A new day, but the same old compulsive behavior leads Connor’s routines. The book Thomas brought back is still lying on the coffee table. It is still in the same plastic bag. Still at a perfect angle with the table. Connor starts laundry and cleans his small living space before he takes a shower that is meticulously timed. And then, it happens. Out of the blue, Connor feels paralyzed. There is no way back and no way forth. He is frozen in motion. Numb in his mind. Nothing is askew. Everything is alright. Everything but Connor. For the first time, he realizes that there is a world in front of his door that can’t be filed and organized and that is okay. There are people who don’t need him, no matter how much he wants it to need him. His students don’t need him. This life doesn’t need him. This world doesn’t need him. Connor hasn’t thought about self-harm and suicide in a long while. Now he does, and the thoughts scar him. They are liberating too. What if this numbness is okay? What if the world doesn’t stop if he is not there? And he will not know anyway, will he? Connor’s book is still on the coffee table. Thomas’s text is still unanswered. Cars are still honking outside, and the clouds are still heavy with rain. Connor decides to call in sick and go with the flow. Whatever happens, will happen. If it happens to be music, he will play music. If he is inspired to write, he will write. If he needs more sleep, he will sleep. And if he decides not to wake up, then that is okay too.
He begins listening to music:
and finds his red pen to write:
The world doesn’t end without me. Remember me with a smile.
Connor opens a bottle of pills and runs a bath. It doesn’t matter that he just had a shower. Nothing matters. A bottle of water. He turns the bottle so that the label is pointing to the ceiling when he puts it to his lips. The pills have a bitter taste, and he scrunches his nose. But it is okay. He has a goal in his mind. He will take a bath – oh the cliché, and he will become unconscious. He will fall asleep and never wake up. His plan seems safe. But Connor is a thinker. And he knows that he will die of asphyxiation. It will be agony and not romantic at all. His bed isn’t made, and he hasn’t changed the sheets on his bed in two days. There is dust on the mantelpiece and crumbs on the table. Too many things are left undone. Too many things. But he took the pills, and the water is filling the tub.
If I died, would I be worth saving?
Connor pushes send and climbs into the tub. Wearing his clothes. And shoes. Nothing will ever be the same again.
A/N: parts of this chapter came about after reading this blogpost: https://dtwalsh83.wixsite.com/fourcorneredroom/blog/fcr008-a-careworn-heart It made the words easier to flow)