A Stranger to Myself

"I feel like I don't even know myself. And if I don't know myself, how can anyone else ever know me?" Autumn has always felt alone, like an outcast. But when a girl comes into her life and reveals things about Autumn she never would have known otherwise, can Autumn learn to accept her differences she's so used to hating?


16. Relief

My dad still went to work. Just because he was practically disowning me didn't mean that he changed his everyday schedule. He was also still too dumb to lock the door. After I ran from Carmen, I just fled into my house. I went straight to my bathroom. But instead of grabbing a razor this time, I took a bottle of pills from the medicine cabinet. And I walked into my bedroom. And I sat, cross-legged on my bed. And I dumped several pills into my palm. Then I just stared at them. 


It would all be over. There would be no more of this pain. No more uncertainty of who I was. No more uncertainty of my feelings for Carmen, no more insecurity, no more self-hatred, no more self-harming, no more bullying and no more crying. I would be gone forever. Wherever I went, whether it was heaven, hell, or nowhere, it would be better than the life I was living. 


What was the point of sticking around? What was holding me to the earth now? My family hated me. I had no friends. I was invisible to practically everyone, and Carmen's life would surely be more simple without me involved in it anymore. All I had done since we had met was confuse, worry, and complicate things for her. I didn't want that. 


I wanted it to end. I wanted to be done and gone. I didn't have the strength to continue. At that moment I felt so utterly fragile and broken, absolutely shattered into pieces. There was no way I could ever put myself back together, no way I would ever return to the way I was before this severe depression arose as if out of nowhere. Then again, what had I been like before? I didn't know. I didn't know anything about myself. I felt like I never had. 


I fell into a sort of daze. My mind was flooding with thoughts and images, fantasies of the overwhelming, coveted feeling of relief I would receive when I was finally taken from this world, when I was finally going to be free. Nothing around me was real at that moment. Time wasn't existent. 


I was returned to reality at the sound of a door being thrown open. My front door. That could only be two people. My dad or Carmen. I didn't want to see either of them. I frantically got to my feet and slammed my bedroom door closed, pressing my body weight against it as hard as I could to form a makeshift barricade. The pills were still in my hand. I clenched them tightly in a white knuckled fist, noticing for the first time that my eyes were glossy. My breathing was uneven and shaky.


I could hear footsteps coming up my steps in a frenzy and they sounded too quick to be my father's. Carmen was here. The two places she would check would be the bathroom and my bedroom. 


Sure enough, I could see the doorknob turning. She tried to get inside but I pushed against the door with my shoulder. She knocked heavily three or four times, repeatedly trying to get past me. I could sense her urgency. 


"Autumn I know you're in there!! Let me in, please!" Hearing her beg like this was heart wrenching but I knew that she would be better off without me, no matter what she said to try and convince me otherwise. 


"Just go away..." I muttered, barely loud enough to be heard through the barrier between us. 


She stopped knocking for a second at my words. I could practically feel her eyes on me even when I couldn't see her.


"Please, Autumn, don't do this..." Her voice had dwindled from a begging shout to a pleading whisper. I could picture her face in my head. Her expression of sympathy and desperation and worry and overwhelming concern. I didn't want her to feel any pain. If I just left, it would be easier for her. 


I opened my fist to look at the pills still in my palm. They appeared ominous for some reason. I picked one up, feeling it with my fingertips before placing it onto my tongue and swallowing it with little difficulty. I needed more than one to actually die. I knew that. But for some reason I wasn't taking them all at once. 


"Autumn I need you, you're worth so much! You don't deserve to die and you don't deserve pain, you deserve to be happy and to be loved! Please let me in. We can talk about this!" Carmen continued to try to persuade me but it wasn't working. 


I took another pill. There were still a lot to go. 


"The best thing you can do for me right now is leave." I murmured. 


Her response was so delayed I wondered if she had heard me at all, "If you leave, Autumn, I don't know what I would do. I could never forgive myself." 


I took two more pills. And didn't say anything to her. 


She knocked again, lightly this time, "Don't do it Autumn, you're so much better than doing this!" 


"No I'm not." I took another pill. My head was starting to spin. 


"You need to believe me Autumn, please." 


I took another pill. My strength was faltering now. My legs felt weak. I staggered away from the door and tried to get to my bed but didn't even make it there. Instead I fell to my hands and knees. I moved so my back was against the side of my bed, facing the door. I wondered if she would try to get in. I looked at my palm. There were four more pills there. 


