If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, or if you are concerned for someone else, call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). To chat online, go to chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. To text, go to 741741 and text HOME from anywhere in the U.S. anytime to be connected to a trained crisis counselor.
It's estimated that only five to ten percent of all suicide deaths are committed by jumping, which made the choice that much easier for John. He was sick of being predictable.
Around 6 p.m. one Tuesday night, John sat in his cubicle, impatiently waiting for his coworkers to get the hell out of the building. He bit into his pen until blue ink leaked all over his white Croft & Barrow dress shirt. He always hated that shirt.
It had been exactly three years and 243 days since John's father died. His girlfriend was there through the pain until the grief turned into rage. He doesn't blame her for leaving. John never knew his mother.
In the past three weeks, the most he's gotten out of a human being is a "Sup?" or a "Hey, can you get that time sheet on my desk?" or a "That'll be $8.75. Second window."
Unhinged from his kind.
John crept to the corner of the 40th floor as the janitor finally dimmed the lights and closed the double doors behind him. He fumbled with the stubborn latch connecting the bottom row of windows.
He took off the shirt he so very hated and as he placed one foot on the sill, John's heart began racing. For the first time since he began plotting his own death, he felt a rush of doubt. The wind felt like icicles scraping against his bare chest. He lost feeling in his fingers.
It was quiet up there. The silence reminded John of how lonely he'd been for far too long. It's the only push he needed to pick up his left foot and place it on the sill next to his right. He jumped.
John fell past the 38th floor, the 35th, the 30th. His eyes were shut, his mind suppressed. Then, the phone. Brinnnng. Brinnnng.
Unsaved by the bell. John's eyes widen as he panics.
Consumed with regret, John wonders who it is on the other line. Is it Sherry, the one that got away? Or the mother he never knew? Who's there? Is someone there? Is someone really there?
John reached for the window sill of the 28th floor toward the ringing phone. But he was several feet too far. And he was falling too fast.
The #100daychallenge writing series is my way of holding my right brain accountable for all the brain fog in hopes that I'll learn to creatively organize my thoughts and learn something(s) new about myself in the process. The challenge includes prompts from the San Francisco Writers' Grotto's 642 Things to Write About. You can also follow my #100daychallenge here.