“Don’t do it,” I said to her. But she did it, she didn’t listen to me, and then she was gone.
Football season had just started. The evenings were coming sooner and the nights were growing longer. It all happened so fast, in the blink of an eye. One second, she was the Jessica I had known and loved. The next second, she was gone. It was a weird feeling—like she was a stranger, though her appearance was so familiar.
Every night, we would meet at the abandoned church and lie with each other. We loved it; it was our thing. You know, she once told me that those moments were the most sacred to her, that we would be one with each other. Now, looking back, all of her words seem nonexistent, like an entire chapter was ripped out of my book.
I had just finished my studies and took off to meet her at the usual spot. When I got to the church, I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right. I felt separated from her. The air seemed colder. The night seemed quieter. And my mind seemed noisier. I crept into the church and looked around. I didn’t see her. I called out her name, and nothing. Maybe she is on the second story. I thought to myself. I reached the top step and there she was, standing above a hole in the floor with a noose around her neck.
“What are you doing, babe?”
“Just leave me be; there is no other way out.”
“What do you mean? What about us?”
“Honey, I love you, but what is the point in living when I am just so sad?” She said.
“We can work this out. Many people feel like this and they go and see the doctor and everything works out.”
“No, no it doesn’t,” She said.
Those were her last words to me. Not, I love you or, I’m going to miss you.
What happened next went from very slow motion to very fast motion. She turned away, looking straight forward, and plunged to her death. I could hear her neck snap, a crisp, clean, snap. And then everything in my mind shattered. I stepped over to the hole in the floor and looked down upon her. I then raced downstairs and stood their staring: she was like a beautiful, lovely marionette hanging. A certain blankness glazed upon her eyes. She couldn’t recognize me, and for the first time, I couldn’t recognize her.
I looked down, just below her feet, and saw a piece of paper lying on the floor. It read:
Life is messy. Tears are eternal. And I feel like a firefly trapped in a jar.
I put the note in my pocket, reported the suicide, and then left.
Months went by and I still couldn’t wrap my mind around her death. I just wanted her back, and I wanted to understand why she left like that, why she felt she couldn’t have come to me for guidance. All of those times lying together and we really weren’t one with each other; we were as separated as life and death.
Toward the middle of winter, I ran into her mom at the super market and asked how she was doing. She began sobbing and gave me a giant hug. Jessica’s mom adored me. It was a long embrace; it felt like eternity. Then she pulled away and said, “I’m probably doing as a bad as you.”
“I know,” I said.
“Have dinner with me tonight. I’m cooking your favorite beans and rice.”
“Sounds good. How about 6?” I said.
Even her house seemed different, with Jessica gone and all… That night, we ate dinner, a mostly silent dinner.
“I know you probably don’t want to talk about this, but did you see it coming—perhaps not suicide, but something bad?” I said.
“Yea, I knew something wasn’t quite right, but when I’d approach her about it, she would tell me it was nothing and that she was just stressed out.”
“I see. Well, you got more than I did…”
I poured myself another glass of wine and walked into the den. This is too bizarre. She doesn’t seem to be that out of sorts over her daughter’s death. I thought to myself.
On the table next to me was a notepad with some notes scribbled on it: on the full moon commence the cycle…rub the stone first… What the hell is this? Full moon, stone…
I looked over to the book shelf and saw a book sticking out: “Modern Witchcraft for The Coniving Witch.” Really…Is this some kind of joke? I began flipping through the pages, one was folded down. The title on the page read: Dream Walking. It explained how to enter peoples’ dreams and embed them with subliminal messages.
I brought the book back out into the dining room.
“Hey, what’s this?” I said.
Almost choking on her food, “Where did you find that?” She said.
“It was in the den…do you know how to dream walk?”
“You shouldn’t be meddling in other’s business…”
“Well, why the hell do you have witchcraft books?”
“That book was given to me by mother. It’s time for you to leave,” She said.
“Ok. I need to use the restroom first.”
I walked down the hall and to the bathroom. I flipped on the fan, the light, shut the door, and then walked into Jessica’s bed room. I began rummaging through her stuff trying to find some clues into her death. God help me. Show me. I scanned her room one last time. Her pillow! I looked under her pillow and found her diary.
I could hear footsteps coming from down the hall. Shoot. Screw me… I edged up to the door and peered down the hall. She was standing outside of the bathroom with a kitchen knife. I crossed the room and over to the window. I climbed out onto the roof and down the drain pipe.
When I got home, I went straight to my room and began reading the diary. There seemed to be an entire dream log dating back to several months before her death. I read every entry. The first portion of the log described weird dreams in which she hung herself. Then, the entries began getting more graphic, more descriptive. The last entry:
I don’t know what to do. I have this desire to hang myself; I keep having dreams about it. I can’t help them; I’m going to have to…
I closed the diary and laid back on my bed. There is no way. Did she really plant these suggestions into her own daughter’s dreams…
Everything took a weird twist that night, but I actually felt better. At least I knew it wasn’t Jessica’s doing, rather, her mom’s.
Then she woke up. It was all a dream. Jessica pulled out her dream journal and began writing:
I had the weirdest dream last night. I hung myself. The entire dream was of my mom’s plot to kill me and my boyfriend’s coping with the whole ordeal. But it was just a dream; that means it’s not going to happen…
Jessica climbed out of bed and walked to the den. She looked at the books and found one sticking out: Modern Witchcraft for The… Oh, dear God! She dropped the book and fainted.