By Alexia Slaven - Year 13 St Mary’s College
From afar, no one could see me. I was nothing but a faded figure that lurked in the shadows. My frail body stood low against the railings of an old bridge blending into the mist that blew from the North. It was quiet and dark. Not a single speck of light managed to linger where I stood. I wasn’t frightened or worried about the darkness.
All I wanted to do now was end it. End it all. The pain. The torments. The cruelty. And the silence. The sound of the water that rushed below and along the feet of the bridge, was the sound of serenity. It was how all this was going to end.
Calmly but fast, I wasn’t going to turn back now. Not after what I’d been through. Their blows and their laughter of satisfaction when they saw me in pain. Nobody understood me. Nobody cared.
The girls at school would always gang up on me. Throwing me against the cold corners of the hallway as they kicked and punched me. They called me names. A Freak. A Runt. A Crybaby. They took it all out on me because they knew. They knew I couldn’t fight back if I wanted to. They knew I couldn’t scream or cry out for help because I was nothing but a disregarded mute.
I was lonely. I was alone. No one ever took my feelings into consideration, and for what? Because I was different?
Because I lacked individuality or intelligence?
Because I had no voice?
Even the teachers didn’t care.
All they said was, “Don’t worry, they’ll change. You just need to give them another chance. They don’t understand you yet. Just keep holding on.”
Well guess what? I can’t give them another chance. I can’t hold on any longer. All those agonising nights I’ve tried to forgive and forget. But nothing ...
They will never understand. I opened my eyes and the tears that I’d been holding in came gushing down. I took a sharp intake of air as I began to climb the rails.
Carefully pulling off my jacket, I glimpsed all the terrible words I wrote on my arms of what people have been calling me since I could remember. EVERY SINGLE NAME I was brutally called. To remind me of what they thought I was. What I have finally believed I was.
None of them could care if I suddenly disappeared. None of them would ever wonder what had happened to me. To this I kept telling myself. Trying to push myself into jumping. I can’t take it anymore. I want it to be over. My final act of silence would be the beginning of theirs ... finally. Silence.
As I got ready to claim my solace, images of parents came into mind. Though they can never understand what I go through or how I feel deep inside and can never express it, their faith in me; the dreams they’ve had for me; their love ... the things they had to go through just to protect me. Remembering bittersweet memories of all the good in my life suddenly gave me an epiphany. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t. I’m being too selfish and stupid.
My suffering was nothing compared to the suffering my parents will endure if they ever lost me. I shouldn’t do this to them. Not now. Not ever.
Cautiously getting off the railing, I grabbed my jacket and ducked home. Pushing my feet to move faster, I wanted to see them. I wanted to show them I was sorry. I wanted to show them I loved them.
And though tears blurred my vision, I couldn’t help but smile. Smiling in the knowledge that my life still meant something to others and that with anything in life there will always be the good and the horrible times.
How we choose to deal with them is what will define us. I chose to live and I was never more happy knowing that. I had finally found a reason for why my silent world would never be as depressing as it was before. Because as long as I had the people that love me today, I can make it through the rough patches I face tomorrow.
I will use my happy silence to keep out the bad noise!