inspiration

Fork in the Road

Sitting in the dark corner of her room, Sally looked at the person staring at her.

“Why are you here?” But she didn’t answer back. “You think I don’t belong here. I get it.”

The eyes staring at her were melting her skin. She looked away, afraid to stare back, but couldn’t help herself.

“What? What do you want?” Sally screamed.

“You don’t belong here. No one wants you here.”

Sally felt ashamed. She couldn’t disagree. She felt unwanted. Unworthy.

“What are you waiting for? Do everyone a favor.”

Shaking, Sally held the gun in her hands, staring at the gold bullets on the floor. She had found five.

“No one is going to notice you’re gone,” the girl continues to taunt her.

“What if I miss? What if I don’t do it right. Am I just going to bleed to death?”

“Geez, just do it already! What are you waiting for?” the girl shouts.

Sally begins to sweat feeling the heat from the humid summer air.

“You’re a failure. You’re never going to get anywhere.”

Sally doesn’t bother to tell the girl to shut up because she’s right.

“They say they’re your friends, but they aren’t. They don’t care about you.”

“You’re wrong!” Sally yells back.

The girl laughs. “If I’m wrong why do you have the gun?”

May be she’s right.

Sally begins to load the gun as she feels a chill run up her spine.

“There you go,” the girl encourages her, “keep loading the bullets.”

Tears roll down Sally’s face as she tries to remember any good memories. She thinks about her first sleepover, her first boyfriend and prom.

But then her thoughts turn to the day her parents said they were getting a divorce. She remembers when she was forced to move…to change schools leaving her friends behind. She remembers always being alone at home.

“They all said they would visit, but no one’s come,” the girl says. “They’re not coming.”

“It’s only been four months,” Sally says. “Sarah said she’d come for Christmas.”

“She’s lying to you!” The girl tells her, “And no one wants to be your friend here either.”

Tears start to cloud her vision. Just one bullet is all it takes.

As she pulls the gun up she stares at the girl then the gun and tears continue to stream down her face.

RING. RING. RING.

“No need to answer it,” the girl says.

RING. RING. RING.

Sally holds the gun and looks at her phone across the room.

“Just do it already!” The girl shouts, “it’s no one.”

RING. RING. RING.

Sally looks at the girl in the mirror. “I just need some time,” Sally tells the scared little girl looking back at her in the mirror.

Looking at the gun in her hand, “You’re afraid, but it’s okay,” Sally says to herself.

RING. RING. RING.

Sally walks across the room to pick up the phone. It’s Sarah.

“Hello.”

“Sally, I’ve been trying to reach you all day. My mom’s driving me over today,” Sarah says.

Sally doesn’t reply.

“Sally are you there?” Sarah asks. “Is everything ok?”

And as Sally walks back across the room, she looks into the mirror at herself and puts the gun down.

“Yes, everything’s fine,” telling herself. “Everything’s going to be okay.”

And she looks at herself in the mirror one last time and smiles as she’s saved by the bell.

—————————————–

I often wonder why these pressures are put upon our children. Sometimes the pressure comes from ourselves. Other times from parents and society itself. In the land of wealth and opportunity, here’s a sad statistic.

Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for children ages 5-14 in the U.S. Third leading cause ages 15-24.

Every 15 minutes someone dies by suicide. It remains the 11th leading cause of death in this country. Though suicide attempts are not reported, it is estimated that close to one million people make a suicide attempt each year.

While the work above is a work of fiction the statistics above are not. You can do something about these sad statistics. Go to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to gain more knowledge or to help the cause by participating in their fundraiser walks.

Everyone can help. Go hug your kids and your friends today and show them how much you love them every day.

26 Comments

    • YippyMomma

      Thanks Lizz. I struggled with how much I wanted in the dialog and ultimately cut quite a few things. Thanks for stopping by!

    • YippyMomma

      Thank you for the compliment Galit. I’m glad the piece moved you in some way. I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about but as I sat typing, it just came to me.

  • Sherri

    Well done, and you are so right…the statistics are horrible, and we’ve all been at that tender age when things just seem to be so devastating and worth taking your life. You did a great job of making it feel so real.

    • YippyMomma

      HI Sherri. Thank you. I really didn’t have the idea to write about this until I sat down in front of my computer and it’s what came out. I’ve participated in three walks with the AFSP and so have always seen those statistics over the years. I just can’t believe the young age of some of the children. And in some countries the pressures are so serious that children jump off of buildings. That just scares me even more to think a child as young as 11 can come up with such a plan in their mind to take their own life.

    • YippyMomma

      Hi Cristina. Yes, it certainly is sad. I have heard many stories over the years about children and adult alike. Some countries have had heartbreaking news explaining in detail how some children take their lives in the most horrific ways. Thanks for dropping by!

