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Bargaining Part 2

"My first encounter with death"
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Author's Notes

"Based on real events"

In my experience, most people don't believe in death. Well, they don't believe in it entirely. Some believe that death is a portal to another dimension. A dimension that is dictated by your actions on earth. If a higher being deems you worthy, you are welcomed into a forever paradise. And if that same omniscient being doesn't want you in their realm? You are cast out into a dimension of eternal torture. There are others that believe that your soul is capable of reaching a higher state so that when death arrives, you only need yourself to get into a blissful ever after. And then there are those who believe that some who have died are trapped on earth, haunting the people and places they care for the most. However, it doesn't take one long to realize that it isn't death that makes a person haunted. 

We are consistently haunted by the reactions to situations we did or didn't have. The what if's that plague our minds until dawn. The agony of heartbreak or the alternate paths we could have walked. We are all caught in a whirlpool of distress caused by the choices we did or didn't make. One of those ghosts was ending my life at fifteen. 

It was early January and I had just come back from Winter break. I was however not well rested or prepared to face reality. I had transferred to a new school where not only did I not fit in but my grades were atrocious. Additionally, in a cocktail of rage and jealousy, I called my best friend's father to inform him that his daughter was in a relationship with a man ten years her senior. Her father ended up choking her out in a drunken rage.

This had my peers (rightfully), turn against me. My mom and I had been at each other's throats for weeks. This eventually led to her kicking me out. I found refuge with a friend who was in her mid-thirties that lived across town. Her brother ended up watching me sleep, whispering his perversions in my ears and touching me inappropriately. This made me return back to my mother's where the fighting persisted. 

It was a Tuesday night when I finally snapped under the pressure. Nothing was going right for me. I felt like the world was against me. I was fighting a war that was already lost. My mother called me on her break to check in on me but even that somehow turned into a fight. Checking my socials to see that everyone had turned their backs on me, I was drowning. The only solution I saw for myself was to accept defeat and let the water fill my lungs. 

I was prescribed anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. This was my poison of choice. I took 60 tablets of each and waited for the tide to take me. I felt the adrenaline take me. A jolt of energy despite all the tranquilizers. I paced along the hallway of the apartment rummaging through my final thoughts. When suddenly, everything went black. It was as if I were hovering right above a floor I couldn't see. It was so dark, that my eyes watered from trying to see my hand in front of me.

It was then that he spoke to me. "Is this the fate that you choose for yourself, young one?" he hissed from behind me.

I went to turn to face him but I was stuck in one spot. "Am I dead?" I asked in a panic.

In the short silence before he replied, I noticed that even though I could feel the anxiety, my body wasn't reacting. My hands didn't shake, my voice didn't tremble and I couldn't feel my heartbeat. "Is that what you wish? To be welcomed into my void? There is no consciousness here, no light. Only a black void of sheer nothingness,"  he growled, his voice vibrating in my bones.

I couldn't tell you how long I stayed there contemplating my fate. However, there was a small weak voice that for the first time in my life had the clarity it never had before. It told me to live. "I wish to go back," I yelled, breaking the silence.

"As you wish. If you ever change your mind-" his voice cut out.

Images of my life flashed in front of me. Seeing my mother push me on the swings, walking home after school, dance recitals, and Halloween parties. It all began to swirl together then, for a split second, I saw the void I was once in. A skeletal face cloaked in a dark robe, handed me a card as his voice echoed, "You know where to find me." 

I heard the slap but never felt it.  My eyelids felt so heavy but I pushed them open. A dark-haired paramedic hovered above me with his hand raised, ready for another hit. "You're awake, good stay awake for me, can you do that for me Violet?" he asked. I couldn't feel the vehicle in motion, I could barely make out the sirens. I struggled to stay conscious in the confines of that ambulance. I do however remember being wheeled into the children's hospital emergency room.

My mother leaned her back against the wall, her arms folded across her chest. Her eyes told me everything I needed to know. They were saturated with a frozen fury. 

The next twenty-four hours were a blur. I was forced to drink activated charcoal to help with the overdose. According to others, I met with nurses, doctors, social services, and even my uncle. I don't remember any of those conversations to this day. I was starting to feel like the void I saw was a vivid dream caused by my attempted suicide. The memory of it began to fade away from my memory. 

In the daze I was in, my mom decided that I shouldn't stay with her anymore. She thought it would be best for the both of us if I stayed with her friend Ora. I wasn't in the hospital long, a day or two. When it was time to leave, Ora told me to get dressed and gather my belongings. I grabbed the white trash bag that my clothes were shoved in and went into the bathroom. I could barely stand up.

The fluorescent lights made me more nauseous than I already was. I had to pause while putting on my shirt. One arm at a time, with breaks. I sat on the toilet with my jeans in my hand, waiting to find the energy to put them on. I sat there haunted by the choices I had made to get me here. And with a sigh of strength, I went to put on my jeans. One leg at a time. I finally stood up to button them up when I felt something poke my thigh. I reached into my pocket and felt something plastic. That was when I found Death's calling card. 

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