My Night-blooming Cereus
I want to tell you a story about a beautiful girl I once knew. She was like a night-blooming cereus. Tragic, fragile, and dead. Technically speaking, she wasn’t dead yet. She just looked like it most of the time.
I remember when our teacher took her away to tell her that her father had died. You would expect her to throw a fit, scream, and cry. But she wasn’t like other girls. She wasn't emotional or loud or rude. She was composed, quiet, and kind. I actually locked eyes with her that day. No tears were present in her eyes. A soul nowhere to be seen at all. She was, to simply put it, an empty vessel of femininity. The perfect woman withering with such grace, one can only wish if she can rot like that forever.
I wanted to ask her to prom my junior year, but she was institutionalized before I could have the chance. Three days before all hopes were gone, she jumped off a building. Ask any boy in our class what it was like the day our teacher explained that she tried to kill herself. You would get the same answer. It was full of regret, longing, and curiosity. We regretted not having asked her out in advance, longed to see her beautiful face one more time, and ultimately wondered how it must be to see her dainty body fall from that three-story building. Most of us imagined catching her before her body had hit the grass. Some of us imagined talking her out of the whole suicide thing. I, on the other hand, imagined standing over her dead lifeless body. Her bloody face on my hand. Her raw lips against mine. Just the thought of how cold yet soft her flesh would be, makes me turn beet red even to this day.
I know you are wondering now, dear friend, where our beloved night-blooming cereus is. I, too, wonder the same. The last time I saw her was the day before she tried to kill herself. Her cheeks were flushed red, her skirt was all wrinkled, and her polo shirt was all buttoned wrongly. She came running from the bathroom, two boys following her. I accidentally bumped into her because she was leaving in such a hurry. Tears were falling from her eyes. It was the first time I saw her cry. Just the thought of it makes me throw up. She wasn’t like herself. She wasn’t the sweet quiet girl I knew, and it angered me. It angered me how she shamelessly clung to me, asking for help. It angered me how she loudly demanded that I help her. Suddenly, she wasn’t just a girl, but she was a human. That angered me the most. I pushed her away and went on my way. I took a mental note to apologize to her soon since I wouldn't be able to bring her to prom if I didn’t.
You know how girls are.
Especially since she just decided to act like one out of nowhere. Some days, I wonder if the reason she killed herself was because of the whole girl hormone thing. She must have been on her period or something.