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Into the Darkness, Into the Light

What do you do when it all becomes too much

Dana looked down at the blood on her wrist; the thick red line followed a path slowly down the inside of her arm. She lifted her arm, the thick red line mesmerised her, every slow advancement of it taking her back in time.

She was happy once she thought, or was she ever happy; her mind struggled to find a happy moment, a moment she did not hate her life or what she was.

The red line became thicker, Dana rested her head back on the edge of the bed and closed her eyes. The inside of her eyelids became an old movie screen, with the images of her life playing across the screen.

There was a cascade of scenes and images; her life has been full of experiences, all of them in some minor or major way contributed to brought her to this point in time.

A small chirping sound came from the open door, her head has almost become too heavy to lift, but she succeeded to open her eyes and looked at the door. He stood there; she could almost see the concern and confusion on his feline face. He slowly padded over to her and came to stand at her shoulder, then put both his feet on her shoulder. He leaned forward and kissed her cheek, “I will show you,” she turned her head to him, “What will you show me?”

At the same time she felt the not so gentle claws on her other shoulder, she only had enough energy left to turn her head. His green eyes were hostile, the claws that rested on her shoulder slightly ducked into the skin. “I will show you.”

Two cats from the same litter, two brothers, the one bonded to her, the other wanting to be.

The deathly tiredness made her head felt like lead, and she rested it back again on the edge of the bed, her eyes closed, and the images started again to run like a movie, but this time there was a white and a ginger cat in the background of each image.

_______________________________________

She was young again, listening to her mother on the other side of the door. Her father was still at work, unusually late and it set her mother off.

“I am going to kill myself, I have the revolver, and I am going to do it now,” her mother has been shouting and sobbing the words like a mantra for the past thirty minutes. The thirteen-year-old Dana sat with her little brother in her arms, listening to her mother, waiting for the shot.

“It was because of you she wanted to kill her,” the white cat said.

“She was sick, don’t let her fear rule you,” the ginger cat said.

_____________________________________________

Sixteen-year-old Dana cried in the corner of the schoolyard. Her best friend was angry with her, and she couldn’t understand why it hurt so much. The pain she felt because her friend did not want to sit with her in assembly meeting this morning. Dana lived for Monday morning’s assembly because she could sit close to her friend and felt the warmth of her skin through her school shirt, sometimes their knees would touch, and a strange warmth would spread through her. Dana did not know why, but when the assembly was over, and her friend would stand up, there was an ache in her for the loss of their closeness.

“You have a sickness called homosexuality, you should have worked harder to get rid of it,” the white cat sneered.

“You were in love, love is beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with loving someone of the same gender, love does not prescribe who you should love,” the ginger cat said.

___________________________________________

Dana was drinking as much as she could, her third bottle of wine. Her love, her friend, the woman she loved so much that it physically hurts was entertaining her ex-boyfriend in the flat alongside Dana’s. She was sure they were sleeping together, and it was driving Dana crazy. Lorna didn’t know how much she loved her, so much that it might border on an obsession.

Dana paced up and down her flat, muttering to herself, suddenly an idea struck her. Determined she walked over to the medicine cabinet and took hold of the prescription painkillers she got for her back injury.

She grabbed the bottle of gin from the cabinet and downed all the pills with the gin. As things became fuzzier and fuzzier, the world started to tilt; it was then that she saw them.

“That was the first time; you should have succeeded, then we didn’t have to deal with the drama now,” the white cat said.

“Luckily you did not succeed; you had helped so many people since that day,” the ginger cat said.

___________________________________________________

Dana was sitting in front of the computer she shared with her life partner, the screen was opened on a dating website, Jane forgot to delete the messages to other women before she went out to water the garden.

The messages of meetings with other girls in hotel rooms, the words burned into the screen, Dana could barely breathe, the pain of the betrayal like a piercing wound. She wanted someone to love her desperately, maybe this was just a phase, if she ignored these messages and be attentive then maybe Jane would stay with her.

