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Dear Ana: Chapter 28


Dear Ana,

My parents kicked Mikhail out.

It wasn’t without reason. He tried to kill me again––shocker, I know. I accidentally fell asleep and woke up with him on top of me. My mom saw him and . . . well, I’ll save you the typical gory details. Leave it to Mikhail to exit with one final bang I’ll never forget. She made excuses for him, begged me not to call the police, and then––after setting him up with an apartment and a monthly allowance like a fucking child––they kicked him out.

I didn’t believe her, of course. I was convinced she only said that to keep me quiet, but then a few weeks later I came back from school and his room was empty. No goodbye. No apology. I was prepared to feel relieved, Ana. This is what I’ve been waiting for . . . but I’m not relieved. In fact, now that I think about it, the only time I’ve ever felt genuine relief was when I thought I was going to die.

It’s not like I haven’t thought about it before. Sometimes when I’m driving, I think about swerving into traffic . . . a truck would end things quickly, right? Or if I accidentally missed a step while walking down the concrete staircase at school . . . head injuries are the most common source of termination––at least, I would assume they are.

But regardless of how many times the thought has crossed my mind, I never do it. I push the image out of my head and keep driving according to the rules of the road. I take a deep breath and securely hold onto the railing until I’ve reached the bottom step unscathed. I don’t do that because I want to live. I don’t do that because I think I’ll be missed, or because I care that all my thoughts and memories will become nonexistent. The reason I haven’t taken myself out of the equation of life is because of . . . Him.

I wouldn’t call myself a very religious person. I wouldn’t call myself a religious person, period. There are only a few things I truly resonated with––God only put you through what He knew you could handle, and suicide is a sin.

I wasn’t born thinking about taking my own life, so it wasn’t something I ever had to worry about. But you could say my existence was rough from day one, and the only thing I had to fall back on was that God thought I was strong. God thought I was dedicated and brilliant, and I was so honored to be chosen out of all His creations to tackle these difficult hardships. It was a privilege, and I was determined to fulfill His trials with my head held high. I was filled with faith. Faith that if I just kept pushing through my pain and suffering, God would eventually reward me with ease in the end.

But then something happened, Ana. My faith slowly got chipped away with each test that got thrown my way, until it disappeared completely. Every time I got shoved to the ground, I was convinced it was the last time. I was convinced my life could only get better. I was convinced God was done, and He was going to show me the light . . . but He didn’t, and instead hit me with His wrath again, and again, and again.

That’s when I realized rock bottom doesn’t exist. The limit to how much you can suffer doesn’t exist. This world is just an endless game to see who can be the last one standing, but I want out. I don’t want to win, Ana. I used to feel honored, but what if I’m reading it wrong? What if it wasn’t an honor, but instead a punishment? Who’s to say what’s real? What if this never-ending cycle of torture was just my specifically curated version of hell? There was a moment when I woke up after my accident when I wondered if I was actually dead. What if I was right? What if I really did die that day? What if when I heard my heart stop beating, it had actually stopped beating?

It sounds ridiculous, and maybe my mind is too exhausted and wounded to think straight, but if I’m wrong then why hasn’t He proved it yet? I did everything right, but He still turned His back on me. I tried so hard, Ana. I tried so hard to trust His plan, and believe that everything happens for a reason, but I think I’m done. I think it’s time for me to give up. To make this more meaningful, I’ll wait until the tenth anniversary of your death. I’ll give Him five more years. Five more years to give me a sign, or a reason worth fighting for. After that though, I’ll finally do the deed. I’ll finally carve a new plan for myself like I should have just done from the start. It won’t be gruesome, or painful. It won’t be messy, or loud. I lived my entire life quietly . . . all I want is to die in the same way. The hospital prescribed me a bottle of opioids after my accident, but I never used them. I welcomed the pain from my physical injuries because it preoccupied me from feeling the agony raging on in my mind. I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure they’ll do the trick.

People will think I’m selfish. People will judge my rotting corpse at my funeral and wonder how I could do that to my parents and all my loved ones. What they don’t understand is that I am already dead. I am simply a hollow shell, with organs forcing me to stay alive while I deteriorate emotionally. I have nothing left to live for, Ana. My grades are slowly plummeting, and I have no urge to further my education after I graduate. I can’t imagine living long enough to face the embarrassment of having no career and having to feel the judgment and disappointment from my parents. My aspirations in life have shifted entirely. How is it fair for me to deprive myself of what I truly need? My biggest problem is that I always put others first . . . well, I learned my lesson now. Besides, people might be sad for a little while, but they’ll get over it. No one can dwell over a zombie, because they were never meant to be alive in the first place.

And hey, if I’m already dead, then killing myself shouldn’t do anything, right? I should just wake up back in my room, right in the center of all my misfortune. If I’m really dead then nothing will happen, and if not, well, maybe I can finally meet my maker and get the answers I always needed.

With that being said, I think this will be my last letter. I’m sorry I didn’t do your heart justice, Ana. I’m sorry I’m not going to continue your life through me, but . . . thank you. Thank you for being a source of comfort during the last five years, even though none of it was real. Thank you for being there for me when no one else was. In a sick and twisted way, you were kind of my best friend. I still hate you for saving me, but it helped a little, to feel heard and seen. But I have no more words to say to you. I have nothing left in me to give, so I guess this is goodbye. For now, at least. Maybe I’ll see you on the other side, Ana. But if not, I promise to think about you for the rest of my miserable journey in hell.


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