"Autumn..?" Clearly she wanted a response so that she could tell I was still there. 


I didn't give her one. I took another pill.


"Autumn??" She knocked again. This time she actually turned the knob. When she realized she could open the door, she pushed it so hard it was sent slamming into my wall. 


Her eyes briefly scanned the room and spotted me quickly. I had never seen her look that concerned before. It was the same expression she had when she would catch me cutting, but the intensity was amplified by a million. 


"Autumn! Oh my God!!" She started to run towards me but when I grabbed a pill from my palm she stopped in her tracks, staring at me with extremely wide eyes. 


"Carmen, go away." I told her. Everything was getting a little blurry. Her outline was fuzzy.


"Autumn stop!! How many pills did you take?! We need to get you to a hospital, please stop!" 


Before I could think too much or even begin to be persuaded by her words I took another pill. Three left. 


"Stop it!!" She shrieked at me, finally rushing forwards. She grabbed my wrist and almost shook the rest of the pills from my hand, but I clenched my fist tightly to keep them secure. 


"Let me go! Let me leave! I'm so fucking done with this!! I can't do it anymore, I just can't!" I shouted at her, trying to get away from her, but she held me firmly to the spot. My words were almost slurred. 


"Yes you can, Autumn, I promise!" I could see her eyes getting glossy and it made my chest hurt. 


"Stop that! It's pointless! I don't need you lying to me!" I tried harder to get away but she wasn't letting me go. It was infuriating. I had never been so frustrated in my entire life. 


"I'm not lying to you!" She insisted.


"Stop being so nice!" I shouted at her, watching as she tried to pry my fist open to get the pills from my grasp, "I don't deserve someone this nice!" 


She stopped for a moment, looking straight into my eyes, "Yes you do, Autumn. You should have had someone like this a long time ago." 


While she was distracted I somehow managed to break away from her, and I scrambled to my feet, backing away until I hit a wall. She shot to her feet and tried to get to me again, but I took a pill from my palm and held it, showing her what I planned on doing. 


"Autumn you don't need to do this!!" She said, looking incredibly distraught. I watched a tear roll down her cheek and it made my head start pounding, when it was already spinning enough. 


"Yes I do! I'm so fucking worthless, I'm just a waste of space, I have nothing good to offer anyone! Why was I even ever born in the first place?!" Tears started to cling to my eyelashes as well now. The lump in my throat was making it hard to breathe and my chest was heaving. 


"Autumn you need to believe me when I say that you are perfect the way you are! You are important and you are worth so much and you don't deserve to be sad, ever." She took a step closer to me. 


"Says you! Did you hear Jessica?! Did you hear what she said?! I'm sure she's just telling me what everyone else there wanted to!" 


"That's not true!!" She was really starting to sound desperate now. I had never seen her look so pained and powerless, "Jessica is just a typical highschool bitch that bullies people for entertainment, okay?! She just wanted to get under your skin, don't let her!"


"She was right, though! My life means nothing! It's pointless for me to be here!"  


"Stop saying things like that, please!!" Carmen begged me. She was shaking. I watched as more tears fell from her eyes, and it made some fall from mine too, "How can you not see how gorgeous you are?!" 


Those words made me stop still for a second, remembering what she had said to me when I stood on the curb during that rainstorm, threatening to throw myself in front of the next car. "Because I love you", the explanation that was never addressed afterward in the slightest, the explanation I did my best to push out of my mind because I would over-think things far too much otherwise. 


I just couldn't cope with all of the abrupt conflicting emotions that overwhelmed me and I started crying again. I cried too much. It was pathetic. I was pathetic. 


"Carmen, please, just leave me alone." I begged her this time. It didn't do anything. 


"No. I'm not going to abandon you, Autumn." 


I glared at her, "I'm not going to be around for much longer anyways." Before she could do anything else, I took two more pills. Patches of black were appearing in my vision now. 


"Autumn stop please!! I can't lose you! Okay?! I just can't!!" She was crying now too, "I need you! I need you more than I need to fucking breathe and I just..." She took a shaky breath, "...don't. Please stop..." 


I opened my mouth to respond but instead felt an unbelievable wave of weariness wash over me. I stumbled, falling against the wall to my left, my vision going completely black every other second. I slid down onto the floor. My head was pounding and my entire body was starting to feel numb. I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't see anything. I couldn't feel anything. 


It was a relief. 

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