    • YippyMomma

      Thank you Leigh Ann. I wasn’t sure if I had put enough dialog into the piece as I struggled with that balance and removed a good portion of the dialog during my edit. I’m glad that the piece evoked the emotion of Sally. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Stacey

    I’m so glad she answered the phone, but that little girl needs help. The phone may not ring next time. It’s so sad to me that someone could feel so completely lost and hopeless that suicide is the best option. Great writing.

    • YippyMomma

      Hi Stacey. Yes, I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to end the piece during my first few edits. I made some changes here and there and ultimately I felt intervention was necessary. It is unfortunately that many people feel this way every day of their lives. Depression knows no age limits. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Sara

    This story touched me very much. Let me first comment on the writing, which I thought was well done. You did very well with the dialogue between Sally and her image in the mirror. You didn’t make it complicated; you just portrayed the internal conversation that can lead to suicide.

    When I was a teenager — I’m now almost 59 years-old — I came close to where Sally was. I also was fortunately detoured, but you captured the way I felt very well. It’s often hard for people to understand how someone reaches this point where they’d rather be dead than alive, but it happened more frequently than we know and especially with teenagers. All I remember is thinking that death would easier than living. Now, I look back and think of all the things I would have missed, if the detour had not happened.

    Thanks for sharing this and mentioned the importance of learning about how to prevent suicide:~)

    • YippyMomma

      HI Sara. I struggled with the dialogue a bit during the first edits. I took a portion of the dialogue out and was not sure whether I got the conversation just right or not, so I’m glad you found it just right. I’m sorry to hear you had to struggle through this personally. It’s tough struggling through these internal thoughts. Unfortunately, many are not saved by their detour. It saddens me to see so many people, young and old, who are not able to see hope in their future and ultimately take their own lives. I’ve have struggled in the past as a child myself, but like Sally, I was detoured as well. I am glad you made it through and have blessed this world with your presence. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Heather H

    Very powerful & chilling. And well-written. Great job!

    The statistics are very scary. Thank you for sharing and highlighting an important issue.

    • YippyMomma

      Thank you Heather. I am glad the piece moved you in some way. It’s always a tough topic to talk about, but haven’t gone through a similar experience, I’ve found talking about it helps not only me, but others as well. I hope over time the statistics will lessen. Thanks for dropping by.

    • YippyMomma

      Hi Karen. I struggled a little telling the story as I wasn’t sure exactly how much to express and how much dialogue to give her reflection. I can’t say whether she ultimately gets her happy ended, but I know struggling with depression is difficult and a lifelong issue for many who are affected. So, as you hope for happiness for Sally, I wish happiness for all those that struggle in life in the same way. Thanks for dropping by!

  • Kelly K @ Writing with Chaos

    This struck a chord with me. While I never held a gun and contemplated shooting myself, that internal dialogue, telling me I didn’t matter, I shouldn’t be here, was very real. I’ve found the trdc writing prompts a great way to process through those feelings that remain buried.

    I’m glad she was saved, because I know how easily it could have gone the other way.

    • YippyMomma

      Hi Kelly. I’m glad to hear that you have found a place and a way to find piece of mind. Having experienced many downs in my life, I understand where you have been and what you struggle through. Over the years, I too have found the written word as helped me find my way out of the darkness. Although I cannot say that there are never anymore downs, I can certainly attest that I try my best to see the light. AFSP helped me as well. In participating in the overnights, seeing all those thousands of people who have struggled or are family members of those lost… it’s such a strong emotion. All those flashlights from everyone walking at night gives such a great sense of community that so many people struggle to find or don’t ever find at all. I hope you continue to find solace in TRDC and continue on your path to healing. Should you ever need a listening ear (or a pair of eyes) when you find it hard to keep going, please feel free to reach out anytime.

    • YippyMomma

      Hi. Thanks for your compliment! I had to go through many edits, taking a good portion of the dialogue out before posting this piece. I’m glad it conveyed the message without an over abundance of information. Thanks for dropping by!

    • YippyMomma

      Hi Jenna. Thank you. I appreciate the compliment! Took me some time over several edits to get to what I posted here so I’m glad you enjoyed reading the piece. Thanks for dropping by!

  • SoberJulie

    I stopped by from the RDC, I enjoyed the intereactive conversation of self 😉
    You made the feelings obvious, tangible.
    The message is an important one and you developed the scene well.
    Thank you for including the stats.

    • YippyMomma

      Hi Julie. Glad you enjoyed the read. I wasn’t sure I had the right mix in the dialogue as I removed a good chunk of it during drafting. Thanks for dropping by!

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