The cold air is soothing on my uncomfortably warm skin. I lean forward from the window of my home on the 18th floor, and the lights faraway seem inviting, alluring; luring me to reach them, to catch the ethereal light from the eternal darkness. I extend my hands in the darkness, the moonlight reflecting on my scarred forearms: the countless, white lines and the few fresh red lines glimmering. I lean more, my waist tight against the window sill, my torso hanging in the air. I am just a few movements away from the fall. The flight is — like I said — alluring.
It's alluring: the darkness.
The jovial girl inside of me screams in agony, crying and yelling at me to stay. Her voice twists and squeezes my heart, but the dark is much more tempting; it convinces me to keep my path. To do what I need to do, because it's that simple. The last time I agreed to stay... the last time I agreed with the apathetic, malevolent voice, and I stayed: that was the worst decision I made.
"You should have jumped right then," the darkness taunts.
"I'll jump now," I silently confirm, the tears rolling down my cheeks, but I wipe them away, smiling.
The startling ringtone of my phone erupts in the silence of the night, and I can feel the darkness slipping away from me. "No!" I cry, digging my nails into my palm. With my parents asleep miles away, and it being 2 AM in the night, I had planned this out.
I planned this so no one would interrupt me.
I walk towards my phone, picking it up and seeing the name of my best friend flash on the screen, right beside the alien emoji I so rightly set for him. Before I can predict my actions, my thumb presses on the green icon, and his voice echoes in my ear.
"Hey, why are you awake?" he asks, making me chuckle amidst the tears.
"Why are you awake? You are the one who called me, I could have been sleeping and you could be the one who woke me up," I tease, masking my mood, making him sigh from the other end.
"Please, you don't fool me. Tell, na, what were you doing?" he insists.
"I was-" I almost say, but the darkness seems to stand on my left shoulder, telling to not tell him anything.
"What...?" he asks again, dragging the last syllable.
'Tell him,' the light says, and I agree.
"I was t-trying to...," I try, squeezing my eyes shut with the tears rolling down, as if he would appear out of thin air to berate me. A static silence faces me. "I-" I start, choking on my tears, "I just want to stop!" I cry, a sob erupting me. "I want the pain to stop. The disappointment, the expectations, the hurt-- everything! I don't want- I can't do this, Adi, I don't want to do this! I just want to-" I sob loudly, my heart screaming in agony.
"Were you trying to-" he says, clearing his throat, "...t-to kill yourself?" he asks, hushed. I remain silent, my nails digging in the palm of my hand.
"How were you planning to do it?" he asks, somber.
"Huh?" I ask, my voice hoarse.
"How are you going to do it, Priya?" he insists, his voice calm but determined.
"I'll jump," I tell him, eyeing the window.
"Sit down," he instructs. "Sit on your bed," he tells me, his tone pleading.
"I don't want to!" I say, tears welling my eyes.
"Please, Pri. Sit down," he pleads. I shake my head in exasperation, and I flop down on the bed, my hand scrunching the sheets beneath me.
"Are you done?! I am sitting," I yell at him, the pit in my stomach growing as the darkness seems to slip through my fingers, "please, I don't want to...please, Aditya, I don't-" I cry silently, my bottom lip quivering, more tears slipping down my face.
"Remember when you played me that Taylor Swift song?" he interrupts me, and I smile.
"Yes," I whisper, the memories evading my mind. The two of us sitting on the ground, his hand holding my phone, playing the music video. I can feel the sun on my face, the grass underneath my legs.
"I was so happy. You converted me into a Taylor Swift supremacist in seconds! What was the music video, umm--"
"Cardigan. The song was cardigan," I remind quietly, my back suddenly aching from sitting, making me lay down on the mattress.
"Yes! You were explaining to me every scene, every hidden easter-egg in the video, and-" he pauses, "between you and me," he whispers, "I was really impressed," he continues, making me laugh.
"Of course you were," I say sarcastically.
"I was!" he defends, making me grin toothily, "You are so smart, Pri. You are so kind. You keep me in check," he laughs, "You take care of all of your friends. But...you need to take care of yourself," he pauses, taking a deep breath. "I love you, I don't want you to leave me, ever," he continues, his voice suddenly hoarse with tears.
"You-" I chuckle and sob at the same time, "You have a girlfriend, you idiot," I tell him, and he snickers.
"Platonic love supremacy!" he completes, laughing. And I laugh with him.