Leaning her head against the old, green tiles; she lets the river trickling down the wall, soak the crown of her head. Standing in silent pain, a heavy tear in her eye, it drops and swells again; the first of the last, the last of many. While savouring the warm comfort found in grief, she takes a courageous breath, filling her lungs, and looks up into the scratched mirror.
‘Who the fuck is that?’
‘Why is she shadowing my mistakes?’
Desire for the past pulls at her empty stomach, tearing her eyes from her image. Only to find the bitter, stale stench of an already used toilet, making her throw up again. The mixture of tears and bile swirl in the once clear water. No longer reflecting her face, but symbolising her life – clarity missing, replaced with filth and a lost cause.
Returning poised and shrinking to her looking glass; she begins to study her face. Pendulous and fair, a rosy blush in her cheeks burns through transparent skin. Before cold blue pinches it out. Her lips, elegantly bowed, match her large, captivating eyes.
‘I’ve had enough.’
I slowly unclasp each finger, revealing the bright, dazzling pills, each one representing a touch, a memory. I get thrown into bright sunlight, my head aches and another’s eye greets my eyes. His eyes. The shock forces me backwards, until I feel the fingers of false reality tugging at my skin. He pulls me to my feet and shakes me gently in supplication, urging me forward. I wrap my miniature body around him, willing us to vanish in a puff of improbable smoke.
I am tricked. He pulls himself gently from my grasp, suddenly a figure from another time, another place. A stranger. I search for something familiar. His eyes, filled with pain and yearning, turn me away, rejecting my plea.
His words echo in my ears as I grab blindly at the air in front, falling, spilling pills and breaking glass. Tiny splinters pierce my hands, waking me from my delusion. ‘I’ve lost my mind’
Deep sobs come from within me, as I replay the fragments leading up to this moment. Craving fresh, crisp air in my lungs, which longed the replacement of the dark, dank, musty air of the public toilets. I stumble outside before my knees begin to tremble. Slowly, lowering myself, to the pavement, sitting cross-legged, oblivious to the rare passer-by. Only caring to be back in that time in that place. Safe.
I sit without moving for hours. I try to force all emotion from my mind. I shiver in the cold wind, pursuing conclusive decisions. I place my head decisively against a boney knee.
Before she knows it, she’s decided to change, to change her wasted life for better. A sense of uplifting realisation floats her up to a cloud. As though she’s on a boat, the captain, finally in control of her chaotic life. Lifting her hand to her mouth, she chucks back her neck, and lets the pills fall into it. The boldly coloured plastic casing taps against her teeth, attempting to pry open her locked jaws. With a dry throat she swallows each pill with no regret, even though they stick in her throat – her body’s last attempts to save what is not yet lost; now just waiting, waiting, waiting.
Until finally her weakness in mind is transformed into weakness in body. The world is once more beautiful. The rain still falling soaking her hair and clothes, warms her, before finally, she dies; she’s dead. I die; I’m dead.