A Year Without Johnny

Harry Mitchell is a young boy whos best friend commited suicide. Since the event, even more terrible situations have come to pass and Harry is left making heart wrenching decisions. This is his letter that lets you into his life, his thoughts and feelings, as he lives a year without Johnny.


13. A year without Johnny

It was this morning, the morning of New Years Eve, that I realised it had almost been a year without Johnny. I couldn’t stand it, my head closing, my room a tiny speck of dust on the world. To say I felt claustrophobic would be a huge understatement. I had to get out of the house and go somewhere - anywhere - that was far away from that place. Some place where I could hide from myself and my heart-wrenching thoughts. I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. I wanted it to stop, just stop, just for a moment.

It was around 9 this morning that I finally stepped in the cool breeze of my garden. The wind carried my mind away and I fell to my knees with a whimper, a bang, my chest collapsing. I felt like I was so weak, heck, I was weak. I just needed to run away, as far as my legs could take me, but I knew that, at that precise moment in time, that wouldn’t be very far.

This kind of brings you up to date of where I am sat right now, on the same building Johnny jumped from, in what feels like a lifetime ago. The same spot Lizzie fell from when I should have caught her. I came here to gather my thoughts as I knew it would be the perfect place to write you all this letter.

A few moments ago, I stood where they did. The spot in which Johnny and Lizzie had jumped from, and the bricks were crumbled beneath my feet. It was so unstable and I wondered if that was why they chose the spot. I tried not to think too much into it. I no longer cared, which was odd, but for the first time in a while, I did not have a single care in the world.

It’s funny what you think of when you’re stood so high above the world. I almost felt limitless. As the wind was brushing through my hair, the street lights so bright under my tears, and I couldn’t help but wonder what they were thinking of, Johnny and Lizzie. I wonder if they thought of me, as I them.

I gazed down to the spot that had shared both Lizzie’s and Johnny’s final seconds, and how I envied it. To be the last thing they saw, the last thing they felt, the last thing they would ever know. It was killing me that I didn’t save them. Though, it was rightful that I was feeling that way as all this could have been avoided if I was never ashamed of who I am. I couldn’t help that though, as even now I can barely face myself.

I can see my reflection through the window of the door on the roof and an unknown child is glaring back at me. He is so lost in a world he thought he knew so well, trapped in a body he thought he could control. There are four slits on his left wrist, each for a love he had lost. His friends. His father. His soul mate. His sanity.

I am trying to think of the simpler times when I had everything yet was so unaware of it. I would do anything to escape back to the times when me, Johnny and Lizzie would catch a horror movie this late at night, and cuddle all together, even in front of my folks, because they just thought me and Johnny were comforting Lizzie. If anything, Lizzie was comforting us. It saddens me that a memory is now all that will ever be.

You know, isn’t it bizarre how all those times I listened to Autumn Leaves I never got to the end line. Not until a few days ago. I can tell you that the last line is the best line of the song as after all the hurt and ache I felt during the rest of the song, that line brought a smile to my face. I consider that a strange turn of events.

I can feel now my reddened eyes are heavy and I am doing my best to stop my tears from hitting this paper, but I can see I am failing. My heart is tender and my head, cloudy, throbbing.

I can see Big Ben from here. It is a few minutes to midnight and I can feel the New Year approaching. I know that it has nearly been a year without Johnny. I can hear the distant utters of a countdown from every house and apartment that surrounds me. I bet this was what he heard too.

I spent all that time wondering why Johnny jumped and yet this whole time I withheld the answer. I was the reason. If Johnny were here in this moment, I would get down of the roof and go home, but he is not. He would never be here. I have lost the one I love, just as he felt he had lost me. I guess me and Johnny were not as different as any of us originally had believed. We both had to hide what we were, and both had so little and yet so much. We had each other and that’s all that should have mattered, but stupid things got in the way. Not anymore.

So, now it has come for me to tell you why I am sat here writing you this letter. The answer, because I will not put you through the pain and suffering Johnny put me through. He left me alone, without any real explanation to why he did it, causing me endless nightmares and continuous suffering, hoping that one day I would find a reason to why he jumped. I could never put you guys through that. That is the exact reason I am writing to you, so you can understand why I am about to take my life, just as he did his.

Please know that it’s not your fault, nor is it anyone’s but my own. It’s just that it’s nearly been a year without Johnny, and I don’t want to ever spend that amount of time without him. So I am going to go now and be with him, and Lizzie, and maybe I will finally find the courage to tell him that I love him. Because of course I do.

I must hurry now as the New Year’s countdown it louder than it was before and I can feel a new, unwelcome dawn approaching. Please note, that in these final moments, I am not upset or scared but liberated and limitless, almost. I actually feel as if I am myself once more.

I do not know what awaits me, or any of us, when we die, no one will ever know, which is not necessarily a bad thing as some of us crave that hope. We talk about heaven and the afterlife in, what I believe to be, optimism that our stories are true. In hope that there is something so much better. This is why I am about to jump, because I already know it will be so much better. As, if those places do exist, then at least I will be with Johnny, and if those places don’t exist, then at least I won’t be without him.

I shall be parting with you all now. So I guess this is goodbye.

Forever and always,
Harry Mitchell.

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