Hours passed with the two of us huddled together on the floor. Closing my eyes, I felt us mold together, her arms fit perfectly around me and mine around her. Inhaling her smell, I was glad I decided to tell her about my plans.
This would be the perfect last day.
The constant ticking from the old grandfather clock in my living room kept me grounded, it kept me from wandering away into the dark corners of my mind as I held onto Ruby and hoped she would be okay once I was gone.
I had met Ruby when I was twelve. I had planned on killing myself that year. Living at my group home had become unbearable, the things I had endured over the past years had broken my in a way that left me unable to ever really be restored. In the back of my mind, I had told myself to hold on, to push through.
Every time I did, I seemed to push through into an even worse situation.
Withdrawn, I had thought of a way that would have the least impact on those around me. I wouldn’t leap in front of a car, bus or train. That was inconsiderate to those inside. I could break someone just as I had been. Drowning took too long, but was the romantic kind of way I longed to go. Willing yourself to drown isn’t as simple as you’d think. Your body was crafted to survive, and it disobeyed your mind and your heart on instinct.
I had thought if maybe there was some way to paralyze myself temporarily. Then I could drown and my body would be completely defenseless.
The water would wash over me, I would feel the embracing pressure of the water all around me as I sunk deeper and deeper into the darkness I had lived in all my life.
It was beautiful to me.
Instead, I had decided an overdose was the best way to go. I had gone into the room of Ms. Tina who ran our group home and taken her sleeping pills and got a bottle of vodka and had decided it was time to call it quits.
I went out for a walk before bed. Not for any particular reason. The girl who shared a room with me had still been awake and lying there while she sang softly along to her Walkman didn’t seem at all enticing.
Then, I had met Ruby. She looked at the world through rose-colored glasses and I kept hoping she would somehow rub off on me. That night, she kind of did. She sat there, with her street meat trying to get me to talk to her, talking about the wonder of the stars and the endless possibilities.
She had a way of doing that to me, convincing me time would change the way my heart beat, the way my soul ached.
Pulling away from me, she looked up at me. Her eyes were bright red and slightly swollen. Her nose was red and her cheeks had streaks of mascara running down them. “Give me a month.” Her voice was light; it cracked as she pushed the words past the tightness in her throat. “Please, a month.”
Frowning, I looked at her. “Why?”
“30 days with you, and then you can do whatever you want to do.” She wrapped her fingers in the front of my shirt. “Please!”
My heart whispered ‘no’ but as I looked down at her, butterflies flapped anxiously in my belly. Sighing, I nodded. “30 days.”