After the words were said, the seemed to fill the air like a smoke Ruby couldn’t breathe through. She was silent for a long time, her eyes wide as she just stared at me. She stared at me until her eyes glassed over and her face contorted, her chin wrinkled and she closed her eyes. Thick tears rolled down her cheeks as she sat there in a calm that moved me.
Then she erupted.
Jumping up from her seat, she hit the table, her mug toppling over as I lifted mine to prevent coffee from spilling into my lap. Her face got red, her hands curled into fists as she stared at me, her chest heaving uncontrollably.
“Are you out of your fucking mind?” She barked at me. “You’re going to kill yourself? How could you say that to me? How could you even think such a thing?” There were so many questions she asked me, all ones she demanded answers to.
I let her yell, I let her throw her mug up against the wall. I watched as she collapsed on the floor in front of me, defeated.
When she seemed to burn out, sobs shaking through her as her anger ebbed away and all she was left with were the words I had spoken, I finally spoke. “Ruby. I have been thinking about this every single day for the past year. I have been contemplating how to do it, when to do it. Yesterday was going to be the day. I was ready. Staying here, living… every single breath I take causes me this unbearable pain that stabs down to my soul. I don’t know how to explain it to you. All the joys in this world, all that this world has to offer and I would rather end it all than try to hold onto them. Existing is unbearable.” I have lived my life with this constant misery. I have known more tears that I had smiles.
“The only thing that kept me from doing it up until now, was you. I had read somewhere that dying is easy; it’s being left behind that is difficult. And I thought about you. I thought about you finding out I was gone without an explanation, without having the opportunity to say whatever you wanted to say to me.”
Her brow creased. “Don’t do it! You want to know what I would have wanted to say to you. Don’t fucking do it! I won’t let you.”
I laughed in disbelief. “You are going to watch me for every waking moment of the day from now on?” Shaking my head, I set my coffee table back on the table. “I know it’s selfish of me to make a decision that will affect you the way I know it will. But it’s also selfish to try to keep me here simply because that’s what you want.”
“What is happening?” Her words were halted. “Are we honestly talking about you killing yourself? You are going to commit suicide and there is nothing I can do about it?” Her eyes searched the area on the floor in front of her, trying to find some solution, some compromise. “I could call someone, maybe all you need is some help.”
“No.” It was difficult for her to understand. I knew it would be. She lived a different kind of life. She had bad days, but before long, she was herself again. I longed for a day that was simply bad, I dreamed of days that were mediocre. Instead, I had what every day was for me; torture. “I’ve had help. I’ve had more than help. I’ve had you. I’m afraid this isn’t something that can be helped.” Sliding off my chair, I reached out and pulled Ruby into my arms. “We can spend the day together, if you want.”
A sob shook through her. “Mallory… you’re my best friend.”
“And you’re mine.” I whispered.