“She fooled you then as she fooled you for the next fifteen years you were supposedly together,” the white cat said.

“You have loved, really loved someone, and they have loved you, pain is part of love,” the ginger cat said.

_________________________________________________________

She met her online, tired of her life partner’s betrayals and affairs, she wanted to retaliate, but she did not intend to find a real connection to someone else. A teacher in Thailand, someone from her own country. They talked for hours and hours over Skype and over the phone. Dana fell in love, as much in love you can be with someone you have never met.

Then that fated day when her partner had to go on “business”, and she made the phone call to the hotel room that she and Jane have stayed in before, and a stranger answered the phone,” Hello.”

“Can I talk to Jane?”

“She is under the shower. Who is this?”

“Tell her it is Dana.”

A sharp intake of breath acknowledged that the stranger knew, then Jane’s voice came on the phone, she must have wrenched the phone away, “I am sorry, I am so sorry, this is meaningless, I am on the way back, you are the one I want.”

Dana gave up the teacher in Thailand, for someone who made a promise they never kept.

“You are a fool, you have thrown away the best years of your life for someone who just used you,” the white cat said.

“You have found a connection with a person, you believed the best in people, and you are always loyal,” the ginger cat said.

___________________________________________________

She looked up at the overhead projector. Her position of divisional head has been made redundant and she was informed by an overhead projector in front of the whole company. The only senior person who has been made redundant.

The pain of rejection, fear of losing her job, of having been humiliated rose like a storm of acid through her insides. She was discarded, it did not matter that she worked all day and all night, she was a woman in a man’s world, and she lost the fight. The bitterness rose through her; she knew she was going to be replaced with a young accountant, a man, her experience and skills didn’t mean anything, she was not a man.

Dana lost every sense of sanity as she stood up and as he walked towards her to sympathise, her replacement, she lashed out, and she hit him in the face, hearing the crunch of bone under her knuckles. There was a shocked silence; no one could believe what happened, Dana herself stood still, seeing him on the ground, a bloodstream poured down his face. She stepped over him and walked away, something in her became free when she saw him fell backwards.

“That is the way to do it; you must take out your anger on people,” the white cat said.

“You lost to the darkness; you cannot act out in violence against people, it does not matter what they did to you,” the ginger cat said.

____________________________________________________________

“I cannot do this anymore, you are not doing your work, and I cannot trust you. Everything you send me is wrong. We have worked together a long time, therefore I don’t want to put you through a disciplinary hearing, and I have hoped we can come to an agreement.”

Dana sat frozen; she was discarded again. Again she has given everything, worked day and night, and again it was not good enough, but she can’t fight anymore, “Ok, I will go, when do you want me to leave?”

“Three days, Thursday will be your last day. I will pay you till the end of next month.”

Dana stood up; life has defeated her.

_____________________________________________________________

It was her fiftieth birthday, she lost her job for the second time, and her money will run out in three months. She made a pact with herself; if she doesn’t have a job by the end of the three months she will commit suicide, she will not land up on the street. She even decided to document the path to her demise and created a blog called “missionsuicide.”

It was her fiftieth birthday, and she was alone, no friends, no family and she knew it was only herself that brought her to this point. She has disappointed people, never told anyone that she needed them and one by one her loved ones has left her.

It was her fiftieth birthday, and she was sitting on a cold tile floor, with blood pooling around her and listened to two cats telling her about her life.

Dana was tired, life has been hard, and she has made it harder, by trying not to need anyone and so has pushed everyone away.

They looked at her, the white cat and the ginger cat. The dark and the light. Dana stretched her hand out to the ginger cat, “I have failed you.”

He just looked at her, as her eyes closed she heard him, “You have not failed me, you have failed yourself, only you can save you now. Please do it for me, for yourself.”

She felt the claws of the white cat on her skin; there was almost a grin on his face.

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