WARNING: This story contains references to suicidal thoughts and other mental health struggles.
My apartment was quiet. Only the eeriness of seclusion rang through my ears. I never felt more alone. The familiar voices in my head left me. I even failed to feel the presence of a higher power anymore. There was only silence. A deafening, maddening silence. And for the first time in my life, I longed for the voices to return, those voices that haunted me for so long. I had prayed for detachment from them but now I needed their guidance, good or bad. I needed to know someone or something stayed with me and I wasn’t left to face the dreadful world alone.
I snuffed out the cigarette that dangled between my lips and rushed to the kitchen. Before I realized it, I downed half a bottle of liquor. Everything around me swayed and a haze hung over the room. I squinted through the drunken fog in the hopes of discovering that the abandonment had been a misconception, but nothing came. The fear of loneliness threatened to explode from within me and even the alcohol in my system failed to warm the chill running through my veins. My body spiraled into shut down mode and, at this point, having my soul fall into oblivion actually sounded like a desirable plan.
With this in mind, I realized how this day would end, the only way that this nightmare would cease to be. The sun would rise in the morning over a waking world, and I would no longer be part of it. This understanding sent a new wave of distress and adrenaline through me, but also a relaxation, acceptance, and calm. It would all be over soon. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more sins.
I lost track of time. I lost track of everything. Nothing mattered. Human life on Earth was simply a small, unimportant blip in the whole of the universe. The cosmos gave and took life everyday. If some kind of higher power controlled it all, He had to be a cruel and vicious deity. No being should be given the power to decide the fate of every living thing. Therefore, I would take control of my life for the last few moments I had it. The taking of life would be my decision. No God, no voices, no other humans would tell me what to do any longer. I held fate in the palm of my hand.
I curled into the fetal position on my kitchen floor, the bottle wrapped in my arms. Though drunkenness weighed down every extremity, I pulled myself up with a fiery determination. My swan song would be glorious.
Resolve carried me into the bathroom where I scooped up countless containers of prescription medications. Before opening a single bottle, however, they appeared before me. My voices. The voices that had abandoned me. They came back to stand before me in my time of triumph.
There were seven, all looking like me, each a part of me. I stood stock still, taking in the appearance of these faces, my faces, that I had come to consider friends, but they meant nothing to me now.
Their expressions mirrored one another exactly. It took me a moment to decipher the feelings behind them. Once I did, I discerned a sort of smugness, or victory. Triumph. I realized that my face must have conveyed that same emotion. The only difference was I knew why I was triumphant. How had they triumphed?
“Where is your God now?” one of the versions of me spat. Her well-kept appearance displayed much more pride than the waning confidence I possessed, despite our identical countenances. She wore a black business jacket, skirt, and heels with her hair wrapped back into a bun, every hair perfectly placed. Her shoulders poised as I hunched over my handfuls of medicine. “I told you that we were the best, that you would never need anything more. There is no one and nothing out there that is better than us.”
I couldn’t help but be drawn to her assertiveness. She shook my spirit. However, I refused to crumble. Nothing changed in me. “My God isn’t here,” I told her calmly, “and you shouldn’t be, either. I don’t need you. I don’t need anyone. I make my own choices.”
The well-dressed me laughed without humor, mocking me. “You think you make your
own choices. You don’t realize what you’re doing, or what you have become.”
Her words didn’t sway me. I knew very well what I was doing. I flew above her, too good for her nonsense. I was better than her.
“I understand what you’re doing,” another voice said, “You want all the power to yourself and you’re right, there is no way to be happy until everything is yours.” Her mouth turned into a toothy grin, borderlining on a snarl. Her greedy expression contradicted the name brand blouse, stilettos, and clumps of jewelry that should have weighted her to the floor. Her hands furled into fists with frustration, her fake nails digging into her palms.
Yet I wouldn’t give in. “I have all the power. Everything is mine. That’s the only way it ever could be. I wanted for everything and I got it. You’re just jealous because I took the power that could have been yours.” Even as I said the words, though, I felt an emptiness. I knew I had everything, all the power, but I still yearned for more.
“Jealous, you say?” another one chimed in. She caught me off guard, drifting into my thoughts. The voice that spoke bore a cute manner, wearing a casual green dress with her hair flowing loosely. Even with her pleasantness, though, a venom crept into her aura that spited everyone in proximity. “I wouldn’t throw accusations of jealousy around. We all know you better than you know yourself, and no one has known jealousy like you have.”
I registered her words and my irritation flared at the accuracy. They did know me well and I couldn’t hide from them. I experienced the jealousy she spoke of because they knew more about me than I did. I wanted the upper hand. I wanted what they had. I refused to forfeit the victory. “Just because you know me does not mean you have control over me!”
To be continued in Sins: 2...
© 2020 by Kelsey Garber