As I walked back through the woods, it took me a little longer than I expected to reach the lake, but when I did, I walked to the edge and stopped. I stared at the water that barely washed over my toes and it was cold and beckoning. My body trembled with fear, but I had to do this. My feet took a few steps forward until they were ankle deep. I stopped again, catching my breath in my throat at the iciness. Keep going. My thoughts commanded my body to will itself forward. The saddest part of it all was that I knew what the consequences of this would be…and I was willing to accept. I hoped that this time, it wasn’t a dream. I wanted to escape the dread I had been suffering from for weeks now. It would all be over soon.
Wading deeper, I continued
walking into the lake farther and farther until my head went under the surface.
Silence. There was only the silence. I savored the momentary peace that I felt
had been taken from me. This would be the last thing I heard but not the last
thing I saw. Behind my eyelids was a brilliant image, an image of the boy I
loved desperately but would never see again. I was selfish but I couldn’t bear
the thought of one more day, going through the same painful routine that I had
been forced into. If I left him a letter, it would have been burned. I knew it
wasn’t long before someone found me. It was time.
Exhaling all the oxygen from
my lungs, I watched the bubbles fly up to the surface that was now far above
me. The ache in my lungs was unmistakable but I closed my eyes, ignoring the
pain. Conjuring up the best memories I had in my last minutes, I replayed them
over and over until I could feel my conscious slipping away. I finally felt free,
like a bird that could fly. I wouldn’t be flightless anymore. (©) Paulina Ulrich
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