginia could not have meant for the world to read how much she had tried and wanted to be alive. It’s impossible to think that she wanted anyone other than her husband to know how much it hurt to give up.
“Fuck you,” Holy spit out once more to the brick wall.
How much it hurt to give up;
Something I can’t see or know inside my skin cries and cries and cries.
Holly looked specifically for a patch of muddy ground then placed both her clean rain boot feet into it.
“Fuck you Virginia,” Holly mumbled, “fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. I won’t be caught dead giving up.”
She chuckled, caught dead.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
“Oh holy shit,” Peter could barely choke out.
He was pacing their apartment trembling and feeling like if he continued to speak he would choke on his own tongue. Today was not right. It was supposed to rain all day, he had prepared for it. He even told Holly to take her umbrella and not just her boots. He waited and waited and now that it was dark the rain came thundering down. The news said specifically that it was only supposed to rain in the day.
In Peter’s hand was the long steak knife, he was supposed to be making dinner. Cutting the meat into pieces was keeping him from being on edge. But as soon as he heard the rain he started pacing and shaking. He thought he was going to die, he felt sure of it, even if it were by his own hands. Today was not right-and where was Holly? She said straight after work she would pick up some vegetables and come right home. Peter felt his heart beating so fast in his chest he knew he was going to vomit because of it. He drank three cups of coffee throughout the day, one not a moment ago, even though he knew coffee has never agreed with his body. This was too much of an anxiety rush for him. If things weren’t going to go the way they should then he had the resolve to kill himself. He would not humor a world where things don’t properly add up.
Peter sat on the middle of the living room floor extending his arm that wasn’t holding the knife. Figuring he would just slit his wrists. He was just moments from this selfish act when Holly came in behind a large grocery bag. She startled him but did not see him as she called out:
“Pete,” she sang, “Peter Piper!”
Peter loved Holly’s voice. Holly loved him…even when it was incredibly difficult.
“I’m here.” He whispered.
Holly sat the paper bag on the counter forgetting that she was tracking mud. She turned to him and there was a smile on her face, but on seeing what Peter planned on doing it disappeared.
“I see you,” she sighed. “I fucking see you Peter.”
Seeing Holy momentarily calmed Peter but if she didn’t switch gears soon he would be back to that frantic state.
“You’re getting mud everywhere.” He said.
“Fuck you Peter, aren’t you about to kill yourself? Get blood all over the fucking floor like an asshole.”
Peter could feel the panic rising in his chest as Holly stepped over him to start peeling off her clothes while heading for the bathroom. Peter watched as she took off her bra and underwear to hang next to her other clothes on the towel rack. On purpose she held her boots over the sink and violently shook the mud from them. When she was finished she dropped the boots to the floor in exchange for staring at herself in the mirror. Her lips where moving but Peter couldn’t make out what she was saying. When she started to cry Peter scrambled over to her forgetting the knife, the rain, the blood, the mud, and his death. He grabbed on to her so tightly they almost fell over with impact.
He kissed her cheek and shoulder, “Please don’t cry Holly, please don’t cry.”
“Silly,” Holly smiled though the tears were steadily dripping down, “I’m not crying my reflection is.”
“What’s the matter?”
“I…” Holly waited, assuming the words would form themselves. She could feel what she wanted to say, like the mirror it was staring right at her watching. Say what you need to say, Holly, please, say whatever it is you’re trying to get out. Holly closed her eyes, “I don’t want you to kill yourself.” I don’t want to die.
“Oh that,” Peter glanced down the hall then back at Holly, “that wasn’t me, that was the rain.”
“And Virginia Wolfe,”
Peter nodded though he didn’t really understand what she was talking about. He let her go because he felt that he should. In the kitchen he got a new steak knife and tended to the meat on the chop board once more. Maybe he was cold, there was a draft. Their apartment always had a draft.