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Clare Martin Clare Martin
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Thoughts and Memories.

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She had a friend.

This short story is highly based on my suicide story, and everything you read here is true. Please do not judge me for my mistakes. Let me know what you think of my writing techniques and please try to read until the end; it's quite long. Thank you.

During day, I try to shut myself off from the world, fixing my eyes on a point in the distance, not particularly focusing on it, and stare at nothing. A simple click of the fingers, however, brings me back all too soon.

If I'm ill and don't leave the house, I sit myself in my back garden. It's not much, just a plain green torn apart by my dog, who digs up all the plants and buries her bread. Yet, close to the back, there's a beautiful ash tree, bright green and gorgeous, with keys falling off it like confetti. While my dog jumps up to me and stares at me expectantly with her big, brown eyes, waiting for the stick that I hoped I'd never throw, I fix my eyes on the beautiful ash in the distance and lose myself in its beauty. But of course, I'm dragged away too quickly when my dogs tail bashes against my knee and begins to cry. I'm forced to throw the stick for her and she takes me out of my daydream.

If it's a Saturday, I walk by the river. That's one of my favourite places to be. While the river's dangerously deep, it has the soft, sweet smell of lilies and a relaxing, rhythmic flow. Often, I close my eyes and listen to the splashes, breathe in the gorgeous scent. Of course, my joy never lasts long and a family of six come running by, kids wailing at their parents, kids who want to go to the park or the fair, kids who don't appreciate the beauty of this place. If they don't like it, why do their parents bring them here and ruin the peace for everybody else?

On Sundays, I get the house to myself. It's a nice time, a time I can be just me. I can't sit in the garden with the dog or go down to the river if I want to relax, and staring into space I prefer to save for pointless lessons in school. Instead, I think.

I think about all I did wrong, all I could have changed with just a few simple words. All the arguments I had with my family, the cousins I haven't spoken to for six years, the godmother I don't even know. I wonder what I could have done to prevent this from happening, to still stay in touch with them all.

I think about my parents, always in each-other's face, neither one backing off, and me having to sit there like it's some sort of show. Every now and then, I shout too. I lose my temper and really yell, screaming until my lungs are dry. But that never ends up well. I don't take punishments anymore. I don't go to my room or sit on the step, I don't allow myself to get grounded, but it wouldn't make any difference, because I rarely leave the house anyway.

I think about my writing. Is it really getting any better? Are there things I can do to improve? My teachers say I put all my feelings into words, even if these words aren't always English. I wonder if they mean it or if it's just a sympathetic lie. I am in fourth year after all, a year that's not really considered a school year, just a "doss", as the kids call it. I've only ever entered a poetry competition once, when I was nine, and while I came second, I still wonder did I get what I deserve. There was definitely no feeling in that poem; I wrote it on the spur of the moment when the competition was announced, and still wonder how I got a prize for it. Maybe I do have a gift, or maybe they just thought it was better than most kids my age. And I was nine when I wrote it. I'm fifteen now.

I often think about that time when I was fourteen, just under a year ago, when I decided I'd had enough. My parents weren't talking, as though they never knew each-other, but still lived under the same roof. My second oldest brother was falling apart before our very eyes, ignoring everybody, locking himself in his room, not eating, not drinking, just sitting there with his eyes fixed on the computer screen. My third oldest wasn't doing great with his epilepsy. Every other day, he'd collapse with a seizure, until we were forced to call an ambulance for him when our father refused to take him up to the hospital because they weren't talking. Things still aren't the same today between my brother and my father. My oldest brother was nowhere to be seen. My mother was depressed, locked away in her own world, sleeping late, always crying, always looking up to me for reassurance. I left the house every single day during that period, treating myself with beauty products and art equipment, new DVDs and computer games, but, as always, I was torn from a peaceful world, even with my headphones on, when my father dived into the house, drunk and stupid, telling me how my mother never cared about me, how my epileptic brother didn't care about me, how I was getting fatter by the minute with every slice of bread that entered my mouth and how disappointed he was with me for not obeying him and staying up late at night watching movies and playing games, as if he could talk while he stood there, babbling on, wobbling even with his hand on the wall, so drunk he couldn't remember a thing he said the next day.

If every single day was to be like this, why would I want it? As if the cutting didn't cause enough agony. I didn't think I'd get addicted, just wanted to make a point to my family, as if I was saying "THIS is what I have to do to cope!" and while I knew it was wrong and stupid, I just couldn't stop. It became a habit and whenever the red mist came, so did the blood. Pretty soon, my mother had to confiscate five pairs of scissors from my room.

Five days before Halloween, I'd had it. Sick of cutting, sick of all the family arguments, sick of having nowhere to go and nobody to talk to, I tried to end it all with a little medicine.

I felt myself drifting away, as though my soul was peacefully leaving my body to dance eternally in the next life. My eyes dulled and I fell into a sleep from which I was sure I'd never wake.

When I did, however, I began to think about what I'd done, and better, began to regret it. Heartbroken and terrified, I woke up my mother and told her. A doctor confirmed the worse of the medication was out of my system and wouldn't kill me, but also told me how lucky I was to have made it and how just one little drop more could have ended my life. He talked to my mother about confinement, but she refused. We were going to England in two days. She still couldn't believe it, but, back in our home country, we ended up having a great time.

I still never forget the pain I felt that day, the tears running down my cheeks, the blood running off my arms, the bottle in my hands, the five big gulps I took from it. It was a pain worse than anything I'd ever felt in my life, with happiness a long dead memory and depression ever existent. Since then, the arguments have settled, my parents get along, my brothers are happier and we do nothing but laugh and joke around when we're together. Life continues to improve with every breath I take.

I still think, though. I never cease to think. In a world completely my own, full of trees, rivers, lilies and a beautiful full moon, bigger than I'd ever see it in Ireland, I sit myself by a large golden ash and close my eyes. In this world, i feel happy and safe. I forget about my cousins and my godmother, forget about the fights I have with my family, forget about my flaws and errors. For once, I decide to focus on what I love about living. I love walking to school on a Monday morning in winter, the frosty air filling up my lungs, the smell of breakfast foods from the shop, the hot chocolate warming up my body. I love the first two classes I get on a Monday morning, Classical Studies, a class where we read and take notes. My teacher, a young man from Meath, reads "The Odyssey" in a gentle, relaxing voice and I follow each word with care. Honestly, you rarely hear the words "I love Mondays", do you?

I love walking home from school on a Monday, with my kittens circling my feet and holding up their paws for a hug, my mother, looking younger than her age, with her big smile and her red hair pinned back, my dinner on the table, fresh out of the oven, the homework desk ready for me to rush through anything I need to do, taking my time on English and Maths, and the laptop on the coffee table, waiting for a few games to be played or a few poems to be written.

So, this is what I think about most Sundays, what happens in my life, the mistakes from the past I have made and learned from and the happiness I feel today. At night, my thoughts wander deeper into another world of my own, a world that is, of course, full of trees, but also full of immortal nymphs and dryads, humans and elves, bows, sheaths of arrows, spears, swords, all kinds of weapons. A fantasy that grows and develops every night as I fall into sleep. It helps me cope with anything, be it stress or depression, or something much deeper.
And so, with my thoughts off my chest and my story told, I give you my thanks and bid you goodbye.

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