Content warning: suicide, depression
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Time stopped with the sharp sound of a rapid inhale.
My mom was holding the phone receiver to her ear, her free hand now covering her mouth. I could sense that death was on the line. Her eyes avoided mine.
She started to cry.
I've never been good with time. Days passed while my parents whispered behind a door, muffled voices leaking through. I heard my friend's name and sat frozen, suspended in that precise moment before everything would change.
Eventually, his voice broken, my dad told me that my friend was gone.
I fell through eternity, alone. Sixteen years of age, but I crawled under my bed like I was six and stayed there for hours. Time lost again.
The questions were a flood, but then nothing. I didn't actually want answers, I suddenly didn't want anything, it was all a black hole. I longed for silence and stillness and emptiness and nothing at all.
Joy sounded ugly, and the months got darker. I had always been a happy kid, but now I'd been robbed—I was drowning and I didn't care.
It seemed inevitable.
But then one day, the desire for hope returned. Not hope itself, but the feeling that I could hope again, that I wanted to hope again, that I was allowed to hope again.
It felt like a direction I could walk toward.
And so I walked.