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The Race  
by C.R.M. Nilsson

Dave said that I had to write something if I refused to go to the hospital, but what the hell does he want me to say, Liz? Congrats that you managed to one-up me on the selfish scale?

Everybody always feel so guilty in the wake of a suicide attempt. Everybody should have seen something or done something. Dave found you, you know. He found you lying with your wrists slit and a barely there pulse. He saved your life. But he still thinks he should have done something more. I try to tell him that itís not his fault, that it is not anybodyís fault but yours, but the words catch in my throat. Because it is my fault. I woke up when you were standing above me with the pillow in your hands. I donít know who was most frightened Ė you or me. But thatís the moment that sent you over the edge.

You should have fucking left me! God knows you didnít sign up for this. Had I been in your position, I would have left me. In fact I did tell you to leave me. But not for your sake Ė I told you that you managed to one-up me on the selfish scale. But thatís barely. I just didnít want to be reminded. My hair is so thin now and my body so frail, shrinking into non-existence.

But you didnít leave me. You loved me.

Everything was going alright. I mean, thereís nothing they could do for me, but the meds werenít acting up. I knew who you were, I knew where I was and I did not lose my temper and throw stuff at you at the drop of a hat. And you seemed so happy. It completely blind-sided me when Dave called me. I almost had a heart-attack. It was close. You know that another heart-attack would probably finish me off.

You lost a lot of blood and probably wonít regain full use of your left hand. But youíll live. You will probably lead a long, healthy life and forget all about me. And that makes me livid. Iím more angry with you for surviving than I am that you tried to off yourself before my body finally gave up on me.

I donít blame you for the pillow. Yes, you scared me. But you didnít do anything, remember? You were already putting it down when I woke up. And I understand. It must seem like some monster have taken my place. I know that I get completely irrational and that I sometimes forget what we are talking about. You hadnít been sleeping properly. It would probably have been a favour if you smothered me with a pillow.

ExceptÖ I donít want to leave you. I donít want you to have to take care of me, because evidently the strain is too much for you. But I selfishly donít want to leave you. Itís not fair of me to shackle you like this. Itís not fair that I am ill. It is not fair that you tried to kill me and dammit, Liz, couldnít you have waited until I was six feet under? Iíll be there soon. And I canít stay here to save you. I feel that if I die now, I will have failed you.

Iím thirty-four and I am going to die. Weíve known each other for four years, been lovers for three years because it took you a year to get your head out of your ass. And donít protest, Liz, I was ready to go the moment I met you. Weíve been living together for two and a half years. Youíve been nursing me for these last six months without a complaint.

Thereís a part of me that is so angry that you will live and I wonít. Thatís the part of me that I hate. Thereís another part of me that is screaming in terror right now. I have your note in front of me. Dear God, Liz, how could you think that was the answer?

Itís not only your reality, do you realise? Iím so ashamed to say this, but I need you. I could spout of some clichť about the world being a darker place without you Ė and it would Ė but I am also dependent on you. You help me with the stuff I can no longer do and despite that you think that I am in the dark about it, I know you have paid for more than a fair share of my treatments.

But most importantly, you keep me here. I wouldnít fight as hard against these feelings if I didnít have you. I sometimes imagine I can feel my lungs, my heart Ė you always said I had a strong heart - shrivelling up inside of me. And maybe I am placing a bigger burden upon you by staying alive. I drove you to this.

I canít see you right now. I really canít. Iím so fucking angry and Iím so fucking sad. But mostly? Iím just angry that weíre wasting the time we have left. I wish you didnít feel like you had to die. I wish that the pillow incident hadnít happened. It scared you so much. But you were only sleep deprived and frustrated and in pain and I never blamed you.

You have to breathe for me. You have to believe for me. You have to hope for me.

Didnít you say that everything we tore down, we could build up again? So, please, come home. We can talk this out, just another storm to weather, aye?

I love you.



Copyright C.R.M. Nilsson 2010

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